Malappuram has made great contributions in the field of art and culture. The Father of modern Malayalam Literature, Thunchath Ezhuthachan was born near Tirur in Malappuram. Many other famous poets and writers were born in Malappuram. P.S.Warrier who was the founder of Arya Vaidya Sala had initiated the recovery of the Malayalam stage and it was under his encouragement that the Parama Siva Vilasam Dramatic Company was started in Kottakal. The main aim of it was the promotion of Malayalam drama and Malayalam dramas were staged from here in those times. It was then later renamed as PSV Natya Sangham and the main art form performed here is the Kathakali.
Malappuram is the center of Hindu Vedic learning and Teaching. The important folk art forms of Malappuram include Kolkkali, Daffmuttu and Aravana Muttu which is the main art forms of the Muslim community. Another art form which is famous here is the Chavittukali or the Cherumakkali.
There are numerous temples, mosques and churches in Malappuram and so many fairs and festivals are also conducted here. Some of the main festivals include Nilambur Pattu which is a weeklong ancient festival that is associated with the olden war and hunting. Some other main festivals include Kondotty Nercha, Kottakkal Pooram, Thirumandhamkunnu pooram etc.