Malappuram is situated on the Calicut – Madras road, 12 km. south – west of Manjeri and 52 km. south – west of Calicut. Malappuram is the head quarters of the district. In earlier times, Malappuram was the head quarters of European and British troops and later it became the head quarters of the Malabar Special Police (M.S.P).
This place has still the ruins of an ancient fort built by Tippu Sultan. Malappuram was also the scene of the Malabar rebellion of 1921 which was suppressed by the Malabar Special Police (M.S.P) Prior to 1947, the area covered by the present district formed part of Kozhikode, Ernad, Valluvanad and Ponnani taluks of the erstwhile Madras Presidency. However, large scale changes in the territorial jurisdiction of this tract took place in 1957 and 1969. On 1st January 1957, Tirur taluk was newly formed taking portions of Ernad and Ponnani taluks. Another portion of Ponnani taluk was transferred to the newly formed Chavakkad taluk, while the residuary portion was known as Ponnani taluk. Perinthalmanna was a new taluk formed out of the erstwhile Valluvanad taluk. Of these, Ernad and Tirur continued under Kozhikode district and Perinthalmanna as well as Ponnani under the Palakkad district. The new district of Malappuram was formed with four taluks, Ernad, Perinthalmanna, Tirur and Ponnani, four statutory towns, fourteen developmental blocks and ninetyfive panchayats. Two more taluks namely Tirurangadi and Nilambur were formed later by bifurcating Tirur and Ernad taluk.