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Introduction to Kerala


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Introduction to Kerala

Kerala is nestled in the southwest part of India along the Malabar Coast. On November 1, 1956, the States Reorganisation Act led to the formation of this beautiful state which combines numerous regions speaking the common language called Malayalam. The state shares boundaries with Karnataka to the north and northeast and with Tamil Nadu to the south and east. It is commonly known as the land of coconut as it has never ending array of coconut palms. The state is sandwiched between the Western Ghats from the east and the Lakshadweep Sea from the west. The state holds the twelfth spot as the largest state by population and is divided into 14 districts. Thiruvananthapuram is the capital city of this state, while Malayalam is its official language. It is the state with lowest population growth in India.

Introduction to Kerala

According to a legend, Kerala was originated during the Satya Yug. It is believed that Kerala was originated from the sea when Lord Parasurama threw his axe into it. Lord Parasurama is said to be as a sixth avatar of Lord Mahavishnu. He threw his axe into the ocean from Gokarnam in remorse for his actions of killing Kshatriyas. The land emerged from the waters of the Arabian Sea.

History of Kerala

From 3000 BC to 3rd century, Kerala was the most prominent exporter of spices and the first most powerful kingdom of this land was the Chera Dynasty. During this period, Kerala remained as one of the most important international spice trading centres in India. Due to its reputation of a spice exporter, it compelled Egyptians, Babylonians and Assyrians to start trading here in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. The term Kerala comes from the word Keralaputra, which was carved into the rock by the Maurya emperor Ashoka in 3rd BC, hence, it was designated as the Land of Keralaputra and was one of the four independent kingdoms in the southern part of India, while the rest three were Pandya, Satiyaputra and Chola. During this period all these territories shared a common language known as Tamilakam. Most of the land of this state was ruled by the Cheras, while the southern portion was managed by the Pandyas.

History of KeralaThe history of Kerala, however, goes way back into the past. It easily spans several millennia and is believed to date back all the way to 5000 BC. There have been numerous excavations, and researchers have found countless artifacts that suggest that life was thriving even in the stone age. Caves with carvings have been found by archaeologists, and the Edakkal Caves are a notable example of this fact. This confirms a human presence in the region even in the prehistoric era, and suggests that there were human settlements in Kerala all the way back.

If one delves a little deeper into the history of Kerala, the state presents a glorious image, one filled with rich and highly lucrative trade ties, peaceful co-existence with many different religions and cultures, and one that any ancient civilization would be envious of. Kerala has been home to some of the greatest empires in the country, with rulers creating dominions over the entire south of Vindhyas, and Kerala is mentioned by name in one of the stone inscriptions recovered from the era of the Great King Ashoka. Kochi, in Kerala, has been one of the great cities in the world since time immemorial, and its spices have drawn the Spaniards, the English, the Arabs and every other civilization that has sought business across the oceans. One of the oldest documents to have survived the years, dating all the way back to the first few centuries AD, talks about how Roman ships filled with gold used to visit the lands and seek out the kings to buy pepper and the many other spices that grew here.

From the Chola Dynasty to the Pandyas, quickly making way for the Satiyaputras and then finally coming under the rule of the British in the 1790s, Kerala has seen many rules, lived with many cultures, and has taken the best from them all.

For the longest time, the Christians, the Jews, and the Muslims lived in harmony with the Hindus. This era is also known as Sangam and ended around the seventh century AD. Around the time that Adi Shankara rose to fame, and the Brahmin influence grew across Kerala, the harmony slowly began to fade away, with feudal separation starting between the masses, and the beginning of casteism, which would later become the norm across the lands.

Kerala finds mention in a number of Indian ancient texts of Hindus. From being the homeland of the legendary Asura ruler Mahabali, to having its name mentioned in the Rig Veda, it is evident that human civilization here has thrived since the earliest of times, and history is well documented through this texts that have been preserved with the utmost care.

Going back further still, there have been discoveries that point at human settlements in Kerala all the way back in the Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Megalithic age. Relics recovered from these eras range from dolmens to hat stones, and some burial sites have been dug up as well where urns were discovered. Links have also been discovered between the establishments in Kerala and civilizations in other regions, with a possibility that the progress made in the region following the Paleolithic age was due to contact with the Indus Valley civilization.

Important Years in Early History of Kerala (B.C 3000 to AD 1)

~ B.C 3000: Sindhu Valley peoples & Kerala People Begun trade
~ B.C 2000: Assyrians & Babylonians Came to Kerala
~ B.C 1000: Elephants Tusk, Monkeys and Peacocks are trading for King of Solaman in Israel
~ B.C: 700: Dravidians came to Kerala and after they build a new culture in Kerala
~ B.C 330: Megasthanies (The famous Greek sailer) said about Kerala
~ B.C 272-233: Religion of Buddha came in Kerala
~ B.C 257: Maurya King Ashokas Second inscription. He said about the culture of Kerala

Colonial Era in Kerala

The Arabians had the first to control over the trade of spices in Kerala. It was Vasco da Gama who arrived in Kerala in 1498 to break the determination of Arab’s control over the growing trade of spices in Kerala. He established the first Portuguese fortress in Cochin, by taking the advantage of the rivalry between the royal families of Calicut and Cochin. The conflict between Calicut and Cochin helped Dutch to establish their trade settlements in Kerala and they, finally, expelled the Roman Catholic Portuguese from this state.

The Dutch, however, were unable to continue here beyond 18th century due to the fight between the rulers of Mysore. Then came the British who were the most successful colonial power in India. Tipu Sultan, the successor of Hyder Ali had conflict with the British, and the four Anglo-Mysore wars were fought across southern India in the latter half of the 18th century. Tipu Sultan ceded Malabar District to the British in 1792, and South Kanara, which included the present-day Kasargod District, in 1799.

The British ended their treaties of subsidiary alliance with the rulers of Cochin (1791) and Travancore (1795), and they became princely states of British India, maintaining local autonomy in return for a fixed annual tribute to the British. Malabar and South Kanara districts were part of British India's Madras Presidency.

The uprising of Indian Freedom Movement was also felt in Kerala. The Non Violence and Satyagraha were instrumental in almost all parts of the state. Mass protests were also held at various places to eradicate various social evils like “untouchability” and caste feelings. After India got Independence in 1947, the state of Kerala was created on November 1, 1956 when the Malabar District was merged with Travancore-Cochin state and Kasargod taluk of South Kanara District to form the State of Kerala, based on the recommendations of the State Reorganization Commission set up by the Government of India.

The state of Kerala has witnessed much significant events over the years from early times up till the modern period. Following are some significant years and events in the history of Kerala:


Important Years in Early History of Kerala (B.C 3000 to AD 1)

~ B.C 3000: Sindhu Valley peoples & Kerala People Begun trade
~ B.C 2000: Assyrians & Babylonians Came to Kerala
~ B.C 1000: Elephants Tusk, Monkeys and Peacocks are trading for King of Solaman in Israel
~ B.C: 700: Dravidians came to Kerala and after they build a new culture in Kerala
~ B.C 330: Megasthanies (The famous Greek sailer) said about Kerala
~ B.C 272-233: Religion of Buddha came in Kerala
~ B.C 257: Maurya King Ashokas Second inscription. He said about the culture of Kerala

Important Years in Kerala History (A.D 1 to 1956)

~ A.D 45: Hippalas (Roman Greek sailer) came in Musris (now in Kodungallur)
~ A.D 52: S.T Thomas came into Kerala
~ A.D 68: Judah’s came to Kerala. They build their prayer houses
~ A.D 125-180: Cheran chenkuttavan ruled in Kerala
~ A.D 189: Padenus (Alexandrian Man) came into Kerala
~ A.D 315: Brahmins handed over the rule of Kerala to Kulashekara Perumal
~ A.D 354: Constandines came into Kerala
~ A.D 639: Huyan Sang came into Kerala
~ A.D 644: Malik Dinar came into Kerala and he tried in converting the people to Islam.
~ A.D 650: Buddhism has destroyed in Kerala
~ A.D 788-820: The Life of Shankaracharaya (The Father of Advaita)
~ A.D 825: Kollavarsham has begun (Kerala calender)
~ A.D 849: Tharisa Palli Shasanam (This was written by Ayyandi Thiruvadikal)
~ A.D 851: Arabian trade man Sulaiman came into Kerala
~ A.D 900: S.T Thomas Church built in Malayattoor
~ A.D.925: Paliyam Shasanam
~ A.D 974: Mampalli Shasanam
~ A.D 1000: Raja Raja Chola Attacking Kerala, Bhaskaravi Varma’s Yudha
~ A.D 1168. Literature book syandhapuranam written during this time
~ A.D 1196: Vellayani Shasanam
~ A.D 1292: Marko Polo came into Kerala
~ A.D 1295: Kozhikode (Calicut) City was built
~ A.D 1325-1360: The life of Lakshmi das (famous Literature Man). He wrote Shuka Sandesham
~ A.D 1342: Ibnu Bathutha (Moroko man) came into Kerala
~ A.D 1374: The Famous Literature work Unnuneeli Sandesham was written
~ A.D 1400:The famous Historical Book Koka Sandesham was written
~ A.D 1409: The Chinese sailor, Mahuan came into Kerala
~ A.D 1417: The Italian sailor Nikola Condi came into Kerala
~ A.D 1427-1500: The Life of Cherusseri. He has written Krishna Gadha
~ A.D 1495-1575: The Life of Thunjathezhuthachan (The Father of Malayalam Language). His Famous Works are Adyathma Ramayanam Kilipattu, Harinamakeerthanam and Shiva Puranam
~ A.D 1498: The Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama came into Kerala.
~ A.D 1500: Gabreal (Portuguese) came into Kerala
~ A.D1502:Vasco da Gama came into Kerala second time
~ A.D 1559-1620- The life of Melpathoor Narayan Bhattathiri (famous literature man in Kerala). He wrote Narayaniyam. This time another Malayalam poet was living namely Poonthanam. His famous works are Njanapana, noottettu hari and srikrishna karnamrutham
~ A.D 1592: Dutch East India Company established
~ A.D 1616: English East India Company came into Kerala
~ A.D 1653: Koonan kurish pledge
~ A.D 1663: Portuguese defeated by dutchs in Kerala
~ A.D 1699: Malayalam Grammar book written by Arnoas Pathiri
~ A.D 1729: Marthanda Varma become the ruler in Thiruvithamkoor
~ A.D 1741: Kulachal War, Dutchs defeated by Marthanda Varma
~ A.D 1750: Marthanda Varma's Thripadithanam
~ A.D 1758: Marthanda Varma died. The Mysore Sulthan Haider Ali attacked Kerala.
~ A.D 1773: Samsheba Vedartha Published
~ A.D 1767: Haider Ali built the Palakkad Fort
~ A.D 1792:Third Mysore War (Tippu Sulthan vs British). Sreeranga Pattanam Udambadi. Tippu Handled Malabar to British.
~ A.D 1795: Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja attacked British.
~ A.D 1805: Pazhassi Raja died
~ A.D 1809: Kundara proclamation by Veluthambi Dhalava
~ A.D 1812: Kurichyar Rebellion
~ A.D 1822: First Channar Rebellion
~ A.D 1834: First English School Started in Kerala at Trivandram
~ A.D 1855: Sree Narayana Guru's birth
~ A.D 1859: Second Channar Rebellion
~ A.D 1861: First Railway Line Started,Thirur-Kuttippuram
~ A.D 1868: Herman Gundert started writings about Kerala
~ A.D 1872: Gundert Published First Malayalam-English Dictionary
~ A.D 1887: The News Paper Deepika Started.The First Malayalam Novel Kundalatha written by Appu Nedungadi.
~ A.D 1888: Malayala Manorama Company Established. Sreenarayana Guru started Aruvippuram Prathishta.
~ A.D 1889: O.Chandu Menon’s Indulekha published.
~ A.D 1891: Malayali Memorial started.
~ A.D 1896: Dr.Palppu Established Ezhava Memorial
~ A.D 1899: Nedungadi Bank, the first bank in Kerala was started
~ A.D 1902: S.N.D.P was started
~ A.D 1906: The World Famous Kerala Painter Raja Ravi Varma died
~ A.D 1914 : N.S.S (Nayar Service Society) Established.
~ A.D:1921: Malabar Mutiny
~ A.D 1924: Vaikam Satyagraham
~ A.D 1930: Salt Struggle (Uppu Sathyagraham) in Kerala undertook by the leadership of Kerala Gandhi, K.Kelappan
~ A.D 1931:Guruvayoor Sathyagraham
~ A.D 1936:Temple entry Proclamation
~ A.D 1941: Kayoor Struggle
~ A.D 1946: Punnapra -Vayalar Sathyagraham. Karivallur Incident
~ A.D 1956 :The state of Kerala was established on November 1st, 1956

Geography of Kerala

Kerala is spread over a land of 38,863 km2 and is flanked between the Western Ghats and the Lakshadweep Sea. The state is blessed with a beautiful coast of 590 kms, which has numerous number of beaches and coconut palms. It usually experiences humid equatorial tropical climate and is located on the southern tip of the Indian Subcontinent and is located near the centre of the Indian tectonic plate. The land is covered with beautiful mountain ranges and serene beaches which offers amazing tourism experience. The width of the land varies from 35 to 120 kms across the whole state. The state delicately cascades down the hill and is covered with lush coconut groves, the physical and topographic characteristics of the state changes drastically from east to west. Due to the physical features and the nature of the terrain, the land can be divided into three different regions:
  • The coastal region
  • Hills and valleys
  • Midland and plains

Quick Facts

  • Head of State: Governer – Mr P Sathasivam
  • Head of Government - Chief Minister: Mr Oommen Chandy
  • Ruling Party: United Democratic Front
  • Capital City: Thiruvananthapuram
  • Number of districts – 14
  • Official Language: Malayalam, and English
  • Area: 38,863 square km
  • Population: 33,387,677
  • Website: https://kerala.gov.in/
  • Longest river: Periyar
  • Highest peak: Anamudi
  • Largest Lake: Vembanadu Lake
Kerala is blessed to be the only state in India with such a diverse geographical distribution. Coordinates wise, the state stretch from latitudes 8°18' and 12°48' from North to South and longitudes 74°52' to 77°22' from East to West. The most of the terrain of the state is formed by the Pleistocene and Precambrian geological formations. A wall of mountains is formed by the Western Ghats on the eastern side of the state which is interrupted near Palakkad.
  • The average height of the Western Ghats is 1,500 metres.
  • The highest peak is Anamudi, which is of height around 2,500 metres and is famed as the highest peak in the South India.
  • The height of the Nilgiri Hills is 250 metres, while that of Palni Hills is 1000 metres.
  • Three tributaries of the Cauvery River originate from Kerala and flows to the neighbouring states.
Along the eastern edge, close to the Western Ghats there is an array of hills and deep valleys covered with dense forest, which provide wonderful picturesque views to tourists. The state holds as many as 44 rivers, among which 41 originate from the Western Ghats and mixes into the Arabian Sea. Three tributaries of the Cauvery River originate from Kerala and flows to the neighbouring states. Some of the other rivers of Kerala are Bharatapuzha, Periyar, Pamba, Chaliyar and Chalakudy, etc. The water of these rivers forms the majestic backwaters of Kerala. The hills are not very steep and valleys are wide in the midland plains of the Central Portion. These valleys have been used as paddy fields, while the elevated lands are used for growing fruits, rubber, tapioca, pepper etc. Tea and coffee are grown at the higher ranges. The coastal region of the state is plain and comprises of large paddy fields, array of coconut trees and marvellous backwaters, which are interconnected by canals, rivers and lagoons.

All Information on KeralaKerala has well over 40 rivers, 34 backwaters and divides the lands of the state into criss-crossing pieces of a puzzle that fit together beautifully. You can go from being on the beach, to dense forests, and cool hills within the span of a day when you are in Kerala, and such drastic topological diversity makes for an amazing adventure. The Western Ghats not only offer a wintry escape to those who wish to avoid the sticky and warm summers of the state, they also serve as a barrier for the monsoon winds, and result in a torrential downpour in the lands. The mountain range is virtually unbroken, and serves as a natural divide between Kerala and North India, helping the residents escape many conquerors who ravaged the Northern plains. The constant rains are also a reason why there are so many tea plantations in Kerala, as well as a major reason behind the superior spice quality of the state.

An abundance of water and fertile lands has naturally endowed Kerala with a heavy cover of forested area. Spanning an area of roughly 11,125 sq km, these forests hold a total of seven wildlife sanctuaries, and are also home to an abundance of wildlife.

Being rich in fertile lands, the state also boasts of a variety of mineral reserves like white clay, Graphite, Iron Ore, Silica Sand, Bauxite, etc. A large of the Kerala industries depend on these available minerals for their production of cement, aluminium, ceramics, electrical equipment, chemicals, pencil glass etc.

Did You Know?
~ While Darjeeling may be more famous, the majority of India drinks tea that is grown in Kerala and the Western Ghats. Buy the local tea for strong and rich tea that is also priced affordably.

~ The Western Ghats ensure that Kerala has a moderate climate despite being very close to the equator.

~ Kerala has a literacy rate of 93.19%, the highest among all states in India.

~ The first mention of the name Kerala comes from an ancient scripture dating back to the times of the King Ashoka where the word Keralaputra is first seen.

~ The first time that a communist party was voted to power in India, happened in Kerala when the LDF came into power.

Climate of Kerala

Kerala experiences a humid tropical wet climate most of the year. Mainly there are three seasons felt in the state. Seasonal heavy rainfalls lash the state during monsoon seasons. From the month of February to May, the climate is hot; temperature sometimes reaches 38 °C.

The South-west monsoons in Kerala begins in June and continues till the full moon in October or November. In this season, there is fairly good rainfall without a break. The weather, however, in between December and January is fair and pleasant. The overall climate of the state is moderate throughout the year.

Compared to other Indian states, Kerala lies nearer to the equator. Yet Kerala is bestowed with a pleasing and equable weather throughout the year. The main reason for this because of the land's nearness to the sea and the occurrence of the outpost like Western Ghats on the east. Kerala would have been a dry land because of the dry winds blowing from the north, but the Western Ghats which prevent this breeze from going into the land. Kerala obtains copious rain, which is average 3000 mm each year. The temperature in Kerala commonly ranges from 28° to 32° C (82° to 90° F) on the flat lands but drops to about 20° C (68° F) in the highlands.

Seasons in Kerala

The Highlands of Kerala, which is an area of major tourist affinity, relishes a cool and invigorating climate the year-round. Be obliged to its diversity in geographical characteristics, the climatic condition in Kerala is varied. It can be divided into 4 seasons of the year - Winter, Summer, South-West Monsoon and North-East Monsoon.

Winter Season in Kerala
Starts with the end of the north-east monsoons, that is from the subsequent part of November lasting till the middle of February. During this time of the year temperature is comparatively reduced but it does not vary much from other times of the year. In the Highlands, where the climate is cool throughout the year, winter temperatures often drop below 10’C. This season observes the least rainfall.

Summer Season of Kerala
At the end of Feb. temperature will be rising and this marks the start of summer in Kerala. Relatively higher temperature, reduced rainfall and slightly humid climate are the characteristics of this time of the year. When contrasted to other Indian states where the temperature soars to over 40’C, summers in Kerala are cool and pleasant. The Western Ghats help prevent the dry to the north winds from going into the state and the cooling breeze from Arabian ocean assaults in. Irregular rainfall is another feature of this time of the year. Starting in March, the summer season continues till the end of May or the starting in June, when the Monsoon groups in.

South West Monsoon Season in Kerala
Southwest monsoon is the major rainy time of the year in Kerala. This time of the year starts round the end of May or early June with the outset of the southwest monsoon winds. The next couple of months or periods of torrential rainfall. Most of the Kerala rivers are fed by the monsoons. The southwest monsoons last till the end of September.

North East Monsoons in Kerala
The North East Monsoons furthermore known as the Retreating Monsoons or Reverse Monsoons is throughout the return of the southwest monsoon winds. These rainfall are in the months of October and November and occasionally it can last till December. The days are moderately hot and humid but there is not much variation in temperature.

Kerala - Pin Codes and Postals

Cherthala - 688524
Ernakulam - 682011
Idukki - 685602
Irinjalakkuda - 680121
Kalpatta - 673121
Kanjangadu - 671315
Kanjirappally - 686507
Kannoor - 670001
Kasarkode - 671121
Kattappana - 685508
Kayamkulam - 690502
Kochi - 682001
Kollam - 691001
Kottayam - 686001
Koyilandy - 673305
Kunnamkulam - 680503
Malappuram - 676505
Neyyattinkara - 695121
Olavakkode - 678002
Pala - 686575
Palakkad - 678001
Pathanamthitta - 689645
Perumbavoor - 683542
Ponnany - 679577
Punaloor - 691305
Thaikkadu - 695014
Thalassery - 670101
Thaliparambu - 670141
Thiroor - 676101
Thiruvalla - 689101
Thiruvananthapuram, GPO - 695001
Thodupuzha - 685584
Thrissur - 680619
Vadakancheri - 680582
Vadakara - 673101
Vaikam - 686141

Administration in Kerala

Kerala is a state in the Democratic Union of India, so same set of political rules is set for it too as the rest of the country. The Governor is the constitutional head of the state and the post is held by former Chief Justice of India Mr. P. Sathasivam, on the other hand Chief Minister represents the people of Kerala in the Parliament and the post is taken by Mr. Oommen Chandy. Kerala is well known for its incredible literacy rate, and for a general excellence in the public towards its civic duties. Voter turnouts for the state are consistently above the 70% mark, and the state has a decidedly leftist inclination when it comes to politics.

Communism has many supporters in Kerala, and the Left Democratic Front, which is one of the two major political outfits in Kerala, is led by the Communist Party of India. At the moment, Kerala has the United Democratic Front in power, which is being led by the Indian National Congress. Bharatiya Janata Party, which is currently in power in the Centre with complete majority, has a negligible presence in Kerala, and has to contend with being the biggest of the minor parties in the state. The Legislative Council having provision for a total of 141 MLAs, with candidates from all parties contesting for these seats, which are spread amongst the 14 districts that Kerala has been structured into. Read More

Business and Economy of Kerala

Rice farming in KeralaThe economy of Kerala is dominated by the service industry and the state is ahead of most of the states in terms of per capita GDP and economic productivity. The economy has been a strong suit for Kerala since the earliest of times. The global spice route passed right through the state, and older ports like Muziris were amongst the busiest in the world. The spice trade was such a major influencer for the economy, that not only did it impact and help Kerala grow at a phenomenal rate, it was directly responsible for a huge bulk of the world economy as well. With a recorded GDP of Rupees 1624 billion for the year 2004-05, and the economy steadily flourishing ever since, Kerala has a solid infrastructure, and a booming economy which continues to flourish and bolster even further today.

Much of the economic growth in Kerala post Independence has occurred when the state was still being operated as democratic socialist welfare. Many of the cumbersome and restrictive License Raj restrictions of such a political structure were lifted in the 1990s, and has allowed a number of industries to make inroads into the state. The impact of these revisions in the economic structure was astounding, and post the relaxation, the economy of the state flourished at a virtually unprecedented rate. Kerala exceeds the national growth rate today by a wide margin, and stands at 8.93% growth for the year 1988-2005, whereas, the national average for the same period was a much lower 4.80%. This is often referred to as the Kerala Model of Development, yielded terrific results for the overall human development has been credited to the sudden influx of investment in the service sector of the state, which includes tourism.

Kerala not only has a phenomenal literacy rate, it also has a large number of expatriates living in the Gulf countries, who left the state and moved abroad during the 70s and 80s, when the boom in the region was significant, and attracted job seekers from all over the world. A large part of the state's economy is also dependent on these expatriates and their remittance.

Tourism has a major impact on the economy of Kerala as well, and the state sees millions of visitors from domestic states as well as international destinations on a regular basis. The famous backwaters of the state, as well as the many ashrams here are a major source of tourism revenue for Kerala.

Culture of Kerala

Information on KeralaIn the light of the strong economy and booming industries, Kerala has managed to keep a check on its population, allowing to manage its incredibly high population density of 859 people for every square kilometre of Kerala territory. When compared to the national average of 370 people for every square kilometre, Kerala has a population density that is almost thrice of the other territories in the country. Kerala has managed to keep population growth in check for the past several decades, setting an astounding 4.9% growth rate, which is going down even further as the years progress. The coastal regions of the state have the highest human settlement, and are incidentally, the most economically active as well. Tourists as well as international traders frequent the port cities of Kerala even today, and the spice trade flourishes still, and with much gusto.

With close to 56% of dwellers following one or another form of the religion, Kerala has a distinct Hindu majority. Islam comes a close second, and accounts for almost 24.7% of the population. Christianity is a major presence in Kerala as well, and almost 19% of Kerala citizens follow Catholics beliefs or some similar form of Christianity. Unlike North India, where Islam was introduced by the Middle Eastern invaders and subsequent rulers, in Kerala, the religion was introduced in a much more peaceful manner, via Arab traders who visited the state for its abundant spices. Christianity was spread by one of the twelve apostles of Christ, Thomas, the Apostle, himself according to Christian literature. Judaism has a presence in the state as well, and was spread here during the times of King Solomon, once again by traders and missionaries who arrived in Kerala following the global trade routes.

Kerala also used to have a substantial population of Jews, who were amongst the first Jewish settlers in the country, but the majority of this population has now left the country, and moved to Israel instead.

Although the matrilineal traditions in Kerala have reduced drastically post Independence, women in the state continue to enjoy freedom and respect from their fellow men, in a much higher degree than what is common in the rest of the country.

Fact: Women in Kerala outnumber men 1084 to 1000

Cuisines of Kerala

About KeralaThe spectacular array of dishes that are offered to the visitors in Kerala will blow anyone's mind. Being a coastal area, sea food is found in abundance but this hardly means that those who only eat vegetarian food will feel left out. Since the land has been welcoming travellers from every corner of the world, tastes of all these different lands have mixed with the local flavour to create a delightful culinary surprise. Coconut is used extensively while making the food, and so are the spices that are grown locally and allow for incredible flavours.

There is a distinct difference between the culinary styles of the food that you will get to eat in Kochi, Malabar, and Travancore. This is due to the fact that the three were different provinces before Independence, and hence had uniquely different styles which were restricted to their respective kingdoms.

Kerala Tourism

The beautiful beaches, the calming and serene backwaters, quiet and enchanting hills, and so much more has helped Kerala establish itself as the top choice for travellers in the country. Tourists can be seen everywhere in Kerala no matter what time of the year, although this number is reduced by a large margin during the monsoons, when the constant rain cut off a lot of less well-connected areas of the main cities. The beauty of Kerala can be gauged from the fact that the state is considered one of the ten paradises on this planet according to the Traveller magazine by National Geographic.

Know KeralaKerala is also famous for its spiritual retreats where domestic as well as international travellers pay a visit just to experience the ancient Indian healing techniques of Yoga and Ayurveda.

The state regularly makes an appearance on the top must see destinations of the world, and is a beauty to behold, and a true joy to visit. The tourism industry in Kerala is a relative new trend, which only started in the 1990s.

Ayurvedic Tourism in Kerala is also a popular reason why millions of people travel to Kerala. There are dozens of reputed resorts and clinics in Kerala where visitors can stay for long periods of time, practice the natural healing techniques taught by Yogis, and find treatments for a number of chronic illnesses. Yoga is taught as a way of life at a number of these resorts, and Ayurvedic treatment is offered at the hands of registered and renowned Ayurveda experts as well. Dubbed as a natural way of medicine which has no side effects, Ayurveda has quickly gained a lot of popularity and acceptance among the masses.

Shopping in Kerala

The purpose of shopping when you are at an unfamiliar place, should always be to bring back something that you might not find elsewhere. Kerala offers a number of exotic and unique shopping opportunities, and will delight visitors with the many options that it presents to the tourists. Spices have always been a major source of trade for Kerala, and a number of visitors try and buy spice from the famous markets in the state. Cashew nuts are another must buy, and Kerala offers them at a low price, and assures high quality.

Coir products are also a popular choice, and an entire industry of handmade coir products exists in the state, offering you an incredible range of products to choose from. And for those who want a distinctly memorable souvenir to bring back from God's Own Country, Kathakali masks are definitely the way to go. The state also has a number of shopping malls where one can buy clothes, perfumes, gadgets and more.

Buy a packet of banana chips to munch on as you are trekking or siting in the train. They are abundantly found in Kerala and are delicious.

Transport in Kerala

Kerala IntroductionBeing a major centre for tourism, Kerala government has paid a lot of attention to the public transportation system in the state. Railway, airports and roadways are modes of transportation that are utilized efficiently, and since Kerala is riddled with rivers and canals, the state also has a very good water-based transportation system. The state is connected to the rest of the country through railways, roadways, as well as through flights, and Kerala has international airports as well, for international travellers who wish to land directly in the state.

Kerala has some of the finest coffee plantations in the world, and offers a unique experience to coffee lovers. Buy from a store close to the plantations for the best possible quality.

Sports in Kerala

Kerala is home to several stylised martial art forms such as kalaripayattu, theyyam and poorakkali. They serve as a means of exercise, as well as a way to hold on to the ancient traditions. Modern sports like football, cricket, and volleyball are popular in the state as well, and Kerala has a national level athletics team too, with players representing the state on a national as well as international level.

Over the years, Kerala has produced several sportspersons of note, chief among them being:
  • I. M. Vijayan – Football
  • C. V. Pappachan – Football
  • T. C. Yohannan – Athletics
  • P. T. Usha – Athletics
  • Jimmy George – Volleyball
  • Shanthakumaran Sreesanth – Cricket

Kerala also has a national level stadium for cricket located in Kochi, known as the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, and has the third largest seating capacity in the country. Read More

Did You Know?
The short-lived IPL franchisee of Kochi Tuskers would have represented Kochi, Kerala in the popular T20 games.

Healthcare Facility in Kerala

The Human Development index in Kerala is very high, leading to quality services for healthcare in the state. The Ayurvedic form of medicine is widely practiced in the state, and modern practices such as allopathy are easily available at government hospitals and private clinics.

The government has introduced a number of health schemes in the state in order to offer even better medical assistance. Year 2013 saw the inauguration of two such schemes at the hands of Mrs Sonia Gandhi:
  • Arogya Kiranam Scheme
  • Distribution of free generic medicine

The popularity of the state as a tourist destination also ensures that most leading resorts and hotels have tie ups with local medical experts to provide emergency services when needed. Kerala boasts of an average life expectancy of 77 years, the highest in India, and also has a highly low population growth of 3.44%.

Lets discover more about this nature’s blessed colorful and educational state...


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