Malappuram is a city in Kerala, with a core urban population of 101,330 inhabitants spread over an area of 33.61 sq km. 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, in malayalam, means 'Place atop the hills'. Malappuram is situated 50 km southeast of Kozhikode, 90 km northwest of Palakkad and 140 km northwest of Coimbatore.
Malappuram was a military headquarters from ancient times. Initially home to the Valluvanad chieftains, Malappuram was annexed by the Zamorins 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 Nimbi, 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. It was also a centre for Islamic and Vedic studies. Tipu Sultan had a fort here at Malappuram. Later The Britishers established the Haig Barracks on top of hill, at the banks of kadalundi river, to station their forces. Main barracks has now been turned into the seat of district administration. Main district offices are functioning here. Malappuram was one of the major centres 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.