UNESCO RECOGNITION OF KOZHIKODE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Art and Culture)

News-CRUX-10     26th June 2024        
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Context: Recently, Kozhikode in north Kerala, known for its rich cultural heritage, was officially declared as India’s first UNESCO ‘City of Literature’.

UNESCO Recognition of Kozhikode

  • About: Kozhikode secured a place in the ‘Literature’ category of UNESCO Creative Cities Network in October 2023.

oThis recognition highlights the city’s cultural and literary contributions on a global platform.

oGwalior and Kozhikode from India are among the 55 new cities which have joined the UCCN.

  • Historical and Cultural Significance: Kozhikode, historically known as Calicut, has a rich literary tradition dating back centuries.

oIt has been a pivotal hub connecting various civilizations, including Persians, Arabs, Chinese, and Europeans.

  • Literary Infrastructure: Kozhikode boasts over 500 libraries and 70 publishing houses.

oThese establishments contribute significantly to the city’s literary culture by publishing hundreds of books annually.

  • Honours: The city actively promotes its writers through prestigious awards such as the P.A. Lalitha Award, S.K. Pottekkatt Literature Award, and Mathrubhumi Literary Award. 
  • Celebrating ‘City of Literature’ Day: Starting next year, June 23 will be celebrated as ‘City of Literature’ Day in Kozhikode.

oSpecial awards will be announced across six categories to honor outstanding literary achievements in the city.


  • About: It is to promote cooperation among cities which recognized creativity as a major factor in their urban development.
  • Launch: Year2004
  • Eligibility: UNESCO’s member states and associate members
  • Updation Time: Once every 2 years