Kozhikode also known as Calicut, has been a city that has held a unique position on the Western Coast of India since time immemorial. Famed as the capital city of the powerful Zamorins, Kozhikode was once known as the famed “City of Spices” has a unique history of having traded with civilizations all over the world as far back as 5,000 years. Many ancient civilizations such as the Phoenicians, Arabs and Chinese have ties with the city since ancient times. Kozhikode rose to prominence in Western world history with the discovery of the sea route to India in 1498 by the Portuguese Navigator, Vasco Da Gama who landed at the Kappad seashore.
It is probably this ancient lineage and exposure to varying cultures that has given Kozhikode its uniqueness of today. In the field of Malayalam literature and language the Kozhikode has made many significant contributions. The Zamorin Highness Shri Samoothiri Manadevan Maharaja authored the famous “Krishnanattam” in AD 1653. In modern times Kerala has received 5 Jnanapith Awards, of these two of the literary stalwarts Late Shri. S. K. Pottekkatt and Shri M T Vasudevan Nair are from Kozhikode. Many other literary stalwarts such as N V Krishna Warrier, Uroob, Thikkodiyan, Sanjayan, U A Khader, N N Kakkad, P Valsala, Akbar Kakkattil, Vaikom Muhammed Basheer and M P Veerendra Kumar also hail from the city.
The rich cultural heritage of Kozhikode has produced many other luminaries in the fields of cinema, art, and music. All these factors put together makes Kozhikode the most apt destination in Kerala to be the venue for the first ever Kerala Literature Festival.