About Kerala

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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 of India.

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

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Area - 38,866 Sq.Km   |   Districts - 14   |    Talukas - 63   |   Panchayats - 991  |   Corporations - 3    |    Municipalities -54 (incuding townships)    |    Rivers - 44 Nos. 41 West flowing and 3 East flowing.   |    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


Demographics

More than 95% of the people in Kerala speak Malayalam.
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 India.

Politics

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.

Arts:

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.

 

Economy

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.

 

Social scene

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.

 

Geography

 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.

 

Tourism

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.

 

Kerala Occupation:

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 textile processing

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