Until the early 1980s, Kerala had been a hitherto unknown destination, with most tourism circuits concentrated around the north of the country.
Kerala became a linguistically separate region by the early fourteenth century.
During Neolithic times, humans largely avoided Kerala's rain forests and wetlands.
Native performing arts include koodiyattom, kathakali – from katha ("story") and kali ("performance") – and its offshoot Kerala natanam, koothu (akin to stand-up comedy), mohiniaattam ("dance of the enchantress"), thullal, padayani, and theyyam.
Kerala's culture blends of Dravidian and Aryan influences, deriving from both a greater Tamil-heritage region known as Tamilakam and southern coastal Karnataka.
Trivandrum Medical College, Kerala's premier health institute, stands as one of the finest in the country, currently undergoing an upgrade in status to an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Kerala's rivers, small and lacking deltas, find themselves prone to environmental factors.
The 3.18 crore (31.8 million) of Kerala’s compound population has predominantly Malayali Dravidian ethnicity, while the rest belong mostly to Indo-Aryan, Jewish, and Arab elements in both culture and ancestry (usually mixed).
Roads in Beijing often are in one of the four compass directions.
Traffic in Kerala has been growing at a rate of 10–11 percent every year, resulting in high traffic and pressure on the roads.
Geologically, pre-Cambrian and Pleistocene formations compose the bulk of Kerala’s terrain.
Some 600 varieties of rice (Kerala's most important staple food and cereal crop) harvest from 3105.21 kmІ (a decline from 5883.4 kmІ in 1990) of paddy fields; 688,859 tons per annum.
Kerala's visual arts range from traditional murals to the works of Raja Ravi Varma, the state's most renowned painter.
Kerala's road density measures nearly four times the national average, reflecting the state's high population density.
The place where the axe landed he named Kerala.
Later, figures such as Katyayana, Patanjali, Pliny the Elder, and the unknown author of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea displayed familiarity with Kerala.
The ancient Cherans, who spoke Tamil as their mother tongue and court language, ruled Kerala from their capital at Vanchi, the first major recorded kingdom.
The life expectancy of the people of Kerala reached 68 years as per 1991 census.
Two national highways, NH 47, and NH 17, provide access to most of Kerala's west coast.
Linguist widely dispute the etymology of Kerala, casting the issue into the realm of conjecture.
by speakers of Proto-South Dravidian, the Maurya Empire influenced Kerala.
Subjected to extensive clearing for cultivation in the twentieth century, much of Kerala's forest cover has been protected from clearfelling.
Kerala has the lowest rate of population growth in India, and Kerala's decadal growth (9.42 percent in 2001) numbers less than half the all-India average of 21.34 percent.
Kerala is one of the four states of South India.
Kerala’s coast runs for some 580 km (360 miles), while the state itself varies between 35 and 120 km (22–75 miles) in width.
A survey conducted in 2005 by Transparency International ranked Kerala as the least corrupt state in the country.
Lake Vembanad—Kerala’s largest body of water—dominates the Backwaters; it lies between Alappuzha and Kochi, expanding more than 200 kmІ in area.
Kerala has 145,704 kilometers (90,538.7 mi) of roads (4.2 percent of India's total).
In written records, the Sanskrit epic Aitareya Aranyaka first mentioned Kerala.
Kerala's per capita GDP of 11,819 INR ranks significantly higher than the all India average, although it still lies far below the world average.
Kerala's morbidity rate stands higher than that of any other Indian state—118 (rural Keralites) and 88 (urban) per 1000 people.
Here, sonokeling (Indian rosewood), anjili, mullumurikku (Erythrina), and Cassia number among the more than 1000 species of trees in Kerala.
Around 1.8 lakh (180,000) small-scale industries employ around 909,859 Keralites, while some 511 medium and large scale manufacturing firms headquarter in Kerala.
Around 8 percent of India's waterways (measured by length) exist in Kerala.
Nearly half of Kerala's people are dependent on agriculture alone for income.
Kerala has 3.44 percent of India's population; at 819 persons per kmІ, it has three times the density as the rest of India.
That apparent paradox—high human development and low economic development—has been dubbed the Kerala phenomenon or the Kerala model of development, and arises mainly from Kerala's strong service sector.
Kerala's human development indices—elimination of poverty, primary level education, and health care—rate among the best in India.
Selected towns and cities offer broadband internet provided by the state-run Kerala Telecommunications (run by BSNL) and by other private companies.
Much of Kerala's notable biodiversity concentrates in the Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve in the eastern hills, protected by the Indian government.
Myths and legends persist concerning the origin of Kerala.
Cricket, the most-followed sport in the rest of India and South Asia, enjoys less popularity in Kerala.
Some notable football stars from Kerala include I. M. Vijayan and V. P. Sathyan.
The most important of Kerala’s 44 rivers include the Periyar (244 km), the Bharathapuzha (209 km), the Pamba (176 km), the Chaliyar (169 km), the Kadalundipuzha (130 km) and the Achankovil (128 km).
Coordinates: 8°28?N 76°57?E? / ?8.47, 76.95 Kerala refers to a state on the Malabar Coast of southwestern India.
Social reforms enacted in the late 19th century by Cochin and post-independence governments expanded upon Travancore, making Kerala among the Third World's longest-lived, healthiest, most gender-equitable, and most literate regions.
Geographically, Kerala divides into three climatically distinct regions: the eastern highlands (rugged and cool mountainous terrain), the central midlands (rolling hills), and the western lowlands (coastal plains).
Keralan's typically serve cuisine as a sadhya on green banana leaves including such dishes as idli, payasam, pulisherry, puttucuddla, puzhukku, rasam, and sambar.
Kerala has excellent connections to Coimbatore and Tirupur.
In 1991, Kerala's TFR (children born per women) measured the lowest in India.
The average length of the rivers of Kerala measures 64 km.
The schools affiliate with either the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), or the Kerala State Education Board.
India's national highway network includes a Kerala wide total of 1,524 km, comprising 2.6 percent of the national total.
The States Reorganisation Act of November 1, 1956, elevated Kerala to statehood.
Lying between north latitudes 8°18' and 12°48' and east longitudes 74°52' and 72°22', Kerala sits well within the humid equatorial tropics.
Kerala's rural poverty rate fell from 69 percent (1970–1971) to 19 percent (1993–1994); the overall (urban and rural) rate fell 36 percent between the 1970s and 1980s.
Forty one of Kerala’s west-flowing rivers, and three of its east-flowing ones originate in this region.
Kerala's high ratio of taxation to gross state domestic product (GSDP) has failed to alleviate chronic budget deficits and unsustainable levels of government debt, impacting social services.
Paradoxically, Kerala's suicide, alcoholism, and unemployment rates rank among India's highest.
Kerala's culture developed through centuries of contact with neighboring and overseas cultures.
One such myth depicts the creation of Kerala by Parasurama, a warrior sage.
Achuthanandan of the CPI(M) sits as the Chief Minister of Kerala.
Eastern Kerala lies immediately west of the Western Ghats' rain shadow; it consists of high mountains, gorges and deep-cut valleys.
Hyder Ali, heading the Mysore, conquered northern Kerala, capturing Kozhikode in 1766.
In 2006, Kerala attracted 8.5 million tourists–an increase of 23.68 percent in foreign tourist arrivals compared to the previous year, thus making it one of the fastest growing tourism destination in the world.
Eastern Kerala’s windward mountains shelter tropical moist forests and tropical dry forests common in the Western Ghats.
Kerala has its own Malayalam calendar, used to plan agricultural and religious activities.
Kerala’s maximum daily temperature averages 36.7 °C; the minimum measures 19.8 °C.
Gender relations in Kerala have been reputed to be among the most equitable in India and the Third World.
Trivandrum Central, Kollam Junction, Ernakulam Junction, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Shoranur Junction, and Palakkad comprise Kerala's major railway stations.
Kochi counts as the most populous urban agglomeration and the major port city in Kerala.
Kerala’s 38,863 kmІ landmass (1.18 percent of India) wedges between the Arabian Sea to the west and the Western Ghats—identified as one of the world's 25 biodiversity hotspots—to the east.
The Chera kings' dependence on trade meant that merchants from West Asia established coastal posts and settlements in Kerala.
Mahй, a part of the Indian union territory of Puducherry (Pondicherry), constitues a coastal exclave surrounded by Kerala on all of its landward approaches.
The service sector (including tourism, public administration, banking and finance, transportation, and communications—63.8 percent of statewide GDP in 2002–2003) along with the agricultural and fishing industries (together 17.2 percent of GDP) dominate Kerala's economy.
Located at the extreme southern tip of the Indian subcontinent, Kerala lies near the center of the Indian tectonic plate; as such, most of the state experiences comparatively little seismic and volcanic activity.
Kerala saw comparatively little defiance of the British Raj—nevertheless, several rebellions occurred, including the 1946 Punnapra-Vayalar revolt, and heroes likeVelayudan Thampi Dalava Pazhassi Raja and Kunjali Marakkar earned their place in history and folklore.
According to the puranas, Kerala also went by the name Parasurama Kshetram, i.e., 'The Land of Parasurama', as he reclaimed the land from sea.
Dozens of newspapers publish in Kerala in nine major languages.
Natives of Kerala—Keralites or Malayalees—thus refer to their land as Keralam.
The government or private trusts and individuals run schools and colleges in Kerala.
The most widely enjoyed variety of European cantaloupe is the Charentais, cultivated almost exclusively in France.
Kerala's districts, divided into administrative regions for levying taxes, further subdivided into 63 taluks; those have fiscal and administrative powers over settlements within their borders, including maintenance of local land records.
The coastal regions of Kerala have the highest density, leaving the eastern hills and mountains comparatively sparsely populated.
Among the almost 4,000 flowering plant species (1,272 endemic to Kerala and 159 threatened) 900 species constitute highly sought medicinal plants.
The works of scholars and Eastern Christian writings state that Thomas the Apostle visited Muziris in Kerala in 52 C.E.
Puranas say that Parasuram planted the 64 Brahmin families in Kerala, whom he brought down from the north to expiate his slaughter of the Kshatriyas.
Common wisdom considers Kerala an imperfect Malayalam portmanteau that fuses kera ('coconut palm tree') and alam ('land' or 'location' or 'abode of').
Kerala nearly envelopes Mahй, a coastal exclave of Pondicherry.
Muslim merchants (Malik ibn Dinar) settled in Kerala by the eighth century C.E.
Like other Indian states and most Commonwealth countries, a parliamentary system of representative democracy governs Kerala; state residents receive universal suffrage.
Kerala speaks Malayalam as the official language; Ethnic minorities also speak Tamil and various Adivasi languages.
The principal religions of Kerala include Hinduism (56.1 percent), Islam (24.7 percent), and Christianity (19 percent).
According to several scholars, the Jews first arrived in Kerala in 573 B.C.E.
Kerala hosts two of the world’s Ramsar Convention listed wetlands—Lake Sasthamkotta and the Vembanad-Kol wetlands, as well as 1455.4 kmІ of the vast Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
Kerala's health care system has garnered international acclaim; UNICEF and the World Health Organization designating Kerala the world's first "baby-friendly state."
Nevertheless, relatively few major corporations and manufacturing plants choose to operate in Kerala.
Kerala has an abundance bird species—several emblematic species include Peafowl, the Great Hornbill, Indian Grey Hornbill, Indian Cormorant, and Jungle Myna.
Kerala's 13.3 percent prevalence of low birth weight has been substantially higher than that of First World nations.
The High Court of Kerala convenes at Ernakulam.
The judiciary comprises the Kerala High Court (including a Chief Justice combined with 26 permanent and two additional (pro tempore) justices) and a system of lower courts.
Like other Indian states, the Governor of Kerala sits as the constitutional head of state, appointed by the President of India.
Just west of the mountains lie the midland plains composing central Kerala; rolling hills and valleys dominate.
Kerala stands as one of the few regions in the world where communist parties have been democratically elected in a parliamentary democracy.
Kerala hosts two major political alliances: the United Democratic Front (UDF—led by the Indian National Congress) and the Left Democratic Front (LDF—led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI(M).
Kerala has various styles of folk and tribal music, the most popular music of Kerala being the filmi music of Indian cinema.
Kerala's rivers face many problems, including summer droughts, the building of large dams, sand mining, and pollution.
Kerala’s western coastal belt lays relatively flat, criss-crossed by a network of interconnected brackish canals, lakes, estuaries, and rivers known as the Kerala Backwaters.
Kerala's female-to-male ratio (1.058) numbers significantly higher than that of the rest of India.
To its east and northeast, Kerala borders Tamil Nadu and Karnataka respectively; to its west and south lie the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, with the islands of Lakshadweep and the Maldives, respectively.
The Chief Minister of Kerala, the de facto head of state vested with most of the executive powers, heads the executive authority; the Governor appoints the Legislative Assembly's majority party leader to that position.
The 33 local authorities are the councils of the 32 London boroughs and the City of London Corporation.
Kerala's 14 districts distribute among Kerala's three historical regions: Malabar (northern Kerala), Kochi (central Kerala), and Travancore (southern Kerala).
Kerala, situated on the lush and tropical Malabar Coast, was named as one of the "ten paradises of the world" by the National Geographic Traveler magazine, Kerala has become famous for its ecotourism initiatives.
The High Court of Kerala constitutes the highest court for the state; it also decides cases from the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.
All India Radio, the national radio service, reaches much of Kerala via its Thiruvananthapuram 'A' Malayalam-language broadcaster.
Agile in the water, the hippo is also fast on land, being clocked at 30 km/h (19 mph) over short distances.
Kerala's society practices patriarchalism less than the rest of the Third World.
Rao Bahadur T.M. (Thalakodi Madathil) Appu Nedungadi established Nedungadi Bank in 1899 at Calicut in Kerala. It was first private sector commercial bank to be set up in South India. The bank was incorporated in 1913.