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Why Kerala got the name "God's own country"?

Updated on July 20, 2017
sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

A travel enthusiast, Sunil Kunnoth finds pleasure in making trips to historic places and share his experience with the readers.

Kerala, the most beautiful state on the southern tip of India is a major tourist destination in the country. The National Geographic's Traveller magazine names Kerala as one of the "10 paradises on the world" and "50 must-see destinations of a lifetime". Kerala is better known as "The God's Own Country". It is a slogan projected and advertised by the Kerala Tourism department for the promotion of Kerala's highly tourism potentialities.

One may ask why Kerala is called "the God's own country". The question is genuine. But no one can supply a single word answer for the same. A lot of reasons can be attributed to the adoption of the catchy title. But before answering that, I wish to brief you certain facts related to the title "God's own country".

"God's own country" is a phrase used by New Zealanders to describe their homeland. Some other countries, mainly Australia and some American regions also adopted it. But the phrase is largely associated with New Zealand. The text in this regard appeared in Wikipedia reads thus: The earliest recorded use of the phrase as applied to New Zealand was as the title of a poem about New Zealand written by Thomas Bracken. It was published in a book of his poems in 1890, and again in 1893 in a book entitled Lays and Lyrics: God's own country and other poems. God's own country as a phrase was often used and popularized by New Zealand's longest serving Prime Minister, Richard John Seddon. He last quoted it on June 10, 1906, when he sent a telegram to the Victorian Premier, Thomas Bent, the day before leaving Sydney to return home to New Zealand. "Just leaving for God's own country", he wrote. He never made it, dying the next day on the Ship Oswestry Grange.

The world famous Kovalam Beach in Thiruvananthapuram
The world famous Kovalam Beach in Thiruvananthapuram

The literary meaning of Kerala is "the land of coconuts". "Kera" in Malayalam (the language of Kerala) means coconut. As Kerala is abundant with coconut plants, it naturally got the name Kerala. In Kerala, you can find Coconut trees everywhere. Look at the photo above. In fact, one of the reasons for Kerala's enchanting beauty is its rich presence of coconut trees. The scene of the thick concentration of Coconut trees is a real treat to eyes whether it be Kerala or elsewhere in the world.

Kerala is an exotic location. No extreme climate here to disturb you. The climatic conditions are so apt with neither too hot nor too cold. The case is not so in the rest of the regions of India, where extreme climate pricks you or gives you trouble as the season changes. Well educated and cultured people are Kerala's real asset. The most disturbing factor while one travels to a region beyond his boundary is communication. Here no such worry stare at the visitor as a good number of people here follow English well. Also, they behave friendly and helpful too.

The Keralites are good masters of hospitality too. Naturally, the visitors feel very comfortable when they land on this soil. The Kerala society has a neat track on health and hygienic awareness. They do take a bath every day and most of them do it twice a day. Keralites' love for the bath is, in fact, an interesting topic for discussion everywhere in India. The people also prefer to drink hot water thanks to their high health consciousness.

Mahatma Gandhi, the national father of India, once said, "cleanliness is next to God". If Gandhiji is right on his assumption, we can proudly say that the Keralites are in the good book of the God! If you wish to study more about Malayalees you can visit my Hub: The Dress Code of Malayalees (Keralites), which provides an elaborate account of the tradition and culture of the Malayali community.

Kathakali, the classical dance of Kerala
Kathakali, the classical dance of Kerala

Still, we have not covered our core point or the question: How Kerala got that magical tagline "The God's own country"? In fact, even many of the Malayalees, the son of the soil, don't know how it got that attractive tag-God's own country.

It was created by one Mr. Walter Mendez, who was also the Creative Director of a reputed Ad agency in India. The creation took birth in the year 1989. Sadly, the man is no more now as he died some 10 years ago. Walter coined the tag on the request of Kerala Tourism Department when the Kerala government wished to market Kerala's high tourism potentialities before the travel world.

The fascinating Kumarakom, Kottayam
The fascinating Kumarakom, Kottayam

The phrase "God's own country" did wonders. Also, it had a magical impact. The tourists changed their travel plans and made Kerala their preferred destination when they noticed the ads in tourism magazines and other periodicals. They longed to experience and feel the luxury of "God's own country". As the tag was so catchy, the travel folks easily developed a love to see the land. And they were never disappointed while returning. The state has such wonderful and magnificent attractions beyond one's imagination. I have given some videos below, which will surely catch your attention and future travel plans. So I request you to watch it with attention.

The Kerala experience-a Visual treat

To watch the Kerala beauty in a Bollywood Movie...

There are some myths related to the origin of Kerala. One such myth is that Kerala was retrieved from the sea by Parasurama, a warrior sage. The legend has it that Parasurama, an Avatar of Mahavishnu (The Hindu God) threw his battle axe from Kanyakumari to northward across the ocean. As a result of the throw, the land of Kerala arose and thus was reclaimed from the waters.

If the story had influenced Mr. Walter in coining the tag line is not known. He is now in paradise. So we cannot put the question to him. But one thing is sure thanks to his extra brilliance, Kerala did get a mesmerizing tag line containing three simple words: God's Own Country!

Not only did he attest Kerala beautifully but also gave her a fresh, fragrant and vibrant life in the travel and tourism sector.

Kerala is truly amazing!

No doubt, it is very much the God's own country !!

Kettuvallom (country boat), the main attraction of Kerala tourism
Kettuvallom (country boat), the main attraction of Kerala tourism
The Tea plantation on the hills
The Tea plantation on the hills


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    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 15 months ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You are right Varkala is superb. I have done a couple of hubs featuring the famous Beaches in India. Hope you will find and read the same.

    • Al Greenbaum profile image

      Al Greenbaum 17 months ago from Europe

      It is a beautiful place. Varkala beach is stunning.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Jodah, thank you so much for reading my post and leaving your precious comments. I am glad that you love Kerala, my home state. I hope you will visit the place once and you are most welcome to this tiny but beautiful land. Keep in touch.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Sunil, this was very informative and an interesting read. Kerala is beautiful.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      thank you.

    • curious dreamer profile image

      Mahesh Mohan 3 years ago from India

      informative one

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Devika, Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so glad that you learned something from me about India's great destinations. Thanks for your vote too.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Jasmeetk, thank you for stopping by and leaving some encouraging comments.

    • Jasmeetk profile image

      Jasmeet Kaur 3 years ago from India

      as usual.. your articles are well written, informative and interesting!!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I like the photos and such an interesting hub. I learned lots from you about the great places of India. Voted up, interesting, and useful.

    • Uzochukwu Mike profile image

      Uzochukw Mike 3 years ago from Oba

      This is really informative. Keep up the good work you are doing right here.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    • profile image

      nived 3 years ago

      that was a great information

      know more about kerala

      fb page

    • lex123 profile image

      lex123 3 years ago

      Beautiful hub about Kerala's beauty, added with the photos and videos. Your detailed description about how Kerala got this magical tag was very informative.

    • profile image

      Saleem Venghat 3 years ago

      Kerala is God's own country. It is a blessed land of God by consider its natural beauty, backwater, greenery, hills and religious tolerance of people. As anywhere in the planet some people of Kerala are not God's own, but devil's own.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Interesting comments. Thanks for the input.

    • profile image

      was owned by Hindu god maha Vishnu. 3 years ago

      A creative advertising director Mr Walter Mendez, did coin this phrase "God's own country" in the year 1989. But the idea was from the fact that the major part of the state was ruled by Travancore and the ruler of the kingdom had dedicated and presented the kingdom in AD 1750 at the feet’s of deity Padmanabha (Maha Vishnu) of Padmanabhaswamy Temple (the Trippadidaanam) and from then on the rulers of Travancore ruled as the "servants of Padmanabha. Kingdom .

    • profile image

      jallah nippay 3 years ago

      Thanks go to the son of the soil for his brillience ideas for adknowleging the people of Keralam and and others around the world.

    • alexkoshy13 profile image

      Alex Koshy 4 years ago from India

      Watch this vedio.. Beauty of Kerala in 32 secs.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thank you Anagha for your visit and comments. I share your love for Kerala.

    • profile image

      anagha 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing such a beautiful comment about Kerala. Kerala ki jai

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving some comments.

    • profile image

      Sajan Prince 4 years ago

      Good effort. Thanks for the valuable information about "God's own country".

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)


      Glad to read a comment from the son of the soil. I too have that pleasure when talking and writing about Kerala, the God's Own Country. Let people come here and enjoy their stay in this beautiful land. Thank you for your visit and comments.

    • georgescifo profile image

      georgescifo 4 years ago from India

      You said it right Sunil. Kerala is indeed God's own country and really feels proud to be from this place.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      So glad to note that you have some fine idea about Kerala. Congrats! Please read my other hubs on Kerala. Thanks for your comments.

    • jponiato profile image

      jponiato 4 years ago from Mid-Michigan

      One other think about Kerala: it is the ancestral home of Kalaripayattu, one of the oldest fighting systems (if not the oldest) in the world.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      I have learnt History well and will be thankful to you if you could give me new light to the portion I am ignorant of. Thanks for your visit and comments kic.

    • profile image 4 years ago

      I am not satisfied with the information pl. go through history.

    • profile image

      naresh 4 years ago

      nice blogs

    • profile image

      shivanand 4 years ago


    • profile image

      Raju 4 years ago

      Exactly the point. I think they need to get exposure. Well said. Thank you for the reply.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Raju,

      I do endorse some of your views. It is a fact that Malayalees are the conservative society in India. Though they have enough education they still lag behind on their approach and outlook. I think they need to travel more and study the life and culture of other people also. The cosmopolitan style is what we lack here and that may be one reason for Malayalees still going on with their conservation and prejudice. But these guys are doing and behaving so well when they go out of Kerala. And on your other question on country, don't worry about it. Here country is just used to term a place only and nothing with the actual meaning of state and country. Even now the aged people asks a strange malayali "Ningaludey rajyam ethanu?". Hope you got the point. Thank you for your visit and comments.

    • profile image

      Raju 4 years ago

      Thanks for the information. Never knew anything of these before but just one question? Why is it called -gods own 'COUNTRY'??? It is a state and not a country. The people there are very conservative people and misunderstanding. Why did swami vivek ananda call malayalis lunatic? i don't like kerala people attitude towards outsiders. whatsoever they would have been in the past, i hope u know thatWE LIVE IN THE PRESENT AND NOT THE PAST. I hope the people realize their gifts and make use of it.

    • profile image

      Dr.Kanam 4 years ago

      Well written.Congrats

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      sunilkunnoth2012, Thanks for explaining about God's Own Country. It deserves the title. I liked Kumarakom and beautiful tea plantations. Thanks for sharing this great information. Voted up.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 5 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi travelholidays

      thanks for your stopping by and comments. I have written a couple of Hubs on Kerala

      Hope you will read it all.

    • travelholidays profile image

      travelholidays 5 years ago from India

      WOW !!! the final green tea plantation image expresses real splendor of Kerala. Nice hub to know more about Kerala :)

    • profile image

      benny sebastian, tirur, tcr 5 years ago

      truly amazing video... more details required about northern kerala...

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 5 years ago from Indonesia

      I didn't know that Kerala is such a beautiful place no wonder that they call it God's own country. Thank you for sharing information about places where you live.

    • anuramkumar profile image

      anuramkumar 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Excellent article on Kerala. I visit this state of mine almost once every year.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 5 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Purple Perl,

      Your comments noted with pleasure. Thanks for your nice words and voting up.

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 5 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Thanks Sunil, for a very informative hub. This was truly enlightening, as to how the tag came about. Also, you have described Kerala very well. Awesome pictures and video!Voted useful.


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