The state has an area of 38,863 km2 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. The state has a literacy rate of 94.59 percent, the highest in India.
From as early as 3000 BC, Kerala had established itself as the major spice trade centre of the world. A 3rd-century-BC rock inscription by emperor Ashoka the Great attests to a Keralaputra. Around 1 BC the region was ruled by the Chera Dynasty, which traded with the Greeks, Romans and Arabs. The Tamil Chera dynasty, Ays and the Pandyan Empire were the traditional rulers of Kerala whose patriarchal dynasties ruled until the 14th century. The Cheras collapsed after repeated attacks from the neighboring Chola and Rashtrakuta kingdoms. Feudal Namboothiri Brahmin and Nair city-states subsequently gained control of the region. Contact with Europeans after the arrival of Vasco Da Gama in 1498 gave way to struggles between colonial and native interests. By early 16th century, the Portuguese established their domination. They were defeated by the Dutch in 1663, who in turn were forced out of the land by the British East India Company in 1795, bringing the area under British dominion.
Geography and Climate
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 and the width of the state varies between 35 and 120 km. Geographically, Kerala can be divided into three climatically distinct regions: the... [continues]
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