About Kerala

With the Arabian Sea in the west, the Western Ghats towering 500-2700 metres in the east and networked by forty four rivers, Kerala enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Asia. Kerala is named after 'kera', the coconut palm tree and literally translates as the 'Land of the Coconut'. Once known as the Malabar Coast, Kerala is the India of old. It is a deeply reflective land with enduring traditions and a people renowned for their friendliness and courtesy. With its leafy waterways that meander from village to village, fine beaches, its ancient temples, palaces and churches and, above all, its relaxed way of life, Kerala exerts a beguiling influence on all those who visit its shores. The question is not so much as when to visit, but having visited, how to tear yourself away. Palm fringed beaches, endless paddy fields, rolling hills, backwaters that snake past tiled-roof houses and spotless village roads : Kerala is a land of unmatched beauty. Malayali society is unique, boasting a highly literate population, and a people unfettered by the divisions of caste and creed. Diverse religions live here in peaceful amicability, each enriching the State with its customs and practices. Add vibrant arts and colourful festivals, ancient shrines and delectable cuisine, and Kerala is a must-stop destination. Kerala's towns are far removed from big-city concrete jungles, and the dividing line between urban and rural is fine indeed, with green avenues and placid backwaters gracing the busiest cities, and tarred roads and public schools evident in the smallest villages. Even the capital city Thiruvananthapuram, retains much of its old-world charm. Tree-lined streets undulate past quaint bungalows, little shops, venerable temples, Palaces of the Travancore royal family, beaches etc. Kochi is an amalgamation of several erstwhile villages and towns. Fort Kochi and the islands of Vypeen, Vallarpadom, Gundu and Bolghatty house relics of Kochi's colonial past, from Portuguese churches to Dutch mansions. Mattancherry is a cultural hybrid, grafting the cultures and traditions of conquerors, missionaries and refugees onto the native ethos.