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About Kerala the God's Own Country

A quick overview of Kerala

A quick sense of the geography of Kerala and its three distinct ecologies.

Kerala is a land of colourful festivals which have a long history and tradition behind them. This land of eternal beauty encompasses 1.18 per cent of the country of India. Kerala has 14 districts and they are the revenue divisions of the State. The districts are further divided into taluks and villages. Each district has a head quarters where the administrative offices function. On the basis of geographical, historical and cultural similarities, the districts are generally grouped into

North Kerala - (Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikkod, Malappuram)

Central Kerala - (Palakkad, Thrissur, Eranakulam, Idukki)

South Kerala - (Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam).

The nature of the terrain and its physical features, divides an east west cross section of the state into three district regions - hill and valleys , midland plains and coastal region.

This strip of land on the eastern edge, close to the Ghats, comprises of steep mountains and deep valleys, covered with dense forests. Almost all the rivers of the state originate here. Tea and coffee estates have cropped up in the high ranges during the last two centuries.

In the central region, the hills are not very steep and the valleys are wide. The valleys have been developed as paddy fields and the elevated lands and hill slopes, converted into estates of rubber, fruit trees and other cash crops like pepper, tapioca, etc.

This strip near the coastline, is comparatively plain. Extensive paddy fields, thick groves of coconut trees and picturesque backwaters, interconnected with canals and rivers, are the features of this region. In the southern and northern parts of the state, the coastal belt also has some hills and valleys.

The presence of a large number of rivers has made Kerala rich in water resources which are being harnessed for power generation and irrigation. Kerala receives a fairly good annual rainfall varying from 1250 to 5000 mm.The normal annual rainfall of Kerala is 3107 mm.(national average is 1197mm). The State has the benefit of the South West and North East monsoon.

The geographical advantages, i.e., the abundance of pepper and other spices, the navigability of the rivers connecting the high mountains with the seas and the discovery of favourable trade winds which carried sailing ships directly from the Arabian coast to Kerala in less than forty days, combined to produce a veritable boom in Kerala's foreign trade. The harbours of Naura near Kannur, Tyndis near Quilandy, Muziris near Kodungallor and Bacare near Alappuzha owed their existence primarily to the Roman trade. Roman contact with Kerala might have given rise to small colonies of Jews and Syrian Christians in the chief harbour towns of Kerala. The Jews of Kochi believe that their ancestors came to the west coast of India as refugees following the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century AD The Syrian Christians claim to be the descendants of the converts of St. Thomas, one of the Apostle of Jesus Christ. Arab contacts are also very ancient and Islam came to Kerala as far back as the 9th century AD.

Presently Kerala is the most literate state in India. It is also the country’s hottest tourist destination. The people of Kerala are warm and friendly and interaction with them is often a highlight of a Kerala Tour. Keralites have a strong culture and are fiercely proud of their state. Some of their art forms (eg Kathakali and Theyyam) and martial arts (kalaripayattu) are unique. Kerala is also a land of temples. There are lots of historically important shrines located in this land. Sabarimala the abode of lord Ayyappa. and Guruvayoor temple of lord Sri Krishna are among the major Kerala Temples. A trip to kerala is an experience of a lifetime. Experience it to believe it.

This dream land was formed on 1st November 1956, with its capital Thiruvanathapuram and neighbouring states Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Mahe and Lakshadweep. Kerala is a 560-km long narrow stretch of land with a total population of around 31,841374 people. It is one of the most literate states of India with a literacy rate of 90.9%. The state is not only known for its enchanting tourist spots but also for the warmth and love of the people living here. The language spoken here is Malayalam but Keralalities are also familiar with English and Hindi languages.

History beckons to the story behind the existence of this emerald-green sliver of land. As there is a persistent legend which says that Lord Parasuram, the 6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu Trinity, stood on a high place in the mountains, and threw an axe far in to the sea, and further commanded the sea to retreat. And the land that emerged all from the waters became Kerala, the land of plenty and prosperity.

Kerala is such a pleasant place with all enchanting views never seen before, its simplicity and natural beauty can,t stop someone to admire its richness. It has a fascinating cultural attraction with people of different religion and customs living with harmony with a melting pot of cultural influences.

Amidst all this Kerala has a rich art and cultural dimension, which is visible from its festivals and art forms displaying the traditional and historical importance of the place. The food of Kerala is another specialty, the way it is cooked and the variety of cuisines one can taste here is just superb. The spices and oils used to prepare Kearal Food gives a unique blend to it and adds to its flavor and aroma. There are also several great Hotels which are serving many local cuisines in a natural environment.

Some of the major cultural events are the Onam Festival, the Thrissur Pooram, the Vishu , annual Snake Boat Race at Alappuzha and the festivals of Id and Christmas. Apart from all this several other festivals are also celebrated with huge gaiety and fervor in different regions. All round the year you can see some of these celebrations on tours of Kerala.

Keralite have great and world famous cultural performing art like Kathakali, Mohiniattam and Kalaripayattu. Folk dances and performance styles in Kerala include Theyyam known for its fearsome masks and the trance like state of the performer, a graceful dance by women during Onam Kaikotikalli and also performed to celebrate a wedding.

The Backwaters of Kerala is adds another feather to the cap of Kerala vast ecological beauty, this silent water body will drive you crazy by its splendid resource and exotic location. One can easily explore this by going for the traditional House Boats or Harbor Crusies.

All this and many more beautiful aspects will make you love this place, apart from this one can travel and explore several tourist hot spots and tourist places all special in itself.

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