Kerala Information

Kerala is a small state situated on the South West coast of India.  It is only around 550km long and 120km wide.  It is bordered by land on three sides and by Arabian sea on the west.  Kerala shares its borders by land on three sides and by Arabian Sea on the west.  Kerala shares its borders with Karnataka in the north and North East and with Tamil Nadu in the East and South.  Its geographical position between the Arabian Sea and the western Ghats has protected it from invaders and given it a distinct identity of its own. 

Kerala is divided into three geographical regions.  The highlands, the midlands and the coastal areas.  The Highlands slope down from the Western Ghats.  This is the area of major plantations like tea, coffee, rubber and various spices.  The midlands lie between the mountains and the lowlands are made up of undulating hills and valleys.

This is an area of intensive cultivation cashew, coconut, areca nut, tapioca banana and vegetables of different varieties are grown in this area.  The coastal area is made up of numerous shallow lagoons, river, deltas, backwaters and the shores of the Arabian sea.

Even though Kerala is a small state, 44 rivers watr the land of which 41 are west flowing and 3 flows eastward.  Kerala is also bestowed with number of lakes and backwater lagoons which add to the beauty of the land.  This history of Kerala goes back to ancient times and much of its cloaked in myths and legends.  What is known though is trade flourished here as early as 3000 BC.  In fact muziris also known as kodungaloor or cranganore was repeated to be the world’s greatest trading centre in the east.  Around the first century AD, Jewish immigrants arrived here and St Thomas the Apostle also bought Christianity to these shores around that time.  Later, Islam was brought to Kerala by Arab traders, between the 6thand 8th century AD.

Till around the 5th century AD Kerala was controlled by the eastern Pandya, Chola and Chera dynasties.  The period between 800AD and 1100AD is known as the period of second Chera Empire.  With the break down of the Chera Expire, the next phase of Kerala history began.  This was the period of the provincial rulers were confined to small areas but they frequently fought each other for domination.

The Portuguese arrived in 1498 and dominated trade in the region until the arrival of the Dutch, in the 17th century.  King Marthandavarma of the kingdom of Travancore defeated the Dutch and expanded the boundaries of his kingdom however by 19806 both Travancore and Cochin became subject states under British control.  At the time of India’s independence in 1947 there were three separate territories in the region that in now Kerala.  They were Malabar, Cochin and Travancore merged and later Malabar was added and the new state of Kerala was born on November 1st 1956.

Kalaripayattu

Kalaripayattu is an ancient martial art of Kerala.  It is perhaps the mouth ancient and most scientific and all martial arts systems and is taught in centre known as Kalaris that are also places of religious worship.
Capital
The capita of Kerala is Thiruvananthapuram.
District
There are 14 districts in their state.
Principal language The language spoken by this people are Malayalam.
State Bird
Great Horn Bill is this state’s bird.
State Animal
Indian elephant is this state’s animal.
State flower
This stat’s flower is Golden shower tree.

Kathakali

Kathakali is one of the oldest forms of theatre, is a blend of dance, music and acting.  It dramatizes stores, which are mostly adapted from the epics.  The dancer expresses himself through hand gestures and facial expression kathakali means story play and this dance form full of vigour and passion also known as the king of the performing arts in India.

Kerala is known as God’s own country for its stunning natural beauty pleasant climate, unique culture and its streamlined infrastructure the phrase was coined in the 1980’s to launch a tourism intiative that was so successful that it transformed the state from a relatively unknown tourist destination into one of the most preferred holiday destinations in the world! from sun kissed beaches to cloud shrouded peaks from wild life sanctuaries to breath taking festivals Kerala has its all in the blessed abundance that makes it truly God’s own country.

Kerala takes pride in its rich heritage and cultural heritage.  It has a precious legacy handed down by different races, religions and communities and it represents the collective achievement of the people in the fields of music and dance, religion and philosophy, language and literature, art and architecture.  Kathakali is a 300 year old dance form that combines the elements of opera, ballet, masque and pantomime some of the other unique dance forms are Krishnanattam, Koodiyattom Mohiniyattom, Thullal, Oppana and Charittunatakam.

The traditional music of Kerala is sopanam, which is also used as a background socre during Kathakali performances.  The influence of carnatic music started from the 19th century.  When the king of Travancore, Swatgu Thirunal Ramavarma popularized it other than sopanam, Melam is widely performed in the temples across the state during the temple festivals.

Kerala is renowned for its carvings in rosewood and sandalwood.  The state boasts of an abounding tradition of artists.  The traditional Kerala murals display a distinct style and colour code dominated by orches and green.  The festivals celebrated with dance, music and passion is also a sign of the culture. Onam is one of the major festivals of the state and a time for thanks giving with sumptuous feasts, boat races and other sports.