Neatly tucked away between the Arabian sea and Nilgiri hills, Malappuram largely consists of high range forests, agricultural midland and coconut plantations in low land.Parts once colonized by the Portuguese, Malappuram has an eventful history to boast of. Visited by St Xavier in the 14 th century, it is also the birthplace of the father of Malayalam literature (Malayalam's Mahakavi Thunchen Ezhuthachan). In early days a venue for a military festival, 'Mamankam', it was also the military center during Zamorin's reign. The renowned Kottakkal Aryavaidyasala is located here and the district is the base for its operations and that of its Ayurveda College . Malappuram is also home to the only Indian Ayurvedic Mental Hospital . A visit to the place will present a chance to observe closely the lives and ways of traditional Malayalee Muslims. The sight of famous temples that thrive alongside the many mosques speaks of the secularism.
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Kadalundi -located 19 kms from Kozhikode and 7 Kms from Beypore port
Kadalundi is known for its fine national harbor. The sea side town is popular for different kinds of fish and crabs. It is also a well known place to buy quality mussels. The main attraction at the place is the famous bird sanctuary that is spreads over a cluster of islands. The sanctuary that spans over 3 sq kms, is home to hundreds of varieties of birds inclusive of about 60 varieties that migrate to Kadalundi from regions like Siberia , Persian Gulf , Europe , America and Himalayas . Splendid water cruising facilities are also available in Kadalundi.
This small town earns most of its fame from being home to Kottakkal Arya Vaidyasala (established in the early 1900s), a pioneer institution practicing Ayurveda in India.Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine followed in Kerala, has been found to be very effective in treating many major illness and health complaints. The massages and therapies offered at the centre are most rejuvenating and relaxing. There is also a medicinal garden in the compound where one can find plants that form ingredients of the many secret recipes that offer cure for various ailments.
Another attraction of Kottakkal is the Kottakkal Pooram. This annual festival at the Sree Vishwambara Temple is celebrated to honour Dhanvanthiri, the patron god of medicine and health. The grand celebrations in connection with the festival also includes cultural programmes by famous artists.
Nedumkayam18 kms away from Nilambur
Situated amidst the tropical forests, Nedumkayam forms a part of the Kerala- Tamil Nadu border. The dense rainforests here provide an excellent opportunity to visitors to spot vivid wildlife including the likes of elephants, bisons, deers, tigers, blue monkeys, bears, boars, rabbits, wild cats and dogs. Myriad varieties of birds and reptiles can also be spotted in the area.
One of the most popular attractions here is the elephant-taming center. There is also the Elembalai hill along the state's border. The thriving forest especially the bamboo woods present a picturesque sight. The forest is known for the exotic flora and fauna.
Nilambur- 37 kms from Malappuram
Nilambur presents itself as an enchanting stop over on a trip to the Ooty hill station. But it has much more to offer.
This is perhaps the best place to visit to know the ins and outs of teak and teak plantations. The thick vegetation in the area prides itself of being home to the oldest teak plantation of the world, the Conolly's Plot. This location also has within its borders the oldest and tallest teak tree in the world, Kannimaree. Aruvakkode in Nilambur also has the world's first teak museum and also is the sub centre for the Forest Research Institute set up by the state.
The many country boats by the Chalaiyar river at Aruvakkode, offer excellent boating facilities to tourists. The breathtaking waterfalls at Adyanpara waterfalls in Kurmbalangod village is a major attraction. The dense forest, houses several wild animals including flying squirrels and black panthers.
Thirunavaya - 8 kms away from Tirur
Thirunavaya is one of those places that has gone down the history of Kerala. This has remained the venue for the ancient but popular traditional event called Mamankam. This unique performance that ultimately led to the choosing of a suitable ruler for Kerala, was held once in every 12 years. Many suicide squads that represented different kingdoms, used to arrive by the banks of Bharatapuzha and showcase their valour and their expertise over different martial arts.
The annual festival at the Thirunavaya Navamukunda temple and the grand celebration in connection with the same are very popular.
Tirur - 43 kms south of Kozhikode
Tirur is to the Malayaless what Stratford is to the English. This little town is the birthplace of Thunchath Ezhuthachan, the founder of Malayalam literature. The house and the compound, called Thunchan Parambu, is now an important research center and literary meeting place. Also a famous place for initiating children to the world of letters and knowledge, the place attracts a lot of people on the Vijayadesami day.
There is also a magnificent temple nearby. The Tripranjhode temple is the only one in Kerala that worships Garuda.
Kottakkunnu - 500 meters away from Malappuram town
The magnificent old fort atop a hill, built by the mighty Zamorins of Kozhikode, is of great historical significance. It was once the firing range by the British. There is also a helipad at the top of the colossal structure.
There are two beautiful temples in the locality. Both the Vettakkorumakan temple and Siva temple, have brilliant carvings and fabulous paintings that depict the craftsmanship of ancient Malabar.
With prominent instituitions of the district based in Manjeri, it has earned a special place as the commercial centre of the district. A famous Muslim area, Manjeri has gone down the pages of South Indian history as the place where the Muslim revolution of 1921 broke out.
A trip to the place will also present one with the chance to closely observe the life and ways of the Chola Naikars, a famous primitive tribe of the state.
Padinharekara beach is one of its kind in Kerala. More than the beautiful sandy stretch, the place is noted for another stunning view from the site. Standing by the shore one gets to observe the remarkable spectacle of the confluence of three water bodies- the Bharathapuzha and Tirurpuzha and the Arabian sea .
About February-April, the place is a paradise for birdwatchers and ornithologists. Quite a lot of migratory birds flock the area around the beach.
Perinthalmanna - 20 kms from Malappuram
This is noted as the cultural centre of the district. There are many beautiful temples like the Thali temple, the Thirumandhamkunnu temple . The annual festivals and feasts celebrated on a grand scale in each of the temples attract believers and tourists to Malappuram.
Perinthalmanna is also where a memorial has been erected to honour the martyrs of Mamankam. Pathanamthitta is also noted for the lovely landscape and scenery at Kodikethmala. The location on top of a hill is home to a variety of flowering plants and also butterflies and birds.
The fantastic waterfalls at Biyyamkayal, in Ponnani, the fishing town of Tanur are other famous attractions of Malappuram.
Air : Nearest airport is the Karipur International Airport at Kozhikode . (6 km from Malappuram town)
Rail : Malappuram has its own railway station. The nearest main railway station is at Kozhikode .
Road : Malappuram is easily accessible by road.