District Profile

Malappuram district with headquarters at the city of Malappuram came into existence on June 16, 1969.  Malappuram district is composed of portion of the erstwhile Palakkad and Kozhikode districts. It was carved out of Ernad taluk and portions of Tirur taluk of Kozhikode district and portions of Perinthalmannna and Ponnani taluks of Palakkad district.

The classic medieval center of learning Vedic and local politics, Thirunavaya, home of the traditional Ayurveda medicine, Kottakkal and one of the oldest centre of education of Islam the region, Ponnani are situated in Malappuram district along with rapidly expanding towns like Manjeri, Perinthalmanna, Chemmad, valanchery and Edappal. In 1921, present day Malappuram district witnessed a series of devastating revolts and massacres known as the Moplah rebellions, followed by decades of frozen economical, social, and political development. In the early years of the Communist rule in Kerala, Malappuram saw large land reforms under the Land Reform Ordinance. In the 1970s, huge oil reserves of Persian gulf were opened to commercial extraction, and thousands of unskilled people migrated to "the Gulf" seeking fortunes. They sent money home, propping up a sleepy rural economy, and by late 20th century the region had achieved first-world health standards and near universal literacy. The present development, both economical and social, of the Malappuram District owes to the Kerala Gulf Diaspora.





District Collector

K.Biju  IAS


3550 Sq.km

Population (2011)



1157 Sq.km


Malayalam, English

Sex ratio

1096 Male/1000 Female


93.55%  Male -95.76,  Female – 91.62


Malappuram district comprises a vast wildlife collection and a number of small hills, forests, little rivers and streams flowing to the west, backwaters and paddy, arecanut, cashew nut, pepper, ginger, pulses, coconut, banana, tapioca, and rubber plantations. Malappuram is one of two Muslim majority districts or Union Territories in south India other being Lakshadweep. The Hindu temples and Moplah mosques of the region are known for their colorful festivals. It is the most populous district in Kerala. The populations include Muslims, Hindus, Christians, various tribal religion believers, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains and others.

The word Malappuram means "terraced place atop the hills", derived from the general geographical characteristics of the district headquarters.  The district has a rich cultural and political heritage. The port of Ponnani was a centre of trade with the Romans. Thirunavaya, the seat of Mamankam, was in Malappuram district.Malappuram has been part of movements such as Khilafat Movement and Moplah Rebellion in the early 20th century. Before Indian independence in 1947, Malappuram was a part of Malabar District in the Madras Presidency of British India. The area covered by the present district was administered as a part of Kozhikode, Eranad taluk, Valluvanad Taluk and Ponnani taluk.. On 1 November 1956, Malabar District was merged with Travancore-Cochin to form the state of Kerala. The new district of Malappuram was formed with four taluks, Eranad taluk, Perinthalmanna Taluk, Tirur Taluk and Ponnani Taluk. Three more taluks, namely Tirurangadi taluk, Nilambur taluk and Kondotty taluk, were formed later  .


The district lies in northern Kerala and is bounded on the north by Wayanad and Kozhikkode districts, on the northeast by Tamil Nadu, on the southeast and south by Palakkad District, on the southwest by Thrissur District, on the west by the Arabian Sea, and on the northwest by Kozhikode District. At present Malappuram District consists of 2 revenue divisions, 7 taluks,   15 blocks, 7 municipalities and 100 panchayats.


Chaliyar River

On north of this district. Chaliyar has a length of 169 km and originates from Illambalieri hills in Tamil nadu,  . Of these rivers, only Chaliyar is perennial. The other rivers dry up in summer. This is one of the reasons that Malappuram district is prone to drought.

Kadalundi River

Formed by the confluence of two rivers, the Olipuzha and Veliyar. Olipuzha originates form Cherakomban hill and Veliyar from Erattakomban hill. They flow through the Silent Valley and traverse through Eranad and Valluvanad regions, before flowing into the sea at Kadalundi.   This river forms a part of the west coast navigation system from Palathigal in the south to Mannur in the north. It has a length of 130 metres with a catchment area of 1114 sq. km.

Poorapparamba River

 Purapparamba, a small river of 8 Km., originates from the tail end of Purapparamba cut. It flows in the western direction and crosses the Madras - Mangalore railway line between Tanur and Parappanangadi station. The canoli canal connects this river with other rivers in the district.

Tirur River

 Raising from the Athvanad village of Tirur taluk, Tirur river (length 48 Km.) flows South-west up to Thiruvnavaya and flows upto Elamkulam in the north western direction. Then it turns south-west and finally joins Bharathapuzha to reach the sea near Ponnani. This river is navigable and motor boat can play between Tirur and Ponnani. It also forms part of west coast water transport system.


Bharathapuzha also known as Nila nadi or Ponnani river, has its source in the Anamalai hills at about 982 metres above the main sea level. After flowing through Pollachi taluk of Coimbatore District, it enters the Palakkad district of Kerala state. During its course, it forms the boundary between Palakkad and Trissur Districts.


Coast : Sea - Coast of the district extends to 70 Km with a minor port at Ponnani. The Port is tidal since it is very shallow, most of the vessels have to be anchored out in the sea. There are large number of fishing centres on this coast line.



According to the  2011 census Malappuram district has a population of 4,110,956, roughly equal to the nation of  New Zealand  or the US state of  Oregon.  This gives it a ranking of 50th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 1,158 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,000 /sq mi) .  Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 13.39%. Malappuram has a sex ratio of 1096 females for every 1000 males,  and a literacy rate of 93.55%.  Mallapuram has the highest fertility rates in Kerala. Muslims (68.53%) constitute the majority of the population, followed by the Hindu (29.17%) and Christian (2.22%) communities. Malayalam is the main language of the district. 

Art and Culture

Malappuram district has a good tradition in the field of art and culture. Many renowned writers and poets hail from this part of the land. Thunchath Ezhuthachan, honored as the father of modern Malayalam literature was born in Trikkandiyur near Tirur, almost 400 years ago. Mampuram is a historical place involved in anti-British rebellions in Malabar, especially the Moplah Rebellion of 1921. The grave of Mampuram Thangal is located here. It is also the birthplace of Omar Qazi, a Muslim scholar and a leader of anti-British movements. Kathakali Musician Kalamandalam Tirur Nambissan was born at Ezhoor. Poets like Mahakavi Vallathol Narayana Menon, V.C. Balakrishna Paniker and Moyinkutty Vaidyar were born in Malappuram. Malappuram is also the birthplace of Poonthanam, remembered for his masterpiece, Jnanappana.


Malappuram district is an industrially backward area.There is one major industrial Estate (16 Industries and 8 mini industrial estate in the District – 51 working units) in the district ]. About 1,000 persons were assisted under PMRY scheme every year of self-employment scheme. Preliminary steps for establishing an industrial growth centre in 250 acres (1.0 km2) near panakkad, has been completed ]. There is a Kinfra Food Park and IT park have at Kakkancherry. There is also a rubber based common facility centre and industrial estate at Payyanad.Wood related business are widely seen in Malappuram district. Saw mills, furniture manufactures and timber sales are the most important business in Malappuram district.


The district has recently emerged as a major healthcare destination in south Malabar. The town of Perintalmanna has four privately owned specialty hospitals. They are Moulana Hospital, MES Medical College, Al-Shifa Hospital and  EMS Co-operative Hospital. The state-owned General Hospital (formerly, District Hospital) at Manjeri is another major healthcare facility. Kottakkal has three main hospitals-the world famous Arya Vaidya Sala, Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences (MIMS) and Al-Mas.


The University of Calicut is located at Thenjipalam. AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) Malappuram Centre is situated at Chelamala. EFLU (English and Foreign Languages University) EFLU Malappuram Campus is going to be established at Edu-Health City. The recently inaugurated Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan Malayalam University is located at Thunchan Parambu and is only 26 km far from the city centre. Steps to establish an Ayurveda University at nearby Kottakkal is underway.

Medical colleges

Government Medical College, Malappuram at Manjeri

M.E.S Medical College, Perinthalmanna

Ayurvedic medical colleges

VPSV Ayurveda College, Kottakkal