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Calicut History: The Legacy of Calicut Port – Calicut Heritage Walking Tour

Sujith Narayanan December 13, 2018
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Tyndis Calicut Heritage Walking Tour is a capsule experience of the Calicut History. Calicut is a pearl that lies along the Malabar Coast. Since times immemorial, trade ships arrived from various part of the world in the present day Panthalayini Kollam and elsewhere, in search of spice, ivory and other precious herbs abundant in the hills of Malabar.

Ancient Trade History of Calicut

Calicut had its share of trade relationships and ancient maritime stories with the Mediterranean Countries, the West-Asian Countries and the Chinese. The Silk Street in China is the iconic remembrance of the golden past where-in the historic Silk-Route flourished via the oceans as well. Calicut Heritage Walking Tour visits Silk Street and connected heritage points in Calicut. Calicut Walking Tour is one of the top things to do in Calicut for tourists. 

calicut heritage walking tour

Old Calicut Port in a map – Calicut History Journal

Extracts of the diaries and documents written by the Chinese Muslim sailor Ma Huan (1403 AD.) who travelled many times to Calicut along with the Chinese Imperials Fleets along with the admirals and many thousand sailors spread light on the Chinese trade relations with Calicut and the life in Calicut back then. Though no tangible remains are available, the Chinese trade relations have a significant share in Calicut History. 

According to Calicut History, the port of Calicut was the transit point as well the major destination for trade ships from China, Sumatra, Ceylon, the Maldives, Yemen and Persia, and merchants from every corner of the world were present in those fleets.

Calicut Travel Diaries of Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta – The Moroccan Explorer mentions in his diaries about the bustling port of Calicut. He noticed various huge trade ships at the port during his docking. He states that for any port to grow into such a hub for trade, it should have been in existence for at least a century before the time.

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Drawing of Zheng He’s Chinese Fleet

The Zamorin of Calicut was regarded as the ‘Authority’ of the Harbour as early as in the 13th Century and was entitled as the ‘Poonthurakkon’ – one who was in full control of the city and port of Calicut. The port of Calicut was well equipped and had all the technologies of a developed port (of the time), as noted by Ibn Battuta. Zamorins have 600-years of Calicut History under their name. Interesting stories about this significant Calicut History is discussed in Tyndis Calicut Heritage Walking Tour.

Historians have given various sources of citation about Calicut in certain Chinese annals (Chau Jhu-Kua, Wang Dayuan etc.). These documents clearly state about the active trading relationships that China had with Malabar (Nan-pi) ports – Quilon or the Panthalayini Kollam (Ku-lin) is often mentioned and another port that is majorly referred as Ku-li (Guli) in the documents is assumed to be Calicut. Ibn Battutah had spotted Chinese Trade Ships in Calicut port as per his writings. Ibn Battuta arrived at Calicut port over a century before the Ming Dynasty sends expedition fleets to Calicut.

Calicut Port – The Ancient Maritime Trading Hub

Calicut and its port were praised by tradesmen from all over the world in their cruise diaries. Abdur Razzaq, the Persian ambassador from the Timur Empire is recorded to have Calicut almost a hundred years after Ibn Battutah’s period. In Calicut Heritage Walking Tour, visit major trading hubs in Calicut – like the Valiyangadi

things to do in calicut

Calicut Pier – the place that once bustled with port trade

He documented the then Calicut Port as ‘a perfectly secured harbour which, like Hormuz, which brings together merchants from every city and from every country.’ But, unlike Hormuz which was a city within the sphere of Islam, Calicut ruled by an infidel still had perfect ‘security and justice’. Goods can be left on the streets without fear of thieves on account of the watchmen of the state. Moreover, the customs duty of one-fortieth of the sale price was even lower than that of Hormuz.

Calicut was not a natural harbour and was extremely risky for sailors to anchor in and sail back. Once again from the diaries of Ibn Battutah, historians found out about the incident of him becoming the unfriendly atmosphere of the Calicut Coast. Once an afternoon in April, Ibn Battutah was all set to sail but a sudden onset of a severe storm and mountainous waves destroyed his fleet and killed most passengers of the ship he was to board, as he looked on helplessly from the shore.

All the hardships along the oceans were bravely encountered by the sailor and the unfriendly behaviour of the sea at the Calicut Coast didn’t take them back. Over the years, the fame of Calicut spread throughout the maritime world due to the good governance that the Authorities guaranteed to the traders and voyagers under the rule of the Zamorins. Explore these stories about Calicut History with Tyndis Tours in North Kerala like Calicut Heritage Walking Tour. Knowing these engaging stories can be one of the best things to do in Calicut for a history lover. 

It was the Arabs and the Chinese who visited the Calicut port frequently. As evident from the extracts of various Arab and Chinese voyagers, they were impressed by the discipline and hospitality of the people and the port authority. Arabs have always praised the land of Calicut as ‘the City of Truth’. Also, the diaries of Fei Xin who voyaged in Zheng He’s Chinese fleet poetically describes Calicut as a place where nobody takes the lost property of others on the streets!

Calicut Heritage Walking Tour 

It’s sheer pride to read the praises of our homeland by the foreign traders and brave sailors of time so ancient. Tyndis is the legacy of our Maritime Relations and the City of Truth! Tyndis Tours organized curated storyteller accompanied Calicut Tours to revive these stories. Calicut Heritage Walking Tour, Curated Calicut Walking Tour, etc. are some of top Calicut Tours by Tyndis Tours. 

Calicut Walking Tour

Tyndis Calicut Heritage Walking Tour

Calicut Heritage Walking Tour is one the best things to do in Calicut is you are searching for things to do near Raviz Calicut. Guests can also request for curated Calicut Tours as per your taste. Food Tours, Experiential Tours, Street Tours, Textile Tours, etc. are other options for things to do near Raviz Calicut.  

Get in Touch with Tyndis Tours for amazing Calicut Tours. Experience the best things to do in Calicut with us.

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