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It is a narrow strip of coastal territory that slopes down the Western Ghats in a cascade of lush green vegetation, and reaches to the Arabian sea. Kerala borders the states of Tamil Nadu to the east and Karnataka to the north. It is also known for its backwaters, mountains, coconuts, spices and art forms like Kathakali and Mohini Attam. It is the most literate state in India, and a land of great religiosity, where you can find Hindu temples, mosques, churches, and even synagogues. With world class tourist sporting options, ayurvedic spas and treatments, eco-tourism initiatives, a large number of visit options ranging from beautiful high altitude blue mountains to pristine rain forests to golden sun-sand beaches and an enormous range of accommodation, Kerala has much to offer the visitor. HISTORY OF KERLA : HISTORY OF KERLA Kerala is one of the few places in India that was not subject to direct British rule. Large parts, including the Tiruvithamkoor (Travancore) and Kochi (Cochin) regions were ruled by Maharajas (local kings) during the period of the British rule in India, and were known for their progressive attitude which resulted in various welfare reforms, particularly in the areas of education and health care. The blue mountains of Munnar Kerala was the place in India where European colonization first started. The Portuguese were the first to discover a direct sea route between Lisbon to Kozhikode in Kerala, and this marked the first European colonisation in the country. Soon the Dutch, French, Italians and British were all lured by the wealth of spices and silk, and came with the intention of forming colonies. The defeat of the Dutch by the Travancore Army at the Battle of Colachel, and the decline of Portugese Empire and French problems in Europe, resulted in the British gaining the full influence in country, and the annexation of the Malabar Kingdom into the British Madras Presidency. HISTORY OF KERLA Kerala is one of the few places in India that was not subject to direct British rule. Large parts, including the Tiruvithamkoor (Travancore) and Kochi (Cochin) regions were ruled by Maharajas (local kings) during the period of the British rule in India, and were known for their progressive attitude which resulted in various welfare reforms, particularly in the areas of education and health care. Slide 6: Kerala, being very close to equator, has a tropical climate. Kerala experiences heavy rains almost throughout the year, and is one of the wettest areas in the earth. Kerala has three distinct seasons: Summer lasts from mid-February to mid-May. The tropical sun is really hot and temperatures can go up to 35°C in the afternoons. The south west monsoon is in place from May end until early August. Heavy rains occur from the last week of September until early November, due to the North-East Monsoon winds. Winter is mild and lasts from about late October to mid-January. There is no snow in Kerala, although it is quite cold and misty in the mountain regions. When in Kerala, carry an umbrella no matter what time of the year it is. You can be caught in a sudden shower in summer which will leave you drenched if you are unprepared. The Kerala sun coupled with high rate of humidity can be unforgiving in the summer months. The temperature averages around: 28°C - 36°C daytime, 24°C - 30°C at night in summer seasons of March, April 20°C - 28°C daytime, 18°C - 25°C at night for the rest of the year CLIMATE IN KERLA Slide 7: RELIGIONS OF KERLA Hinduism is the largest religion in the state. Hinduism in Kerala is bit different to other parts of India, due to assimilation of traditional Dravidian culture, and later due to the social movements across the state which almost relieved caste based discriminations. Kerala's Islam is also unique. Its believed that Islam reached shores of Kerala around 600 AD, due to strong trading relations between Kerala and Arabia that time. This resulted in Kerala adopting Shafi'i School of Islam like many Arab countries such as Oman and Yemen, and unlike the Hanfi school elsewhere in Insia. Christianity too has made a unique mark in Kerala's history. St.Thomas the Apostle came in 52 AD and spread the message of Christ. This resulted in large influx of Syrian Immigrants who soon assimilated with the locals. Kerala has the largest number of Churches, of which many are considered extremely sacred, in India. For thousands of years Buddhism was the most influential religion in Kerala. It was only in the 11th and 12th centuries that Brahmanism took hold in the state and Buddhism waned. Judaism has existed in Kerala for about 2000 years, and today a minority of Jews live around Kochi, although there was a mass migration to Israel in 1950s. Hindus constitute about 60% of the population, and Muslims and Christians account for about 20% each. Communal and sectarian tensions are minimal POPULAR DANCE : POPULAR DANCE Bharatanatyam: Bharatanatyam is a classical dance which originated from Tamil Nadu state. Bharatanatyam is a combination of Bhava, Raga and Tala that narrates the story in a dramatic form. The sculptures seen in various postures in the South Indian temples are mostly based on Baratanatyam dance. Slide 10: Kathakali Kathakali is a popular dance drama, originated from the south Indian state of Kerala. This dance is performed with heavy costumes and make-up. Kathakali narrates the Mahabharat and Ramayan in the form of story play. This dance is generally performed by men, both in male and female characters. Slide 11: Mohiniattam Mohiniyattam is yet another traditional dance form from the South Indian State of Kerala. Mohiniattam is performed as a solo and group dance by women. ‘Mohini’ meaning ‘woman’ and ‘aattam’ meaning ‘graceful movements’. This dance narrates the episode of Lord Vishnu who appears as Mohini to save Lord Shiva from the demon Bhasmasura. Slide 12: Kuchipudi Kuchipudi dance is a classical dance which originated from Kuchelapuram village near Vijayawada, Krishna District in Andhra Pradesh. It’s a dance drama that artists perform with various facial expressions depicting different moods. It also has got many movements similar to Bharatanatyam, another famous dance in India. Slide 14: Kathak Kathak is the major classical dance drama from North India. The word Kathak is derived from Sanskrit meaning ‘telling a story’. This dance is performed with beautiful expressions on the face, fast footsteps and also the fast body spinning. ATTRACTIVES ATTRIBUTES OF KERLA : ATTRACTIVES ATTRIBUTES OF KERLA Due to its unique geography, Kerala gets rain for at least 8 months of the year and the forests are classified as rainforests. There are many opportunities to trek, camp and see wildlife. Backwaters Mountains Beaches Historical monuments Eco-tourism villages Religious attractions Backwaters : Backwaters Backwaters of Kerala are a maze of lagoons criss-crossed with rivers, shallow pools and canals, all separated from the sea by a narrow strip of sand banks. Backwaters are present throughout the state but Alappuzha and Kottayam are most notable in this regard. The annual Vallam Kali boat races take place in the backwaters. The boats are large wooden canoes that can accommodate 60 to 100 rowers. The most famous race is for the Nehru Trophy Vallam Kalli, held on the second Saturday of August as a tribute to the former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who had a keen interest in this sport. Mountains : Mountains The Blue Mountains of the Western Ghats, popularly known as Nilgiris, are close to Trivandrum and there are numerous hill stations in thise area. The most popular is Munnar, the honeymoon capital of the state. The highest peak of the Western Ghats is located at Anamudi (2,695 metres) and is good for trekking. The area is also home to several sanctuaries and forest reserve areas. There are more than two dozen waterfalls, both large and small, with numerous rapids and springs. The largest fallwaters are at Athirampally, where three milky waterfalls fall at great speed. Beaches : Beaches The world famous Kovalam beach, well known for fun and frolic Kerala has 650 km of coastline and numerous beaches. Some of the more notable are: Kovalam Beach near Trivandrum has a good bathing area, clean environment and plenty of accommodation. This was a centre of Hippy counter-culture in sixties, and is today well known for hedonistic beach parties. Cherai Beach near Kochi city has a large golden sand beach. Alapuzha Beach and Kollam Beach are both well known for beach sports and tournaments. Kozhikode Beach is where Vasco da Gama first landed in India, marking the start of European colonization and the Age of Discovery. Varkala Beach near Kollam A long cliff makes the beach more natural (no restaurant behind you). long beach with a natural spring. Historical monuments : Historical monuments Mahanandi Temple Bekal Fort Eco-tourism villages : Eco-tourism villages Kerala was the first state to formally embrace the eco-tourism concept in South Asia, and has made considerable strides in this respect. Akkalum Tourist Village in Trivandrum is set in a very clean and green environment. There is a floating bridge and beautiful landscaped gardens. Many famous statues and sculptures dot the area. Enjoying an Ayurveda : Enjoying an Ayurveda Enjoying an Ayurveda Massage while in Kerala, is always a priority for tourists. There are two types of Ayurvedic places, Ayurvedic hospitals and Ayurveda centres. While the former is for treatment of serious ailments, diseases and disorders, the latter is for casual spa-like treatment. There are many popular Ayurvedic theme resorts which mixes both treatment and pleasure. There are also many spas and massage centres offering light treatments. Check for the fovernment rating, displayed at the reception. This is similar to a Star Rating for hotels and they are called Green Leaf ratings. The more green leafs, the better (and the higher the price). Uauthorized massage centres are mainly sex shops in disguise. No large scale hospitals are given a green leaf, as they are classified as medical centres. Most 3 star and above hotels have inhouse Ayurvedic spas. HOUSEBOATS : HOUSEBOATS The houseboat holidays of Kerala are increasingly becoming popular with domestic as well as international tourists. Consequently, the number of houseboats plying the backwaters of Kerala have increased dramatically. So much so that there is an urgent need to evaluate the safety and service standards of houseboats and classify them accordingly. This will be the first step towards sustaining this unique tourism product. Slide 23: CONCLUSION Kerala, a state situated on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Named as one of the ten paradises of the world by the National Geographic Traveler, Kerala is famous especially for its ecotourism initiatives Its unique culture and traditions, coupled with its varied demography, has made Kerala one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Growing at a rate of 13.31%, the tourism industry is a major contributor to the state's economy. Until the early 1980s, Kerala was a hitherto unknown destination, with most tourism circuits concentrated around the north of the country. Aggressive marketing campaigns launched by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation—the government agency that oversees tourism prospects of the state—laid the foundation for the growth of the tourism industry. In the decades that followed, Kerala Tourism was able to transform itself into one of the niche holiday destinations in India. The tag line Kerala- God's Own Country was adopted in its tourism promotions and became synonymous with the state. Today, Kerala Tourism is a global super brand and regarded as one of the destinations with the highest brand recall. In 2006, Kerala attracted 8.5 million tourists–an increase of 23.68% in foreign tourist arrivals compared to the previous year, thus making it one of the fastest growing tourism destination in the world. You do not have the permission to view this presentation. In order to view it, please contact the author of the presentation.