Kozhikode Makes History: India's First UNESCO City of Literature!

Beach of Kozhikode23rd June 2024, marked a momentous occasion for Kozhikode, Kerala as the city proudly became India's first to be designated as a UNESCO City of Literature.

The official announcement, held at 5:30 PM in the Kandamkulam Muhammad Abdu Rahiman Memorial Jubilee Hall in Tali, highlighted Kozhikode’s deep-rooted literary heritage.

This prestigious title, awarded on October 31, 2023, firmly establishes Kozhikode as a hub of cultural and literary excellence.

Also read: Cruising Through Kerala’s Backwaters: A Traveler’s Dream

A Festival of Words and Stories

Kozhikode, a festival of words and storiesOver the next four years, Kozhikode will be a vibrant festival of words and stories. Iconic spots like Mananchira, Tali, and Kuttichira will come alive with literary events, bringing together writers, poets, and readers to celebrate the magic of literature.

Even before this UNESCO recognition, Kozhikode celebrated its literary icons with sculptures. At Mananchira's Ansari Park, statues of dramatist KT Muhammad and the famous goat from Vaikom

Muhammad Basheer's cherished tale "Pathummayude Aadu" stood as tributes to the city’s rich narrative tradition.

Charting a Literary Future

Kozhikode's Literary FutureKozhikode envisions its UNESCO status as a gateway to global recognition and cultural tourism. Ambitious plans are underway to expand its literary landscape, creating a circuit that connects significant literary landmarks from Thunjath Ezhuthachan's Tirur to Vaikom Muhammad Basheer's Beypore.

This UNESCO designation honors Kozhikode's historical contributions to Malayalam literature while paving the way for future growth.

It is set to attract writers, scholars, and literary enthusiasts from around the world, fostering a vibrant exchange of ideas and cultural enrichment.

Discovering Kozhikode

Historical view of the Indian city Kozhikode (Calicut), 16th centuryKnown historically as Calicut, Kozhikode is a vibrant city steeped in history and culture. Renowned as an ancient trading hub and the landing site of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1498, Kozhikode blends its illustrious past with contemporary developments, offering a unique experience of Kerala's coastal charm and cultural diversity.

The city's pristine beaches, such as Kozhikode Beach and Beypore Beach, provide stunning sunsets and a glimpse into traditional wooden boat craftsmanship.

Kozhikode is also celebrated for its culinary delights, particularly its Malabar cuisine, renowned for its aromatic spices and seafood dishes.

Also read: 15 Pristine Beaches in South India for Your Perfect Getaway

Today, Kozhikode continues to attract tourists and scholars alike, making it a captivating destination in Kerala.

The UNESCO City of Literature title not only celebrates Kozhikode’s literary heritage but also heralds a vibrant future of cultural and intellectual exchange.

Conclusion

Silhouettes of sea piers during sunset in CalicutKozhikode's recognition as a UNESCO City of Literature is more than just a title; it is a celebration of the city's rich literary past and a beacon for its promising future. This accolade not only honors the contributions of legendary writers and poets but also inspires a new generation of literary talents.

As Kozhikode embarks on this new chapter, it invites the world to join in its celebration of words, stories, and cultural heritage, ensuring that the spirit of literature continues to thrive in every corner of this vibrant city.

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