Kozhikode also known as Calicut, is a city in the state of Kerala in southern India on the Malabar Coast. Kozhikode is the third largest city in Kerala and is part of the second largest urban agglomeration in Kerala with a metropolitan population of 2,030,519 as per 2011 census. It is the headquarters of the Kozhikode district. The city lies about 380 kilometres (236 mi) north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
During classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, Kozhikode was dubbed the "City of Spices" for its role as the major trading point of eastern spices. It was the capital of an independent kingdom ruled by the Samoothiris (Zamorins) in Middle Ages and later of the erstwhile Malabar district under British rule. Arab Muslim merchants traded with the region as early as 7th century, and Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed at Calicut on 20 May 1498, thus opening a trade route between Europe and Malabar. A Portuguese factory and fort was intact in Kozhikode for short period (1511–1525, until the Fall of Calicut), the English landed in 1615 (constructed a trading post in 1665), followed by the French (1698) and the Dutch (1752). In 1765, Mysore captured Calicut as part of its occupation of Malabar Coast. Calicut, once a famous cotton-weaving center, gave its name to the Calico cloth.
On June 7, 2012, Calicut was given the tag of "City of Sculptures" (Shilpa Nagaram) because of the various architectural sculptures located in various parts of the city.