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Kerala, The land of Coconuts-A Study

Updated on October 21, 2015
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Sunil Kunnoth loves reading and writing apart from his other hobbies of music and travel. He is an active hubber.

The enchanting Kerala
The enchanting Kerala

"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page" -- St. Augustine.

Kerala was formed on 1st November 1956. It is a great destination every traveler needs to explore and experience. Let's have a study here on the state. I mainly narrate here the history since 1956 and will definitely write about the pre-1956 history on another hub at a convenient time and of course as and when the mood strikes.

The name 'Kerala' was derived from the Malayalam (the language of Kerala) word 'Kera'. Kera means coconut. As the state is rich with the thick cultivation of Coconut trees, it naturally got the name 'Kerala'. In fact, Kerala got its extreme charm because of this largest concentration of Coconut trees on her soil.

The state has got an area of 38,863 Sq Km. It's Capital is Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). The state has a population of nearly 33,387,677. Thus, the density of population is on the higher scale. There are 14 districts in the state which cover 1364 villages and 159 towns. The major cities are Calicut (Kozhikode), Cochin (Kochi), Trivandrum, Thrissur, Kottayam and Alappuzha.

Kerala is the only state in India, where women outnumber men in the population with a sex ratio of 1058 (1058 women for 1000 men!). It has got 91% literacy. Since above 90% is considered as cent percent, Kerala can claim 100 % literacy confidently. The 14 districts are as follows: Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kannur, Kasargod, Kollam, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Pathanamthitta, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Wayanad. The largest district is Palakkad with 4480 Sq.Km. and the smallest being Alappuzha with 1,414 Sq.Km. Kasargod, Kannur and Wayanad share its border with Karnataka and Wayanad, Malappuram, Idukki, Kollam, Palakkad & Thiruvananthapuram share the border with Tamil Nadu.

The language spoken in the state is Malayalam. Apart from Malayalam, Tamil, Tulu and Kannada also widely used in border districts like Kasargod, Palakkad, Thiruvananthapuram and Idukki. The state is being ruled by Congress-lead UDF (United Democratic Front) under the leadership of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The CPM-lead LDF (Left Democratic Front) is the main opposition party under the leadership of V.S. Achuthananthan. Both these parties rule the state alternatively every five years. The main other political party is BJP (Bharatiya Janatha Party). But till date they couldn't even send a member to the 140 seat Legislative Assembly.

Watch this video (stills) capuring Kerala's enchanting beauty

Sabarimala Temple, where religions harmony is felt in its true sense.
Sabarimala Temple, where religions harmony is felt in its true sense.

On religious line, Kerala has some unique features as all major religions have a strong presence in the state. Interestingly both Christianity and Islam first started in India was in Kerala. Hindus, Muslims and Christians live in harmony here. India's largest population of Christians is in Kerala. After Hindus, the major religion is Islam followed by Christians. The state has a population of Jews, Jains and Sikhism too. Kerala is famous for communal harmony. The festivals of each religion are being celebrated by members of all faiths. 'Onam' is the national festival of Kerala. People unitedly celebrate Onam with great enthusiasm.

Hindus visit Churches and Mosques for prayers and offers. In fact, the kindness of ancient Hindu Kings was the root cause for the arrival and spread of other religions in the state. Both Muslims and Christians acknowledge it with thanks.

On the entertainment sector also Kerala shows a colorful picture. The classical dance form of Kerala is Kathakali and Mohiniyattam. The Film industry is so vibrant with a lot of talented personalities and production of world classic movies. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, G. Aravindan, Shaji Karun and John Abraham are well-known personalities and watched by film folks elsewhere in the world. On the literary circle too Kerala stands tall. Arundhati Roy (She won the Booker Prize 1997 for her first novel "The God of Small Things") and Anita Nair are famous writers in English from the State. M.T. Vasudevan Nair, Thakazhi, Vaikkom Mohammed Basheer, Mukundan and Zakaria are reputed Malayalam writers as well.


The people of the state are well educated. Still unemployment is a problem for many. Naturally, a good share of them of having migrated to UAE and other Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. The migration of the well-educated folks is to the USA and Europe. Kerala's economy mainly depends upon agriculture followed by the inflow of the money sent by the NRIs. On the health field also Kerala has achieved tremendous growth and that even match with the prestigious European standards.

One of the main disappointing factors about the state is the never ending agitations and unrest in the trade sector. The state suffers crores of rupees every year on account of Hartals (a kind of protest strike). The strong presence of the Communism and Marxism may be a reason for the same. At the same time, I don't forget the fact that their strong stand on many issues did help Kerala to achieve some progressive milestones that still remain as a dream for many other states in India. It may be amusing to note that Kerala once witnessed an Hartal in protest against Saddam Hussain's hanging by the US force a few years back! The only place in the world to do so!! Another alarming factor stare at Kerala is its high suicide rate. Why people adopt this cruel path is yet to be researched.

The state's main USP is its enchanting beauty and that must be why the land is called "The God's own Country". Thick forest, rivers, good rain, backwaters, sea, hills, mountains, total greenery, except snow Kerala has got all the exciting ingredients required for a good holiday spot. Travelers, historians, researchers, Pilgrimage and nature lovers, all have something to learn and share from this tiny land situated on the southern tip of India.

Hiuen-Tsang, Marco Polo (AD 1298), Ibn Battuta (AD 1333), and Vasco da Gama (AD1498); they all clearly certified it centuries back.

© 2012 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth


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    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      @Mary Wickison,

      So glad to hear that you have the plan to visit Kerala and love the place. Hope you will visit it sooner or later. Thank you for your encouraging words.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      3 years ago from Brazil

      Before deciding to move to Brazil, we considered Kerala.

      It looks like a beautiful place and I would like to visit it one day.

      Although it's interesting to read about the beautiful parts, you've given a balanced picture of it including religion, politics, and social issues affecting the region.

      I have the "The God of Small Things" on my bookshelf, I didn't realize Arundhati Roy was from there, how wonderful. I must read it again.

      Interesting article about 'The God's Own Country'.

    • profile image

      Saleem Venghat 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for this good and informative article

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      7 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Sir,

      Thank you for the visit and comments. Thanks also for the vote. Keep on following.

    • Vinodkpillai profile image


      7 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Kerala is truly God's own country and you have packed in a lot of its unique features, cultural and visual splendor in this hub. Voted up and beautiful!

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      7 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Lex123

      Thanks for your visit, comments and voting up. Your suggestion is welcome, I shall try to read more on Kerala, especially about its cultural aspect, cuisine, politics, etc. Thank you for sharing your ideas with me.

    • lex123 profile image


      7 years ago

      You have written an awesome hub about Kerala. It is one of the best places in India to visit and enjoy a wonderful and memorable vacation. You can also write hubs about the cultural aspect and Kerala cuisine, which will be very helpful to the visitors. I too have written some hubs about Kerala. I have voted it up as awesome. Keep writing.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      8 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Remaniki,

      Pleased to note your nice comments. Encouraging words like these are really inspiring me to write more. Thank you.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      8 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Remaniki,

      Pleased to note your nice comments. Encouraging words like these are really inspiring me to write more. Thank you.

    • remaniki profile image

      Rema T V 

      8 years ago from Chennai, India

      Hi Sunil,

      You have a great hub here. Nice to know so much about God's own country and her beautiful people. Sharing it across the hub community. Cheers, Rema.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      8 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi Benny,

      Thanks for your invitation. Unfortunately till date I couldn't join the Pooram magic and I do wish to witness it in the near future. Sure, I will publish a hub after digesting what all these marvel scenes I witnessed there. I will more and more places in Kerala and entertain the people like you, who are so fond of travel and reading with my hub articles. Once again thanks for your motivation and invitation.

    • profile image

      benny k.s., thrissur 

      8 years ago

      more and more places to visit in Kerala, especially in central Kerala.

      once attended you will never miss Trissur Pooram festival in your life as this is a festival of sight and sound. Think of more than 200 percussion artists assembled under a tree and performing. Think of Kudamattom (exchange of ornamental umbrellas) a virtual assembly of colour and excitement... and so on and finally pyrotechnics to fill your ears and mind .... visit Trichur by the end of April to the middle of May ... you will find it difficult to leave the place....

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      8 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hello sgbrown,

      Thank you very much for your sincere comments. Fortunately Kerala belongs to your idea of natural and peaceful place to visit on. Wish to meet you on this land one day. I will surely guide you to have a nice look of this even nice land. Keep on reading my other hubs too and feel free to leave your comments also.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      8 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi suzettenaples,

      Thanks for your nice compliments. Hope you will read other hubs by me on Kerala and leave your valuable comments. I will write more about Kerala soon. Keep on encouraging me with your precious comments.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      8 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This looks like such a beautiful place. It sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I would love to travel to places that are not commercialized and are more natural and peaceful. This is a wonderful hub. Voting up and more! :)

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      8 years ago from Taos, NM

      Very interesting and informative article. I don't know much about this area of the world and I found your article very interesting. This area of India looks absolutely gorgeous and your photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your corner of the world with us!


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