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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

7.VELIYANGADI - BIG BAZAR CALICUT

വലിയങ്ങാടി / ബിഗ്‌ ബസാര്‍
Valiyangadi alias Big Bazaar, one of the major shopping centers located near the railway station is known for its wholesale of Kerala spices. Big Bazaar road and Court road are good places to purchase spices. Handicrafts items can be purchased from the supermarkets on Mavoor road and CSI Mananchira. Valiyangadi is also known for its wholesale trade of fresh, salted and preserved fish.

Veliyangadi is not a typical 'place of interest' one would want to visit. The noise, rush and heat of this narrow lane would test any visitors' mettle. Nevertheless, not many streets can boast a 600-year-old history and still be functioning as one of the main commercial centre of a city. In spite of creeping signs of modernity over hundreds of years, this crowded part of the city offers the best chance to visualize daily life at a commercial hub in medieval Calicut.


Muslim, Jain and Hindu seths, Gujarathi and Marwari moneylenders and Tamil and Andhra Chettis can be seen busy with their businesses, as they did for centuries. Merchants and accountants still use a unique system of finger-code language as noted by Ma Huang of Zheng He’sfleet in 1403. The legend has it that the First Secretary of the Zamorin, Mangat Achan, after a long penance had the goddess of wealth Lakshmi appear before him. He then made her promise to wait until he returned but went home and committed suicide. Unable to break her promise, it is said, Lakshmi stayed permanently in Veliyangadi.

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