This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Ajay Kamalakaran, a writer and traveller as we explore the beautiful town of Calicut or Kozhikode, in the Malabar region of Kerala!!!
Today's destination: Calicut or Kozhikode, Kerala
Nearest Airport: Calicut International Airport (CCJ)
Nearest Railway Station: Kozhikode Railway Station (CLT)
Prerequisites - N/A
Packing - Pack light
Time of the year - October to February
Length of the itinerary: 2-3 days
Ajay sets off on our virtual trip to Calicut by speaking about the historical significance of the place, the influence of the Zamorins or Samoothris as well as the conquest of the colonial powers starting with the arrival of Vasco da Gama on the shores of Calicut.
Some of the first pit stops in the city include the famous Kuttichira, a heritage locality popular for some wonderful monuments like the Miskhal mosque and the Tali temple. Ajay discusses the history of the place, architecture, cultural influences of the Chinese as well as Arab merchants which forms a part of the popular culture.
We also discuss the popular eateries in Calicut, including the influence of the Arab and Gulf cuisine.
We talk about the busy SM Street and its specialities including Halwa and Banana chips.
Ajay then takes us to some of the prominent beaches including the Calicut beach and Kappad beach, where Vasco Da Gama first landed in India.
Ajay also shares the experience of walking about in SM Street area as well as watching a movie in an old single screen theatre - Radha talkies.
Ajay speaks of the popular personalities of Calicut including the former Defense Minister, VK Krishna Menon, PT Usha and author Vaikom Basheer as well as his hometown of Beypore and its shipbuilding industry.
We discuss short day trips that cna be done from Calicut - Kannur, Ponnani, Thalassery and other places nearby including Mahe.
Finally Ajay shares his experience interacting with the locals from different communities - including the oldest woman freedom fighter, Parsi community
Ajay Kamalakaran’s newsletter - https://ajaykamalakaran.substack.com
Ajay’s Twitter - https://twitter.com/AjayKamalakaran
Ajay’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ajaykamalakaran/
Ajay’s episode on Sakhlin islands: https://themusafirstories.com/podcasts/explore-sakhalin-island-with-ajay-kamalakaran/
Image Credit - Photo byArun Geetha Viswanathan onUnsplash
Battle music: Sota War (https://freesound.org/people/YleArkisto/sounds/258207/ ) by YleArkisto (https://freesound.org/people/YleArkisto/ ) is licensed under CC by 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ )
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