An ancient port town situated in Kozhikode, Beypore has played a significant role in the trade and commerce of Kerala with other major ports. Located opposite the estuary Chaliyam, this place was formerly known as Vaypura or Vadaparappanad. One of the most striking facts about the town is its former name, ‘Sultan Pattanam,’ given by Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore.
Beypore had established itself as a major port while historically trading with the Middle East. It was well noted for building wooden ships, known as urus in Malayalam. Arab merchants originally used these ships for trading and fishing, but now they serve as tourist vessels. There are signs that Sumerian ships may have been constructed here. It was well-connected with Mesopotamia through direct trade links and was an important stop along the maritime silk route. The first railway line of Kerala was laid in 1861 from Tirur to Beypore (Chaliyam), marking this place as a historical spot that was accessible through both land and sea.
Beypore was ruled by major kovilakams and housed cousins of the royal Travancore family. Its name was also recorded in Raja Raja Verma‘s diary. The Romans first visited the place, then the Chinese, Syrians, and Arabs. It functioned as a major shipbuilding center and was at its prime during the rule of the East India Company. It was also a stopover port for the South East Asians who were traveling for the Hajj. As the Malabar Coast expanded, so did the Beypore port, whose trade links had now expanded throughout the Middle East and into Egypt and Africa.
Points of interest in Beypore
Beypore Beach – Lined with colonial lamps, the beach is used by fishermen for both fishing and selling fish. The rocks set at the shores provide a splendid view of the ocean. The sands are lined with fishing boats and nets, and dolphin sightings are common by the pier.
Pullimuttu – It is a stone bridge jutting into the sea and is a kilometer long. The pathway of grey stones has a reminiscent history.
Beypore Light House – Located at Feroke, Kozhikode, the lighthouse is 100 ft. tall and has functioned since 1977. It is located on the south side of the mouth of river Chaliyar.
Beypore SILK – It is a ship-breaking unit located opposite the Beypore Port. Though Urus are no longer built frequently, ships are still constructed occasionally. But the ship-breaking unit deals with repairs and replacing ship parts.
Beypore boasts a rich heritage of temples, museums (dedicated to the life of Mohammad Vaikom Basheer), and remnants of colonialism that still exist and serve as a reminder of the town’s history.