Nilambur is famous for its teak plantation. The oldest teak plantation of the world is in the Conolly’s plot is just 2 km, from Nilambur town. The plot was named in memory of HV Conolly the then Malabar District collector, who was instrumental in raising the teak plantation in the entire Nilambur area. Sir Chathu Menon, a forest officer under Conolly, organized the hectic task of planning teak. Chathu Menon was laid to rest in the teak garden in the Conolly’s plot. The plot of 2.31 hectares is beside the Chaliyar river at Aruvakkode, where a country boat ferry awaits visitors.
Four km, away from Nilambur, on the side of Nilambur-Gudallur road, is world’s first Teak museum and a sub center of Kerala Forest Research Institute. In the Teak museum, a visitor can have at hand, information on all aspects of teak. The museum, arranged in a two storied building, exhibits articles and details of historic, aesthetic and scientific value.
Eighteen km, away from Nilabur, is Nedumkayam where the rain forests flourish. Form the wooden rest house built by the Britishers, elephants and deer can be viewed. An elephant-taming center is also there. Half an hour jeep journey through the thick forests from Nedumkayam, leads to Mancherri, the settlement of Chola Naickas, a primitive tribe.
Beyond Chaliyar river, 27 km from Nilambur, is Valamthode, a hill top place where a perennial waterfall attracts people. This too is a tribal settlement. Road accessibility is through Kozhikode district by Areekode-Mukkam road. Nilambur town is famous for kovilakams where the Rajas resided and ruled the land. The kovilakams have beautiful frescoes and art works in wood. The forest division offices (Nilambur North & South) are functioning from here. It is the terminus of Shornur-Nilambur railway and it is 40 km from Malappuram town.
Beautiful waterfall, suitable for trekking Adyan Para, 10 km away from Nilambur is fast emerging as a main tourist center.
Twelve km northeast Malappuram town, Manjeri is the headquarters of Eranad taluk. It was a live center of the National movement. Majeri Kovilakam was the seat of the ruling families under the Zamorins. The district hospital and District court are at Manjeri. Some district offices like the District Medical office, PWD Roads division etc. are also functioning in this own. Anakkayam 2 km from Manjeri was an important center in 1921 mass upsurge. Anti British revolts took place from 1790 itself, in and around Manjeri.
Malappuram is the head quarters of the district. It is 26 km South-east from Kozhikode Airport and 28 km North-east from Tirur railway station. It was a military head quarters from ancient times. The Zamorins of Kozhikode had their militia here. Para Nimbi, the chieftain of the Zamorin, ruled with his head quarters at Kottappady in Malappuram. Malappuram Nercha, celebrated in summer, is in memory of martyrs who fought the atrocities of the militia. The Britishers established the Haig barracks on top of hill, at the banks of Kadalundi river, to station their forces. Main barracks has now been turned into the seat of district administration. Main district offices are functioning here. Malappuram is the headquarters of the Malabar Special police, established in 1921. Pookkottyr near Malappuram, has a place in history, where the mappila warrior fought the British with their traditional weapons were killed in cold blood, during the Malabar rebellion. Panakkad, 6 km from Malappuram in Malappuram-Parappanangadi road, is an important spiritual center for the Muslims of Kerala, Ten km away from Malappuram, between Anakkayam and Manakada, is Poonkudi Mana, famous for the traditional method of treatment of mental illness. Seminars on modern treatment and traditional styles are conducted here. Poonkudi Thalappoli is a Hindu religious festival of this mana.
Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala
Kottakkal is a world-renounced center of Ayurveda. The Arya Vaidya Sala, established by P.S. Warrier, the well-known physician and social reformer, has completed its hundred years of glorious existence. People from different parts of the world come for treatment, Art and culture also flourish in Kottakkal at the patronage of Arya Vaidya Sala. P.S.V. Natyasanghom has a unique place in Kathakali. A Kathakali School is run by the Sanghom. Venkata theva temple near the Arya Vaidya Sala, is noted for mural paintings. Kottakkal Pooram festival attracts thousands. Connoisseurs of music, art, culture and literature of the country, participate in the cultural mela organized in connection with the pooram.
Annual seminar on Ayurveda and other branches of medicine, conducted as a pert of founder’s day of Arya Vaidya Sala, are attented by experts from abroad also. A medicinal herbal garden, maintained by the Vaidya sala is a rare treasure.
There is an Ayurveda College at Kottakkal. The Govt. of Kerala runs the only Ayurveda Mental hosptal of the state, here. Kottakkal is 12 km west of Malappuram. National Highway-17 passes through Kottakkal. The distance from there to Kozhikode Airport is 13 km, and to Tirur railway station is 16 km. The famous Kadampuzha Devi temple is not far from Kottakkal, where devotees in and out of Kerala, come and pray to remove obstruction in life. Dry coconut is the main offering.
The land of ancient Mamankam, Tirunnavya is south of Tirur. Situated on the banks of Bharathapuzha; it is a place of historical importance. In olden days, Mamankam was a grand assembly of the rulers held once in 12 years, in which, one among them was selected as the emperor of Kerala. It was an enormous trade fair also. The Mamankam festival was celebrated for 28 days with great pomp and pageantry where traders from outside came in ships and barges to Tirunnavaya through Ponnani port. Thus the economical importance of Mamankam was high and hence the right to conduct and control it was important. At the end of the rule of Perumals, the right of mamankam was with Vellattiri, the ruler of Valluvanad. Later the Zamorn of Kozhikode, took this right by force and this resulted in dispute and bloodshed between these two Rajas. Valluvanad Raja used to sent Chaver warriors to fight until death, to recapture the right from the Zamorin, who would stand Nilapadu at Nilapadu thara in Tirunnavaya, surrounded by a large contingent of soldiers, in every 12th year. The last of such Mamankam, was believed to be held in 1755, when Zamorin had an hair breath escape from a 16 year old Chaver. The Nilapadu thara, now in the premises of Kottakkal tile factory, is protected by the Archaeological department. A deep well called Manikkinar believed to be dumped with bodies of the Chavers is also protected. Tirunnavaya is a converging place of the Trimurtis - Brahma, Vishnu & Siva. Three temples, Consecrated to these deities, are on either bank of Bharathapuzha. The famous Vedic Vidyalaya Othanmar Madhom of ancient times, is on of the left bank of Bharathapuzha, near the Siva temple. This madhom was a center of aryanisation through Sanskrit and Vedic education as Tirunnavaya as believed to be the main center, where Parusurama brought and settled Brahmins. The place (Mana) of Puranic fame Azhavancherry Thamprakkal is 2 km north of Tirunnavya. Nava mukunda temple beloved to be constructed by Nava yogis on the right bank of Bharathapuzha, is an important Vishnu temple of Kerala. Pithru Tharpanam is a ritual, held here on the day of Amavasi of Karkitaka (July). ‘Bali Karma’ is offered by people in their wet clothes, after dip in the river, for the salvation of sins and appease the dead souls.
A martial art festival of Kalarippayattu is conducted during summer on the sands of Bharathapuzha. The famous Changampalli Kalari is near Tirunnavaya. During the second week of February, a Sarvodya mela is conducted in Tirunnavaya where the Gandhians of Kerala, used to assemble. The Santhikudeeram established by the national leader K. Kelappan, is the center place of this mela.
Tirur is one of the important business centers of Malappuram district. It is 41 km south of Kozhikode, on the Mangalore-Chennai railway line. Thunjan Paramba in Trikandiyur, 3 km from Tirur railway station, is sacred for all who speak Malayalam. This is the birth place of Thunjath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan of the 15 century AD, honoured as the father of Malayalam literature. Important works of Ezhuthachan, Adhyatma Ramayanam and Maha Bharatham are widely recited in Kerala homes. A memorium for the great poet has been built at Thunjan Paramba, where week long literary mela is organized in last week of December. People in hundreds reach Thunjan paramba with their children, to initiate them into the world of letter on the Vijayadasami day. Children are made to write on the white sands of Thunjan paramba with their fingers. Young poets of Kerala come on that day to offer their poem. A Nuxvomica tree, of which leaves are not bitter, is a surprise here. 12 km south of Tirur is Chamravattom Sasta temple, which is constructed on the Bharathapuzha. Six km from Tirur, is Triprangode where the only temple of Kerala, consecrated to Garuda, the bird deity, is situated. Chandanakkavu, the birth place of the great Sanskrit poet and grammarian, Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri of 16th Century, is 10 km away from Triur in Thiruvnnavaya Kottakkal road. A memoriam has been built there for the poet where small children are brought for their formal initiation into learning, on Vijayadasami day, as in Thunjan Paramba. Tirur-Koottayi road ends at Padinjharakkara, where the Bharathapuzha and Tirurpuzha converge to drain into the sea. This place is noted for migratory birds, gathering in thousands during February-April.
Tirur was a witness of the ill-famed wagon tragedy of the 1921 rebellion. Seventy prisoners sent to Pothannur, filed up in an airtight goods wagon from Tirur railway station, died of asphyxiation. The wagons were returned with the dead bodies to Tirur. Tirur municipality has built a town hall on memory of the Wagon tragedy.
Twenty km south-east of Malappuram, this town is the headquarters of Perinthalmanna taluk. Thirumandham kunnu temple and Tali temple in Angadippuram, 2 km from Perinthalmanna, are important pilgrim centers, Tiruurkad, a place 6 km away from Perinthalmanna, in Kozhikode road, is famous for its Muslim educational complex and Yathimkhana. The Mankada Kovilakam, 8 km away in Manjeri road, was the seat of the ruling family, under old Valluvanad kingdom. A Chaverthara, preserved near the Thirumandham kunnu temple, is a memorium for the martyrs of Mamankam. The Chaver warriors used to converge at this place before moving to Tirunnavaya.
Eight km from Perinthalmanna is Keezhattur, the birthplace of great poet of Malayalam, Poonthanam Namboothirit of 16th century AD. The Guruvayur Devasom preserves the house of the poet as a monument. Pariyapuram Church and Malaparamba church are important Christian centers. A fort of Tippu Sultan is at Paloor near Angadippuram.
In the Angadippuram Rest house premises, a monument of Francis Hamilton Buchanan's finding of laterite stone is built by the Gelogical survey of India.
Known as Ooty of Malappuram, Kodikuthimala emerged as one of the important center of tourist attraction. 1500 feet above from sea level, this place is cooler than the height indicates. The DTPC plans some development schemes to convert this hilly area into a tourist hot spot.
The growing town of Kondotty near the Kozhikode Airport is famous for the nercha in the Pazhayangadi mosque. It is the birthplace of the great Mappila poet, Moyin Kutty Vaidyar. He popularised Mappilapattu by his poems on non-religious and romantic themes. A memorium for the poet is proposed to be built in Kondotty. The history of Kondotty is connected with that of Kondotty Thangals, the Sufi exponents. Tippu of Mysore brought the first Thangal Mohammed Shah, to bring the Mappilas to the side of his rule. The Thangal first resided at Areekode and later settled in Kondotty. When the British emerged on the scene putting an end to the reign to Tippu sultan, the Thangal switched sides with them. Hence, during the 1921 upsurge, the Mappila mob attacked the house of the seventh thangal, Naziruddin Shah, Kondotty nercha is held at the tomb of the first Thangal.
Two km from Kondotty is Nediyiruppu from where the Zamorin kingdom was expanded. In ancient time, Zamorins were known as Neiyiruppu Swaroopams.
Tirurangadi was an important centre of the Khilaphat movement, the National movement and the Malabar rebellion. It was the Tirurangadi incident on 20th August 1921 that ignited the outbreak of the Mappila rebellion. Mampuram Kizhakkeppalli was the seat of Khilaphat leader, Ali Musliar and a center of religious education.
The Mampuram mosque on the other side of the Kadalundi river is a pilgrim centre. At Mampuram Nercha, people from all religious come and offer incese sticks for the fulfillment of their aspirations. Tirurangadi 24 km west of Malappuram is now the block headquarters. A new Taluk is proposed to be formed with its headquarters at Tirurangadi. There is a PSMO College and a big YatheemKhana (Muslim orphanage) here.
Eight km west of Tirurangadi is Parappanangadi, which is an important fishing center. A Fisheries development project is functioning here. A fish seed central also functions at Ullanam, near Parappanangadi.
Kadalundi Nagarm is situated in the north western border of Malappuram district, where the Kadalundi river flows into the Arabian sea. It is 10 km north of Parappanangadi. The nearest railway station is a Vallikkunnu. Kadalundi nagaram is an above of migratory birds, which flock in on the vast stretch of water during February-April. Pooram festival in the Niramkaitha Kotta Bhagavati temple near Vallikkunnu, lasts for a week, attracting thousands.
The coastal town Tanur was one of earliest Portuguese settlements. It is believed that St. Francis Xavier visited this place is 1564. Situated 8 km from Tirur, it is an important fishing center. Mangalore-Chennai railway line passes through this town. The Keraladhesswarapuram temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, which is one among the oldest temples of Kerala, is 3 km south of Tanur town. Keraladhesswarapuram is also a weaver’s settlement.
Ponnani is the only port in Malappuram district and one of the oldest ones in Kerala. A tidal port at the mouth of Bharathappuzha, Ponnani is an important fishing center. Ponnani is connected by road from Kuttipputam railway station. National Highway – 17 passes through this town, which is divided by the Canolly canal, adding to its beauty.
Ponnani is a town of mosques and Khabaristans. Though described as a place of 23 mosques, there are nearly more than 50 mosques. Malik Ibnu Dinar, the first Islamic missionary who came to Kerala, was believed to have visited Ponnani. The Huma Ath mosque, the biggest mosque in the town was built by Sheikh Zainuddin Makhodum in the 16th Century. Zainuddin was proficient in Arabic and he wrote books. Zainuddin Makhodum-II was another scholar who wrote the early history of Kerala muslims. The religions established by the Makhodum-I, is renounced all over the country.
Trikavu in Ponnani was one among the seats of the Zamorin, from where he controlled the trade and commerce. The famous Trikavu Durga temple here, clebrates Navarathri festival.
Ten km South-east of Ponnani, is the legendary Mookuthala Bhagavathi temple, one of the ancient Durga temples of Kerala. It is believed that Sankaracharya is associated with founding of the temple. The Karthika Mahotsav, celebrated in Vrischikam (November-December) attracts thousands of devotees. The Mookkuthala stone, believed to be growing from below the idol every day, is considered sacred. Sukapuram temple near Edappal, is another important Hindu temple.
Biyyam Kayal is a spread of backwaters near Ponnani town, where a boat race is conducted annually, during Onam celebrations. A permanent pavilion is built for the spectators and nearly a dozen country boats, including some rowed by women participate. A big scheme is underway to develop a tourist complex here, with hotel, park and pedal boats.
Boarding Thrissur district, Perumpadappa was the seat of Cochin princes known as perumpadappa Swaroopam. It is now the headquarters of Perumpadappa block. Puthenpalli mosque and Jaram attract devotees. Perumpadappa is about 15 km from Ponnani. Veliyancode near Perumpadappa in the coastal line, is an important Islamic center from ancient times. The religious leader Umar Quasi (1757-1852) was also a social reformer. He instigated tax denial, a movement when the landlords inordinately increased land tax with government backing. He was arrested by the Kozhikode Collector and imprisoned. Another social reformer was the successor of the Qasi, sayed Makti Thangal, who preached for secular education of Muslims, for progress in life.