My photos from Kerala
Population: 33 million
Area: 39,000 sq km
Main Language: Malayalam
Literacy Rate: 91%
Best time to visit: October to March
Kerala is a beautiful state with vast areas of rice fields, mango, cashew and coconut palm trees. It is what a tropical paradise should look like. It is on the west coast of India, extending from south of Mangalore in Karnataka to the southern tip of India. The main tourist attractions are the sandy beaches at Kovalam and Varkala, and the backwater boat rides.
Also popular is the city of Kochi, which has an interesting history, along with a fascinating palace, Kathakali dance, St Francis Church (the oldest church in India) and an old Jewish synagogue. Kerala also has interesting temples, but few allow non-Hindus to enter. Kerala is slightly smaller than Switzerland and about twice the size of Massachusetts.
It is said that Kerala was created by Lord Parasuram, one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. He threw his battle ax into the sea and the sea receded up to the point where the ax fell, creating the landmass of Kerala. Bali Maharaja is said to have ruled here before Vamana banished him to the lower worlds.
The Onam festival relives his reign and remembers when there was prosperity for everyone. Kerala is one of the most densely populated states in India. Most people are Hindu (60%), 20% are Christian, and 20% Muslim. In 52 AD, St. Thomas the Apostle came to India to Cranganore (now Kodungallur).
There is a church at this place said to date from the 4th century AD with carving in a Hindu-style. Syrian Christians have been in Kerala since 190 AD. Kottayam is home to several 16th century Syrian Christian churches. The Christian area of Kerala is mainly located near Kochi and Kottayam. Kerala’s literacy rate (91%) is the highest in India.