Kerala: God's Own Country

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KERALA Formed on 1st November 1956 Capital of Kerala is Thiruvananthapuram Language spoken is Malayalam Kerala consists of 14 districts 44 rivers A vast network of lakes 1500 Km’s of labyrinthine canals Population is 33,387,677

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Why Is Kerala Called God’s Own Country ?  According to Hindu mythology, Kerala was created by Lord Parasuramsaa, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu by throwing his axe across the sea to create new land for his devotees to live peacefully. Every nook and corner in Kerala you will see Hindu temples, Muslim mosques and Christian Churches; and unlike many other parts of India, people live happily without communal riots and great religious tolerance. Nestled between the pristine waters of the Arabian sea on the west and the lush Western Ghats mountains on the east, its intense network of rivers and lagoons, thick forests, exotic wildlife, tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters and a long shoreline of serene beaches make it a traveler's paradise. Hence Kerala Is Known As God’s Own Country.

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Parasurama, surrounded by settlers, commanding Varuna to part the seas and reveal Kerala.

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Location Located on the south-west region of India on the Malabar coast. At 8.5074' North - East-76. 972’ Adjacent to Arabian sea in the west, Tamilnadu in the east-south, Karnataka in north and north-east. Area = 38,863 Sq. Km.

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Districts Kerala has 14 districts. North Kerala: Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram. Central Kerala: Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulum and Idukki. South Kerala: Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Kottayam.

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Backwater symphony

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Religion Hindus: 56% Muslims: 24% Christians: 19% Others (Sikhs, Jainism, Buddhism, Jainism): 1%

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Flora and fauna Over 4,000 species of  flowering plant . Over 900 species of medicinal plants . Over 300 species of birds .  Over 202 species of freshwater fishes . Over169 species of reptiles . Over 89 species of amphibians .  Over 1,000 species of trees .

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State symbols of Kerala

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Government and Administration Democratically elected body the governs state of Kerala 5 years. 140 constituency Assembly. Present Governor is Hansraj Bhardwaj. Present CM is Oommen Chandy. High court situates in Ernakulum. Current chief justice is Manjula Chellar. Two major political alliances:  United Democratic Front  (UDF)  Indian National Congress (INC)  Left Democratic Front  (LDF) Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M))

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The Kerala Legislative Assembly Building in Thiruvananthapuram

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Education Literacy is 93.91% which is the Highest in India. Medical Colleges : 5 Universities : 5

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AGRICULTURE Kerala produces 97% of National output of pepper Kerala produces 85% National output of rubber. The key crops : rice, coconut, tea, coffee, rubber, cashews, pepper, cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Nearly half of Kerala’s population is engaged in agriculture. 

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A scenic landscape, with water filled paddy fields.

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FISHERIES 590 km of coastal belt. 400,000 hectares of inland water resources. about 220,000 active fishermen. Kerala is one of the leading producers of fish in India. about 1.1 million people earn their livelihood from fishing. contributes to about 3% of the total economy of the state.

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Industries Large Scale Production: Steel, handloom, Handicraft Khadi and Coir etc. Small Scale Production: Tea, cashews, pepper, Coffee etc. Kalamassery and Kanjikode are the two main Industrial areas. Techno Park, Info park and Kinfra were the IT cities.

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KINFRA Industrial Park, Thalaserry

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The culture of Kerala is composite and cosmopolitan in nature and it's an integral part of Indian culture There are around 10,000 festivals celebrated in the state. Important festival: Onam Temple Festival : Thrissur Pooram ,  Makaravilakku 

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Onam Onam is a harvest festival celebrated by the people of Kerala. The festival falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug–Sep) marks the homecoming of the mythical King Mahabali . It is one of the festivals celebrated with most number of cultural elements: Vallam Kali Pulikkali Pookkalam Onatthappan Thumbi Thullal Onavillu Kazhchakkula Onapottan Atthachamayam

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Temple Festivals Kerala has a large number of Hindu temples. Some festivals include Poorams, the most famous of these being the Thrissur Pooram. Major Hindu temple festivals:  Makaravilakku  Thrissur Pooram Nenmara Vallangi Vela Attukal Pongala Vrishchikotsavam Ashtami Kodungalloor Bharani Chettikulangara Bharani Guruvayoor Anayottam Chottanikkara Makam Sivarathri festival Maradu Thalappoli .

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DANCE Kerala is home to a number of performance arts. Five classical dance forms: Kathakali Mohiniyattam Koodiyattom Thullal  Krishnanattam Christians traditional dance forms such as Margamkali, Parichamuttu and Chavittu nadakom .  Oppana and Duffmuttu are popular among the Muslims of the state.

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MUSIC Kerala have rich collections of folk songs and ballads associated with a variety of themes:  Vadakkan Pattukal(northern Ballads)  Thekkan Pattukal (Southern Ballads)  Vanchi Pattukal (Boat Songs)  Mappila Pattukal (Muslim Songs) Pallipattukal (Church Songs)

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CINEMA Directors from Kerala, like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, John Abraham, P. Padmarajan, G. Aravindan and Shaji N Karun have made a considerable contribution to the Indian parallel cinema. Kerala has also given birth to numerous actors, such as Satyan, Bharath Gopi, Prem Nazir, Mohanlal, Adoor Bhasi, Jayan, Mamooty, Sreenivasan, Suresh Gopi, Dileep, Jayaram, Murali, Oduvil Unnikrishnan, Thilakan, Jagathy Sreekumar and Nedumudi Venu. Late Malayalam actor Prem Nazir holds the world record for having acted as the protagonist of over 720 movies.  Since the 1980s, actors Mammootty and Mohanlal have dominated the movie industry. Malayalam Cinema has produced a few more notable personalities such as K.J. Yesudas, K.S. Chitra, Vayalar Rama Varma, M.T. Vasudevan Nair, and O.N.V. Kurup. Also there many yputh icons in Malayalam film industries: Fahad Faasil ,Dulquer Salmaan ,Asif Ali ,Nazriya Nazim ,Sanusha etc.

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LITERATURE Malayalam literature starts from the late medieval period 14th-century Niranam poets :Madhava Panikkar, Sankara Panikkar and Rama Panikkar . 17th-century poet Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan, whose works mark the dawn of both modern Malayalam language and poetry. Paremmakkal Thoma Kathanar and Kerala Varma Valiakoi Thampuran are noted for their contribution to Malayalam prose.  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. In the second half of the 20th century, Jnanpith winning poets and writers like G. Sankara Kurup, S. K. Pottekkatt, Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, M. T. Vasudevan Nairand O. N. V. Kurup had made valuable contributions to the modern Malayalam literature.  Later, writers like O. V. Vijayan, Kamaladas, M. Mukundan, Arundhati Roy, Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, had gained international recognition.

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Indulekha, the first major novel in Malayalam ,written by O Chandu Menon

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Cuisine Food in Kerala is light, fresh and easy to eat. The main food items are rice, coconut and vegetables, apart from fish. Food is traditionally eaten by the hand and served on a banana leaf. Another interesting feature is the abundant use of coconut oil, chilli, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and coconut milk. Breakfast : idli, puttu, Idiyappam, or pulse-based vada or tapioca  Lunch dishes : rice and curry along with rasam, pulisherry and sambar.  Sadhya is a vegetarian meal, that is served on a banana leaf and followed with a cup of payasam.  A normal Sadhya can have about 24-28 dishes served as a single course.  Popular snacks: banana chips, yam crisps, tapioca chips, unniyappam and kuzhalappam. Sea food : karimeen, prawn, shrimp and other crustacean dishes.

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Sports Kalaripayattu, regarded as "the mother of all martial arts in the world", as an exception was practiced as indigenous martial sport. Another traditional sport of Kerala is the boat race, especially the race of Snake boats.

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Tourism Its culture and traditions, coupled with its varied demographics, have made Kerala one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. National Geographic's Travelers magazine names Kerala as one of the "Ten Paradises Of The World” Kerala is Established Tourist place for Indians and non-Indians. The important tourist places were is Kovalam, Cherai, kappad, Bepur Beaches. Hill stations were Munnar, Thekkadi, Nelliyampathy, Wayanad. Cochin, Alappuzha, AthirappImally falls were also the Important tourist places.

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Varkala beach An estuary in Paravur, Kollam Munnar, a hill station and a hamlet in Kerala The stone sculpture of Kuruvan and Kuruvati at Ramakkalmedu in Kerala Kerala GOD'S OWN COUNTRY

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AYURVEDA Kerala's equable climate, natural abundance of medicinal resources, and the cool monsoon makes it the best place for curative and restorative packages using Ayurveda, a system of medicine developed around 600 BC in India. Kerala is the only state in India, which practices this system of medicine with absolute dedication. The monsoon atmosphere provides dust-free and cool environment, opening the pores of the body to the maximum, making it most receptive to herbal oils and therapy. This system of medicine gives attention on the prevention of body diseases in addition to curing them.

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Conclusion Kerala enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia... an equable climate... A long shoreline with plantations and paddy fields... Kerala Ayurvedic health holidays.... Enchanting art forms of Kerala.... Magical festivals of Kerala... Kerala has a composite culture enriched through the ages with the contribution of various people and races. Its peculiar geographical position has helped the process of cultural synthesis.

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By Neptune Planet Kerala GOD'S OWN COUNTRY

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