Calicut city is located on the West Coast of the Indian Sub-continent at Latitude 11-15’ and Longitude 75- 47’ E. It is a minor port and is the most important Urban center in north Kerala. The city is located at a distance of 414 Kms north of Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital. The distance by rail to Madras and Mangalore are 678 and 221 Kms respectively.
Calicut is the anglicized form of Kalikut, the Arabic for the Malayalam Kozhikode. It is also called the Cock Fort. According to the historian, K.V. Krishnan Iyer, the term means Koyil (Place) Kodu (fortified). Any how, it is a historical town with a hoary past. From time immemorial, the city attracted travellers, with its charming physical features and prosperity. Even today, the glory that was Calicut has not faded.
Arabs and Foreigners called Kozhikode as Calicut, is the third largest city in the southern state of Kerala in India. It is the headquarters of Kozhikode district, and was formerly the capital of an independent kingdom, and later of the erstwhile Malabar District. This city is famous as the place where Vasco da Gama, the first European to sail directly from Europe
The political history of Kozhikode is a story of treacherous and ill-conceived conspiracies hatched by the Western powers. Vasco Da Gama landed at Kappad (16 kilometres north of Kozhikode) in May 1498, as the leader of a trade mission from Portugal and was received by the Zamorin himself.
This marked the beginning of foreign dominations in the East. From the 13th century, Kozhikode attained a position of pre-eminence in the trade of pepper and other spices which made it India’s emporium of international trade. As Kozhikode offered full freedom and security, the Arab and the Chinese merchants preferred it to all other ports. The globe totter Ibu Btuta (A.D. 1342-47) notes: “We came next to Calicut, one of the great ports of the district of Malabar, and in which merchants of all parts are found”.