Calicut or Kozhikode is situated in the south Indian state of Kerala on the southwest coast of the Arabian Sea. The district extends from latitude 11°15' N to 75°49' E. Basking in the idyllic setting of the serene Arabian Sea on the west and mesmeric peaks of the Wayanad hills on the east, this district has all the required ingredients to fascinate a tourist.
There is not much known of the early history of Calicut except for some prehistoric rock-cut caves that have been found at many places of the district. During the Sangam age, the district was under the Chera administration until AD 1122. This was the time when this region was a major center of trade between Kerala and the outside world. The city of Calicut came into existence in the 13th century when Udaiyavar, the king of Ernad, conquered the area around Ponniankar and built a fort at a place called Velapuram, now known as Calicut. Interestingly, the name Calicut is derived from 'calico,' the fine variety of hand-woven cotton cloth said to have originated from this place.
The outer world came to know about India in 1498 when Vasco da Gama came to Calicut and obtained permission to carry out trade from here. Quickly in succession came the English and Dutch. Disputes over the control of Calicut continued for a long time until 1792, when the East India Company went into an agreement with the local Zamori rulers to directly administer this area. Kerala was declared a state in 1956, and Calicut today is one of the most important centers of trade and business in this progressive state.