The district lies in northern Kerala, and is bounded on the north by Wayanad and Kozhikkode districts, on the northeast by Tamil Nadu, on the southeast and south by Palakkad District, on the southwest by Thrissur District, on the west by the Arabian Sea, and on the northwest by Kozhikode District. At present Malappuram District consists of 2 revenue divisions, 6 taluks, 135 villages, 14 blocks, 5 municipalities and 100 panchayats.
Four important rivers of Kerala, flow through Malappuram district. They are Chaliyar (Beypore river), Kadalundipuzha, Bharathapuzha and Tirurpuzha. Chaliyar has a length of 169 km and originates from Illambalieri hills in Tamilnadu, important tributaries of this river are Chalipuzha, Punnapuzha, Pandiyar, Karimpuzha, Cherupuzha and Vadapurampuzha. Chaliyar traverses through Nilambur, Mampad, Edavanna, Areekade, Vazhakkad and flows into the sea at Beypore in Kozhikode district.
Kadalundipuzha is formed by the confluence of two rivers, the Olipuzha and Veliyar. Olipuzha originates form Cherakomban hill and Veliyar from Erattakomban hill. They flow through the Silent Valley and traverse through Ernad and Valluvanad regions, before flowing into the sea at Kadalundi Nagaram. It passes through places like Melattur, Pandikkad, Malappuram, Pankkad, Parappur, Kooriyad and Tirurangadi. Kadalundipuzha has a circuit course of 130 km.
Of these rivers, only Chaliyar is perennial; all others get dry up in summer and hence Malappuram district is prone to draught. In Tirur and Ponnani taluks, kayals (backwaters) like Biyyamp, Veliyancode, Manur, Kodinhi etc offer fishing and navigation facilities.
ART & CULTURE
Malappuram district has a good tradition in the field of art and culture. Many of the renowned writers and poets hail from this part of the land. It is a long chain, starting with Thunjath Ezhuthachan, honoured as the father of modern Malayalam literature. He was born in Trikkandiyur near Tirur, 400 years ago. He wrote his poems in Malayalam, when the Kerala literary field. Ramayanam and Mahabharatham of Ezhuthachan are widely read in Malayali houses, as sacred books, Manpuram is a historical place which involved in the anti british strikes in Malabar in 1921 and there is a grave of Mampuram Thangal who is honorable leader and scholar of Muslims in Kerala Veliyamkode is the birthplace of Omar Qazi a muslim scholar and a leader of anti british strikes, Panakkad is a famous place for muslims in Kerala, the Muslim Political Capital in Kerala and place of honorable family of Panakkad Thangal.
As on 31-03-2001,there were 11334 small industrial units with permanent registration. Out of them, 21.21 per cent are agro-based and 22.94 per cent are textile based. These units have a total investment of Rs. 176 cores and they provide employment directly to 45200 people. The average investment per unit is Rs.1.55 lakhs. There are about 696 women’s industrial units and about Rs.1 core is spent annually for various industrial promotion schemes like investment subsidy, interest subsidy, self employment assistance, etc. in the district. There are 25 medium industries of which only 11 are working which provide direct employment to 2,300 people. These units have a total capital investment of Rs. 46 cores. Among the medium undertakings, 3 are spinning mills.
There is one major industrial Estate (16 Industries and 8 mini industrial estate in the District – 51 working units.) About 1,000 persons were assisted under PMRY scheme every year of self-employment scheme. Preliminary steps for establishing an industrial growth centre in 250 acres (1.0 km2) bear panakkad, has been completed. Kinfra Food Park and IT park have come up at Kakkancherry. A rubber based common facility centre and industrial estate established at Payyanad at a cost of Rs.1 crore is showing promise. The estate is spread in an area of 15.03 acres (60,800 m2), in which 32 plots have been given to entrepreneurs for rubber based units. 17 units are now functioning there.
A single window counter functions at the District Industries Centre, to mitigate problems faced by new entrepreneurs. Besides the District Industries Centre at Malappuram, 4 Taluk industries offices and 14 block extension offices are functioning.
Wood related business is widely seen in Malappuram district. In Kottakkal, Edavanna, Vaniyambalam, Karulai, Nilambur and Mampad; there are more than hundred wood related industries. Saw mills, furniture manufactures and timber sales are the most important business in Malappuram district. The Nilambur teak museum is very famous.
The Kozhikode Airport, one of the most beautifully designed airports in India, is at Karippur, 26 km, away from Malappuram and 28 km. away from Kozhikode. It has a runway of 9,377 feet (2,858 m) with night landing facilities. Total 140 flight services are there i.e., 70 arrivals and 70 departures. Hajj flight services were started on 15 January 2002, and now the airport stands on the fore-front of the internationally acclaimed airports in the world.
Two railways lines, namely Mangalore-Madras and Nilambur-Shornur pass through the district. The first through the coastal belt. Vallikkunnu, Parappanangadi, Tanur, Tirur, Tirunnavaya and Kuttippuram (from north to South) are the railway stations in this line. Tirur is an important station. Nilambur-Shornur railway line passes through the eastern parts of the district. Nilambur, Vaniyambalam, Thuvur, Melattur, Pattikkad, Angadipuram and Cherukara are the railway stations.
The District has a good road network. The National Highway-17 enters at Idimuzhikkal in the north and runs through Calicut University. Kottakkal, Valancherry, Kuttipuram, Thavanur, Ponnani, Puduponnani, Veliyancode ends at Kadikkad, having a length of 82 km. The road proceeds to Thrissur district in the South. The National Highway 213 enters at Iykarappadi near Ramanattukara and pass through Kondotty, Malappuram, Perinthalmanna and ends at Karinkallathani. The NH having a length of 68 km Important State Highways like Kozhikode-Nilambur-Gudalur road, Thrissur-Kuttippuram, Palakkad-Perinthalmanna, Perumbilavu-Pattambi-Perinthalmanna-Nilambur road, Koilandi-Thamarasseri-Edavanna pass through the district. Total 208.178 km of State Highway and 1220.202 km of major district roads, 102 km of other district roads and 160 km of rural roads, provides sufficient interlink age of places.
The Chaliyar, Kadalundipuzha, Bharathapuzha rivers and their tributaries, necessitating the construction of a number of road bridges for smooth commutation, apportion the district, Kuttippuram bridge, Thutha bridge and Pulamanthole bridge across Bharathapuzha bridges at Kottakadavu, Parakkadav, Thayyilakadav, Panampuzha, Koomankallu, Nooradi, Kottilangadi, Aanakkayam, Melattur, Kalikavu, Olipram Kadavu, Koomankallu, Kuzhipram Kadavu and Panakkadu bridges across Kadalundi river and bridges at Areekode, Edavanna, Mampad, Vadapuram, Myladi, Karimpuzha, Koorad, kattadikadavu, Cherupuzha, Kadungallur and Poonkudi across the Chaliyar river and its tributaries and bridges at Edakulam, Thalakadathur, Tirur, Unniyal Mangattiri, Ettirikkadavu across Tirur river, Thanur bridge across T.N Canal provide for road traffic.
Bus Services are available to all centres and rural areas in the district. Nearly hundred schedules are operated by K.S.R.T.C in main routes besides 300 long rout buses passing through the district. There are 4 K.S.R.T.C bus Stations; at Ponnani, Malappuram, Perinthalmanna and Nilambur. Public people transport depends only private vehicle that’s why good transportation available in rural areas. A total of 18,806 vehicles have been registered under the Motor Vehicle Department in the district during the year 2000-02. There are 155,149 small and heavy vehicles in the district as on 31 March 2001.
Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi and Madhyamam dailies have their editions in the district. Prahelika is the only evening daily. A few periodicals-monthlies, fortnightlies and weeklies-devoted to religion and culture are also published. There are some local cable TV channels also. Doordarshan has two relay stations at Malappuram and Manjeri. All India Radio has an FM station at Manjeri.
Teak Museum, Nilambur : Situated at Canoli Plot, Nilambur this is the only teak museum in the world. It also houses around 55 types of bamboos and arboretum and the biggest Teak in the world. A butterfly park is also attached with the Museum. Visiting hours 10 am to 5 pm. Entry pass: Rs. 10/- per head. Ph: 04931-222846
Nedumkayam Forest : (15 km from Nilambur): This is one of the beautiful and dense forest in Kerala with a splendid variety of flaura & fauna. This area i an integral part of Nilgiri Biosphere reserve and an ideal place for trekking. Ph: 04931-220392/220307
Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary : (19 km from Kozhikode and 7 km from Beypore port): The sanctuary is spread over a cluster of islands in a scenic area surrounded by hillocks where the Kadalundipuzha River flows into the Arabian Sea. Over a hundred varieties of native birds and over 60 varieties of migratory birds flock here in large numbers. A hillock which is 200 m above sea level provides a splendid view of the river mouth and the sea. The place is also known for a wide variety of fish, mussels and crabs.
Padinharekara Beach : At the end of the Tipu Sultan road near Ponnani, the beach offers a breathtaking view of the confluence of the Bharathapuzha, the Tirur Puzha and the Arabian Sea.
Vallikunnu Beach : A beach resort set in the middle of a coconut grove is the main attraction here. The Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary is just a short distance away.
Ponnani : The only port in the district, this is an important fishing centre. During the months of February/April, thousands of migratory birds arrive here. Located close to Ponnani is Biyyan Kayal, a placid, green-fringed waterway with watersports facility.
Kodikuthimala : (11 km from Perinthalmanna on the NH to Palakkad): The perennial springs and the green mountains form an alluring landscape. View tower and other facilities have been developed at this spot.
Adyanpara : Located in the Kurumbalangode village of Nilambur taluk, Adyanpara is famous for its waterfalls and the splendour of its lush jungles. It is situated 15 km away from Nilambur.