CALICUT A QUIET HAVEN IN KERALA, INDIA
Located as it is, at the edge of the Arabian Sea, Calicut has been a key landmark on ancient trading routes and travellers have been coming here since times of yore. Earlier, Calicut or Kozhikode was the capital of the Samoothiris who ruled from here and engaged in flourishing international trade. The Phoenicians, Arabs and Chinese came here for the spices and it is still known as the City of Spices. It was here that Vasco da Gama landed in 1498, leading to a wave of European colonisation of this part of the country.
Today it exudes the charms of a small town and still retains some of its links to a glorious past. Calicut Beach is easily accessed from the centre of town and is a nice, clean stretch, popular with locals and visitors alike. The broad swathe of sand is frequently the venue for concerts and fireworks displays. Another nearby beach is Kappakkadavu, also known as Kappad beach. Picturesque and serene, it’s a great place to spend some time basking in the sun, surf and sand. There’s also a stone temple at one end of Kappad beach which you can visit.
Some 20 km from Calicut is the Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary. Sprawling across a cluster of islands, the sanctuary is situated in an estuary of the Kadalundi river. From here, you can also take in gorgeous views of the confluence of the river, and the Arabian Sea in the distance offers marvellous views of Kadalundi river meeting the Arabian Sea. The sanctuary is home to an array of native and migratory birds, such as terns, gulls, herons, sandpipers and cormorants. You can also take boat rides in Kadalundi. With its laidback pace of life and close-to-nature feel, Calicut, a little off the beaten tourist circuit of Kerala, makes for a lovely short break.
Fly Calicut is connected by air from Bangalore and Chennai. You can also drive from Bangalore; it’s a long drive through the Western Ghats and takes about eight hours.
Stay Gateway Hotel is a good choice for your stay in Calicut. This old-world hotel is close to the town and the beach and is still quiet and peaceful. The hotel also has an excellent Ayurveda treatment centre and serves Ayurvedic cuisine.
Shop Since you’re bound to spend a lot of your Calicut break exploring the food, carry some back from your trip. The banana chips are superb and so is the banana halwa.
We create a checklist about what to do in Calicut for you. Check it out there are some interesting things in Calicut:-
- Binge on biryani Calicut deserves its description as a food lover’s paradise. The town teems with restaurants and little eateries serving Malabari specials. Some of the best fare is at Paragon, the restaurant that traces its origins back to the 1930s. The Malabar biryani, subtle, fragrant and utterly delicious, which comes with date chutney and papads, is a must-have here. The place is almost always packed and it’s definitely worth the wait.
- Savour the street food Once you’ve had your fill of biryani and appam-and-chicken stew, hit the street food trail. Calicut beach is a good place to sip on Sulaimani chai as you take in a sunset. The stuffed Nendran Pazham—the local banana—and Chatti Pathiri, a sweet, layered pastry are Calicut specials. The thattu kadas are a good place to try milk sharbat, another local favourite.
- Relax and rejuvenate This is Kerala and it’s a great idea to go in for an ayurvedic massage that will help get rid of all that city stress. You can even sign up for fortnight-long Ayurveda treatments in various centres.
- Spend some beach time Walk, wade in the waves or fly kites at Calicut beach. This is where the locals come to unwind at the end of the day. At Kappad Beach, you can visit a monument dedicated to Vasco da Gama’s landing in the 15th century.
- Visit a martial arts centre A visit to Vadakara, 50 km from Calicut, will let you see Kerala’s traditional martial arts up close. This is a thriving centre for Kalaripayattu, with dedicated schools and various performances.
Let’s wrap up CALICUT A QUIET HAVEN IN KERALA, INDIA article. Read also Kasauli Travel Guide | Top Things To Do In Kasauli |
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— Sunil Nain