Kerala, the tropical paradise known as “God’s own country”, is spread over an area of 38,863 sq. km. It shares its borders with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The Union Territory of Lakshadweep is located to the west of Kerala, in the Arabian Sea.
- Capital – Thiruvananthapuram
- Districts -14
- Population – 33,406,061
- Assembly seats – 140
- Lok Sabha seats – 20
- Rajya Sabha seats – 9
- Literacy rate – 93.91%
- Sex ratio – 1084
- Life expectancy – 77 years.
- Infant mortality rate – 10
EMS Namboodripad was the first chief minister of the state which was created on 1 November 1956. The current incumbent, Pinarayi Vijayan of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), was sworn in as the state’s22nd Chief Minister on 25 May 2016. P Sathasivam is the Governor of Kerala.
- Kerala is considered to be among the cleanest states in India. It was ranked second in the Swachh Survekshan (survey) 2016.
- The state boasts of the highest literacy rate for women, which stands at 91.98%.
- Kerala has the highest Human Development Index (HDI) in the country.
- With efficient medical health care facilities, Kerala has the lowest mortality rate among Indian states with 10 deaths per 1000 births.
The name of the state has been extracted from the Malayali word keram, meaning a coconut tree. Kerala is literally the ‘land of coconuts’.
- The state was initially known as the ‘Travancore State’.
- Malayalam is the state language though other languages like English are also spoken.
- Elephant is the state animal. It occupies a prominent position in the state emblem.
- Onam is a major festival and it is celebrated in a big way.
- Four decisive Anglo-British wars were fought in the state under the rule of Hyder Ali of Mysore Dynasty and Tipu Sultan.
God’s Own Country
The state is a major attraction for tourists with its picturesque backwaters and a scenic coastline. The tea estates of Munnar make for a perfect setting. Kerala has 14 wildlife sanctuaries and two tiger reserves.
Trade and Industry
Kerala is referred to as the “Spice Coast of India” with Kochi as the major port. It is the largest producer of crops like banana, ginger, tea and coffee. The state also accounts for 91% of the rubber plantations in India. Major industries include those dealing with coir and cashew.