Kerala

Kerala is a popular tourist destination famous for its backwaters, Ayurvedic treatments and tropical greenery.

Kerala is a state in India located on the south-western region of the country. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act bringing together the areas where Malayalam was the dominant language.

The state has an area of 38,863 km2 (15,005 sq mi) and is bordered by Karnataka to the north, Tamil Nadu to the south and the east and the Lakshadweep Sea towards the west. Thiruvananthapuram is the capital and largest city of Kerala. Kochi and Kozhikode are the other major cities. Kerala is also known for its many small towns that are scattered across the state, thus creating a higher density of population.

Kerala is a popular tourist destination famous for its backwaters, Ayurvedic treatments and tropical greenery. .

Kerala has a higher Human Development Index than all other states in India.The state has a literacy rate of 94.59 percent, the highest in India. A survey conducted in 2005 by Transparency International ranked Kerala as the least corrupt state in the country. Kerala has witnessed significant migration of its people, especially to the Persian Gulf countries during the Kerala Gulf boom, and is heavily dependent on remittances from its large Malayali expatriate community.

Kerala is wedged between the Lakshadweep sea and the Western Ghats. Lying between north latitudes 8°18′ and 12°48′ and east longitudes 74°52′ and 77°22′, Kerala experiences the humid equatorial tropic climate. The state has a coast of length 590 km (367 mi) and the width of the state varies between 35 and 120 km (22–75 miles).

Geographically, Kerala can be divided into three climatically distinct regions: the eastern highlands (rugged and cool mountainous terrain), the central midlands (rolling hills), and the western lowlands (coastal plains). This hamlet state of India is located at the extreme southern tip of the Indian subcontinent.

Eastern Kerala consists of high mountains, gorges and deep-cut valleys immediately west of the Western Ghats’ rain shadow. The Western Ghats form a wall of mountains interrupted only near Palakkad, where the Palakkad Gap breaks through to provide access to the rest of India.

Kerala’s western coastal belt is relatively flat, and is criss-crossed by a network of interconnected brackish canals, lakes, estuaries, and rivers known as the Kerala Backwaters. Lake Vembanad—Kerala’s largest body of water—dominates the Backwaters; it lies between Alappuzha and Kochi and is more than 200 km² in area.

With 120–140 rainy days per year, Kerala has a wet and maritime tropical climate influenced by the seasonal heavy rains of the southwest summer monsoon. In eastern Kerala, a drier tropical wet and dry climate prevails. Kerala’s rainfall averages 3,107 mm annually. Some of Kerala’s drier lowland regions average only 1,250 mm; the mountains of eastern Idukki district receive more than 5,000 mm of orographic precipitation, the highest in the state. The mean daily temperatures range from 19.8 °C to 36.7 °C. Mean annual temperatures range from 25.0–27.5 °C in the coastal lowlands to 20.0–22.5 °C in the eastern highlands.

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