Shweta Ganesh Kumar takes a trip through Kozhikode and comes back with some delicious memories
Sometimes it's the places that have changed history that get forgotten as we run in search of foreign lands and adventure. And it's to a sleepy town like this called Kozhikode, where I have decided to travel this week. Kozhikode, or Calicut as it was once known, is the third largest town in the southern state of Kerala. It was on the shores of Kappad beach in Calicut where Vasco Da Gama landed in 1498 with his Portuguese fleet. He was the first European to arrive in India via the sea and paved the way for the British in the future. Today, the beach is filled with tourists clambering up on mossy rocks while children sit on the sand building castles.
Yet another nearby beach, Beypore is said to be where the legendary Sinbad the sailor's boat was from. While no one knows whether that story is true, one can still see master craftsmen building boats here, just as they have done for centuries. If boats are not your cup of tea, take a long walk on the Beypore Sea Bridge and if you're lucky you just might get a glimpse of the bottlenose dolphins that live in these waters.
Once you get tired of splashing about in the waves, one of the best ways to get your strength back is by tucking into the famous Malabar biryani. And remember that no trip to Kozikode is complete without gulping down a Sharjah shake, which is a banana milkshake with a twist.
Kozhikode is located in Kerala in South India. Kozhikode was the capital of Malabar during the time of the Zamorins, who ruled over the land before the British arrived. Inhabitants in the area mainly traded in spices like black pepper and cardamom. Much of the exports were sent to the Jews, Arabs, Phoenicians, Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese. It's interesting to note that the English word 'calico', a cotton textile, originated from this city's name, Calicut.
Beypore or Beypur is a small coastal town in Kozhikode district. The place was formerly known as Beypuram. Tipu Sultan named the town Sultan Pattanam. Beypore port is one of the oldest ports in Kerala. Beypore is also famous for building wooden ships called dhows or urus in Malayalam. These ships were usually bought by Arab merchants for trading, fishing and now used as tourist ships. TASARA is a creative hand-weaving centre located in North Beypore. This centre attracts visitors and students from all around the world. Chaliyar Puzha, which is the fourth longest river in Kerala, flows through this village.