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Kerala, India

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Avdisha, 8th Standard, Wisdom World School, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India - 136118

Area: 38852 sq. km

Population: 3.34 crore

Capital: Thiruvananthapuram

Jurisdiction of High Court: Kerala and Lakshadweep

Principle language: Malayalam

State flower: Amaltas (Indian Laburnum)

State tree: Coconut Tree

State animal: Elephant

State bird: Great hornbill

Official website: http://www.kerala.gov.in

Kerala is in the extreme south-west of the Indian subcontinent. When independent India amalgamated small states together Travancore and Cochin states were integrated to form Travancore-Cochin state in July 1949. However, Malabar remained under the Madras province. Under the State’s Re-organisation Act, 1956, Travancore-Cochin state and Malabar were united to form Kerala state in November, 1956.

In between the high Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west, the width of the state varies from 35 km to 120 km. According to the geographical features, the state can be divided into hills, valleys, midland plains and coastal belt. 44 rivers (41 west flowing and 3 east flowing) cut across Kerala with their innumerable tributaries and branches. The backwaters form an attractive and economically valuable feature of Kerala.

Agriculture

Kerala, the land of lush green paddy fields, cool coconut groves, fragrant spice garden, dubbed as “God’s own country” is nestled in the southern tip of India. Fertile soil and warm humid tropical climate make Kerala an ideal place for cultivation of a wide variety of crops which included coconut, rice, rubber, banana, spices, fruits, vegetables, cashew nut, tubers, coffee, tea, medicinal plants, areca nut, etc.

Industry

Kerala, India’s most emerging industrial destination beckons with an endless listing of opportunities in varied sectors. To transform Kerala into a vibrant entrepreneurial society with faster, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in order to achieve global standards in every domain, the government has taken steps to implement investor friendly industrial policy to enable constructive investment in all sectors.

Irrigation

The surface irrigation constitutes major chunk of irrigation infrastructure. There are 18 dams intended for irrigation. Irrigation development is mainly centered on the development of surface water resources mainly on the development of major and medium irrigation projects. In each plan, priority in allocation was given for the development of major and medium irrigation projects. Rice is the major crop benefited through irrigation infrastructure. With the fast changes taking place in the farm front with notable reduction in the area under rice cultivation, even the distribution system already developed for gravity irrigation to service rice cultivation now require realignment.

Drinking Water Supply

Demand for water is increasing due to multitude of human activities in the country. The primary responsibility of providing drinking water facilities in the country rests with the respective state governments. In urban and rural areas of the state, 29 per cent and 71 per cent of the population were covered. The total number of urban and rural people covered by water supply schemes was 70.41 lakh and 169.30 lakh respectively.

Power

Power sector plays a vital role in all developmental activities in Kerala. Obviously power crisis is the prime obstacle to start new initiatives in the industrial field. The need for power is increasing and the production of power should also increase accordingly. Monsoon is essential to sustain the hydropower base in the state and the shortage in rainfall usually creates power crisis. Kerala is a power deficit state which imports 60 per cent of power from other states. A major achievement is that it has achieved full electrification in all villages. The need for power is increasing and the production of power should be increased accordingly. Monsoon is essential to sustain the hydropower base in the state. Hydel energy is the most reliable and dependable source.

Transport

Transport sector plays a pivotal role in the overall development of the country which enables social, cultural and trade development between countries. Transport infrastructure consists of fixed installations, roads, railways, airways, waterways, canals, pipelines and terminals. Kerala holds a good transport system. The roads in Kerala are maintained by National Highway Authority, Public Works Department, local bodies, Department of Irrigation, Kerala State Electricity Board, Department of Forest, Railways, etc.

In Kerala the Public Works Department has a total road length of 318116 km of state roads and 1542 kms of national highways. The state roads include 4341.65 km of major district roads. Road improvements, repair and maintenance of existing roads, development and upgradation are the major activities taken up in the sector during the year.

Port Sector: Kerala lies in the south west corner of the Indian peninsula. It has a coastal length of 585 km and has an average width of about 60 km with one major port at Kochi and 17 minor ports. The geographical location of the state is very close to international shipping route. There are 17 minor ports, out of which 3 are considered as intermediate ports based on berthing, cargo handling and storage facilities available in them. These have contributed much to the development of industry, trade, commerce and agriculture in the country.

Railways: Railways are essentially the cause for industrial upsurge in the nation and it still remained the largest employment provider for the huge population of the country. The total railway route in Kerala has a length of 1257 km and covers 13 railway route. The Railway Division at Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Madurai jointly carry out railway operations.

Air Transport: Kerala has three airports at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode handling both international and domestic flights. Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode airports are owned by Government of India and Kochi airport is owned by Kochi International Airport Ltd., a company set up by Government of Kerala with public private participation.

Festivals

Kerala is the home of many colourful festivals. Onam is the most typical of festivals which coincides with the harvest season. It is now celebrated on astronomical New Year Day. Navarathri is celebrated as Saraswathi Pooja. Maha Shivarathri is celebrated on the banks of Periyar river as a spectacular festival which is compared to Kumbhamela. The 41-day festival, which coincides with Makaravilakku in Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple, attracts lakhs of people from India and abroad. The Vallamkali or boat race is typical of Kerala. All the boat festivals have a religious origin except Nehru Trophy Boat Race conducted in the Punnamada Lake. Thrissur celebrates Pooram festival in April - May every year with an impressive procession of caparisoned elephants and display of unparalleled pyrotechnics. Main Christian festivals are Christmas and Easter. Mormon Convention held every year on the Pumba riverbed is the biggest gathering of Christians in Asia. The Muslims celebrate Milade Shareef, Ramzan fasting, Id-ul-Fitr and Bakrid.

Tourism

Kerala, located on the south western tip of India, enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world. Fondly referred to as “God’s Own Country”, Kerala was selected by the National Geographic Traveller as one of the 50 destinations of a lifetime and one of the thirteen paradises in the world. Its unique eco-tourism initiatives, culture and traditions coupled with its varied demography has made Kerala one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. An equable climate, serene beaches, tranquil stretches of back waters; lush hill stations and exotic wildlife are the major attractions of this land. A unique advantage of Kerala is that the most of the destinations here are only a two-four hour drive from the other. Kerala has fascinated people from all over the world with her secularism and culture.

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