Kerala, God’s own country. We all hear about the beautiful state as being filled with rivers and coconut trees all around. But how well do we know the state? Located near the Western Ghats in the East and the Arabian Sea in West, the state of Kerala is interconnected with around 44 rivers and is a most sought tourist destination in India. The geographical features blessing with serene beaches, backwaters, lush green hill stations, and wildlife around also make the state attractive to tourists. Further, it is also known for several other unique features such as ayurvedic medicine, spices, and festivals. This is the state where one can find everything at a go. Besides, forget not the flag bearer of culture with rich past and massive progress in the present. Given the natural advantages and green locations all around the state, they also excel in development with hundred percent literacy, good health care systems, and education to primary school, lowest infant mortality and highest life expectancy.
Let us know more about the state here.
Geography of Kerala
There are three geographical locations in the state. There is Highlands which go into the Western Ghats onto hills and valleys along with 580km long coastline and backwaters. Further, there are wild lands with dense forests and tea/coffee plantations along with cultivation. Given these, the state is blessed and dense with rich greenery and gives you the peaceful experience what you wait for in life!
The Population in Kerala are known as Malayalees who speak their language Malayalam. They are in the majority in the state. It is said that Malayalam is Dravidian language and they are driven around 2000 BCE when Aryans came into sub-continent of India. Hence there are still castes in Kerala called Nambudiri who are elements of these Aryan and Indian ancestry. Most of them follow Hinduism, and one fourth are Muslims. The Malabar Coast in Kerala has the highest Muslim population. Christians also account for about one-fifth of the population.
Major cities in Kerala
Each and every location in Kerala is eye-catching and luring due to lush green surroundings and beautiful backwaters with coconut trees around. However, major economy and commerce are located in the five major cities in the state namely Thiruvananthapuram (capital city), Kollam, Kochi (or Cochin), Kozhikode (or Calicut) and Thrissur.
History of the state
The history of Kerala can be located back with commerce and trade of spices developing back from ancient times. The traders and travelers have known this state as Spice Coast of India, and hence those from Greece, Rome, Arab, Portugal, Dutch, France, and Britain used to trade spices from the state. They left their imprints back in the state and hence Kerala developed their own way to connect with the rest of the globe.
Kerala is well known to have an equable climate all around the year. It is tropical land in general, and hence one can be in peace to visit at ease. The monsoons arrive early from June to September and October to November. Further, the summer is from March to May. Winter is generally pleasant with a slight drop in temperature. The pleasant climate welcomes typically guests from all across the country all year.
Economy of Kerala
Agriculture and fishing
Agriculture is the major economic source of the state. There are several commercial plantations in thestate and half of total land earn good foreign exchange as well. There was never a need for importation of food for local purposes of consumption. The principal crops here are rubber, tea, and coffee along with cardamom, cashew, ginger, coconut, and pepper. Further, the food crops include tapioca, sorghum, and pulses along with rice.
The forests in the state yield rosewood, teak, and ebony. Bamboo is also supplied for industrial purposes along with gums and charcoal. The state also is one of the leaders in fish production. Prawns, tunas, and sardines are principal seafood here.
Kerala state is well established with minerals like limestone, iron ore, bauxite, and kaolin. Further, there are also deposits of ilmenite and rutile well enough. There are also two dozen hydroelectric stations around the state with several thermal plants which supply good energy. There is a wealth of renewable resources in the state for power generation. However little electricity is imported to the state in the last few years.
Manufacturing and services
Manufacturing and services are also well known to contribute to the economy of Kerala. The cottage industries such as coconut fiber, weaving, cashew processing have a lot of workers employed in these sectors. There are also several large scale industries for food processing and manufacturing like fertilizers, chemicals, titanium, aluminum, plywood, ceramics, and synthetic fabrics. The service sector further includes banking, finance and related services. The unemployment rate in the state is very acute.
Transportation in the state
There is well connected and developed road and rail networks all around the state. The national highways are connected with neighboring states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. There is also a major fort in Kochi (or Cochin) and also ports in Calicut, Alappuzha, and Neendakara. These forts are known to handle coastal traffic as well. There are shipyard and oil refinement services in Cochin port which also serves as district headquarters and regional headquarters for Navy. There are also inland waterways to carry bulk freight from ports.
There are huge interactions between communities in the state. Several temples to churches exist in the state which portrays rich architecture and cultural heritage extensively. Some of the churches also exist from the time of Portuguese ancient history era. Kerala art forms and paintings on wood, murals, and lamps are also well known in the state. Their dance, Kathakali is well known classical martial art dance where male portrays both male and female characters.
Coming to their festivals, we all heard of famous Onam celebration and boat races which are a well-known celebration in the state. They celebrate with grandeur without partiality from any religion or community. Every community and caste group have their own way and unique celebration practice for the festival. Every religion lives in peace and harmony with each other.
Development and Progress
Kerala is well known to be progressive states in the country with high quality and standard of life along with social welfare aspects. It boosts as the highest literacy rate in India along with highest life expectancy and least child mortality rates. The women to men ratio are also high in the state. The life expectancy is around 75 years on average as compared to the national average of 64 yrs.
All the schools in Kerala are affiliated to CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) or ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) or KSEB (Kerala State Education Board). By January 2016, the state of Kerala also achieved a hundred percent primary education through its wide literacy programs including Athulyam. Further, there are good industrial training institutes, colleges, and universities.
No wonder, given the scenic beauty, charming backwaters, serene beaches, and gorgeous plantation sites, Kerala is known to be as God’s own country. Given this, there are also several indicators which the state has crossed in terms of economic and social development. Kerala indeed is an all-rounder and surely will take your breathe away.