GOLDEN CAPITAL OF INDIA – in GOD’s OWN COUNTRY
It is amazed to know about a small hamlet village 22 km northeast of Kozhikode towards Wayanad on NH, a village named KODUVALLY in Malabar, Kerala, and Koduvally village is known as Golden Capital of India, and has the reputation of having 100 jewelleries within a short space of one kilometer. This little unknown town has the biggest market for yellow color ornaments in the whole India.
With only 3 percent of India’s population, Kerala gobbles up 20 percent of the country’s gold every year, and the World Gold Council estimates that India, the largest consumer of gold in the world, consumes 30 percent of the global supply. Two hundred thousand people are employed in the gold industry in our tiny state of Kerala . Such is the love of gold in Kerala that there may be no household without some gold, tucked away as savings, either to be given away as wedding gifts for daughters or to raise cash by way of gold loans or outright sale.
During the Roman Empire, Cochin was among the many key ports that were visited for trade of spices. In fact such was the importance given to pepper, cinnamon and cardamom that Greeks, Jews, Arabs and even the Chinese had no qualms with parting increasing amounts of gold to obtain the spices. Any native of Kerala in possession of gold in those days were bound to have had trade relations with the foreigners. The prestige that came from owning the precious yellow metal has since then remained and is still a sought after form of establishing social status and standing. Malayali’s love affair with gold apparently has its roots in the global spice trade during the years of the Roman Empire. Kingdoms in present day Kerala were the first in Indian Subcontinent to start trade with the West through sea route. They had trade relations with The Romans, The Greeks, The Jews, The Arabs and The Chinese. This brought in immense quantity of gold in exchange to Kerala. Naturally holding gold was seen as a matter of pride and symbol of wealth. Right from the time of kings and queens to the British and this has been passed down generations. The more gold a person has, the more power and pride he/she has. You may be already aware about the trillion dollar wealth in the form of gold inside the vaults of Sree Padmanabha Swami Temple in Kerala.
If you want to see gold at its most ostentatious, go to a wedding. At these events, when it comes to the precious metal, the rule is the more, the merrier. Many brides are covered in gold ornaments from the neck to the knee, not to speak of the weight placed on their heads. They resemble temple elephants, which are decked from top to bottom with golden decorations during festivals.Beg or borrow, the brides must be decked in gold. They are literally worth their weight in gold. The poorer the people, the greater is the desire to show off their wealth in gold. In small towns in Kerala, the most dazzling buildings are either jewelry stores or silk houses or combined “wedding palaces.” Fashionable eating places or supermarkets are extremely rare even in prosperous towns. But there are several Jewellery shops. Normally it is a traditional culture that our house is given to our son and but all other wealth with us is presented to our daughter in the form of gold for her future use. As gold wore by brides on the occasion of marriage is a matter of pride for the parents there is a tendency to go beyond their means to buy the gold. This often put many Kerala parents in debt trap too.
Kerala is littered with small financial institutions that lend money instantly against gold deposits. Muthoot, one of the largest of these lenders, prides itself in completing a transaction within three minutes, and its branches can be seen on every corner in Kerala. The owner of the red Muthoot was featured on the cover of Forbes magazine for running a big business empire in India based on gold loans
Those who have feared a crash in gold prices have been proved wrong, as prices are escalating every day, even more than fuel prices. Those who have stocks of gold are overjoyed, and people buy up even at phenomenal prices in the expectation of even higher returns. Soaring prices of any commodity should normally cause concern and raise a hue and cry. But Keralites continue to buy gold in the full confidence that gold prices will never fall.It’s not as if Keralites don’t have other avenues for investment. Land is another hot commodity that brings in steady profits. But land transactions are fairly transparent, land registration is cumbersome and expensive, and land holdings are hard to hide. Land transactions also require sound judgment as there is an element of speculation in them. For these reasons, when it comes to their money, Keralites are putting their faith in gold.
Kerala’s jewellery hub becomes big destination for smuggled Gold.. Koduvally is a Municipal town in Kozhikode district.
Koduvally is known as the golden City . It is located on the Calicut-Wayanad National Highway 212 (NH 212) and is about 22 km northeast of Kozhikode (Calicut) city.
The nearest local bodies are Kizhakkoth, Madavoor, Omassery, and Thamarassery. Koduvally also gives its name to the Koduvally River which flows west into the sea
Koduvally has the reputation of having 100 jewelleries within a short space of one kilometer. This little town has the biggest market for ornaments in the whole state. Most of the gold arriving here come through the black market routes
Thrissur city can also be referred as the Gold Capital of India, since there is around Rs 700 crore business of gold every year in the city. All major jewelleries in Kerala have branches in city. It is one of the main manufacturing centers of plain gold jewellery in the South India.
Thrissur is also known for its Kuries or Chit companies. Around 2,000 such companies are located in Thrissur city itself both government and private. These Kuri companies have played a major role in developing Thrissur city into economic hub in South India.
While Thrissur may appear to be just like any other town in Kerala, its affinity towards gold is what sets it apart. It is therefore rightfully called ‘The Gold Capital of India‘ as it is one of the leading retail gold hubs of the country.
These 3 Finance Companies in Kerala- Muthoot Finance, Manappuram Finance and Muthoot Fincorp jointly hold nearly 263 tonnes of gold jewellery, which is higher than the gold reserves of Belgium, Singapore, Sweden or Australia collectively! The largest player among them Muthoot Finance with 150 tonnes holds more gold than the gold reserves of Singapore (127.4 tonnes), Sweden (125.7 tonnes), Australia (79.9 tonnes), Kuwait (79 tonnes), Denmark (66.5 tonnes) and Finland (49.1 tonnes) taken individually.