Kerala is a State in the South- Western region of India established on 1 November 1956 created mainly for the Malayalam speaking population. The formation of this beautiful state was done after merging Malayalam speaking regions into one which was spread across an area of 38,386 sq km. Kerala is also tagged as “God’s Own Country” because this is the only State to top in almost every sphere including human development, mass literacy, economic parity, women empowerment, harmony between religions, progressive and liberal mindset of people, least in corruption, etc and for this reason it literally deserves this tag. This Southern State has 14 districts which are further divided into 21 Revenue divisions, Taluks and Revenue Villages. Thiruvananthapuram is the largest city in the state and also serves as its capital. Malayalam is the most commonly spoken language and is also the official language of the state.
|Established||1 November, 1956|
|Total Population (2011)||33,387,677|
|High Court||The Kerala High Court|
|Rivers||The Kerala High Court, Pamba River, Bharathappuzha, Kabini, Kallada River, Chaliyar, Achankovil, Meenachil River and Valapattanam River etc.|
|National Parks||silent valley, Eravikulam National Park, Periyar National Park, Bandipur National Park, Mudumalai National Park, Nagarhole National Park and Mukurthi National Park|
|State Animal||Indian elephant|
|State Bird||Great hornbill|
|State Tree||Coconut tree|
|State Flower||Golden shower tree flower|
|Literacy Rate (2011)||93.90%|
|Females per 1000 males||1084|
|Lok Sabha constituencies||20|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+05:30)|
The earliest record of Kerala was found in Hindu mythology where it was mentioned that this land has been created by the great sage warrior Parshuram. Moreover, according to Puranas the land of Kerala was also ruled by the Asura King Mahabali who was pushed down to the Patalas (Netherworlds) by Vamana Avtaar of Lord Vishnu. During the pre-historical era a major part of Kerala was under the sea which was proved by the presence of marine fossils found near Changanacherry. Archaeological sites have been identified in various parts of the State which belongs to the Paleolithic Age, through the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Megalithic Ages. Historians also suggest that Kerala also has relation with the Indus Valley Civilization during the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. During the ancient Kerala was part of kingdoms belong to Asoka- the great Mauryan Emperor, Cheras, Cholas, Pandyas and Satiyaputras. Later Kerala came under the hands of Dutches, Portuguese, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan and finally with the end of the British rule it became a part of independent Indian Sub-continent in 1947.
The State of Kerala is extended over 38,863 km2 with adjoining states of Karnataka to the northern and northeastern side, Tamil Nadu to the eastern and southern side and the Lakshadweep Sea to the western side of Kerala. The beautiful state of Kerala has both hills and sea since it is stuck between the Lakshadweep Sea and the Western Ghats Kerala is geographically divided into three separate climatic regions: the eastern highlands with rugged and cool mountainous terrain, the central mid-lands having rolling hills and the western lowlands consisting of coastal plains. Mainly Kerala’s terrain is composed of Pre-Cambrian and Pleistocene geological formations. Anamudi situated in the Idukki district is the highest peak in south India at a height of 8,842 ft. The State is also known for its backwaters which is actually just the criss-cross network of interconnected brackish canals, lakes and estuaries. Kerala has total 44 rivers flowing throughout the state.
Kerala is home to around 33,387,677 Indians which covers 2.76% percent of Indian population as of 2011 census. Kerala is primarily a matriarchal society where women are generally the head of the family. So, here Kerala enjoys a favorable sex ratio than rest of the Indian States and women has a much higher standard of living and influence in the society. Kerala’s sex ratio of 1.084 is higher than that of the rest of India and is the only state where women outshine men. According to 2011 Census of India figures, 54.73% of Kerala’s residents are Hindus, 26.56% are Muslims, 18.38% are Christians, and the remaining 0.32% follow other religion. Kerala also has the largest population of Christians in India. Kerala has 93.91% literacy rate as compared to the national literacy rate of 74.04%.
During the financial year of 2007-2008 the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was Rs. 1,624 billion and this income is mainly from the NRI’s working in foreign countries especially in the Gulf countries. In 2015, NRI deposits in Kerala have soared to over ₹1 lakh crore (US$15 billion). Kerala’s other source of income is the tertiary sectors and agriculture and allied sectors. Tertiary sectors include transport, storage, communications, tourism, banking, insurance and real estate. Kerala also has the largest IT Park in India ”Techno park” which houses offices of Software Giants like Infosys, Oracle, Tata Consultancy Services, Capgemini, HCL, UST Global, Nest, Suntec, Cognizant, Wipro, UST Global, IBS Software Services etc and Multinational corporations like KPMG, Ernst & Young, EXL Services, Etisalat DB Telecom, Nielsen Audio, Xerox ACS, Tata ELXSI etc. Kerala is also rich in agriculture produce for rice, coconuts, rubber, cashews and spices. Here over 1 million people were employed in traditional manufacturing industries like coir, handloom and handicrafts. Other economic contributions come from animal husbandry, manufacturing, fisheries and tourism.
Kerala has developed as one of the most sought after tourist destination of India because of its natural beauty in shape of beaches, mountain ranges, wildlife, backwaters and breathtaking view. The cities of Kerala has its own tourism significance, some of them are the Thiruvananthapuram- the capital city of Kerala which have beautiful beaches, monuments and museums, intricately carved temples, art galleries and natural surroundings. Kochi is the gateway of Kerala and also known as the ‘Queen of Arabian Sea” draws innumerable visitors every year. Kerala is also the home to scenic hill station- Munnar situated in the South-west of Kerala which is famous for tea plantations, waterfalls, resorts, National parks and adventure activities like rock climbing, bicycle riding and boating. Other important attractions worth visiting are the beaches of Kannur, Kovalam, Kozhikode, Thirumullavaram, Fort Kochi, etc. Moreover, there are also places like Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Mattancherry Palace, Padmanabhapuram Palace, Athirappilly falls, etc which draws maximum tourists. Kerala has a lot to offer its visitors with backwaters, Kerala architecture, festivals, art forms and ayurvedic health vacations which provides a good experience when one visits this God’s own country.
Kerala is the home to ancient ritual sports like Kalaripayattu, Theyyam and Poorakkali. Modern sports like Football hold eminent position in sports of this State. Kerala Premier League is the most popular football club here followed by the IPL Cricket team – Kerala Blasters which is owned by the Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and Businessman Prasad V Potluri. Other popular sports followed by are Cricket, Hockey, Kabbadi and Badminton. Kerala is also the home to Indian International footballers such as I. M. Vijayan, V. P. Sathyan, C. V. Pappachan and C. A. Liston. Legendary Hockey Team Captain Patmasree P R Sreejesh is from Kerala. International Cricketer Shanthakumaran Sreesantha also hails from Kerala.
Kerala has 145,704 kilometers of road having state and national highways. NH-544 connects Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The Kerala State Transport offers public transport for commuting to various places of the State. Kerala is well-connected via Southern Railway – a part of Indian Railways connecting rest part of India with the State’s major towns and cities. Thiruvananthapuram Central (TVC) is the largest railway station in the state. Kerala has three international airports: Trivandrum International Airport, Cochin International Airport and Calicut International Airport which offers daily domestic and international flights to other cities of India and rest part of the World. Kerala has one major port, 17 minor ports, few mini ports and numerous backwaters which are useful for commercial inland navigation. Transport services are mainly provided by country craft and passenger vessels.
The cultural composition of Kerala has a blend of Aryan and Dravidian cultures. Around 10,000 festivals are celebrated in the state every year. Religious activities are decided on the basis of the Malayalam calendar- a solar calendar which was started from 825 CE and followed till today. Kerala is known for its temple festivals and well-known temples organize these festivals such as Thrissur Pooram, Makaravilakku, Nenmara Vallangi Vela, etc. The main harvest festival celebrated here is Onam which falls on the Malayalam month of Chingam (August–September). Kerala is home to a number of performance arts which includes five classical dance forms: Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Koodiyattom, Thullal and Krishnanattam. The main language spoken here are Malayalam.
Kerala is the most literate Indian State and in January 2016, Kerala became the first Indian state to achieve 100% primary education through its literacy programme Athulyam. Some of the best educational institutes of Kerala are Central University of Kerala, Indian Maritime University, APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kannur University, Kerala Agricultural University, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala University of Health Sciences, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Mahatma Gandhi University, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University, University of Kerala, University of Calicut, National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Lancon Institute of Cyber Security (LICS), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (Thiruvananthapuram), Indian Institute of Technology (Palakkad), National Institute of Technology (Kozhikode), etc.
Hospitals and Health care
Kerala is considered healthier than many States of United States of America. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have selected Kerala to be the world’s first “baby-friendly state” because of its effective promotion of breast-feeding over formulas. In 2014, Kerala became the first state in India to offer free cancer treatment to the poor through a program called Sukrutham. Some of the best hospitals of this State are Aster Medcity Hospital (Kochi), Holy Cross Super-Specialty Hospital (Kottiyam), Kerala Institute of Medical Science (Thiruvananthapuram), etc.