Kerala is a small state in southern India that is famous for its enchanting nature and beauty. The picturesque backwaters, serene beaches, and hill stations attract travelers. This abundance of water nourishes the farming of grains and spices. Coconut trees are teeming, and the dark green fronds form a canopy against the glaring tropical sun. The name ‘Kerala’ comes from the word ‘Kera,’ which means ‘coconut’ in Malayalam. The climate here is also a bonus.
HOW KERALA GOT ITS TAGLINE
A mythological take on this leads us to the story of the generous Asura King Mahabali. He was an illustrious persona, dearly loved by his subjects, who parted with all his possessions for the wellbeing of his people, similar to a God. Therefore, his land, Kerala, came to be called ‘God’s Own Country.’
THE ACTUAL BIRTH OF GOD’S OWN COUNTRY
We can trace a similar line of account in Hindu mythology. Lord Parashurama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, threw his axe into the sea, thus creating an immaculate land for his devotees, which is the current state of Kerala. It is a creation of God himself, hence the tag ‘God’s Own Country.’
LAND OF CO-EXISTENCE
The principal religions of the state include Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. Christians in Kerala are followers of Saint Thomas the Apostle and are educated by Christian missionaries brought by colonizers from Portugal, France, and Britain. India has the second-largest concentration of Muslim population in the world following Indonesia. Much of this population lives in Kerala (thus constituting >25% of Kerala’s population). Unlike many places, especially considering the unrest in other areas of India, they live in harmony with different religions. Jains and Jews also have settlements here. The Jews of Kerala claim their roots date back to the period of King Solomon.
A UNIQUE LAND
People in Kerala cherish the aroma of the state’s valuable spices that attracted the explorers and invaders to this land. Calicut in Kerala is known as the ‘spice city of India.’ This richness of nature is the one thing that forged links between Kerala and other parts of the world. The exchange happened not only with trade but also with ideologies. This caused the land to develop its social capital.
A UNIQUE BLEND OF NATURE AND CULTURE
The state is a potpourri of brimming lagoons, rivers, dense forests rich with wildlife, pleasant stretches of emerald backwaters, and a long coastline of tranquil beaches. Nestled between the Arabian Sea in the west and the abundant heights of the Western Ghats in the East, it is a paradise to the curious eyes of travelers.