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Beypore, the glorious port of old Malabar

Updated on May 24, 2017
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A travel enthusiast, Sunil Kunnoth finds pleasure in making long train journeys with a mind to observe things around.

People fond of history and marine life should have some knowledge about this small village. Beypore is an ancient port town, part of Kozhikode district in the state of Kerala in South India. The Chaliyar river and Arabian sea lying calmly facing each other here. It is one of the oldest ports in India and the second largest one in Kerala after Kochi. In that old period, trading was done from here mainly to Arab countries.

The Beypore Beach (Pathway through the Arabian sea stretching roughly 2 kms.
The Beypore Beach (Pathway through the Arabian sea stretching roughly 2 kms. | Source
The Beypore charm
The Beypore charm | Source

History

Historians have produced evidence to prove that Beypore had direct trade links with Mesopotamia and was an important link on the maritime silk route. They also say that for trade purpose, the Romans reached here first followed by Chinese, Syrians and Arabs. The Europeans came in the recent centuries.


It has a long history of being a centre for shipbuilding since the first century AD. The business flourished under the East India Company during the early 19th century. Beypore's fame was mainly for building wooden ships or 'Urus'. Uru is the Malayalam term for big boat or ship made of good quality timbers. These 'urus' were usually bought by the Arab merchants. They used it for trading, fishing and to make great sea voyages. Some historians also declare that the Sumerian ships might have been built in Beypore.

In the old days, while Malabar had direct trade link with the Greeks and Romans, Beypore had good trade with the Middle Eastern ports in the medieval times. It was Arabs mostly, who migrated to the Malabar coast. Beypore was almost a free port with only an export-import duty imposed by the then ruling dynasty Zamorins. It was also a stopover for Haj Pilgrims from Southeast Asian countries.

Enjoying an evening on the Pulimuttu
Enjoying an evening on the Pulimuttu | Source
Pulimuttu sans visitors
Pulimuttu sans visitors | Source

Location


Approximately 10 km south of Kozhikode. It is 180 km north of Kochi. It is the 2nd biggest port in Kerala after Kochi. There are plenty of buses available to reach here. In fact, Beypore holds the distinction of having the largest number of bus services in a village in Kerala. The nearest railway stations are Feroke (4km) and Kozhikode (10 km).


By Air: Karipur International Airport, 14 km away.


Attractions

Beypore Beach: The main attraction of Beypore is its beautiful beach.


Pulimuttu (Stone Pier): Stone laid down into the sea about 2 km long. It is a wonderful experience to walk through the 'stone platform' across the sea. Beautifully constructed, decorated with plenty of lights and well preserved. Good seating arrangements are there to watch the waves and surroundings. Best time to visit here is early morning or late evening.


Dolphin's Point: It is at the terminal point of the 'Pulimuttu'. Watching the beauty of the Arabian sea, walk that pathway approximately 2 km long. Sitting on the rock/stones, you can watch the dolphins playing in the sea. I personally select the Pulimuttu and Dolphin's Point as the biggest attraction of Beypore. During this walk, you can also watch the locals catching fishes and mussels (Kallumakkaya in Malayalam). Observing them is interesting.

The Jhankar ferrying passengers and their vehicles
The Jhankar ferrying passengers and their vehicles | Source

Beypore Port: An ancient port. It has regular boat/ship services to Lakshadweep Islands. A voyage from here to Lakshadweep is worth, but it requires some documentation, procedures, etc.


Jhankar Service: Jhankar means a long type of open vessels or boats. It is amazing to see that apart from passengers, it carries vehicles like Car, Auto, Bike, etc. on its wide platform. Look at the photo on the right end I took once on a journey. You can make a trip from Beypore to Chaliyam for a pleasant sail by Jhankar. There is boat service also. I recommend a short Jhankar journey as it presents a beautiful scenery of Beypore. The charge is very nominal. Don't forget to carry and click your camera.

Beypore Light House: Used as a navigation object for vessels. Watch it during the evening as the light functions on that time. There are ships to and fro Lakshadweep to ferry passengers as well cargoes. The Light House helps the ships to make a trouble-less navigation.


Shopping


Uru-Model vessel- As already stated Beypore, is famous for Urus. As a souvenir, you can buy its miniature models sizing from four inches to eight foot. These models crafted out of quality wood may cost anything from Rs. 700/- to Rs. 3500/- (Approx. 2 $ to 700 $). It is worth and will be an added attraction to your home and office. You would be amazed to see that some tiny model of ships is placed inside a glass bottle (like the empty Scotch Whisky bottle). How they are doing this is a mystery and is Beypore's own craftsmanship. As it involves a lot of hard work requiring patience and excellent skill, the prize too will be matching to the efforts. Sure, you can bargain and purchase one for a neat price.


Marine Shops: There are some shops that deal in the business of selling fresh and used marine vessel parts like Anchors, Nets, etc.

The thing to remember while shopping is that the local language is Malayalam. But people here can also follow English, Hindi, Tamil and Arabic because of their routine encounters with the tourists. They may not be fluent, but will manage things somehow in these languages.

You can also buy seafood to taste upon. Mussels are the favourite. Buy Fishes also.


Beypore Festival


To promote cultural, industrial and tourism potentialities of the region, the festival is being organized every year. This is a one-week long Exhibition-cum-shopping festival attracting thousands of visitors. Scores of entertainment programs also held to boost the festival spirit. You can taste the famous Malabar food during the fest. It is usually held during December/January.

The world famous Uru under construction at a site in Beypore
The world famous Uru under construction at a site in Beypore | Source

A sleepy village, coastal town, ancient port, historical place....All these tags are fit for Beypore. Beypore is unique as well as different. Go there and explore what more you can do. Beypore won't disappoint a traveller, especially the historian. Bon Voyage!


If the above article interested you, please vote up in the Comment column. Also, leave your precious comments, which would help me to update with more inputs. In case you need more clarification, please feel free to contact me. My help is guaranteed.

© 2013 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth

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    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
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      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 19 months ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      @Shukkoor, thank you so much for your patient reading and an some impressive comments. I will do more stories in the future to promote our land's tourism potentialities. Keep on reading. All the best.

    • Shukoorbabu profile image

      Babu Abdul Shukoor 19 months ago from Kozhikode, Kerala, India

      being a native of Kozhikode, couldn't recognize the vast improvement done in Beypore. Has been out India since 15 years used visit hometown in very shortspan of visit. Thank you Sunil once again for guiding our focus our own touristic places. A very informative one.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
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      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      @Narendran,

      Your visit and comments appreciated. It is quite obvious that you being a man living in Beypore, it triggers some nostalgic feeling especially when you are now outside the country. Thank you for your encouraging words.

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      Narendran Thottungal 2 years ago

      Wonderful Article, which helps tourists as well as creates a nostalgic spirit upon the home people. In fact, it creates temptation on me to get back to my home country soon.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
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      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Freecampingaussie,

      Thanks for your visit, comments and voting up.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
      Author

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Josephji,

      Thanks for your inspiring words. Sure, I will write on Kallai too; after all, it it my hometown. Please wait for a short period. It will be done. OK, I shall get a copy of Paithrukam written by Adv. Seluraj.

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      babu.pkjoseph2gmail.com 4 years ago

      The article is very nice, especially for tourists and people from other states and also for keralites to have an idea about our beypore.Don't forget to write about kallai which was once the top city for timber business in ASIA. Sunil u don't miss to read the book KOSHIKODINTE PAITHRUKAM' wrote by Adv. Selluraj.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image
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      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi freecampingaussie,

      Glad to note your comments. Thanks for your applause and voting up. On Beypore, I will write another hub soon. Hope you will follow that too.

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 4 years ago from Southern Spain

      I enjoyed reading your interesting hub as we are really into travel . I was always fascinated by the ships in glass bottles lol! Found you while hub hopping /Voting you up.

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