KERALA INFO: Kerala Overview

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Kerala Overview

by by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)  (Feedback)



Referred as the “Spice Garden of India”, Kerala is a beautiful state with an excellent landscape of palm-lined beaches, thick jungles, plantation-covered hills, and enthralling rivers and lakes. It is considered to be one of the cleanest and the most peaceful parts of India, with the state remaining a major source of India's bananas, rubber, cardamoms, coconuts, cashews, and ginger.

The National Geographic Traveler has quoted Kerala as India’s most verdant state with one of the world’s 50 “must see” destinations. “The god who made Kerala had a green thumb”, true to the popular Malayali saying, Kerala’s rich resources have long attracted visitors from across the oceans. It is in fact here that the first seafarers set foot on Indian soil.

Legend has it that long before Vasco Da Gama discovered India, when he landed on the coast of Kerala, King Solomon's ships traded off the Malabar coast between 972 and 932 B.C., followed by the Phoenicians, Romans, Christians, Arabs, and Chinese. They all came to stock up on monkeys, tigers, parrots, timber, sandalwood, and ivory along with the abundance of spices. 

Kerala is sandwiched between the Lakshadweep Sea and the forested Western Ghats that define its border with Tamil Nadu to the east. In 1956, the state of Kerala was formed from the former princely states of Travancore, Kochi, and Malabar. Despite its high population density, Keralites have the country's highest life expectancy and the lowest infant mortality rates. As it was largely ruled by benevolent Maharajas who introduced social reforms emphasizing the provision of education and basic services, Kerala remains one of the most progressed and educated states in India. In those days, Kerala was more caste-divided than any other area. It was only in this region that untouchability was highly predominant. But today, it is one of the least caste-conscious and communally tranquil areas of India.

Kerala has a high percentage (22%) of Christians whose traditions go back to St. Thomas the Apostle. Another cultural rarity can be seen in the white Jews of Cochin. The first democratically elected Communist Party came to power in Kerala for the first time in the whole world.

The state capital is Thiruvananthapuram. Being a land of spices, realm of Ayurveda, heart-throbbing sceneries, exciting array of dances, Kerala is a microcosm of multi-religious India, co-habited by the Hindus, the Christians and the Muslims.

Malabar and Kerala

The word Malabar was first used by Al-Biruni (973-1048 A.D.). The Arab writers are believed to have derived Malabar from the word mala (hill) as mentioned by the Cosmas Indicopleustus of 6th century. He refers to the Kerala Coast as male and varam (country). The medieval Tamil writers called the land as malainadu meaning the land of hills.

The word Keralam is found in the Ashoka inscriptions of the third century B.C. It is formed from Chera (the Kera/Chera people) and alam (land) meaning "the land of Cheras."

The second rock-edict of Ashoka refers to "Keralaputra" along with the Cholas, Pandyas, and Satyaputra as the border kingdoms of the Maurya Empire.

In the first century A.D., the Roman historian Pliny refers Kerala as Caelobrothas and the author of Periplus of the Erithryan Sea mentions it as Cerobothra. The 2nd century geographer Ptolemy called Kerala as Kerobothro. 

Kerala Info

Kerala Overview

The Geography of Kerala

The Climate of Kerala

The History of Kerala

The Government of Kerala

Agriculture in Kerala

Crafts of Kerala

Travels of Kerala

Education in Kerala

Art and Culture of Kerala

Kerala, About the Judiciary

Food and Recipes of Kerala

Government Departments

Irrigation Projects in Kerala

Kerala Business and Economy

Kerala Literary Works

Local Self Government

Malayalam, the official language

Population of Kerala

Rivers of Kerala

Kerala, the land of Ayurveda

Fairs and Festivals of Kerala

 

District Information

Alappuzha

Ernakulum

Idukki

Kannur

Kasargod

Kollam

Kottayam

Kozhikode

Malapuram

Palakkad

Pathanamthitta

Thiruvananthapuram

Thrissur

Wayanad

Kerala Dance & Music

Kathakali

Koodiyattom

Koothu

Mohiniyattom

Tribal Dance Forms

Folk Dance Forms

Folk-Dance-Forms-2

Folk-Dance-Forms-3

Folk-Dance-Forms-4

Folk-Dance-Forms-5

Folk-Dance-Forms-6

Folk-Dance-Forms-7

Neo-Classical Dances

More Kerala Dance Forms

Music of Kerala

Folk Songs of Kerala

Swathi Thirunal

 

Travel and Tourism

Alapuzha Travel

Ernakulam Travel

Idukki Travel

Kannur Travel

Kasargod Travel

Kollam Travel

Kottayam Travel

Kozhikode Travel

Malappuram Travel

Palakkad Travel

Pathanamthitta Travel

Thiruvananthapuram

Thrissur Travel

Wayanad Travel

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INDIA REGIONAL MAPS:

Andhra Pradesh Travel Map | Bihar Travel Map | Goa Travel Map | Gujarat Travel Map | Haryana Travel Map | Himachal Pradesh Map | Karnataka Travel Map | Kerala Travel Map | Maharashtra Travel Map | Punjab Travel Map | Rajasthan Travel Map | Sikkim Travel Map | Tamil Nadu Travel Map | Uttar Pradesh Travel Map | West Bengal Travel Map |

MORE MAPS OF INDIA:

Airports of India | Districts of India | India Pilgrim Centers | Tourism Map of India | National Highways in India | India Railway Routes |

INDIA CITY MAPS:

Ahmadabad | Bangalore | Chennai | Coimbatore | Delhi | Hyderabad/Secunderabad | Kochi | Kolkata | Mumbai | Pondicherry | Pune | Surat |

KERALA TRAVEL MAPS:

Alappuzha | Ernakulam | Idukki | Kannur | Kasaragod | Kollam | Kottayam | Kozhikode | Malappuram | Palakkad | Pathanamthitta | Thiruvananthapuram | Thrissur | Wayanad |