God's Own Country - KERALA India
Kerala, a state of India located on the Southwestern tip of India, enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Asia. Fondly referred to as ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala was selected by the National Geographic Traveler as one of the 50 destinations of a lifetime and one of the thirteen paradises in the world.
An equable climate, serene beaches, tranquil stretches of backwaters, lush hill stations and exotic wildlife are the major attractions of this land. A unique advantage of Kerala is that most of the destinations here are just two to four hour drive from the other.
Classical art forms, colourful festivals, unique cuisine are some of the cultural marvels that await travellers. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine and Panchakarma, the rejuvenation therapy in Ayurveda have also helped Kerala to gain a pan-global reputation as a top of the line destination.
And in Kerala, the season never ends, thanks to the year-long moderate climate and numerous festivals and events.
Kerala State Map
Major cities in Kerala
Rank City\Town District Population
01 Thiruvananthapuram Thiruvananthapuram 744,983
02 Kochi Ernakulam 595,575
03 Kozhikode Kozhikode 436,556
04 Kollam Kollam 361,029
05 Thrissur Thrissur 317,526
06 Alappuzha Alappuzha 187,495
07 Palakkad Palakkad 130,767
08 Thalassery Kannur 99,387
09 Ponnani Malappuram 87,495
Kerala is one of the smallest states in the in the south-western part of Indian union. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganization Act bringing together the areas where Malayalam is the dominant language. Its area 38.855 square kilometers is just 1.3 percent of the total area of India. The land of India comprises the narrow coastal strip bounded by the Western Ghats n the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. In the words of Sreedhara Menon “Its unique geographical position and peculiar physical features have invested Kerala with a distinct individuality.” Hence it has played a vital role in the commercial and cultural history of India. Kerala has been describes “as the favorite child of nature.” Like Kashmir in the north, Kerala in the south is famous for its breath-taking natural beauty.
With its evergreen mountains, dense forests stately palms, swift flowing rivers, extensive backwaters and blue lagoons, it looks like a fairyland. This atmosphere of beauty and peace has nurtured religion and art in Kerala and enabled her to become a precious gem in the necklace of Indian culture. Indian poets of eminence have showered their praises for the abundance of its peppers, the fragrance of its sandal and the wealth of its coconuts. No part of India is so widely known or has played so important a part in world history as Kerala.
Kerala has a higher Human Development Index than all other states in India. The state has a literacy rate of 90.92 percent, the highest in India. A survey conducted in 2005 by Transparency International ranked Kerala as the least corrupt state in the country. Kerala has witnessed significant migration of its people, especially to the Persian Gulf countries, starting with the Kerala Gulf boom, and is uniquely dependent on remittances from its large Malayali expatriate community.
From as early as 3000 BC, Kerala had established itself as the major spice trade centre of the world. A 3rd-century-BC rock inscription by emperor Asoka the Great attests to a Keralaputra. Around 1 BC the region was ruled by the Chera Dynasty, which traded with the Greeks, Romans and Arabs. The Tamil Chera dynasty, Ays and the Pandyan Empire were the traditional rulers of Kerala whose patriarchal dynasties ruled until the 14th century. The Cheras collapsed after repeated attacks from the neighboring Chola and Rashtrakuta kingdoms. Feudal Namboothiri Brahmin and Nair city-states subsequently gained control of the region. Contact with Europeans after the arrival of Vasco Da Gama in 1498 gave way to struggles between colonial and native interests. By early 16th century, the Portuguese established their domination. They were defeated by the Dutch in 1663, who in turn were forced out of the land by the British East India Company in 1795, bringing the area under British dominion. After independence, the state of Kerala was created in 1956 from the former state of Travancore-Cochin, the Malabar district of Madras State, and the Kasaragod taluk of Dakshina Kannada.
Kerala is a popular tourist destination famous for its backwaters, Ayurvedic treatments, tropical greenery and verity of sea food. House Boats on the back waters are very famous in Kerala.