Kerala


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Kerala is a state on the Malabar Coast of southwestern India.Kerala is an enchantingly beautiful, emerald green sliver of land, flanked by the Western Ghats on one side, the Arabian Sea on the other, and strewn with rivers, lagoons, backwaters and rich vegetation in between. Drawing on some 5,000 years of Vedic culture, Ayurveda is the subcontinent's traditional science of "life, vitality, health, and longevity" or, to tap into a more contemporary catchphrase, "the science of well-being," and where better to experience it than Kerala, where the tradition originated. Kerala offers Nature on a platter the Sandy beaches of Kovalam, the blue Lagoons at Veli, the Hill stations of Ponmudi and Munnar, the backwaters of Quilon and Allepppey, the greenland plantations in the highranges, the wildlife, the high mountain peaks, picturesque valleys, the magnificent forts and intricately decorated temples - Whatever one can ask for. All of which offer you a unique experience.

Kerala State Basic Information

Capital Thiruvananthapuram
Area 38,863 sq. km
Population 34,523,726
No. of District 14
Literacy Rate 93.91%
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan
Governer Shri. Justice (Retd) P.Sathasivam
Sex Ratio 1084
Language Malayalam, English
Date of Formation 31 October 1956
State Animal Indian elephant
State Bird Great hornbill
State Flower Golden shower tree
State Tree Coconut
Official Website www.kerala.gov.in

History

Kerala boasts of a long and diverse history. According to historical accounts, the Pulayas, the Vetas and the Kuruvas were the first inhabitants of Kerala. When India was being ruled by the Mauryas, Kerala was under the rule of the Chera Dynasty. The armies of the northern Empires of the Mauryas could not enter the lands of the Cheras, but Buddhism and Jainism did enter in a big way. But it was the entry of Brahmins from the boundaries of modern day Karnataka which really changed the power structure of Kerala for the next millenium. With the breakdown of Chera Empire the provincial rulers were confined to small areas but they frequently fought each other for domination. The kings of Venad and Kochi and Zamorins of Kozhikode were the prominent rulers.

On arrival of the 10th century, the Namboothiris or the Brahmins began ruling Kerala. At that time, Jews, Christians and Muslim traders were also living here. The Brahmin rulers handed over the power to the warlords where the most prominent were Calicut's Zamorin. An Admiral of Zamorins Kinjali Marakkar bravely fought against the Portuguese invaders. In the late 18th century, Tipu Sultan, launched campaigns against the expanding British East India Company; these resulted in two of the four Anglo-Mysore Wars. He ultimately ceded Malabar District and South Kanara to the Company in the 1790s.

Geography

Kerala is a land that lies between the high hill ranges of the Sahyadris in the east and the Arabian Sea (Lakshadweep Sea) in the west. Kerala, gifted with mountains, valleys, trees, a wide variety of plants and grasslands has a share of just 1.2% of the total area of India. Kerala has 14 revenue districts, each of which has its own features for improving the beauty of landscape. Latitudinally, Kerala lies in between 88o.17'.30" N and 12o. 47'.40" N and longitudinally in between 74o.27'47" E and 77o.37'.12" E. It shares its border with the state of Karnataka at the north and the rest of Kerala shares it border with Tamil Nadu. In fact, almost the whole of the western and southern frontiers of Kerala is surrounded by Tamil Nadu. Climate of Kerala is different from that of the other Indian States. According to meteorological data, Kerala receives rain around 286 days in a year. Kerala's average annual rainfall is about 300cm. Southwest monsoon (June to September) and Northeast monsoon (October to December) are the two rainy seasons of Kerala. The total recorded forest reserves of the Kerala state is approximately 11, 270 Sq. Kms, a massive 28.90% of the total land area of the state. The forest cover spreads largely over the Western Ghats. The total 11,270 Sq. kms includes 9157.10 Sq. Kms of reserve forests, 214.31 Sq. Kms of proposed reserve and 1754.18 Sq. Kms of vested forests.

Culture

Kerala is the southern most state of India. The name Keralam is believed to have been origined from the word "kera" and "alam". Kera means coconut and alam means land or location - Thus it is meant by "The Land Of Coconut Trees". Kerala culture can be compared to a chain made of different coloured beads and the thread through which the beads are strung is the Malayalam language. The cultural variety of Kerala was created by its unique geographic features as it lies between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats. Beside the three main religions of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam culture, Kerala is eminent for its diverse martial arts, exquisite dance forms, music and art and craft. Immensly blessed by nature. The beautiful beaches, rivers, lakes, backwaters, hill stations, plains, wildlife sanctuaries, shrines, festivals, forests and the palaces. Anywhere the Soulful. Kerala's slogan 'God's own Country' is not a cliche, but a reality. The traditions of Kathakali and Mohiniattam are highly developed art forms that have developed from their folk origins into highly evolved classical dance forms. Kathakali is a 300-year-old dance form developed exclusively in Kerala combining the performing art forms of opera, ballet, masque, and pantomime.Kerala has a distinctive architectural tradition. Places of worship and ancient houses are examples of that architectural style that gave importance to simplicity. They were built according to "Thachushastra."

Education

The educational scenario in Kerala is far advanced than other states of India. The secret behind Kerala's prosperity is their uniquely devised education system, which keeps every primary and secondary school functional, even in the rural areas. Most of the changes and development in the field of education has occurred since independence. The State had pursued a liberal higher education policy from 1956 through mid-eighties in terms of quantitative expansion and access to higher education. Today, it boasts other states in terms of high literacy rate of 90.86% as against 65.38% in the national level.

Schooling system in Kerala is similar to other states of India. However, what makes it unique is the curriculum it follows. Apart from the the primary schools there are pre-primary institutions which include Anganvadis, Independent primary schools and other institutions attached to schools. Every primary school in Kerala is endowed with all the financial benefits that a state can provide. After completing the secondary education that involves 10 years of schooling, students usually enroll in higher secondary education in any one of the three disciplines - Science, Commerce and Humanities.s in Kerala step in to shape the foundation of knowledge in students. Kerala state education board recruits highly qualified teachers to educate students in a precise way. The first university in Kerala was established in 1937. University of Kerala currently has sixteen faculties and forty-one sectors for research and development.

Economy

Kerala economy has bettered its growth rate nominally, but at the cost of having its government fiscals debt-squeezed. Economy of this state is experiencing a slow recovery from a long slump. In the 1970s and 80's the economy was relatively stagnant, where as in nineties, the state economy experience a significant growth rate (5.99%) with enhanced performance of secondary and territory sectors. At current prices, Kerala's Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was about US$ 89.44 billion in 2015-16. The state's GSDP recorded at a CAGR of 11.65 per cent between 2004-05 and 2015-16. The state's per capita GSDP was US$ 2,677 during 2015-16 compared with US$ 810 during 2004-05. As of June 2016, Kerala had a total installed power generation capacity of 4,097.8 megawatt (MW). During 2011-12, the contribution from primary, secondary and tertiary sectors to the GSDP at constant prices (2004-05) was 9.48 per cent, 20.22 per cent and 70.30 per cent respectively. At current prices, the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors contributed 15.11 per cent, 21.05 per cent and 63.22 per cent respectively to the GSDP during 2011-12 This difference in sectoral share between constant and current prices shows that inflationary trends in the primary sectors are much higher than in the secondary and tertiary sector.

Governance

Kerala comprises of 14 administrative districts, which are further divided into sub-divisions. The government and administration in Kerala is controlled on the same paths as in other states of the country. The Kerala Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha). The Vidhan Sabha consists of 140 members. Kerala has 20 seats in the Lok Sabha - the lower house of Parliament and 9 seats in Rajya Sabha - the upper house of Parliament. The Kerala Assembly is elected by universal adult suffrage for a period of five years. The Chief Minister is the head of government and is vested with most of the executive powers. The Chief Minister is assisted by a Council of Ministers that he nominates, the size of which is restricted.

Judiciary in Kerala is headed by Chief Justice as in other states of the country and Kerala High Court is the head of the judiciary system in Kerala. High Court of Kerala was established at Kochi on 1st November, 1956.

Tourism

Kerala is one of such destinations that not only rejuvenates but in a way cleanses one's body, mind and soul. For many travellers, Kerala is South India's most serenely beautiful state. A slender coastal strip is shaped by its layered landscape: almost 600km of glorious Arabian Sea coast and beaches; a languid network of glistening backwaters; and the spice- and tea-covered hills of the Western Ghats. Just setting foot on this swath of soul-quenching, palm-shaded green will slow your subcontinental stride to a blissed-out amble. As the dawn cracks, Kerala gleams, beckoning visitors yet another learning day in the state. Dolled up in green, the state calls out to travellers from far and near to relish a holiday in India unlike any other. Giving a good run to pristine beaches are the backwaters of Kerala; and a cruise along them is probably the most amazing experience that the state can offer. On, what is called, Kettuvallam, explore the labyrinthine network of rivers that renders a glimpse of the villages and unique lifestyle of Kerala.

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