Kozhikode (Calicut) Beach
"The ocean, the father of the goddess of riches [Indira is a synonym of Lakshmi] seeing that his daughter has settled down in Kukkatakroda [Sanskrit for Kozhikode], is embracing the place, presenting it with shipful of jewels," lauds Uddanda, the Sanskrit poet at the court of the powerful ruler Zamorin. Such was the beauty and wealth of Kozhikode in ancient times. One of the timeless jewels of this ancient commercial city is its beach. Breathtakingly beautiful and romantic too, it isnt rare to see lovers hand in hand gazing dreamily at the golden sunset.
This very same shore has its share of history to tell. It was a witness to many historic naval battles and had the pleasure of hosting several national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Indira Gandhi and Krishna Menon. All these leaders have addressed the locals from the Beach.
Kozhikode Beach is a favourite of the locals who come in piles to relax after a hard days work in the evening. There are plenty of entertaining options also. One can gawk at the colourful varieties of fish at the Marine Aquarium. Families can keep the children occupied at the Childrens Park. There are also two old piers that will transport you back to Kozhikodes trading past. At the northern side is the 400 ft long Iron Screw-pile pier. It was built in 1871 and though in a run-down state now, one can still have an idea of how it was used to load cargoes of spices and other goods to be exported to foreign ports like Aden, Genoa, Oslo, London, Bremen, Hamburg, New York etc. Overall, the Beach is actually a textbook on the thriving spice trade at the Malabar region in the yesteryears.
To have a sense of Keralas colonial past, visit the seafarers memorial and the Lighthouse. There are remnants of French settlements and their factories at the present fishing area also. Interestingly, there is a Horses Jumping Point close to the south pier. History says that horses were brought from Gujarat and Arabia to be sold here. To test the strength of the horses, they were made to jump into the water from this point and swim to the shore.
Lending a charming ambience to the place, tiny boats of local fishermen can be seen sailing far out in the open sea. And if you are lucky, you might even get to see leaping dolphins at the Dolphin Point from the old bridge. Also there are plenty of stalls lining the Beach where you can tuck into the famed local Kallumakaya (mussels).