The nearest airport is at Calicut, 36 km away. Cochin Air port is 169
km and Trivandrum International Airport is 395 km to the sough.
The main railway station is at Calicut. There is another smaller station
at Tirur, 44 km south of Calicut.
motor able roads to several towns in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
transport: For local transport there are buses, taxis, and auto rickshaws.
symbol of the freedom struggle
The district of Malappuram, which literally means a terraced
place atop hills, was carved out of the districts of Calicut and Palghat in
1969. Malappuram figures prominently in history as the place, which frequently
questioned British Colonial authority. Most of the famous Mappilla revolts of
Malabar, which took place between 1792 and 1921, occurred in areas now under
Malappuram district. In fact, it was to tame the Mappillas that the Malabar
Special Police, symbol of British colonial oppression and tyranny, was formed in
Home of the Valluvanad dynasty of chieftains who ruled over
the are in ancient and medieval items. Malappuram has always enjoyed the status
of a military headquarters. The Zamorin of Calicut, for instance, consolidated
his conquests and built a palace at the then important Malabar seaport of
Ponnani in Malappuram.
Although Malappuram lags behind the state’s other districts
in terms of standards of literacy and education, paradoxically, the district has
contributed in no small measure to Kerala’s cultural traditions. It has been a
center for Vedic learning and teaching and Ponnani enjoyed a similar status as
an important center for education in the philosophy of Islam. Celebrated
Mappilla poets and the famous dance, ‘opana pattu’ of Mappilla women
The father of Malayalam literature, Thunchath Ezhuthachan,
the classical epic poet, was born in Trikandiyoor in this district. Also born in
this district was VallatholNarayana Menon, often called the poet laureate of
Among contemporary personages, the Marxist political leader
E.M.S. Namboodiripad, was born at Elamkulam in Perinthalmanna, a taluk of
The Chaliyar and Kadalundi rivers are two of the six, which
flow through this district. On top of the hill overlooking the Kadalundi river
is the old Haig barracks, founded by the British, now the headquarters of the
At the foot of the Cantonment Hill is the maidan called
Kottappadi (‘fort gate’), though today there are only traces of the old fort
built by the British to protect Malappuram from the occupation of Malabar by
The Jama-at mosque here is important to Kerala’s Muslims.
The annual ‘nercha’ festival of the mosque is celebrated for four days in
April. Adjoining the mosque is a mausoleum of the Malappuram Shaheeds whose
brave exploits have been immortalized in Mappilla was ballads.
An important religious centre for both Muslims and Hindus,
Angadippuram has the Tirumandhankunnu Temple dedicated to Goddess Durga as well
as the Puthanangadi Mosque which has Arabic inscriptions engraved on one of its
Further away is the small town of
Kottakal, 12 km southwest
of Malappuram and 168 km from Cochin, home of the famed Kottakal Arya Vaidyasala, pioneering center for
Ayurveda, Kerala’s traditional system of
health and medicine. Among the best run Ayurvedic centers in the state, this
institution runs an Ayurvedic research center, a nursing home and a hospital.
On the way to Malappuram, 18 km east of
Manjeri, is Kondotti
a prominent pilgrim centre for Muslims. The Valia Nercha festival at the
500-year old Pazhayangadi Mosque, celebrated for three days in February-March,
draws large crowds.
Those interested in nature and wild life should head for
Nilambur, an extensive forest area well known for its bambooms. It is home to
the world’s oldest teak plantation, known as ‘Canolly’s Plot’.
Further back in time, the small coastal fishing town of Tanur
was one of the earliest settlements of the Portuguese. It is believed that St.
Francis Xavier visited the place in 1546 and converted the local chieftain to
Christianity. About 3 km south of Tanur town is Keraladesapuram Temple,
dedicated to Lord Vishnu and said to be one of Kerala’s oldest temples.
The birthplace of Thunchath
Ezhuthachen, now called Thunchan Parambu, is in Tirur. It is the hallowed ground where hundreds of Malayalee
children are initiated into the wonders of writing when they first trace the
letters of the Malayalam alphabet in sand taken from threat revered spot.
On the banks of the river
Bharathapuzha, 8 km south of Tirur,
is Tirunavai, a place of historical and religious significance. In olden days,
the Mamamkam festival here was a grand assembly of the rulers of Kerala, held
once in 12 years. Believed to have been founded by Cheraman Perumal, it was last
performed in 1755. Today the Sarvodaya Mela is held in the Nava Mukunda Temple
every January. This temple is said to be founded by the nine great saints and is
also called the Benares of the South.