General Information Of Kerala
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How to reach Kerala
There are three airports in Kerala. Trivandrum airport is linked with International airports. There are daily flights operating from Singapore, Colombo, Male, Muscat, Bahrain, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Trivandrum. Cochin and Calicut are linked nationally.
The different international flights operating with Trivandrum airport are Gulf Air,
Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Air Lanka, Air Maldives and Air India.
The domestic flights are Indian Airlines and Jet Airways.
Kerala is connected by rail to all important cities in India.
Services from all tourist centers in India.
The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation and private bus services provide transportation to just about any where in Kerala.
Kerala is undiscovered India. It is God's own country and an enchantingly beautiful, emerald-green sliver of land. It is a tropical paradise far from the tourist trial at the southwestern peninsular tip, sandwiched between the tall mountains and the deep sea. Kerala is a long stretch of enchanting greenery. The tall exotic coconut palm dominates the landscape.
There is a persistent legend which says that Parasuram, the 6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu Trinity, stood on a high place in the mountains, threw an axe far in to the sea, and commanded the sea to retreat. And the land that emerged all from the waters became Kerala, the land of plenty and prosperity.
Kerala is a 560-km long narrow stretch of land. At the widest, Kerala is a mere 120-km from the sea to the mountains. Gracing one side of Kerala, are the lofty mountains ranging high to kiss the sky. And on the other side the land is washed by the blue Arabian Sea waters. The land is covered with dense tropical forest, fertile plains, beautiful beaches, cliffs, rocky coasts, an intricate maze of backwaters, still bays and an astounding 44 glimmering rivers. Kerala's exotic spices have lured foreigners to her coast from time immemorial.
Earlier, Kerala was made up of three distinct areas. Malabar as far up the coast as Tellicherry, Cannanore and Kasargode with the tiny pocket-handkerchief French possession of Mahe nearby (it was returned to India in the early 1950 's and is now administratively part of Pondicherry). This area belonged to what was once called the Madras Presidency under the British. The middle section is formed by the princely State of Cochin; the third comprises Travancore, another princely State.
Early Inhabitants of Kerala
Archaeologists believe that the first citizens of Kerala were the hunter-gatherers, the ting Negrito people. These people still inhabit the mountains of southern India today, consequently, they had a good knowledge of herbal medicine and were skilled in interpreting natural phenomena. The next race of people in Kerala were believed to be the Austriches. The Austric people of Kerala are of the same stock as the present-day Australian Aborigines. They were the people who laid the foundation of Indian civilizations and introduced the cultivation of rice and vegetables, which are still part of Kerala scene. They also introduced snake-worship in Kerala. Traces of such worship and ancient rites have been found among the Aboriginal tribes of Australia. Austric features can still be seen fairly and clearly among the people of Kerala today. Then came the Dravidians (The Mediterranean people). Dravidian absorbed many of the beliefs of the Negrito and Austric people, but they were strongly inclined to the worship of the Mother Goddess in all her myriad forms: Protector, Avenger, Bestower of wealth, wisdom and arts.
The Dravidians migrated to the southwards, carrying their civilization with them, though leaving their considerable cultural input on their successors, the Aryans (Indo - Iranians). But Kerala is still strongly influenced by the Dravidian culture: urbane, cash-crop and trade oriented, and with strong maternalistic biases. The Aryans have made a deep impression on Kerala in late proto-historic times.
Jewish and Arabs trade's were the first to come to Kerala sailing in the ships to set up trading stations. The Apostle of Christ, St. Thomas is believed to have come to Muziris in AD 52 and established the first church in Kerala
Portuguese discovered the sea route to India from Europe when Vasco da gama landed with his ship near Kappad in Calicut in AD 1498. Slowly the Kerala society became a mix of people belonging to various sects of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. The arrival of Portuguese was followed by the Dutch, the French and finally the British.The State of Kerala was created on the 1st of November 1956. The Keralites celebrate this day as 'Kerala piravi' meaning the 'birth of Kerala'
The Modern State of Kerala
The modern State of Kerala was created in 1956, when all the States in the country were re-organised on a linguistic basis. Malayalam (a palindrome) is the official language. Kerala is the smallest of the four southern States, but with the highest density in population. Keralites are proud to tell you that it has the highest literacy rate in the country (100 percent), the lowest rate of infant mortality and the leading female-to-male ratio (1,032 females to every 1,000 males), significant in a country where the gender bias is marked. Kerala also made history, when in 1957 it became the first State in the world to democratically elect a Marxist Government. Since then it has been ruled by various political parties from time to time and today politics continues to dominate conversation.
Kerala is a land that remains isolated yet easily accessible. It is well connected by air, sea, rail and road. It is one of the most progressive States in terms of social welfare and physical quality of life. Kerala has India's largest concentration of science and technology personnel. History has helped the Keralites develop a cosmopolitan outlook too and language is not a barrier.
The glory of Kerala has lured travelers and traders in the past. They mainly came to Malabar in North Kerala and left behind remarkable comments about it.
They drank Malabar to their heart's content and left behind remarkable accounts of its past. To quote a few:
"When you leave the Islands of Seilan and sail westwards about sixty miles, you come to the great province of Malabar, which is styled India the greater. It is the best of all the Indus and is on the main land There is in the kingdom a great quantity of pepper and ginger and cinnamon and nuts of India"
Marco Polo in his Book of Travels (1292 AD).
"We next come to Kalikat, one of the great ports of the district of Malabar and in which merchants from all parts are found "They put a thief to death for stealing a single nut or even a seed of any fruit, hence thieves are unknown among them The greatest part of the Mohammedan merchants of this place are so wealthy that one of them can purchase the whole freightage of such vessels as put in here".
Sheik Ibn Batuta (1342-47 AD).
"Such security and justice reign in Malabar that rich merchants bring to it from maritime countries large cargoes of merchandise which they disembark and deposit in the streets and market places and for a length of time leave it without consigning it to any ones charge or placing it under and guard".
Abdu-r-Razzak (1442 AD).
"There was one point in regard to the character of the inhabitants of Malabar, on which all authorities, however diametrically opposed to each other on other points, agreed and that was with regard to the independence of mind of the inhabitants. This independence of mind was generally diffused through the minds of the people".
Lord William Bentick (1804).
"Some of the more remarkable of the vegetable and animal productions of the Malabar coast have been known to western nations from times antecedent to the Christian era, and have been the objects of maritime enterprise and commerce through all the succeeding centuries".
Willian Logan (1887).