Kerala is an Indian state located on the Malabar Coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act, and it combined various Malayalam speaking regions.
The state has an area of 38,863 km and is bordered by Karnataka to the north and northeast, Tamil Nadu to the south and southeast and the Arabian Sea. towards the west. Thiruvananthapuram is the capital city. Kochi and Kozhikode are other major cities. As per a survey by The Economic Times, five out of ten best cities to live in India are located in Kerala.
Kerala is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Its unique culture and traditions, coupled with its varied demographics, has made Kerala one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. National Geographic’s Traveller magazine names Kerala as one of the “ten paradises of the world” and “50 must see destinations of a lifetime”. Travel and Leisure names Kerala as “One of the 100 great trips for the 21st century”.
Until the early 1980s, Kerala was a relatively unknown destination; most tourist circuits focused on North India. Aggressive marketing campaigns launched by the KTDC, the government agency that oversees tourism prospects of the state, laid the foundation for the growth of the tourism industry. In the decades that followed, Kerala’s tourism industry was able to transform the state into one of the niche holiday destinations in India. The tagline Kerala-God’s Own Country has been widely used in Kerala’s tourism promotions and soon became synonymous with the state. In 2006, Kerala attracted 8.5 million tourist arrivals, an increase of 23.68% over the previous year, making the state one of the fastest-growing destinations in the world.
The Popular attractions in the state include the beaches at Kovalam, Cherai, Varakal, the hill stations of Munnar, Wayanad, Wagamon, Peermade, Nelliampathi and Ponmudi, and national parks and wildlife sanctuaries at Periyar, Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary and Eravikulam National Park. The “backwater region, which comprises an extensive network of interlocking rivers, lakes, and canals that centre on Alleppey, Kumarakom, and Punnamada (where the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race is held in August), also see heavy tourist traffic. Heritage sites, such as the Padmanabhapuram Palace and the Mattancherry Palace, are also visited. Cities such as Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram are popular centres for their shopping and traditional theatrical performances respectively. During early summer, the Thrissur Pooram is conducted, attracting foreign tourists who are largely drawn by the festival’s elephants and celebrants. The main pilgrim tourist spots of Kerala are Sabarimala Temple, Padmanabhaswamy Temple (Thiruvananthapuram), Padanilam Parabrahma Temple(Mavelikkara), Chettikulangara Temple, Vadakumnathan Temple, Guruvayoor Temple, Sarkara Devi Temple, Malayattor Church and Parumala Church
Kerala’s culture is derived from both a Tamil-heritage region known as Tamilakam and southern coastal Karnataka. Later, Kerala’s culture was elaborated upon through centuries of contact with neighboring and overseas cultures. Native performing arts include koodiyattam (a 2000-year-old Sanskrit theatre tradition, officially recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity,kathakali—from katha (“story”) and kali (“performance”)—and its offshoot Kerala natanam, Kaliyattam -(North Malabar special), koothu (akin to stand-up comedy),mohiniaattam (“dance of the enchantress”), Theyyam, thullal NS padayani. Kathakali and Mohiniattam are widely recognized Indian Classical Dance traditions from Kerala.