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Malappuram is a city in the southern Indian state of Kerala, spread over an area of 33.61 km2. The first municipality in the district formed in 1970, Malappuram serves as the administrative headquarters of Malappuram district. Divided into 40 electoral wards, city has a density of population of 2,083 per km2. As per the 2011 census Malappuram Urban Agglomeration is the fourth largest urban agglomeration in Kerala state with a total population of 1,698,645. Malappuram is situated 50 km southeast of Kozhikode, 90 km northwest of Palakkad. and 140 km northwest of Coimbatore.
The name Malappuram means “terraced place atop the hills” or simply “hilltop”, derived from the general geographical characteristics of the city.
Malabar Special Police HQ entrance
Malappuram (also Malapuram ) (Malayalam: മലപ്പുറം) was a military headquarters from ancient times. The ancient history of the city is hardly seen recorded. However, there are some pre-historic relics, particularly Rock-cut caves found in some parts of the city like Oorakam, Melmuri, Ponmala, Vengara etc manifesting the inhabitancy. During the Sangam period, Eranadan Malappuram was under the Chera Empire. But no further details are available about the life and culture of the people either during the Sangam age or in the post-Sangam age. Archeological relics found in Malappuram also include the remnants of palaces of the eastern branch of the Zamorin reign. Details of the rulers of erstwhile Malappuram, who were the ancestors of later Zamorins, figure in the Jewish copper plates of Bhaskara Ravi Varman (1000 AD) and in the Kottayam copper plates of Veera Raghava Chakravarthy (1225 AD). The later history of the the city is interwoven with the history of Zamorin’s rule.
Once home to the Valluvanad chieftains, Malappuram was annexed by the Zamorin in his conquests and since then served as his military headquarters. The Zamorins of Kozhikode had their away over this place and they stationed a part of their militia here. Para Nambi, the chieftain of the Zamorin, ruled with his headquarters at Kottappady in Malappuram. The Fort Gate Maidan (Kottappady) was once used for training military of the Zamorin. Over 800 years of Zamorin rule came to an end with the conquest by Hyder Ali, King of Mysore. However his successor Tipu Sultan later had to handover the area to British as part of Treaty of Seringapatam. Thus forming part of Bombay Presidency for 8 years and later in 1800 a part of Malabar District in the Madras State.
Malappuram was also a center for Islamic and Vedic studies. The Britishers established the Haig Barracks on top of the hill, at the banks of kadalundi river, to station their forces where once Tipu Sultan had a fort. Main barracks has now been turned into the seat of district administration. Main district offices are functioning here. Malappuram was one of the major centers of rebellion, popularly known as Mappila Lahala. The headquarters of British troops later became the headquarters of the Malabar Special Police (MSP) which was established in 1921 in the aftermath of Malabar rebellion. Malappuram Nercha, celebrated in summer is in memory of martyrs who fought the atrocities of the British militia. Pookkottur near Malappuram, has a place in history, where the mappila warrior fought the British with their traditional weapons were killed in cold blood, during the rebellion and Anakkayam of Malappuram, was also another important centre of 1921 Malabar Rebellion. The hill country has also contributed much to the cultural heritage of Kerala. First library in the district was King Edward Fraser Memorial Library at jubilee road, Up hill. The first school in Malappuram was Anglo Indian vernacular School built in 1882 and first high school in Malabar was Muslim high School built in 1936 by Madras Government at Kottapadi (Down Hill) where C. Rajagopalachari gave public speech during an erstwhile election. Later the school got upgraded to Model high School and started admitting everyone in post independence era.
Typical landscape of Malappuram. Kadalundi River as seen from Up Hill
Malappuram is situated in the mid land area of the state. As the name suggests, it is covered with small beautiful mountains of lush greenery, bonded with several fresh water streams flowing through the city bestows a harmony of natural beauty. Kadalundi Puzha, a major river in Kerala is flowing around the city. Malappuram is one of the few municipalities in the state with a tremendous track record of keeping city clean. The recognition as ‘best municipality in up keeping the cleanliness and health’ by state government acknowledges this sincere efforts of municipality. Malappuram is ‘centrally located in the district which makes it the biggest potential nod of the district. Unlike other district headquarters, Malappuram holds significant position in west-east transit along with north-south. It makes the city accessible for everyone in the district through either NH or SH. The strategical location of the city is yet to be exploited in many aspects.
The city has more or less the same climatic conditions prevalent else-where the state. The climate is generally mild hot and humid in nature. However the South West Monsoon is usually very heavy. The best season to visit Malappuram is during the months of September to March as the weather conditions are quite pleasant. Owing to its natural habitat, Malappuram is also a city of fresh air. According to the Central Pollution Control Board data for the year 2010, of the 180 cities monitored for SO2, NO2 and PM10, Malappuram was one of the two cities which met the criteria of low pollution (i.e. 50% below the standard) for all air pollutants.
Kottakkunnu, a view from giant wheel
Being the headquarters city, Malappuram comprises the Civil station area which consists of administrative and other Government offices of the district such as District Collectrate, District Treasury, RTO, PWD Division Office, Jilla Panchayat, Town planning Office, Text depot, District Medical office etc. to name a few. The city is administered by the Malappuram Municipality, headed by a Municipal Chairman. For administrative purposes, the city is divided into 40 wards, from which the members of the municipal council are elected for five years. The Chairman of Malappuram Municipality is Sri.Muhammad Musthafa and the Deputy Chairperson is Smt.K.M Girija.
Malappuram is the first and only municipal body in the country to win an ISO 9001-2008 certification for quality management. It has been on a track of fast reforms for the past couple of years and has achieved the distinction of having zero pendency of files.
Malappuram Assembly constituency and Malappuram (Lok Sabha constituency) are presently represented by Indian Union Muslim League Leaders. E. Ahamed is the sitting Member of Parliament, and is the Union Minister of State, External Affairs as well as the Union Minister of state for Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Republic of India. The member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Malappuram is P. Ubaidulla.
Law and order
City police is headed by a Dy SP Malappuram. And Office of Superintendent of Police is also at Malappuram. Apart from regular law and order, city police comprises the Malappuram Traffic Police, Bomb Squad, Dog Squad, Women’s Cell, Narcotics Cell, Malabar Special Police, Armed Police Camp, District Crime Records Bureau.
Proposed Malappuram Municipal Corporation
Malappuram City Map showing proposed corporation limit
There is a demand to upgrade Malappuram Municipality to a Municipal Corporation. The proposed Malappuram Municipal Corporation comprises:
Kerala Gramin Bank Headquarters
Regional Passport Office at Kizhakkethala
Passport Seva Kendra, Malappuram is at Jubilee Road, Up Hill
A major driver of the local economy is the remittances of the migrants residing in the Middle East, by which banking sector in Malappuram has huge NRI deposits. And so its natural for Malappuram to hold 9th position in Top Ten Towns with highest per capita bank deposits in India. The city has a strong trader community in which hotels and bakery business out numbers, followed by the textile and medical sector. With all leading automobile brands establishing their showrooms in the city, Malappuram RTO has witnessed highest number of vehicle registration in the state since couple of years. Tourism is the major crowd puller of the city. Places like Kottakkunnu, Shanthitheeram etc. attracts lakhs of people from all over the state. According to the industries department of Kerala, visitors in the Kottakkunnu during festive season are more than 9 to 10 lakh. General engineering, cloth manufacturing, timber oriented business etc. are the commonly found industrial enterprises in the city. Almost 50 percent of employees in the city are part of service sector. Being the district headquarters, people working in different government offices contributes a major part in the commerce and the economy.
There are various hospitals in the city such as Government Medical College, Malappuram, District Co-operative hospital, District Homeopathic hospital, Govt. Taluk Hospital, Mass Ayurvedic Hospital, Orchid Institute of Health Care & Research (Orchid Hospital), MB Hospital, Christian Mission Hospital, MM Chest Hospital etc. Apart from these several clinics and health centres in the city serves the people.
Kendriya Vidyalaya, Malappuram at dawn
City has several educational institutions right from the school level to higher education. Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Malabar Special Police HSS, Government Girls Higher secondary school, Govt.Boys, St.Gemmas HSS, Islahiya HSS, A.U.P School, Sree Arunodaya vidya nigethan etc. to name a few schools. City is lacking higher education institutions under Government when compared with the demand. As of now. Govt. College, Malappuram, which is the oldest college in the city, started in 1972 and few other private colleges serves the higher educational purpose. Govt.TTI and MCT TTI are few teachers training institutes.
Higher education hub
Malappuram is transforming to an education hub of the state with many multi crore projects under pipeline here. Air connectivity and business potential of the city and district is attracting many private business groups to invest at Malappuram.
Inkel Greens, an edu health city under construction at picturesque 168 acres at Panakkad in the city is a PPP joint venture of Inkel and KSIDC subsidiary called Inkid. Once completed, the edu health city would have premier institutions like Institute of Engineering & Technology, International Business School, School of Media and Law, International Residential School, Finishing School, Hospitality and Residential Areas etc. Currently NTTF has started INKEL-NTTF Technical Training Centre offering Diploma courses in Electronics and Mechatronics. Many other institutions are also under construction in the premises such as S.S.G School of Gem and Jewellery. Master plan of the edu health city is done by Indian studio of German firm BDP(Building Design Partnership).
Al Abeer Educity
Al Abeer Educity is another educational project underway at Malappuram promoted by Saudi based Al abeer group. Its an 8 billion project comprising Medical College, Hospital, Business School, Institute of Engineering, Residential School etc. This 70 acre project is getting established at Melmuri in the city.
Institutions of excellence
AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) Malappuram Centre is situated at Chelamala. EFLU (English and Foreign Languages University) EFLU Malappuram Campus is going to be established at Edu-Health City. The recently inaugurated Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan Malayalam University is located at Thunchan Parambu in Malappuram and is only 26 km far from the city centre. Steps to establish an Ayurveda University at Kottakkal, near here is underway.
As of 2011 India census, the primate city population is 101,330. Males constitute 49% of the population and females 51%. Malappuram has a literacy rate of 96.47%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 97.85%, and female literacy is 95.21%. Malappuram is also one of the million plus UAs in India with a population of 1.6 million making it the 25th bigest and fourth biggest in the country and state respectively. Major language spoken in the city is Malayalam. Hindi and English are also widely understood as official languages, while Tamil and Arabic has considerable speakers. The city population is predominantly Muslim, along with a sizable Hindu population and small Christian population. Malappuram also has many number of Tamils, mainly from rural districts of Tamil Nadu and migrants from North Indian states like Bihar, Jharkand, UP etc. who are engaged in labour and construction works.
Malappuram is well connected with all the places in the district as well as the state. KSRTC bus terminal (Govt. buses) is located at Up-Hill on NH 966 (formerly NH 213). Buses are available to different cities of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Municipal Bus stand for private buses is at Down Hill on Ahmed Kurikkal Road. NH 66 (formerly NH 17) is just 12 km from city center.
City is served by Angadipuram railway station (17 km away), Parappanangadi Railway Station and Tirur Railway Station both (26 km, 40 minute drive away). Whereas Kozhikode railway station is 50 km from Malappuram. Other railway stations are Kuttippuram and Tanur. However Ministry of railways have included the railway line connecting Kozhikkod-Malappuram-Angadipuram in its Vision 2020 as socially desirable railway line. Multiple surveys have been done on the line already. Indian Railway computerised reservation counter is available at Friends Janasevana Kendram, Down Hill. Reservation for any train can be done from here.
A view of Airport Terminal
Karipur International Airport which is located in the periphery of the city is just 25 km away. It is the seventh busiest airport in the country in terms of international passenger traffic. Domestic flight services are available to major cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Goa, Kochi, Thiruvanathapuram, Mangalore and Coimbatore while International flight services connects to Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Bahrain, Dammam, Doha, Muscat, Salalah and Kuwait.
Malappuram Metro Rail is a proposed mass transit system for the city by Lensfed (Licenced Engineers & Supervisors Federation). The proposal was considering the future urban scenario which would demand a transport system that can cater to the million plus population of the Malappuram urban agglomeration. In April 2012, Lensfed submitted detailed project report to Government which proposed 8 major stations and 9 intermediate stations out of which three elevated stations at Malappuram Central, Kondotty and Angadipuram. The alignment is similar to the proposed railway line of Calicut-Malappuram-Angadipuram. Apart from this, there is a proposal to extend proposed Calicut Mono Rail network to Malappuram during its IIIrd phase of expansion, paving a way to Calicut-Malappuram ‘Urban Corridor’ concept.
Proposed Malappuram Metro Rail route.
Nearest towns and cities connected to Malappuram
Parappanangadi, Chemmad Kozhikode Areekode, Kalpetta
Tirur, Kottakkal, Manjeri, Nilambur
Ponnani, Kuttippuram, Valancheri Angadipuram, Perinthalmanna Palakkad, Coimbatore
Distance from major places to Malappuram in kilometers.
City/Town Distance (km) City/Town Distance (km) City/Town Distance (km) City/Town Distance (km) City/Town Distance (km)
Kochi 171 Kollam 295 Guruvayur 75 Kottayam 224 Kozhikode 50
Nedumbassery Airport(Kochi) 147 Palakkad 89 Thrissur 92 Thiruvananthapuram (State Capital) 360 Ooty 140
Bangalore 355 Coimbatore 138 Kanyakumari 458 Kodaikanal 239
Mangalore 254 Mysore 203 Chennai 627 Salem 301
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Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Madhyamam, Chandrika, Deshabhimani dailies have their printing centres in and around the city. The Hindu has an edition and printing press at Malappuram. A few periodicals-monthlies, fortnightlies and weeklies-mostly devoted to religion and culture are also published. Almost all Malayalam channels and newspapers have their bureau at Up Hill. There are some local cable TV channels including (MCV), (ACV) etc. Malappuram Press Club is also situated at UP Hill adjacent to Municipal Town Hall. Doordarshan has its major relay station in the district at Malappuram. Government of India’s Prasarbharati National Public Service Broadcaster has FM station in the district, broadcasting on 102.7 Mhtz. Even without any private FM stations, Malappuram finds a place in Top Ten Towns with Highest Radio Listenership in India. There are three main cinema halls that screen movies in Malayalam, Tamil, English and Hindi. A multiplex theater is expected in the city in the near future. Rasmi Film Society, one of the kerala’s oldest film forum is from Malappuram. The 72nd International film festival of Malappuram was conducted in March, 2011.
Malappuram is well known for its sports enthusiasm and spirit. Popularly known as the ‘Soccer Capital’ of India, Malappuram gets invariably applauded for its outpouring spectators during any tournaments and matches held here. Football is in the nerves of the public of Malappuram. Malappuram has a long history with football, it’s bond with the game dates back to British Era in India. Then people of the town grew up seeing the elders playing barefoot with the British army men. The historic Kottapadi Maidan, now the Municipal stadium has witnessed endless football battles between the natives and Britishers. Malappuram also has contributed many football players to national and state teams. Late Irumban Moideen who started playing at Kottappadi joined Royal Indian Air Force and represented India as well as Pakistan and was a team captain. International Moideenkutty, who played for the State in Santosh Trophy and Railways football team worn Indian jersey against Myanmar and Russia. So is the case of present generation, School teams in the city holds countless accolades from several major and minor competitions. Malabar Special Police HSS, which is the current champion of State Mahindra Youth Football Challenge is an all time achiever in the inter school tournaments. It is also the runner up team of 53rd Subroto Cup international football tournament held at Delhi. Hockey is another major sports in which malappuram excels with GBHSS Hockey team. Like elsewhere in Kerala, Cricket is also widely played. But city is yet to have a stadium of International stature. Currently a stadium under Kerala Cricket Association at perinthalmanna near here is used for National level matches like Ranji-trophy. Malappuram Municipal Stadium, MSP Police ground, MSP Kootilangadi Ground, Indira Priyadarshini Indoor stadium along with several mini stadiums where sevens tournaments are conducted by local committees serves the city. Malappuram District Sports Complex Stadium which comprises a Football stadium and Malappuram Football Academy is under construction at Payyanad, on Pandikkad Road and is just 13 km from the city centre.
Places of interest
City is mainly divided to five as Up Hill, Down Hill, Melmuri, Panakkad and Anakkayam.
Up Hill: Most of the Government Offices and Establishments including District collectorate are based here. MSP (Malabar Special Police) headquarters, traffic Police HQ, Passport Seva Kendra, Doordarshan Relay station etc. are also situated here.
Down Hill: Considered as the trade hub of the city, occupies city daily market and other commercial enterprises. Malappuram Passport Office which consist of two revenue districts viz. Malappuram and Palakkad having the majority of NRI population in Kerala is also situated at Down Hill on Malappuram-Parappanangadi State highway.
Melmuri: 4 km from the City centre, Melmuri is famous for Swalath Nagar and Grand Masjid. Melmuri serves as the residential area in the city.
Panakkad: Famous for the Panakkad family, Thangals hails from here and IUML political leaders of the district comes from here. Industrial Growth Centre at Panakkad is now under Inkid (a joint venture of Inkel and KSIDC) in developing the land to a prestigious place of the state as Edu-Health City.
Anakkayam: This outgrowth of Malappuram has an unavoidable place in history of Kerala. Cashew Research and Development Center is situated here. It is also the major residential area of the city.
Kottakkunnu: Known as Marine Drive of Malappuram is a hill garden. Kottakkunnu park contains an open air auditorium, Lalitha Kala Academy art gallery, DTPC helipad, a water theme park etc. At Kottakkunnu one can see traces of the first fort built by the Zamorins of Kozhikode. This scenic table-top location is located at the crest of the Cantonment Hill near the District Collectorate.
The Temples and the Mosques of the city are well known for their spiritual atmosphere as well as spectacular festivals. Malappuram Juma Masjid is one of the oldest Mosques in Kerala. Thiruppuranthaka Temple, Mannoor Shiva Temple, Vettakorumakan Temple are few famous temples.
Shanthitheeram: A Riverside walk park under construction by KTDC on the shores of Kadalundi river which once completed will contain Rain huts, Amphitheater,food court, pavilion etc.
Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala: Situated 12 km away, is a world-renowned Institute engaged in the practice and propagation of Ayurveda, the ancient health care system of India.
Mini Ooty: Tourist spotlocated near here is a mountain 1000 ft above sea level.