67 Kerala Facts About Its Ecotourism Initiatives & Backwaters

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Oct 20, 2022 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Mar 30, 2022
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
These Kerala facts will come in handy when you're planning your next trip there!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 12.6 Min

Located on the southwestern Malabar coast of India, Kerala is a small coastal state.

The name of the state is believed to have come from the vast coconut plantations on the state. The word 'Kera' translates to 'coconut tree' and 'Alam' means 'land,' hence the state bears the nickname, 'land of coconut trees.'

The Kerala state was formed on November 1, 1956, and the state shares borders with Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. Kerala occupies 15005 sq. mi (38,863 sq km) of land, which is only around 1.18% of the total Indian landmass. The state is located between the Arabian Sea in the west and the Western Ghats in the east, and a total of 44 rivers flow through the state.

Kerala's official language is Malayalam, and English is also used as an additional language. Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of Kerala.

Kerala's serene beaches, lush hill stations, and exotic wildlife and backwaters are just some of the natural wonders that attract tourists to the state from all parts of the world! Tourism in Kerala, alongside its agricultural sector, is a major contributor to the Indian economy.

Biodiversity Of Kerala

Kerala, located on the western coast of India, is blessed with many natural riches such as hills, beaches, and backwaters. Discover more with these biodiversity facts:

The backwaters of Kerala are a premium tourist attraction, and lakes and lagoons running parallel to the Arabian Sea are also very popular among visitors to the state.

The Periyar, also known as 'Choorni' in the ancient period, is the longest river in Kerala and stretches as far as 151.6 mi (244 km)!

Kerala is geographically divided into three major tourists areas: Travancore, Kochi, and Malabar.

The Western Ghats of Kerala house around eight hotspots that attract tourists regularly. Various wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, and forests are located in the Western Ghats.

There are around 18 wildlife sanctuaries and five national parks in the state, with Eravikulam National Park being the first and largest national park in Kerala.

The Silent Valley National Park located in the Nilgiri hills houses various rare species of plants and animals. The park is one of the last undisturbed rainforests in Kerala and was declared a national park in 1984.

Kerala's state tree is the coconut tree and its state bird is the great hornbill.

Kerala has some of the most unique wetlands in the country. The Sasthamkotta Lake, Ashtamudi Lake, and the Vembanad-Kol Wetland are three of the best-known wetlands. These Ramsar sites are an important part of the ecology of Kerala as they are home to several species of plants and animals.

Kerala's Vembanad Lake is the longest lake in India as well as the largest lake in Kerala.

Kerala receives the first rain spell in India, followed by Mumbai and Delhi. While most of the country receives its first rainfall in July, Kerala receives its first rainfall in the first week of June.

Kerala harbors a wide assortment of naturally-occurring herbs in India. Hundreds of herb varieties can be found in the green lands and forest regions of Kerala. Herbs like alamaki, bharangi, yashtimadhu, brahmi, and katphal can be found in the region.

Tourist Attractions Of Kerala

Kerala's location plays a favorable role in the state's economy, as the state is full of natural wonders like various waterfalls, beaches, and hilly regions. These facts about Kerala's many tourist attractions will hopefully help you plan your visit there.

Kerala is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India and was named among the ten best tourist destinations in 2014 by Lonely Planet. The state was mentioned by National Geographic in 2012 as one of the ten paradises of the world.

Millions of tourists visit Kerala every year, as the state boasts a variety of natural wonders, from the backwaters of Kerala to its forests and hill stations.

The Kerala backwaters are geographically unique, as the lagoons and lakes of Kerala run parallel to Kerala's west coast. The routes of these waters twist and turn to create intricate networks linked by narrow canals.

Excluding the Himalayas, the Anamudi Peak situated in Kerala's Anaimalai range is the highest point in the Western Ghats of India. The peak has an incredible height of 8133 ft (2478.9 m) and is also known as the 'Everest of South India.'

The oldest teak trees in the world are located in Kerala. Established in the 1840s by H.V. Conolly, the Nilambur Teak Plantation is spread over a vast region of 5.7 ac (2.31 ha) and is located in the Malappuram district.

Kerala Police has a division called the Tourist Police that assists and guides tourists who visit the state.

The longest drive-in beach in Asia is Kerala's Muzhappilangad Beach. The Beach runs parallel to the NH 66 highway and ranks among the world's six best drive-in beaches.

Somatheeram, the Ayurvedic resort located at Chowara Beach in Kerala is a major tourist attraction and is one of the most famous resorts in the state. Millions of people visit the resort to get some ayurvedic healing!

The Padmanabhaswamy Temple, known for being the richest Hindu temple in the world, is another major tourist attraction that you can visit. The assets of the temple are in form of precious stones and ornaments.

The Ashtamudi Lake located in Kollam is a great place to visit, as the region is blessed with vibrant greenery and delightful blue waters. The lake surrounds 30% of the Sasthamkotta and Kollam Lakes.

Located 9.3 mi (15 km) from Thekkady, Chellarkovil is a small settlement that is best known for cultivating coconuts, cotton, grapes, and vegetables right on the slopes of the village. Chellarkovil is an ideal location if you need a calming environment and want to take in the spectacular views of the lush-green hills.

Palakkad houses acres of rice fields and the mountains dotted with rivers, streams, and forests act as a beautiful backdrop to the rice fields. The Malampuzha Dam, believed to be the best largest reservoir in Kerala, is also located in Palakkad.

The Malampuzha gardens, maintained by Kerala's government, are a visual treat that will take your breath away! The gardens house the famous Yakshi statue. The Tipu Sultan Fort is situated in Palakkad as well, and is also known as the Palakkad Fort.

Kochi, located on the southeastern part of Kerala's mainland, is famous for Fort Kochi, a small fishing village. The city has various tourist attractions in the form of the Jew Synagogue, the Indo-Portuguese Museum, and the locality of Mattancherry and its palace.

The lanes of Mattancherry house several shops that sell jewelry, accessories, and garments that are worth browsing!

The Athirapally Falls are considered to be Kerala's most famous waterfall. It is located 20.5 mi (33 km) east of Chalakuddy in Kerala's Thrissur district. The waterfall is within trekking distance and you can get to the bottom of the Athirapally Falls to get a closer look at the breathtaking view of the waterfall.

The beaches of Thiruvananthapuram are tranquil and spread over seven hills. The beach spans an area of 846.3 sq. mi (2,192 sq. km). Thiruvananthapuram is an perfect location if you want to get away from the crowds and spend time in a city that is as rich in culture as it is modern.

Other places to visit in Thiruvananthapuram include the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, Poovar Island, the Vizhinjam Rock Cut Cave, Kerala Science, and Technology Museum, Neyyar Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary, and Kanakakunnu Palace. You can also take the Veli Backwaters Tour.

Economy Of Kerala

Kerala is the ninth-largest economy in India and is based on the democratic socialist welfare state concept. Learn more about Kerala's economy with these facts:

Kerala is India's largest rubber-producing state and ranks fourth in the world. More than 90% of India's total rubber production comes from Kerala. Around 12.3 ac (5 ha) of land in Kerala are used for cultivating rubber.

An estimated 1902711.4 ac (770,000 ha) of land in Kerala are used for coconut plantations. Coconut export plays an integral role in sustaining the economy of Kerala.

Kerala is globally-renowned for its spices and is known as the Spice Coast or Spice Garden of India. In the 15th century, Kerala's spice trade attracted traders from Portugal.

Even today, Kerala boasts an amazing assortment of spices, due to its rich cultural background and the contributions of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and the merchants who settled in Kerala.

Kerala's economy is also sustained by its coir factories. The state supplies a massive amount of white coir fiber to other parts of the world. The first-ever coir factory was set up in 1859 in Alleppey, Kerala.

Kerala is the first Indian state with four active international airports! These airports are located in Kannur, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, and Cochin.

Cochin Airport is the world's first fully solar-powered airport. In 2018, the United Nations awarded the airport the title of 'Champion of the Earth' for its contribution towards fighting global warming.

Apart from its trade in rubber, coconut, and spices, Kerala also exports coffee, sugarcane, cashew, tea, banana, betel nut, black pepper, ginger, and rice alongside a variety of vegetables produced in the state.

Coconut trees have become synonymous with Kerala!

Population & Culture Of Kerala

Kerala is known to be one of the most secular states in India. The state houses several religious groups living together in peace and harmony. Read on to learn more about the population and culture of Kerala.

Based on the 2011 Census, Hindus make up 54.73% of the population, Muslims 26.56%, Christians 18.38%, and the remaining 0.33% of the population have no religion or follow other religions.

Kerala has a population of 36.4 million and it is the 13th most populous in India.

Kerala is home to one of the five largest Christian population states on Indian soil. It is believed that Kerala underwent educational reforms with the help of the Christian community.

Kerala's official language is Malayalam and it is spoken all across the state. English is an additionally-used language.

Kerala also has the lowest rates of population growth in India. While the rest of India is experiencing a 17% population growth, Kerala has a 4% growth.

Kerala has the highest male-to-female ratio in India. For every 1,000 males, there are 1,084 females. Kerala is also a matrilineal state, and most of the families are headed by women.

The Kerala Education Act founded in 1958 gave the state a boost in the race of literacy in India, and it comes as no surprise that Kerala is the most literate Indian state.

Kerala is a child-friendly state! The state boasts a 99.9% institutional delivery rate and based on surveys, almost all of the newborns are born in hospitals and medical institutions.

Kerala is presumably the only Indian state to pursue Ayurveda as a primary remedy for many disorders and diseases. The Somatheeram, located south of Kovalam Beach, is the first Ayurvedic resort in the world.

A huge part of Kerala's tourism is thanks to its reliance on traditional medical systems, and the flourishing ecosystem of Kerala adds to the beauty of the state.

Kerala is the largest consumer of gold in India. The state makes use of 20% of the total gold produced by India. Brides are often covered with gold at weddings in the state.

Kerala is named as the best place to die in India because Kerala's Pain and Palliative Society provides mental and emotional support sessions along with providing free home care services to patients in need.

India's first-ever mosque is located in Kerala. The Cheraman Juma Mosque in the Thrissur district was built in 629 AD.

Kerala has the highest life expectancy rate in India, with most of the population living up to 75 years of age.

The Padmanabhaswamy Temple, located in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, is the richest temple in India. Most of the riches in this temple are in the form of precious stones and gold.

Kerala boasts the highest literacy rate in India. As of 2021, the state has a literacy rate of 93.91% and the city of Kochi in Kerala is the second most literate city in India with a 97.36% literacy rate.

The coconut is a natural symbol of Kerala and is an important part of the culture and traditions of the state. Coconut is used in various forms by the locals, ranging from just drinking its water to creating ropes, extracting coconut oil to use on hair, for massages, and as cooking oil.

Chopped or freshly-scraped coconut is used as a staple ingredient in many of Kerala's dishes. It is also consumed as local alcohol called toddy.

Onam is the most popular and important festival in Kerala. This harvest festival is celebrated with grandeur and enthusiasm. Onam is celebrated at the start of the Chingam month according to the Malayalam calendar.

The most important part of the Onam celebration is the Sadya, the lunch ceremony on Thiru Onam. Several dishes are cooked and served on plantain leaves. Taking part in the festival is a great way to learn more about Kerala's food.

The state houses several religious groups, and the people of Kerala celebrate numerous festivals that bring out the secular beauty of the state.

Kerala's state animal is the elephant, and the animals play an important cultural role in Kerala. They often appear as part of festivals and religious processions.

There are more than 700 elephants that are owned by temples and religious institutions in the state. The animal also features on the official emblem of Kerala state.

Did you know?

Learn more about Kerala with these random facts!

Kozhikode (formerly Calicut) was the Indian city where famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed in 1498.

Kerala became the world's first public electoral communist government when E.M.S Namboodiripad was elected as the leader of the communist government in 1957.

Kerala has a rich history when it comes to the Mysore Dynasty, because rulers such Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali fought successive battles against the British.

In 2018, Kerala was affected by one of the worst floods in over a 100 years. An estimated 350 people lost their lives to the floods and hundreds of small villages were destroyed.

Established on November 18, 1990, the Trivandrum Techno Park is the first and largest technology park in India. Several multinational companies are located there.

Kerala became India's first Digital State in 2016. The state has the highest telecom literacy rate with an estimated 75% internet connectivity and full mobile connectivity.


Why is Kerala unique?

Kerala is unique among Indian states because it contains unique and beautiful varieties of wildlife, several beaches, and many tourist spots that are immensely popular.

What is the old name of Kerala?

Kerala was known as 'Malabar' in ancient times.

Who built Kerala?

There is no evidence to state who the creator of Kerala was.

Why is Kerala called God's own country?

The state is called so because of the belief in Hindu mythology, which states that Kerala was created by the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu.

What is the traditional food of Kerala?

Puttu and Kadala Curry and Appam and Stew are the traditional foods of Kerala.

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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