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Malappuram District took its birth on 16-6-1969.

It is situated on the Calicut - Madras road, 12 km. south - west of Manjeri and 52 km. south - west of Calicut. Malappuram is the head quarters of the district. In earlier times, Malappuram was the head quarters of European and British troops and later it became the head quarters of the Malabar Special Police (M.S.P).

This place has still the ruins of an ancient fort built by Tippu Sultan. Malappuram was also the scene of the Malabar rebellion of 1921 which was suppressed by the Malabar Special Police (M.S.P) Prior to 1947, the area covered by the present district formed part of Kozhikode, Ernad, Valluvanad and Ponnani taluks of the erstwhile Madras Presidency. However, large scale changes in the territorial jurisdiction of this tract took place in 1957 and 1969. On 1st January 1957, Tirur taluk was newly formed taking portions of Ernad and Ponnani taluks. Another portion of Ponnani taluk was transferred to the newly formed Chavakkad taluk, while the residuary portion was known as Ponnani taluk. Perinthalmanna was a new taluk formed out of the erstwhile Valluvanad taluk. Of these, Ernad and Tirur continued under Kozhikode district and Perinthalmanna as well as Ponnani under the Palakkad district. The new district of Malappuram was formed with four taluks, Ernad, Perinthalmanna, Tirur and Ponnani, four statutory towns, fourteen developmental blocks and ninetyfive panchayats. Two more taluks namely Tirurangadi and Nilambur were formed later by bifurcating Tirur and Ernad taluk.

At present Malappuram District consists of 2 Revenue Divisions, 6 Taluks, 135 Villages, 14 blocks, 5 Muncipalities and 100 panchayats.


Malappuram is a hilly terraced tract. The innumerable streams that meander these hills reach the coconut fringed and picturesque sea coast. In many places, these streams are linked with backwaters which facilitate a network of inland waterways. The midland region is fertile with thick coconut groves while the hilly tract has dense forests and extensive teak plantations apart being the source of innumerable streams and rivers.


Chaliyar or Beypore river: Chaliyar or Beyore river, one of the major rivers of the State, takes its origin from Elembileri hills of Waynad taluk.

Kadalundi River : Kadalundi river, also known as Karimpuzha or Oravanpurampuzha, originates from the Silent Valley reserve forests at an elevation of 1219 metres above the sea level. This river forms a part of the west coast navigation system from Palathigal in the south to Mannur in the north. It has a length of 130 metres with a catchment area of 1114 sq. km.

Purapparamba River: Purapparamba, a small river of 8 Km., originates from the tail end of Purapparamba cut. It flows in the western direction and crosses the Madras - Mangalore railway line between Tanur and Parappanangadi station. The canoli canal connects this river with other rivers in the district.

Tirur River : Raising from the Athvanad village of Tirur taluk, Tirur river (length 48 Km.) flows South-west up to Thiruvnavaya and flows upto Elamkulam in the north western direction. Then it turns south-west and finally joins Bharathapuzha to reach the sea near Ponnani. This river is navigable and motor boat can play between Tirur and Ponnani. It also forms part of west coast water transport system.

Bharathapuzha : Bharathapuzha also known as Nila nadi or Ponnani river, has its source in the Anamalai hills at about 982 metres above the main sea level. After flowing through Pollachi taluk of Coimbatore District, it enters the Palakkad district of Kerala state. During its course, it forms the boundary between Palakkad and Trissur Districts.

Sea - Coast : Sea - Coast of the district extends to 70 Km with a minor port at Ponnani. The Port is tidal since it is very shallow, most of the vessels have to be anchored out in the sea. There are large number of fishing centres on this coast line.

Backwater and Canals : There are no major backwaters in this district. The Veliyancode lake situated 5 km South-east of Ponnani, opens to the sea at Veliyancode. A regulator is installed there to prevent the influence of salt water in to the lake. Maniyar kayal, Valancherry Kayal and Maravancherry kayal, all in ponnani taluk, are the other minor backwaters in the district.


Malappuram (literally, a land a tops hills) is situated 50 kms south-east of Kozhikode, bounded by the Nilgiri Hills in the east, the Arabian sea in the west and Thrissur and Palakkad districts in the south. Malappuram is enriched by three great rivers flowing through it - the Chaliyar, the Kadalundi and the Bharathappuzha.

Malappuram has a rich and eventful history. It was the military headquarters of the Zamorins of Kozhikode since ancient times. This district was the venue for many of the Mappila revolts (uprisings against the British East India Company in Kerala) between 1792 and 1921. It was a famous centre for Hindu - Vedic learning and Islamic philosophy and a place of cultural heritage.

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