If you have been to Kozhikkode (erstwhile Calicut), then its hard to miss the place - Mananchira. The reason is plain simple. Manachira is situated in the heart of the city and the main road circles around this big pond and the large ground adjacent to it. Thanks to the authorities who has not destroyed this ancient marvel, this place still remains as the major landmark of this town flooded with good hearted people.
The place got its name from an erstwhile ruler of Kozhikkode, named "Manan". This pond belonged to Manan. In local slang "Chira" means pond, so the pond of "Manan" was called Mananchira.The entry to the sprawling ground is beautifully rebuilt using the traditionally available stones, and since it is not plastered with cement it is having a special traditional charm.
No entry fee is charged. If the outside of this entrance is busy city roads, the inside is surprisingly calm with lot of greenery and loads of open spaces. The view of the entry gate from inside seems to be much more brighter than from the outside.
The first thing that one will notice when inside is the big light post which seems to extend till the skies.
The sprawling ground tends to keep our minds calm and it provides a world of difference from the busy streets outside.
Normally it is lush greenery out there, but since it is summer season, the sun has left its impact on the greeenery.
There is a small walkway through the side of this ground, where there are some structures which also seems to look like fossils. May be the authorities has left it un maintained so that they will get to look like there real life counter parts.
Once we start walking to the Pond area, there is a real flourish of greenery with some really big trees giving enough shade and coolness even during mid afternoons, one of the reasons why there are lot of occupants here at all times of the day.
This tree is at the middle and it is spread so far across that, it seems like an umbrella providing shade.
I liked the patterns created by the branches of the tree.
This banyan tree is also having a unique style with those roots hanging down givining a halloween kind of experience.
Once we reach the pond the ambience again changes. The pond is really sprawling and the wind which is blowing across seems to have a coolness due to this pond.
There is a beautifully laid walkway on the side of the pond with palm trees adorning the sides.
The walkway ends in a permanently locked gate, which was once the way towards a musical fountain, which was very famous in this part of the country. Thanks to the authorities, it is no more.
But the pond more than makes up for the aritificial creations which are no more. The pond is really beautiful from the adjacent roads too.
On most of the evenings this ground and the small garden adjacent to the pond is seen bustling with activities. There will be lot of families around taking a break from house hold chores, lot of elderly people taking an evening walk around the ground, this serves as a resting place for people who came to town and also teenagers favorite hang out.
Step out of Mananchira, and you are into a world of shops, the place which is bustling with hectic activities round the clock, the SM Street, or the "Mitayitheruvu".
At the start of SM Street, you will be greeted by this beautiful building, the public library of Calicut.
Watch the busy and crowded SM Street.
Never miss a visit to this street if you are ever in Kozhikkode (Calicut). What ever you want to buy, you can get it here and the shopkeepers are really polite to their customers too. We had some good time in some of the fancy shops, where my wife picked up some of the traditional low cost ornaments.
One guy was patientely watching all the activities in the SM Street from its starting point, who is a native of Kozhikkode and was a literary giant of his times, the great travelogue writer - S K Pottekkad.
Time just flew away while we kept on roaming around Mananchira and the adjacent SM Street and it was already late in the night. But the street was still busy, with all those lights of the shops and the motors around giving it a lively appearance.
We also got a chance to have food from the most tasty restaurant of Calicut - "The Top Form". The biriyani and poratta preparations are something which has no match elsewhere.
Overall mananchira and SM Street provided ample oppurtunities for a half day outing.
Name of Place: Mananchira
How to reach: Very near to Calicut railway station and central bus stand.
What to see: The sprawling pond, ground and the garden around. The business centre in SM Street. Take a walk through these streets to have that special feel.
Where to eat: The top form restaurant. If you miss this you missed the real taste of Calicut Biriyani
When to visit: Ideal for an evening stroll till late in the night.
Nearby Attractions (Click on the names to view details):
1. Kozhikkode Beach
2. Kappad Beach - Where Vasco Da Gama landed
3. Beypore Pulimutt - Path to Horizon
4. NC Gardens & Beach Resort