KERALA - GODS OWN
the Lakshwadeep Sea and the Western Ghats,
Kerala is a bustling
little green-and-silver, coconuts-and-water state on the
west coast of India.
It is bounded by Karnataka to the north,
Tamil Nadu to the
east, and the Arabian Sea to the west. Thiruvananthapuram is its capital.
Every district in
Kerala has it's own unique culture and characteristics.
is known for it's beach- Kovalam, the Sri Padmanabhaswamy
Temple and various
museums and palaces; Alappuzha for it's backwaters,
Thrissur, the cultural
capital, Kottayam for it's ancient churches,
Kozhikode for it's
old world charm and the entrancing Ponmudi or Golden valley.
Capital of Kerala:Though
a bit of a tongue-twister,
- the present official name, is closer to it's mythological origins.
The word ' Thiru
ananthapuram' means the city of Anantha or the abode of the
serpent Anantha, who forms the couch on which
reclines Lord Vishnu,
the preserver in the Hindu trinity.
Built on seven hills,
it was the capital of the Venad chieftains.
The city has grown
as a tourist and commercial centre, with the International
the main gateway into Kerala. Being the
state capital, it
also throbs with political activity.
History of Kerala:
Original inhabitants were animists, followed by the
Alexander's triumphant sweep over Asia Minor,
the ports of Kerala
became a link between the Middle East, the Mediterranean and China.
In 1498, Vasco da
Gama made his historic landing on the Malabar Coast. In
1723, the East India
Company signed a strategic treaty with King Marthanda
Varma. For a few
decades, Hyder Ali and his son -Tipu sultan proved to be a
thorn in the flesh
of the British, sweeping down several times into
Kerala. In 1947,
it was the turn of the British to pack their bags.
Calculator in India
The People: Kerala
also has considerable ethnic diversity.
The Malayali majority
belong to the Dravidian group (local race) of early Indian peoples.
There is a small
population of descendants of Indo-European migrants from the north.
Certain hill tribes
exhibit affinities with the Negrito peoples of Southeast Asia.
Most Keralites are
Hindus, but there are also large
Christian and Islamic,
and lesser Jain and Jewish, minorities.
The official language
is Malayalam. A long contact with the outside world has
led to an intriguing
blend of cultures and given Keralites a cosmopolitan outlook
Culture of Kerala:
One aspect of the state's rich cultural heritage is
manifest in its
varieties of religious architecture: ancient Hindu temples with
later Islamic mosques with "Malabar gables,"
and colonial Portuguese
especially murals, exhibit distinct local traditions and styles.
The land is a flourishing
center of the Kathakali dance form. The state has also
a rich theatre tradition:
the only surviving Sanskrit drama, Koottiyattam,
is still performed
by the Chakkiars of Kerala. Some principles
of the Natya-Shastra
are evident in their presentations.
Occupation in Kerala:
Agriculture is the state's main economic activity.
Plantations of cardamom,
cashew nut, coconuts, coffee, ginger,
and tea account for 40 percent of the total land.
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
engaged in food and textile processing.
CLIMATE IN KERALA:
The climate is equable and varies little from season to season.
normally ranges between 27º and 32º C in the plains
but drops to about
21º C in the highlands.
Winter - 32 to 20
º C. Kerala is strongly buffeted by both the southwest and
Rainfall in many parts of the state exceeds
118 inches. Best
season: October to March.
POPULATION OF KERELA:
Festivals of Kerala:
10-day annual festival in January at Sreekandeswaram Temple,
In February, is the week-long Nishagandhi Dance festival;
in Thrissur around April-May; Flavor Food Festival, at the
grounds, Thiruvananthapuram in May.
Onam Week celebrations,
the annual harvest festival of Kerala begins in
August and lasts
for 10 days. Another important festival is the annual
to which only women are allowed at the Attukal Bhagavathy
Therayattam festival is held to propitiate the
gods and demons
recognized by the pantheon of the Malayalis.
Tourist Offices in
Centre In front of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation
hotel, Thiruvananthapuram, near Rly stn.
Centre Museum Rd, Thiruvananthapuram, opp. Museum and zoo