(Last Updated on : 17/11/2015)
Kerala is located in the south-west region of India on the Malabar Coast
. Its capital is Thiruvananthapuram
, which is also its largest city. The commercial capital of the state is Kochi
. The name Kerala is derived from the Sanskrit
word "Keralam", which means 'the land added on' (with reference to its mythological origin). Another theory states that the name Kerala or Keralam is derived from two words kera and alam. Kera means coconut palm tree
and alam means 'land of' or 'abode of'. Therefore the word Keralam means the land of coconuts. The natives of Kerala are called as Keralites.
History of Kerala
The ancient Keralite legend claims that Kerala originated when Parasurama
, Incarnation of Vishnu, threw his battle-axe into the sea. So, it is believed that Kerala originated from the waters. The first evidence of habitation in Kerala could be traced back to 10th century BC. The ancient inhabitants spoke Tamil language
, bringing forth the evidence that Kerala and Tamil Nadu once shared a common language, culture and ethnicity. It was only in the 14th century that Kerala became a distinct region. The first kingdom that ruled Kerala was the Chera Dynasty
Geography of Kerala
Kerala is situated between 8 degree 18 minutes and 12 degree 48 minutes north latitude and between 74 degrees 52 minutes and 72 degrees 22 minutes east longitude. This beautiful land is located at the southwest tip of India. Kerala is bounded by Arabian Sea
on the West, Karnataka
on the North, and Tamil Nadu
on the East. Kerala stretches 550 km along India's southwest coast. It covers a total area of 38,863 sq km. On the coastal belts are situated the world famous back waters. The climate of Kerala is tropical and it experiences four major climatic seasons - winter, summer, South West Monsoon and North East Monsoon.
Demography of Kerala
The population growth of Kerala is far lower than the national average. The people of Kerala are called Malayali
. The official language of the people is Malayalam
language and is spoken by majority of the people. According to Census 2011 Kerala's population is 3, 33, 87,677 persons which included 16,021,290 males and 17,366,387 females. The population density of the state is about 859 people per square kilometres, three times the national average. Kerala, with a sex-ratio (females per 1000 males) of 1084, is the only state in India with a positive figure.
Culture of Kerala
Culture of Kerala is diversified. The major dances of Kerala are Kathakali
. The folk art forms include Theyyam
, Thira, Mudiyettu dance
, Kaduvakali, Velakali, Kakkarissi Natakam, Chavittunadakam, Margamkali, Kolkali dance, Parichamuttukali, Bhadrakali Pattu, Pulluvanpattu and Thiruvathirakali.
The performing arts of Kerala like Kathakali
have a great following in the West.
is the comprehensive system of the marital arts of Kerala. Several festivals are also celebrated in Kerala. Onam
, Vishu Festival, Thrissur
Pooram Festival, Payippad Jelotsavam festival, Attukal Pongala festival are some of the major festivals of the state. Culture of Kerala is heavily influenced by the different prominent religions and also by the tribal traditions. Marumakkathayam and the joint family system are important customs of Kerala. Marumakkathayam is the Matrilineal form of society
Education in Kerala
Even before independence, Kerala had been in the forefront in the matter of literacy and it retains this rank even now. Today Kerala is the most literate state in India. As per 2011 Census, literacy rate of Kerala is 93.91 percent, in which female literacy rate is 91.98 percent and male literacy rate is 96.02 percent. The major Universities of Kerala are University of Kerala
, Mahatma Gandhi University
and the University of Calicut
Administration of Kerala
Kerala have Unicameral Legislature. The state has 991 Gram Panchayats
, 152 Block Panchayats, 14 Districts, 53 Municipalities, 21 Revenue Divisions, 1453 Revenue villages and five Corporations. The district administration is carried out by the various departments of the state government.
Economy of Kerala
The economy of Kerala is mainly dominated by agriculture. However, Kerala lags behind other Indian states in terms of per capita income and economic productivity. Other spheres of economy of Kerala are animal husbandry, tourism, fisheries and forestry. Moreover, some traditional cottage industries like handloom also contribute to the economy of Kerala.
Tourism in Kerala
There are several attractive tourist spots in Kerala. Largely deserted, these beautiful sand-strips are ideal for surfers and sun-worshippers. Backwaters, temples, hills and wildlife sanctuaries are some of the main tourist attractions offered by Kerala. Further, specialised Ayurveda
resorts in Kerala offers the traveller the opportunity to calm strained nerves and feel refreshing. Kerala is a land of indescribable charm.