Kerala, famously known as God’s own country is a South Indian state on the Malabar Coast. The capital of Kerala is Thiruvananthapuram, which is also the largest city in the state. The state is rich and abundant in its natural beauty. The place is filled with vacation spots and tourism is one of the major industries here. Kerala is also popularly nicknamed as ‘Spice Garden of India‘ and ‘Land of Coconuts‘. The population of Kerala is 33,387,677 as per the latest census and it ranks 13th among the most populous states in India. If you desire to know about Kerala in depth, this is probably the best travel guide for you.
History of Kerala – The Formation
As per the Kerala history and its ancient mythology, the land where Kerala stands today was discovered by the sixth avatar of Vishnu, Parasurama. It is also said that a big chunk of land belonging to Kerala was under the sea in the past era. Since the state produces spices in huge numbers, it also became a hub for trade in the colonial era. Kerala was formed on 1st November 1956, just a few years after India got its independence.
Geography of Kerala
Geographically, the state of Kerala lies in midst of the magnanimous Western Ghats and the beautiful Lakshadweep Sea. It has a long coast which spans across 590 kms. The eastern part of Kerala is packed with high-rise mountains and valleys. The western region of Kerala comprises of various canals, lakes and rivers which are also famously referred to as Kerala Backwaters. These backwaters give a major impetus to Kerala Tourism.
Biodiversity of Kerala
Kerala boasts of a rich biodiversity, thanks to the presence of Western Ghats. More than 25% of India’s plant species are in Kerala. Also, until 18th century, three quarters of lands in the state were occupied by thick forests. This ratio has decreased ever since but still, around 24% of Kerala is well forested even now. As for the animals, there are 118 species of mammals, 500 species of birds, 189 species of fishes and 173 species of reptiles. The extremely abundant flora and fauna ensures that tourism in Kerala always stays fascinating.
Climatic Conditions of Kerala
Due to its location, Kerala has a humid equatorial tropic climate. It rains for around 120-140 days every year and thus the state has a maritime tropical climate on most days. The months of monsoon between June and August are probably the best time to visit Kerala if you are planning for a full fledged tour. Another reason for visiting Kerala in monsoons is that the famous Ayurveda treatment and rejuvenation programmes are perfectly executed in this season. The climate is pleasant and windy throughout the year. A lot of credit for the excellent tourism ecosystem of Kerala goes to its amazing weather.
It is rightfully believed that India’s culture is deeply imbibed from Kerala. The culture here is composite and cosmopolitan. The Aryans and Dravidians have majorly influenced the present day rituals which the Malayali people have carried forward gracefully. Kerala has a unique approach to things such as art, architecture and literature among others. A solar calendar, popularly known as the Malayalam Calendar was initiated in the year 825 CE in Kerala and it still holds relevance in planning agricultural and religious activities.
Interesting Facts about Kerala
- There are 44 rivers in Kerala, out of which 41 flows west and only 3 flow east.
- Kerala has five major folk dance forms: Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Koodiyattom, Thullal and Krishnanattam.
- State tree of Kerala is Coconut.
- State animal of Kerala is Elephant.
- State bird of Kerala is Great hornbill.
Kerala Tourism: The Best Tourist Attractions
Kerala is home to some of the best tourist places in India. Its marvelous scenic beauty coupled with serene temples and man made monuments are totally astonishing. Let’s have a look at some of the places you must visit and things you must do while your stay in Kerala. The list of below things will ensure that you have an amazing time in the state.
- Temples: The temples in Kerala are an architectural bliss. They are one of the reasons why the state is known as the Land of Gods. Most of them are located in villages in midst of nature. Some of the most popular temples in Kerala include Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Temple, Chhotanikara Temple and many others. Newly married couples usually visit these temples to seek blessings and they also get to explore other romantic places in Kerala.
- Adventurous Activities: There are many types of adventure activities in Kerala including paragliding, hiking, rafting among others. Multiple trekking places in the state allow you to go for a quick hike with your friends and family.You will also find that water sport activities are very famous here, give it a try if you love such activities.Scuba diving is a popular activity for adrenaline junkies visiting Kerala. Indulge in a plethora of recreational activities to beat your stress.
- Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks: If you are an animal lover, the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Kerala has a lot to offer you. Choose through many wonderful places filled with exotic animals and birds. The most famous parks and sanctuaries in Kerala are Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Eravikulam National Park, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary and many others. Elephants are a part of Kerala’s culture and probably every National Park has a bunch of them.
- Sightseeing: With all the lovely sceneries and natural beauty in Kerala, you will surely get amazed by the extra-ordinary locations. Choose to visit all the popular spots in Kerala by hiring a good travel guide. Some of the must visit places include Kochi, Munnar, Thiruvananthapuram among other great tourist cities. Along with several vacation spots, there are gorgeous beaches in the state where you will love to spend time. You can also explore various haunted places which are unheard in Kerala.
There are top notch hotels and resorts which you can choose for your stay in Kerala. Most of the resorts will offer you a soothing spa or massage parlors to help you relax. Visit the amazing Kerala tourist places and make the most out of your tour.This beautiful blend of places, people and culture is what makes the country known as Incredible India.
People of Kerala
People of Kerala are generous and quite friendly in nature. The literacy rate of Kerala is 93.91% which is highest in India. Along with literacy, several other metrics such as population growth rate, life expectancy and sex ratio are also the highest in India. This shows how well educated and thoughtful the people of Kerala are. The regional language of Kerala is Malayalam, which is also its official language.
Kerala has a delicious culinary lineup of different food items which belong to both, vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. Since Kerala is famous for its spices, most of the food items there have an exemplary blend of spices which make the food taste heavenly. South Indian breakfast is famous throughout India and in major parts of the globe. Rice is a major staple which people of Kerala prefer in their daily meals. Seafood is also among the favorites of locals as well as tourists visiting Kerala.
Major Festivals in Kerala
Kerala is very popular for its festivals which are held throughout the year. Onam is a major festival which is celebrated throughout the country (mainly in Kerala) by Malayali people. Some of the other popular festivals in Kerala include Thrissur Pooram, Makaravilakku, Utsavam and others. Most of the festivals include a nicely decorated Elephant as part of the festivities.
Popular Fairs in Kerala
Just like its festivals, the fairs organized in Kerala receive a massive footfall and are arranged in a grand way. If you are visiting Kerala, plan your trip on dates which are scheduled for the popular fairs. You will enjoy the local traditional fairs along with all the beautiful holiday destinations in the state. Boat races are quite popular in Kerala too, it’s an amazing experienceto witness a boat race in the pristine lakes and rivers of Kerala.
Clothing Trends in Kerala
People of Kerala usually have an understated approach to fashion and choose to be simple in terms of their clothing. The traditional dresses of Kerala belong to an ancient culture and are still followed by majority of people. For men, the traditional costume is a simple white dhoti or lungi. The traditional dress for women in Kerala is known as Mundum Neriyathum. Women usually prefer sarees, even for special occasions and festivals.
Kerala’s present scenario is as good as it always was. Probably every aspect in the state is on an uphill path. Agriculture is among the major industries in Kerala.The booming demand of spices in international market is making Kerala a huge economy booster for India. Availability of jobs is also at an all time high which is a sign of progress. The high literacy rate of Kerala is a testimony to the world class colleges and university level educational institutions in the state. Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram is quickly becoming a major hub for entrepreneurial ventures.
Indian tourism has surely been at the receiving end of huge appreciation from tourists who visit Kerala. The government is taking commendable efforts in making tourists feel at home while they are in Kerala. Among all the beautiful places to visit in Kerala and its hospitable people, you will have an experience of a lifetime in the state.
Districts of Kerala