Kozhikode is popularly called Calicut, the anglicised version of the name. A type of cotton fabric, named Calico, was exported from here and has derived its name from Calicut. Situated on the Malabar Coastline, it is a prominent trading port in Kerala, dealing mainly in spices. It was hence called "City of Spices". The city is well-known since it welcomed Vasco da Gama who landed on a port 18km away from Calicut in 1498. In 2012, it was heralded as the ‘City of Sculptures’ because of the large number of architectural sculptures found here.
The name Kozhikode is derived from two words, Koyil- meaning palace and Kota- meaning fort. The collective connotation is "fortified palace." Presently it is the second largest urban conglomerate of Kerala. It is blooming with natural beauty as well as high-rise buildings, malls, etc. This city has innumerable places to see, with a variety ranging from museums and planetariums to beaches and bird sanctuaries.
The census 2011 recorded a population of 4,32,097.
Malayalam and English are the official languages of the place.