The State of Kerala
was formed by the amalgamation of three regions: the
Kingdom of Thiruvithamcoore (Travancore), the Kingdom of
Kochi (Cochin), and the Province of Malabar.
Thiruvithaamcoore and Kochi, former princely states, were
merged to form Thiru-Kochi on July 1, 1949. Malabar was
merged with Thiru-Kochi to form the State of Kerala on
November 1, 1956, based on the recommendations of the
State Reorganisation Commission set up by the Government
Kerala is divided into 14 districts. They are
(from north to south) Kasargod, Kannur (Cannanore),
Wayanad (Wynad), Kozhikode (Calicut), Malappuram, Palakkad
(Palghat), Thrissur (Trichur), Ernakulam, Idukki,
Alappuzha (Alleppey), Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Kollam (Quilon)
and Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)
Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of the state.
Kozhikode and Kochi are the other major cities in Keralam
Area - 38,866 Sq.Km |
Districts - 14
- 63 |
Panchayats - 991 |
Corporations - 3 |
-54 (incuding townships) |
Rivers - 44 Nos. 41 West flowing and 3 East
Longest River - Bharathapuzha (251.1 Km)
Highest Mountain - Anamudi (2652.3 Metres)
Climate - Summer - 35 to 22.5 degrees C
Winter - 32 to 20 degrees |
C M.L.A's - 141 M.P's (Lok Sabha) -
20 M.P's (Rajya Sabha) - 9
More than 95% of the people in Kerala speak
The major religions followed in Kerala are
Hinduism (58%), Islam (21%), and Christianity
(21%). Kerala also has a tiny Jewish population,
said to date from 587 BC when they fled the
occupation of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. The
state has many famous temples, churches, and
mosques. The synagogue in Kochi is the oldest in
Kerala gained the distinction, in 1957, of having
the first democratically elected Communist
government anywhere in the world. Kerala has a
reputation as being one of the most left-wing
states in India. People of Kerala are very
politically aware and are more active participants
in the political process than those in the rest of
the country.Today the political life of Kerala is
dominated by two alliances, the United Democratic
Front (led by the Indian National Congress) and
the Left Democratic Front (led by CPI(M)).
Currently UDF controls the government.
Kerala has a rich tradition in the arts, both
classical and folk. In addition to the classical
upper-caste art forms like Koodiyattom (UNESCO
Human Heritage Art), Kathakali, Mohiniyaattam
and Thullal, Kerala has several folk art forms
performed by non-upper-castes in various regions
of the state. Both classical and folk art forms
have become artefacts of the past as
contemporary art forms weave their own identity
according to changing needs. Mimicry and parody
have gained considerable mass appeal in recent
years. Though sometimes risque and often
politically incorrect, these devices are used by
artists to mock social luminaries. Malayalam
Cinema is another mode of artistic expression,
and films from Kerala are very distinct from
films made in Bollywood or Hollywood.
Kerala's economy can be best described as a
socialistic welfare economy.
However, Kerala's emphasis on social welfare also
resulted in slow economic progress. There are few
major industries in Kerala, and the per capita GDP
is lower than the national average of 360 USD per
year (199-. Remittances from Keralites working
abroad, mainly in the Middle East, make up over 60%
of the state's GDP.
Agriculture is the most important economic activity.
Coconut, tea and coffee are grown extensively, along
with rubber, cashew and spices. Spices commonly
cultivated in Kerala include pepper, cardamom,
vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Kerala ranks highest in India with respect to social
development indices such as primary education and
healthcare. Kerala was declared the world's first
"baby-friendly state" under WHO-UNICEF's Baby Friendly
Hospital initiative. The state is known for Ayurveda, a
traditional system of medicine which has found a new
market in the growing tourist industry. The literacy
rate in Kerala is the highest among Indian states, but
so is the unemployment rate. Education and early
influences of Arabs and Portuguese have also made Kerala
one of the most secular states in India. Ironically,
Kerala is also noted as the state with the highest
suicide rate in India. Kerala has an ancient solar
calendar called the Malayalam calendar which is used by
various communities primarily for religious functions.
Kerala has its own form of martial art, kalarippayattu.
Theyyam and Poorakkali are popular ritual arts of North
Malabar, the northern part of Kerala.
Kerala occupies a narrow strip of India's
southwestern coast. It is bounded by the Arabian Sea
on the west and the Western Ghats on the east. The
states of Karnataka in the north and Tamil Nadu in
the east are Kerala's immediate neighbours. Mahe, a
part of the union territory of Pondicherry, is an
enclave within Kerala.
Kerala is a popular tourist destination for both domestic
and foreign travellers. Among the tourist attractions are
great beaches (Kovalam and Varkala), serene hill stations
(Ponmudi and Munnar), wildlife sanctuaries (Periyar and
Eravikulam) and beautiful backwaters (Kumarakom and
Punnamada), sandy beaches with lagoons and floating
houses(Pozhiyoor andPoovar). The tourism department of the
state calls it God's Own Country. National Geographic
Society described Kerala as one of the 50 must-see
destinations of a lifetime.Kochi, the commercial capital
of the state is considered as the Queen of the Arabian
Sea, Alapuzha, the first planned town in Kerala is also
known as the Venice of the East. Tourism plays an
important role in the state's economy.
Agriculture is the state's main economic activity.
Plantations of cardamom, cashew nut, coconuts, coffee,
ginger, pepper, rubber, and tea account for 40 percent of
the total land.
Commercial poultry farming is well developed. Cottage
industries--for example, the processing of coconut fibre
and cashews or weaving--employ about three-fifths of
Kerala's industrial workers. Most of those employed by
larger industrial enterprises are engaged in food and