Malappuram, one of the northern districts in Kerala, has a historic significance which is evident from its rich culture and remarkable heritage.
The district is closely bordered by the mountain range of the Western Ghats on the east and flanked by the Arabian Sea on the west. Historic monuments, time-worn traditions, and natural attractions make Malappuram a unique destination for travellers.
Let’s take a look at the beautiful places to visit in Malappuram.
Kottakkunnu is a hilly garden known as the Marine drive of Malappuram. It is one of the highly earning tourist destinations here. It is famous for the ruins of an old fort, which is believed to be the first fort constructed by the Zamorins of Kozhikode.
Kottakkunnu is located at the crest of the Cantonment Hill near the District Collectorate in the heart of Malappuram city. The tourism department has made this scenic table-top location a one-stop destination for all kinds of entertainment.
The park contains an Open Air theatre, Lalitha Kala Academy Art gallery, a water theme park, Adventure Park, Kids’ Traffic Park, Balloon Park, and 16D Cinema. This historic hill turned tourism destination attracts lakhs of people every year.
Known as Mini Ooty, the Arimbra hills is the favourite location among locals. It is located at a height of 1050 ft above sea level. This hill got the nickname Mini Ooty as it resembles Ooty – one of the famous hills stations in India.
Arimbra makes a fantastic tourist spot that attracts visitors for its panoramic views of the lovely green valley and rolling hills. The places near Arimbra- Thiruvonamala, Poolappees, Muchikundu, Cheruppadi Mala, Kunnumpuram and Kakkad are also suitable for hiking. The travelling distance to Mini Ooty is 9 kms from Malappuram towards Kozhikode. The topsy-turvy, twisting road to the hills will give you a soul-stirring experience.
Nedumkayam situated about 15km from Nilambur in Malappuram is not just a dense forest housing a variety of flora and fauna, it is also one of those amazing spots where you can experience nature in its resplendent glory.
Trekkers find it an ideal place for an amazing trekking experience in Kerala. There is also an elephant taming centre within the forest which is a great place to visit. There is also a wooden rest house that offers a panoramic view of the animals, particularly elephants and deers grazing in the forest.
Wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers and photographers will find a visit to Nedumkayam worthwhile. However, prior permission from forest authorities must be taken for entering the forest even though it is open to visitors.
Kondotty mosque also known as Pazhayangadi Mosque is one of the key attractions of Malappuram. It is situated at a distance of around 18 km east of Manjeri. This mosque is one of the most ancient and esteemed mosques in Kerala.
The construction of the mosque is associated with Muhammed Shah, a Muslim saint from Persia and popularly known as Kondotty Thangal. The mosque exhibits the example of the Mughal style of architecture and traditional sculpture.
The awe-striking fact about the mosque is the white dome that rises like a beacon out of the verdant green, hilly environment. Thousands of believers as well as tourist visit Pazhayangadi Mosque during the time of Valiya Nercha or kondotty nercha, a week-long festival celebrated during the months of February and March.
Another major attraction of Malappuram is the Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary. The hillock is around 200m above sea level which is situated at a distance of about 19 km from Kozhikode.The bird sanctuary is around 7 km from Beypore port. The sanctuary is locally known by the name of Kadalundi Nagaram.
The sanctuary is the abode of over 60 varieties of migratory birds and 100 varieties of native birds. From the month of November to April the migratory birds such as terns, seagulls, turn stones, green shanks, sand plovers and sandpipers can be seen in the sanctuary in large numbers.
Tourists who visit Kadalundi can also witness a wide variety of fishes, mussels and crabs in and around water bodies and the mangroves found here is the shelter for otters and jackals.
6. Keralamkundu Waterfalls
The extraordinary creation of nature in the valley of Western Ghats is a sight to behold. Keralamkundu waterfall is formed due to the cascading water from a large rock that has stood there over the centuries. It can be listed under the lesser known waterfalls of Kerala.
Located in the middle of the Silent valley is a small village called Karuvarakkundu. The medicated water flowing from the Western ghats forests forms this waterfall which falls into a huge stone pit.
Adventure freaks and nature lovers can visit this scenic location during the monsoon season. One can reach this heavenly destination by air, train or on road. Calicut International Airport is 35kms away from this spot and Melattur is the nearest Railways station at a distance of 10km. On road, the place lies 10-20 minutes walk away from Nilambur highway.
7. Teak Museum
Considered as the first of its kind, the Teak Museum located at Nilambur is a treasure trove of historical, aesthetic and scientific aspects of Teak. It was established owing to the historical importance of the region. The key attraction of the Teak museum is the 480 years old teak tree stump which was brought from Nagarampara forest range in Kottayam. The museum provides the detailed description of the flower, fruit and natural regeneration of teak and also exhibits the prominent characteristics of these species of trees. Furthermore, the Teak museum also has a collection of over 300 moths, insects and butterflies found in the teak plantation. Visiting time to the museum is from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm on all days except Monday.
The green skirted waterway in Ponnani is one of the best backwater lakes in Malappuram. The hanging bridge built across the lake is one factor that attracts tourists to this location. A lot of water related sports and activities are conducted during festival seasons at Biyyam Kayal.
The water sports facility set up by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) has elevated this lake to a developed tourist spot. Rest houses with all facilities can be found on the banks of the lake.
These are some of the best places to visit in Malappuram. To escape the scorching sun, greenery is always the best option. If you plan on visiting Malappuram, make sure you have put these places on your itinerary.