Kerala is a beautiful stretch of land between the Arabian Sea and a mountain range. Irrigated by over 40 rivers and two pouring monsoons, this small stretch is a green and clean place. It is a land of elephants, exotic fruits (like the jackfruit), the golder konna flower of prosperity, forests, forested homesteads, heritage buildings, rivers and of course, green hills. It is also a land of coastal backwaters, beaches, monsoon rains, quaint little towns, country boat races, grand elephant festivals and other fascinating experiences.
The National Geographic Traveler rated Kerala [Kerela] as one of the top tourist destinations.
Just where is this land? It is in India, on the southwest coast. In the map, Kerela is the narrow stretch at bottom left. Just over 500 kms in length, this stretch is less than 200 kms at its widest. It lies between the Arabian Sea to the west and a mountain range in the east.
44 rivers, ranging in length from 15 kms to 245 kms, flow across this small stretch. Rains from two monsoons (rainy seasons) pour down every year, replenishing the rivers and watering all the vegetation. These factors have created the garden country called Kerala.
In ancient days, Pepper and other spices of Kerala had attracted traders from Arab countries and Europe. History was made when a trader from Portugal, Vasco da Gama, landed in Calicut of Kerala during 1498AD (and reportedly made a 3000 per cent profit on the spices he managed to collect). You can see several heritage monuments left by the Portuguese, and the Dutch, French and English who came after them, consisting mostly of churches and forts.
Another adventurer, Christopher Columbus, had sailed west in search of the same spices, and discovered America in 1492AD.
We will look at all the different attractions of Kerela (including the healing system Ayurveda) in forthcoming pages of this website. Check the SiteMap page for a detailed list of the topics already covered.
All the photographs and content of this Web site are Copyright © T. Gopinathan.