Kozhikode was once known as the historical town of Calicut. It attracted travellers from far and wide. Calicut was the capital of Malabar during the reign of the Zamorins, who were in power before the British Rule in India. It was a trading centre for spices such as black pepper and cardamom. The Jews, Arabs, Phoenicians, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese traded with Kozhikode more than 500 years ago. Vasco De Gama landed at Kappad, a beach near Kozhikode in May 1498 and was received by the Zamorin. Zamorin or Samoothri is a hereditary royal title used by the Eradi rulers of the medieval kingdom of Kozhikode. The Eradi headquarters was situated at Nediyiruppu, but they wanted a connection to the sea and so began their war against the King of Porlatiri that lasted 48 long years. They eventually conquered Polanadu and built a fort in the area, which they named Velapuram.\n\nThe city of Calicut was established in the 13th Century AD. When Vasco Da Gama arrived in 1498 and obtained permission for the Portuguese to trade with Calicut, the Arabs opposed the Portuguese, sensing that their commercial supremacy would be at stake. The fights between the Portuguese and the Arabs escalated and the Portuguese decided to trade with the Raja of Cochin instead, and they formed an alliance. This led to hostilities between the Zamorin and the Portuguese that lasted for many decades. Fights between the two continued, and in the meantime, the Dutch, English, and French arrived in Kerala. The Dutch were allowed to trade in Calicut and they helped drive out the Portuguese. The Dutch eventually captured Cochin and Cannanore and began trading with them as well, but by 1721, the Dutch formally renounced interfering in native wars. After India had gained her independence, Kozhikode became a part of Kerala. The Kozhikode district began functioning as an administrative unit from January 1957.
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