Around 1.050 million fishermen haul an annual catch of 668,000 tonnes as of a 1999–2000 estimate; 222 fishing villages are strung along the 590-kilometre (370-mile) coast. The Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF) was started in 2007, covering more than 3000 outlets across the nine cities of Kerala with huge tax discounts, VAT refunds and huge array of prizes. The forests are spread over three ranges: the Kulathupuzha range in the north, Palode range in the middle, and the Paruthipalli range in the south. , Buddhism was popular in the time of Ashoka but vanished by the 12th century CE. Cricketers, like Tinu Yohannan, Abey Kuruvilla, Sreesanth, Sanju Samson and Basil Thampi found places in the national cricket team.  According to 2011 Census of India figures, 54.73% of Kerala's residents were Hindus, 26.56% are Muslims, 18.38% are Christians, and the remaining 0.32% follow another religion or have no religious affiliation. Southern Railway zone of Indian Railways operates all railway lines in the state connecting most major towns and cities except those in the highland districts of Idukki and Wayanad. The district can be divided into three geographical regions: Highlands, Midlands, and Lowlands. Spread over 38,863 km (15,005 sq mi), Kerala is the twenty-first largest Indian state by area. Over 16.7 million tourists visited Kerala in 2018 as against 15.76 million the previous year, recording an increase of 5.93 per cent. Cold weather is experienced in the mountain ranges, whereas lower down, the weather is bracing and is generally hot in the coastal regions.  A record total of 223 hartals were observed in 2006, resulting in a revenue loss of over ₹20 billion (US$280 million). , Malayalam is the most widely spoken language in Kerala, where its teaching in schools is mandatory. In the fiscal year 2018-19, the nominal gross state domestic product (GSDP) was ₹7.82 trillion (US$110 billion). The idol in the temple is taken out on a procession around the countryside atop this elephant. (60 metres (197 ft)) Agastya Mala, which has an elevation of 1,868 metres (6,129 ft) is only about 60 km from the city.  Kerala tourism is a global brand and regarded as one of the destinations with highest recall.  It is the first metro system in India to use a communication-based train control (CBTC) system for signalling and telecommunication. The state has the highest media exposure in India with newspapers publishing in nine languages, mainly English and Malayalam.  Kerala has the lowest homicide rate among Indian states, with 1.1 per 100,000 in 2011. Kerala is one of the major footballing states in India along with West Bengal and Goa and has produced national players like I. M. Vijayan, C. V. Pappachan, V. P. Sathyan, Jo Paul Ancheri, Pappachen Pradeep, C.K. These forests may be broadly classified into three categories: Southern tropical wet evergreen forests, Southern tropical and semi-evergreen forests, and Southern tropical moist deciduous forests.  The state also is regarded as the "least corrupt Indian state" according to the surveys conducted by CMS Indian Corruption Study (CMS-ICS) Transparency International (2005) and India Today (1997). CMS College, Kottayam, established in 1817, is the first western-style college, and one of the oldest colleges, in India. [first published in 2002; 3rd edn.]. Construction began in 2012, with the first phase being set up at an estimated cost of ₹51.81 billion (US$730 million). Social forestry programmes are being implemented under the World Bank-aided Kerala Social Forestry Project, National Rural Employment Programme (NREP) and Rural Fuel Wood Schemes to assist small and marginal farmers. Government Brennen College, Thalassery, founded by philanthropist Edward Brennen in 1862, is one of the oldest educational institutions in India. The production of pepper and natural rubber contributes significantly to the total national output. It comprises of a narrow coastal strip bounded by the Western Ghats in the east and the Arabian Sea also called the Lakshadweep Sea on the west.  The Zamorin of Kozhikode permitted the new visitors to trade with his subjects such that Portuguese trade in Kozhikode prospered with the establishment of a factory and a fort. Kerala is home to the largest domesticated population of elephants in India—about 700 Indian elephants, owned by temples as well as individuals.  Certain Hindu communities such as the Samantan Kshatriyas, Ambalavasis, Nairs, Thiyyas and some Muslims around North Malabar used to follow a traditional matrilineal system known as marumakkathayam, although this practice ended in the years after Indian independence.  Rice is a dominant staple that is eaten at all times of day.  The city situated on the west coast of India, and is bounded by Arabian Sea to its west and the Western Ghats to its east.  In the state, the rate of population growth is India's lowest, and the decadal growth of 4.9% in 2011 is less than one third of the all-India average of 17.64%. ), Weil, Shalva. 2015.  As a consequence of centuries of mixing with colonial immigrants, beginning with the Portuguese, Dutch, French, British and other Europeans, there is a community of Anglo-Indians in Kerala of mixed European and Indian parentage or ancestry.  According to William Logan, the word Malabar comes from a combination of the Malayalam word Mala (hill) and the Persian/Arabic word Barr (country/continent). During the summer, the state is prone to gale-force winds, storm surges, cyclone-related torrential downpours, occasional droughts, and rises in sea level. With 33,387,677 inhabitants as per the 2011 Census, Kerala is the thirteenth-largest Indian state by population. Out of the 4,000 flowering plant species; 1,272 of which are endemic to Kerala, 900 are medicinal, and 159 are threatened. :79 Kerala's spices attracted ancient Babylonians, Assyrians and Egyptians to the Malabar Coast in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE.  The railway network in the state is controlled by two out of six divisions of the Southern Railway; Thiruvananthapuram Railway division and Palakkad Railway Division. The origin of the Latin Catholic Christians in Kerala is the result of the missionary endeavours of the Portuguese Padroado in the 16th century. 1987 pp.  The Kerala backwaters are an extensive network of interlocking rivers (41 west-flowing rivers), lakes, and canals that centre around Alleppey, Kumarakom and Punnamada (where the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race is held in August), Pathiramanal a small island in Muhamma .  During the southwest monsoon, a suspended mud bank develops along the shore, which in turn leads to calm ocean water, peaking the output of the fishing industry.  However, Kerala's morbidity rate is higher than that of any other Indian state—118 (rural) and 88 (urban) per 1,000 people. The Central Highlands – lying on the north of the Narmada River and covering a large part of the Malwa Plateau. In the Malabar Rebellion, Mappila Muslims of Malabar rioted against Hindu zamindars and the British Raj. :5–7 As of 2017, the state has the highest number of diabetes patients and also the highest prevalence rate of the disease in India. :12 Three of the world's Ramsar Convention listed wetlands—Lake Sasthamkotta, Ashtamudi Lake and the Vembanad-Kol wetlands—are in Kerala, as well as 1455.4 km2 of the vast Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The … The KITE Kerala is a state owned special purpose company under education department of the Government of Kerala.  According to a study done in 2013, ₹175 billion (US$2.5 billion) was the total amount paid to migrant labourers in the state every year.  Other known festivals are Makaravilakku, Chinakkathoor Pooram, Attukal Pongala and Nenmara Vallangi Vela Other than these, festivals locally known as utsavams are conducted by many temples mostly on annual basis.  The total duration of Onam is 10 days and it is celebrated all across Kerala. Thalassery Cuisine is varied and is a blend of many influences. The state has a coast of 590 km (370 mi) and the width of the state varies between 11 and 121 kilometres (7 and 75 mi). The economy of Kerala is the 10th-largest in India with ₹7.82 trillion (US$110 billion) in gross state domestic product (GSDP) and a per capita GSDP of ₹204,000 (US$2,900). This island group has great diversity of flora and fauna the pity island , which is uninhabited, has a bird sanctuary . The district also gets thunderstorm rains in the pre-monsoon months of April and May. , The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization designated Kerala the world's first "baby-friendly state" because of its effective promotion of breast-feeding over formulas. , As of 2015[update], Kerala has a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.770, which is in the "high" category, ranking it first in the country. The district is situated between North latitudes at 8.17°–8.54° and East longitudes 76.41°–77.17°. :110 Pre-Cambrian and Pleistocene geological formations compose the bulk of Kerala's terrain.  According to a study commissioned by Lien Foundation, a Singapore-based philanthropic organisation, Kerala is considered to be the best place to die in India based on the state's provision of palliative care for patients with serious illnesses. For other uses, see. As of 2016[update], the LDF is the ruling coalition; Pinarayi Vijayan of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is the Chief Minister, while Ramesh Chennithala of the UDF is the Leader of Opposition. "Fort Cochin in Kerala 1750–1830 The Social Condition of a Dutch Community in an Indian Milieu." This article is about the Indian state.  Kerala's 44 rivers include the Periyar; 244 kilometres (152 mi), Bharathapuzha; 209 kilometres (130 mi), Pamba; 176 kilometres (109 mi), Chaliyar; 169 kilometres (105 mi), Kadalundipuzha; 130 kilometres (81 mi), Chalakudipuzha; 130 kilometres (81 mi), Valapattanam; 129 kilometres (80 mi) and the Achankovil River; 128 kilometres (80 mi).  Thiruvananthapuram district has a reserve forest area of 495.1 km2 (191 sq mi) and vested forest area of 3.534 km2 (1.4 sq mi).  Software giants like Infosys, Oracle, Tata Consultancy Services, Capgemini, HCL, UST Global, NeST and Suntec have offices in the state. This area is ideal for major cash crops like rubber, tea, cardamom and other spices. Physical features. A canal 205 kilometres (127 mi) long, National Waterway 3, runs between Kottapuram and Kollam, which is included in the East-Coast Canal. In 2008, the Persian Gulf countries together had a Keralite population of more than 2.5 million, who sent home annually a sum of US$6.81 billion, which is the highest among Indian states and more than 15.13% of remittances to India in 2008. India is a geographically rich and diverse country. Kochi hosts Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League.  Unlike in many other states, the urban-rural divide is not visible in Kerala with respect to mobile phone penetration. In some coastal panchayats, median outdoor radiation levels are more than 4 mGy/yr and, in certain locations on the coast, it is as high as 70 mGy/yr.  Carnatic music dominates Keralite traditional music. It is the only metro rail system in Kerala.  Jimmy George was a notable Indian volleyball player, rated in his prime as among the world's ten best players. , There is a preference for organic products and home farming compared to synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.  Consequently, investment in rice production decreased and a major portion of the land shifted to the cultivation of perennial tree crops and seasonal crops. The state has a second major IT hub, the Infopark centred in Kochi with "spokes"(it acts as the "hub") in Thrissur and Alleppy. A third major IT Hub is under construction centred around Kozhikode known as Cyberpark. Kerala produced several saints and movements.  In 2012, it overtook the Taj Mahal to be the number one travel destination in Google's search trends for India. , By the end of 18th century, the whole of Kerala fell under the control of the British, either administered directly or under suzerainty.  In 2011, tourist inflow to Kerala crossed the 10-million mark. :1 as 11.2% of people are over the age of 60, and due to the low birthrate of 18 per 1,000. It also reported that approximately 150 to 200 liver transplants are conducted in the region's hospitals annually.  Onam falls in the Malayalam month of Chingam (August–September) and marks the commemoration of the homecoming of King Mahabali. Kerala's coastal belt of Karunagappally is known for high background radiation from thorium-containing monazite sand.  There were major revolts in Kerala during the independence movement in the 20th century; most notable among them is the 1921 Malabar Rebellion and the social struggles in Travancore.  It was one of the earliest elected Communist governments anywhere. Miller, E. Roland.  Kerala's rainfall averages 2,923 mm (115 in) annually.  Fort St Angelo or St. Angelo Fort was built at Kannur in 1505 and Fort St Thomas was built at Kollam(Quilon) in 1518 by the Portuguese.  These are threatened by extensive habitat destruction, including soil erosion, landslides, salinisation, and resource extraction.  The "triumvirate of poets" (Kavithrayam): Kumaran Asan, Vallathol Narayana Menon, and Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer, are recognised for moving Keralite poetry away from archaic sophistry and metaphysics, and towards a more lyrical mode. Geographical features Kochi lies at the northern end of a narrow neck of land, about 19 km long and less than 1.6 km wide in many places, and is separated from the mainland by inlets from the Arabian sea and by the estuaries of rivers draining from the Western Ghats.  Kerala's population more than doubled between 1951 and 1991 by adding 15.6 million people to reach 29.1 million residents in 1991; the population stood at 33.3 million by 2011. Timber trees like teak and rosewood are grown in this region. Kerala's annual total of road accidents is among the nation's highest.  The Western Ghats form a wall of mountains interrupted only near Palakkad; hence also known Palghat, where the Palakkad Gap breaks.  The earliest Saint Thomas Christian Churches, Cheraman Jumu'ah Masjid (traditionally dated to "629 CE" by the Mappilas)—regarded as "the first mosque of India"—and Paradesi Synagogue (1568 CE)—the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations—were built in Kerala. The district stretches 78 kilometres (48 mi) along the shores of the Arabian Sea on the west, Kollam district lies on the north with Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu on the east and south respectively.. India's Jewish Heritage: Ritual, Art and Life-Cycle, Mumbai: Marg Publications, 2009.  Greenfield International Stadium at located at Kariavattom in Thiruvananthapuram city, is India's first DBOT (design, build, operate and transfer) model outdoor stadium and it has hosted international cricket matches and international football matches including 2015 SAFF Championship. , After India was partitioned in 1947 into India and Pakistan, Travancore and Kochi, part of the Union of India were merged on 1 July 1949 to form Travancore-Cochin. Popular hill stations are at Ponmudi, Wayanad, Wagamon, Munnar, Peermade, Ramakkalmedu, Paithalmala of Kannur district, Kodikuthimala, and Nelliampathi.  Football is one of the most widely played and watched sports with huge support for club and district level matches.  Other Muslims, Christians, and some Hindu castes such as the Namboothiris, most of the Ambalavasi castes and the Ezhavas followed makkathayam, a patrilineal system.  Volleyball is another popular sport and is often played on makeshift courts on sandy beaches along the coast. , The major change in agriculture in Kerala occurred in the 1970s when production of rice fell due to increased availability of rice all over India and decreased availability of labour.  In respect of female empowerment, some negative factors such as higher suicide rate, lower share of earned income, child marriage, complaints of sexual harassment and limited freedom are reported. However, Portuguese attacks on Arab properties in his jurisdiction provoked the Zamorin and led to conflicts between them. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is a state-owned road transport corporation.  The Kochi Metro uses 65-metre long Metropolis train sets built and designed by Alstom. In 2016, the Kerala government introduced free sex reassignment surgery through government hospitals. The Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats border the Deccan plateau on its eastern and western sides respectively. , At the peak of their reign, the Zamorins of Kozhikode ruled over a region from Kollam (Quilon) in the south to Panthalayini Kollam (Koyilandy) in the north. Vasudevan Nair and O.N.V. , The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board is a government owned financial institution in the state to mobilize funds for infrastructure development from outside the state revenue, aiming at overall infrastructure development of the state. The average elevation of the city is 16 ft above sea level. "Documents of Investiture Ceremonies" in K. K. N. Kurup, Edit., "India's Naval Traditions". In other states, national highways are grade separated, 60 metres (200 feet) wide with a minimum of four lanes, as well as 6 or 8-lane access-controlled expressways.  These territories once shared a common language and culture, within an area known as Tamilakam. , Kerala has been a major spice exporter since 3000 BCE, according to Sumerian records and it is still referred to as the "Garden of Spices" or as the "Spice Garden of India". :2 While having the opportunities that education affords them, such as political participation, keeping up to date with current events, reading religious texts etc., these tools have still not translated into full, equal rights for the women of Kerala.  The Arab writers had called this place Malibar, Manibar, Mulibar, and Munibar. Doordarshan is the state-owned television broadcaster. Kerala has the highest population of Christians among all the states of India.  Related animal husbandry is touted by proponents as a means of alleviating rural poverty and unemployment among women, the marginalised, and the landless. :12 Indian elephant, Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, Nilgiri tahr, common palm civet, and grizzled giant squirrels are also found in the forests. In 2011–2012, it contributed 63.22% of the state's GDP, agriculture and allied sectors contributed 15.73%, while manufacturing, construction and utilities contributed 21.05%. The average temperature goes up to 95 °F (35 °C) in these months.  This contradicts the theory that kera is from 'coconut tree'.  Kerala has only performed well recently in the Ranji Trophy cricket competition, in 2017–18 reaching the quarterfinals for the first time in history. Padmanabhapuram Palace and the Mattancherry Palace are two nearby heritage sites. Yesudas, K.S. wide, with a total area of 15,002 sq.  These changes stem largely from efforts begun in the late 19th century by the kingdoms of Cochin and Travancore to boost social welfare. Physical geography Gangkhar Puensum from Ura La, Bhutan The Himalaya mountains of Bhutan dominate the north of the country, where peaks can easily reach 7,000 metres (22,966 ft); the highest point in Bhutan is Gangkhar Puensum , which has the distinction of being the highest unclimbed mountain in the world, at 7,570 metres (24,840 ft).  In foreign-trade circles the region was known as Male or Malabar.  The Kerala state football team has won the Santhosh Trophy six times; in 1973, 1992, 1993, 2001, 2004, and 2018. The maritime spice trade monopoly in the Indian Ocean (Indu Maha Samundr) stayed with the Arabs during the High and Late Middle Ages. Valsamma, all three of whom are recipients of the Padma Shri as well as Arjuna Award, while K. M. Beenamol and Anju Bobby George are Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award winners.  A sizeable People's science movement has taken root in the state, and such activities as writer's cooperatives are becoming increasingly common.  An agreement, known as "Treaty of Mavelikkara", was signed by the Dutch and Travancore in 1753, according to which the Dutch were compelled to detach from all political involvement in the region. Until the arrival of the East India Company, the term Malabar was used as a general name for Kerala, along with the term Kerala. Vineeth, Anas Edathodika, Sahal Abdul Samad, and Rino Anto. As Kerala is a coastal land it is bordered three sides by land and one side by the Arabian sea at the west. The average length of the rivers is 64 kilometres (40 mi).  The state topped in the country to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals according to the annual report of NITI Aayog published in 2019.  Kerala was declared as the first digital state of India on 27 February 2016.  Tipu ultimately ceded the Malabar District and South Kanara to the company in the 1790s; both were annexed to the Madras Presidency of British India in 1792.  In 2006, Kerala attracted 8.5 million tourists, an increase of 23.68% over the previous year, making the state one of the fastest-growing popular destinations in the world.  Palakkad district is generally referred to as the Gateway of Kerala, due to the presence of the Palakkad Gap in the Western Ghats, through which the northern (Malabar) and southern (Travancore) parts of Kerala are connected to the rest of India via road and rail. Unlike the flat portion of the Kerala coast, at the northern coastal region cliffs are found adjacent to the Arabian Sea at Varkala. , Kerala's beaches, backwaters, lakes, mountain ranges, waterfalls, ancient ports, palaces, religious institutions and wildlife sanctuaries are major attractions for both domestic and international tourists. With 590 kilometres (370 miles) of coastal belt, 400,000 hectares of inland water resources and approximately 220,000 active fishermen, Kerala is one of the leading producers of fish in India. The mean maximum temperature is 95 °F (35 °C) and the mean minimum temperature is 69 °F (20 °C).  Later, writers like O. V. Vijayan, Kamaladas, M. Mukundan, Arundhati Roy, Vaikom Muhammed Basheer, have gained international recognition. 1970; Leslie Brown, 1956.   According to the 2011 census, Kerala has a 93.91% literacy, compared to the national literacy rate of 74.04%.  Sadhya is a vegetarian meal, which is served on a banana leaf and followed with a cup of payasam.  The child marriage is lower in Kerala.The Malappuram district has the highest number of child marriage and the number of such cases are increasing in Malappuram.  Archaeological studies have identified Mesolithic, Neolithic and Megalithic sites in Kerala.  Some festivals include Poorams, the best known of these being the Thrissur Pooram.  As of 2013[update], Kerala had the highest road accident rate in the country, with most fatal accidents taking place along the state's national highways.. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are to the east.. It is one of the festivals celebrated with cultural elements such as Vallam Kali, Pulikali, Pookkalam, Thumbi Thullal and Onavillu.   It is synthesis of Aryan and Dravidian cultures, defined by its antiquity and the organic continuity sustained by the Malayali people.  In 2001, Muslims had the TFR of 2.6 as against 1.5 for Hindus and 1.7 for Christians.  Kerala topped in the School Education Quality Index published by NITI Aayog in 2019. These facilities are used mostly by central government VIPs visiting Kerala.  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