Kozhikode or Calicut, the former capital of the Zamorins and referred to as "the great province of Malabar" by the legendary Marco Polo, continues to attract visitors from distant shores. The city reeks of history and culture, making it the favourite destination of history buffs. Over the years, Kozhikode has become commercially important for textiles, seafood processing, timber and tiles. At the same time, traditional art forms like the ancient form of Kerala's martial art, Kalaripayattu has flourished.
The land of the Malabar Mahotsavam, Kozhikode was recognized as one of the most important historical regions in Malabar. Today, in addition to the ancient monuments, the green countryside and the pristine beaches, the area boasts of wildlife sanctuaries, rivers and hills. The backwaters of Kozhikode are a great holiday destination. The Canoli canal and the River Kallai are good for boating while the bird sanctuary at Kadalundi is fast becoming a favourite with bird-watchers and nature lovers. Nearby is Korapuzha, where the Korapuzha Jalotsavam, a water sports festival, is becoming a regular with tourists.
Popularly known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi comprises a cluster of islands on the Vembanad Lake and is close to Kozhikode. Some of these picturesque islands have exotic names like Bolgatty, Vypeen, Gundu and Vallarpadam. The lake opens out into the Arabian Sea to form one of the finest natural harbours in the world and has made Kochi a fascinating blend of the cultures. The Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and British have left their mark on the city. As a result for the tourist there is the Jewish synagogue, the Dutch palace, the Chinese fishing nets and remnants of European and Asian architecture. Kochi is fascinating for the history lover and the general tourist. There are several quaint and interesting places to visit like Willingdon Island (a short boat ride from Kochi harbour), the Mattancherry Palace, the Jewish Synagogue, Fort Kochi and Bolgatty Island.
The nearest airport is at Karipur, 23 km from Kozhikode town, which has flights from Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and the Middle East touching down daily. The place is also linked by road and rail with major cities and tourist centres in India.
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