THE GOD'S OWN COUNTRY

KERALA

INTRODUCTION

Kerala , regionally referred to as Keralam (കേരളം), is a state in the south-west region of India on the Malabar coast. It was formed on 1 November 1956 as per the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam-speaking regions. Spread over 38,863 km2 (15,005 sq mi) it is bordered by Karnataka to the north and north east, Tamil Nadu to the east and south, and the Laccadive Sea to the west. With 33,387,677 inhabitants as per the 2011 census, Kerala is the twelfth largest state by population and is divided into 14 districts. Malayalam (മലയാളം) is the most widely spoken and official language of the state. The state capital is Thiruvananthapuram, other major cities include Kochi, Kozhikode, Kollam andThrissur.


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OFFICIALS

Official Animal-Elephant

Official Bird-Hornbill (Vezhambal)

Official Flower-The Indian laburnum (Kanikkonna)

Official Tree-Coconut Palm


CUISINE

Kerala cuisine has a multitude of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes prepared using fish, poultry and meat. Culinary spices have been cultivated in Kerala for millennia and they are characteristic of its cuisine. Rice is a dominant staple that is eaten at all times of day. Breakfast dishes are frequently based on the rice preparations idli, puttu Idiyappam, or pulse-based vada ortapioca. These may be accompanied by chutney, kadala, payasam, payar pappadam, Appam, egg masala and fish curry. Lunch dishes include rice and curry along with rasam, pulisherry and sambar. Sadhya is a vegetarian meal, often served on a banana leaf and followed with a cup ofpayasam. Popular snacks include banana chips, yam crisps, tapioca chips, unniyappam and kuzhalappam. Non-vegetarian dishes, including those with beef and pork, are popular in the state. Sea food specialities include karimeen, prawn, shrimp and other crustacean dishes.


FESTIVALS

Onam is the most biggest festival in Kerala. It is the National Festival of Kerala with State holidays on 4 days starting from Onam Eve (Uthardom) to the 4rd Onam Day. Its also one of the most secular festival. Onam Festival falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug - Sep) and marks the homecoming of mythical King Mahabali who Malayalees consider as their King. Onam is a reminiscent of Kerala's agrarian past, as its considered to be harvest festival.



The Aranmula Boat Race the oldest river boat fiesta in Kerala, the south western State of India is held during Onam (August-September). It takes place at Aranmula, near a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and Arjuna.

DANCE

Kerala is home to a number of performance arts. These include five classical dance forms: Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Koodiyattom,Thullal and Krishnanattam, originated and developed in the temple theatres during the classical period under the patronage of royal houses. Kerala natanam, Kaliyattam, Theyyam, Koothu and Padayani are other dance forms associated with the temple culture of the region.[308] Some traditional dance forms such as Margamkali, Parichamuttu and Chavittu nadakom are popular among the Christians, while Oppana and Duffmuttu are popular among the Muslims of the state.


MUSIC

Development of classical music in Kerala is attributed to the contributions it received from the traditional performance arts associated with the temple culture of Kerala. Development of the indigenous classical music form, Sopana Sangeetham, illustrates the rich contribution that temple culture has made to the arts of Kerala. Carnatic music dominates Keralite traditional music. This was the result of Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma's popularisation of the genre in the 19th century.


Kerala Tourism Video - The Travel Planners