The early history has it that during the sangam age, Calicut known as Kallikkottai in Tamil formed part of the Chera Empire. It played a leading part in fostering trade relations between Kerala and outside world. Tondi, the present Kadalundi as per scholars, was one of the most flourishing seaports of Kerala that time. In the 9th century, Calicut became a part of the Second Chera Empire. The Chera's also known as Perumals, ruled the territory till 1122 AD. The kingdom was divided into many independent districts called 'Nadus' such as Ernad and Polanad with the fall of Chera emppire. Originally Calicut area was under the Porlarthris, rulers of Poland. It became an important town in 13th century with the conquest of Polanad by the King of Ernad.
Calicut became a mighty seaport, where the Arabs and the Chinese met to exchange the products of west with the east and vise versa. Religious tolerance, good administration, which gave security and impartiality to all and the friendly attitude of Zamorin to all traders, made Calicut the chief centre of trade in Malabar region. Zamorin gave special concession to Arabs (the Moors) to carry out trade.