Information about Kerala
|Statehood||1 November 1956|
Kerala famously known as “God’s own Country”. Keralam, the land of kera or coconut, is a never-ending array of coconut palms…sun blanched beaches…kettuvallams over enchanting backwaters… magical monsoon showers…silent valleys vibrant with flora and fauna…misty mountains of the Western Ghats…fragrance of spices…evenings reverberating with the rhythm of a thousand art forms…fairs and festivals… Welcome to Kerala benign and beautiful!
Kerala’s equable climate, natural abundance of forests (with a wealth of herbs and medicinal plants), and the cool monsoon season (June to July and October to November) are best suited for Ayurveda’s curative and restorative packages. Kerala, situated on the lush and tropical Malabar Coast, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Named as one of the “ten paradises of the world” and “50 places of a lifetime” by the National Geographic Traveler magazine, Kerala is especially known for its ecotourism initiatives.
According to Hindu mythology, the lands of Kerala were recovered from the sea by the axe-wielding warrior sage Parasurama, the sixth avatar of Vishnu (hence, Kerala is also called Parasurama Kshetram (“The Land of Parasurama”). Parasurama threw his axe across the sea, and the water receded as far as it reached. According to legend, this new area of land extended from Gokarna to Kanyakumari. The land which rose from sea was filled with salt and unsuitable for habitation; so Parasurama invoked the Snake King Vasuki, who spat holy poison and converted the soil into fertile lush green land. Out of respect, Vasuki and all snakes were appointed as protectors and guardians of the land. The legend was later expanded, and found literary expression in the 17th or 18th century with Keralolpathi, which traces the origin of aspects of early Kerala society, such as land tenure and administration, to the story of Parasurama. In medieval times Kuttuvan may have emulated the Parasurama tradition by throwing his spear into the sea to symbolise his lordship over it.
Another much earlier Puranic character associated with Kerala is Mahabali, an Asura and a prototypical just king, who ruled the earth from Kerala. He won the war against the Devas, driving them into exile. The Devas pleaded before Lord Vishnu, who took his fifth incarnation as Vamana and pushed Mahabali down to Patala (the netherworld) to placate the Devas. There is a belief that, once a year during the Onam festival, Mahabali returns to Kerala. The Matsya Purana, among the oldest of the 18 Puranas, uses the Malaya Mountains of Kerala (and Tamil Nadu) as the setting for the story of Matsya, the first incarnation of Vishnu, and Manu, the first man and the king of the region.
The state is wedged between the lakshadweep sea and the Western ghats. Lying between northern latitudes 8°18′ and 12°48′ and eastern longitudes 74°52′ and 77°22′, Kerala experiences the humid equatorial tropic climate. The state has a coast of 590 km (370 mi) and the width of the state varies between 11 and 121 kilometers (7 and 75 mi). Geographically, Kerala can be divided into three climatically distinct regions: the eastern highlands; rugged and cool mountainous terrain, the central mid-lands; rolling hills, and the western lowlands; coastal plains pre cambian and pleistocene geological formations compose the bulk of Kerala’s terrain. A catastrophic flood in Kerala in 1341 CE drastically modified its terrain and consequently affected its history; it also created a natural harbour for spice transport. The eastern region of Kerala consists of high mountains, gorges and deep-cut valleys immediately west of the Western Ghats’ rain shadow. 41 of Kerala’s west-flowing rivers, and 3 of its east-flowing ones originate in this region. The Western Ghats form a wall of mountains interrupted only near Palakkad; hence also known Palghat, where the Palakkad gap breaks. The Western Ghats rise on average to 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) above sea level, while the highest peaks reach around 2,500 meters (8,200 feet). Anamudi in the Idukki district is the highest peak in south India, is at an elevation of 2,695 m (8,842 ft).
Source: Wikipedia [Kerala]