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Malappuram is bounded by the Nilgiris hills on the East and the Arabian Sea on the west. District of Malappuram is literally the land atop the hills, is remarkable for its unique natural beauty. Perched among the undulating hills and the meandering rivers that flow to reach the coconut-fringed seacoast, the land conceals a unique and eventful history. Home to the khilafath movement and the mappila revolts, which questioned the British authority in India, Malappuram was the military headquarters of the Zamorins of Kozhikode since ancient times.

The hill country also contributed much to the cultural artistic traditions of the state. The mosques and temples of the land are known for their spectacular festivals. The land of great poets and writers, political and religious leaders, the district has carved a unique place of its own in the history of Kerala.

It has in store, a hoary past with Zamorin's rule, Mamankam festival, Vellattiri’s revenge and the resultant Chaver Pada (suicidal squad), the British rule and indiscriminate oppression of the masses in connivance with exploiting landlords, the National and the Khilafat movement, the Malabar rebellion and the such.

The land of great poets and writers, political and religious leaders, this district has carved a place of it’s own in the history of Kerala. The Kings of Valluvanad, the Zamorins, the Kings of Perumpadappu Swarupam and the Kings of Vettathunadu, were the early rulers. The Portuguese, Mysore sultans and the Britishers had their sway over this place, partly or wholly. But the unique social and cultural heritage is preserved.
Malappuram (also Malapuram) was a military head quarters from ancient times. Initially home to the Valluvanad chieftains, Malappuram was annexed by the Zamorins in his conquests and since then served as his military headquarters. The Zamorins of Kozhikode had their away over this place and they stationed a part of their militia here. Para Nimbi, the chieftain of the Zamorin, ruled with his head quarters at Kottappady in Malappuram. The Fort Gate Maidan (Kottappady) was once used for training military of the Zamorin. It was also a centre for Islamic and Vedic studies.[2] Tipu Sultan had a fort here at Malappuram. Later The Britishers established the Haig barracks on top of hill, at the banks of kadalundi river, to station their forces. Main barracks has now been turned into the seat of district administration. Main district offices are functioning here. Malappuram was one of the major centres of rebellion, popularly known as Mappila Lahala. The headquarters of British troops later became the headquarters of the Malabar Special Police(MSP).[2] MSP which was established in 1921 in the aftermath of Malabar rebellion. Malappuram Nercha, celebrated in summer is in memory of martyrs who fought the atrocities of the British militia. Pookottur near Malappuram, has a place in history, where the mappila warrior fought the British with their traditional weapons were killed in cold blood, during the rebellion and Anakkayam near to Malappuram, was also another important centre of 1921 Malabar Rebellion. The hill country has also contributed much to the cultural heritage of Kerala. First ever library in the district was King Edward Fraser Memorial Library at jubilee road, Up hill. The first school in Malappuram was Anglo Indian vernacular School built in 1882 and first high school was built in the year 1936 at Kottapadi (Down Hill) where C. Rajagopalachari gave public speech during an erstwhile election.