Kozhikode Named India’s First UNESCO ‘City of Literature’
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Kozhikode Named India’s First UNESCO ‘City of Literature’

Kozhikode, located in north Kerala, has been officially declared the inaugural UNESCO ‘City of Literature’ in India. Kozhikode became a UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) member in the ‘Literature’ category in October 2023.

This accomplishment was proclaimed by State Local Self Government Department Minister M B Rajesh, who emphasised the city’s humanity, harmony, rich cultural legacy, and freedom of speech. The Kozhikode City Corporation, which outperformed culturally wealthy cities like Kolkata, gained this recognition for its efficient operations.

The state government declared June 23 to be “City of Literature” Day in Kozhikode, where special awards in six categories would be given to notable writers such as S K Pottakkad and Vaikom Muhammad Basheer. P A Mohammed Riyas, Minister of Tourism, introduced the’ City of Literature’ logo.

Kozhikode, formerly known as Calicut and the city of Zamorins, was a port of entry for Europeans, Persians, Arabs, and Chinese immigrants. It is known for being the birthplace of the liberation movement, the centre of book festivals, home to more than 500 libraries, and the residence of renowned author M T Vasudevan Nair.

Among the 55 new cities to join the UCCN are Kozhikode and Gwalior in the ‘Music’ category. 350 cities in seven creative industries are currently part of the UCCN.