Medical Traveller’s Guide to Calicut

Sunset in a beach

Calicut (or Kozhikode) is a city in the state of Kerala in the South of India. Kozhikode had the name as “City of Spices” due to its flourishing trade in spices during the 14th century.

The city is home to many top hospitals in Kerala. There is also a very good number of Ayurvedic hospitals in Calicut. In addition, the region is also famous for other traditional medicines like Unani and Sidha.

Some of the best hospitals in Calicut are

Aster MIMS

Baby Memorial Hospital

Starcare Hospital

Metromed Cardiac Hospital

Tharavad Ayurveda Hospital

Arurvedam at Sreenilayam

History of Calicut

Colorful Kathakali Face

Calicut has a long-recorded history with many travellers having recorded their experience about the city during the Middle ages. The prosperity and hospitality of this city has always attracted the travellers and traders around the world.

The long coastline helped Kozhikode port to be a major trading point as early as even in the 7th century. Arab traders were amongst the first foreign traders to this region. Arab influence is thus very promiment in the region even now. Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer, landed at Kappad near Kozhikode in 1498. This consequently opened the way for trade between Europe and India.

Calicut is now a major business and trading center in Kerala. The city also has many Information Technology (IT) parks set up by the government to promote jobs in the IT sector.

The region also has a large number of its people working and living in Middle east region.  This has helped in maintaining the relationship with the people in the Arab world even now.

Things to do in Calicut

Indian Male Elephant seen around CalicutThere are many places of historical and cultural importance in and around Calicut.  S M street, Beypore beach, Thali temple, Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary are some of the most visited places in the city.

A walk down Sweet Meat street (S M Street) is a must while one is in Calicut. The street is lined with sweet(Halwah) stalls and is the busiest street in the city.

Wynad, a comparatively less explored hill station is about an hour and a half drive from the city.  Wynad wildlife sanctuary is home to many exotic birds and animals. One can spot Elephants, tigers, bisons in these natural forest and the jungle safari there is very popular among tourists.

Living in Calicut

Winding road on the eastern ghat connecting Calicut and Wayanad

Malayalam is the language in Calicut, however English and even Arabic are understood by many in the region. Calicut International airport  is one of the busiest airports in the country. The airport now has more than 10 airlines operating with direct flights to many destinations in Middle east including Dubai and Doha. The city is also well connected by rail and road with all other parts of India.

The city offers affordable and luxury hotels and service apartments across different categories. Average hotel rate would be around 20 USD for 3 star hotels and around 120 USD for 5 star hotels. Local cuisine is typical Kerala style with lot of spices in it. However, one can also feel the influence of Arabic, Portuguese and Dutch also to some extent.

Calicut is now a favoured medical travel destination especially for people coming from Middle east.