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Welcome to kerala

Kerala in South India has a long and varied history. From a legendary land, famed for its aromatic spices to a tourist's paradise popular for its palm-fringed beaches, backwaters and Ayurveda resorts, Kerala has made its presence known to the world throughout history. Explore the history and attractions of Kerala when you travel to the tourist destinations of Kerala with Kerala Backwater.

According to legend Kerala arose from the sea, when the sage Parasurama threw his axe northwards into the waves after sitting in penance at Kanyakumari. The waves receded and the land of Kerala came into being.

Geologically Kerala was created possibly as a result of a seismic shift that caused part of the seabed to rise, or as a result of silting from South Indian Rivers over millions of years.

Kerala was known to the ancient Phoenicians as a coast from which fabulous spices, such as pepper, cardamom and ginger, were exported. They also came to Kerala for sandalwood and ivory. Cranganore or Muziris was known as an important port for trade with the Mediterranean region. The Arab merchants used the monsoon winds to cross the Arabian Sea to Kerala and carry prized goods back to Arabia, from where the goods were taken to towns in the Mediterranean region by camel caravans.

The first inhabitants of Kerala according to historical records were the Pulayas, Vetas and Kuruvas. The Chera dynasty ruled over Kerala during the time of the Mauryas in North India. By the 10th century, the Brahmins or Namboothiris dominated Kerala. Other communities present in Kerala were Christian and Muslim traders and Jews. Power passed from the Namboothiri Brahmins to the warlords including the Zamorin of Calicut, whose admiral Kinjali Marakkar fought with great valor and distinction against the Portuguese. Vasco da Gama's arrival in 1498 opened a new chapter in the history of Kerala as the era of European conquest began. Conflict between the Portuguese, Dutch and later the English dominated the years of colonial trade. The French also established a settlement at Mahe on the Malabar coast. The British domiance over Keral was complete by the 1800's after the defeat of Tipu Sultan and the local rulers of Kerala. The Mopilla Revolt was a peasants' agitation, which was ruthlessly crushed. The independence movement across India also took root in Kerala. Movements to open temples to people who were considered "untouchables" and the so-called "lower castes" were also important parts of the independence movement.

After India gained independence, the people of Kerala brought the first democratically elected communist government to power in 1957. The history of Kerala since then has seen repeated changes of government, Kerala's emergence as one of the most literate states in India and the phenomenal growth of tourism in Kerala. You can see the history of Kerala come alive in its temples, churches and monuments and hear its stories from the people of Kerala, on tours of Kerala with Kerala Backwater.

When we think of history we think of times gone by and something that cannot come back. But, it’s not true as far as something’s are concerned.

Who says history is gone and can’t be brought back.

It lives as memories and historical monuments bear testimony to this fact. History leaves its imprints in such a manner that it reminds us of the days gone by how they might have been and assumptions leads us to a world of magic and mystery.

Like wise every country has a history to it and also the states that constitute the country have a similar kind of history supporting it making it more cultural and traditionally rich. One such great state rich in culture and history is Kerala. Legends, myths and archeological findings combine to provide interesting evidence regarding the early history of Kerala.

According to Prof. K V Krishna Ayyar, the famous Kerala historian, "the discovery of microliths or small stone implements near Kozhikode and Cochin point to the presence of man in Kerala as far back as 4000BC."

According to some more popular legendaries, Lord Vishnu, after slaying and destroying the evil Kings, came down from the heavens in his incarnation in the form of Parasuram. He did penance for waging the terrible war and threw his axe into the sea.

And yes here is the origin of Kerala from this axe that was thrown in anger. The place where the axe landed, from shaft to the blade, came out from the sea as the rich and beautiful, full of green and serene atmosphere: God’s own land of Kerala, a land of plenty and prosperity and also riches.

The factual history of Kerala and its Malabar cost - is closely linked with its commerce and trade. This coast is by far one of the most prosperous areas as far as commerce and business is considered as it is closely linked with the passage of the sea.

The geographical position of Kerala has also contributed to its commercial and economical prosperity. The strip of land found a natural barrier in the hills, which sealed off one longitudinal section, leaving it open to access from the sea alone.

“Phoenicians” better known for their trading abilities were the pioneer in the sea trade with Kerala. In 100BC King Solomon's ships visited 'Ophix' (the modern Puvar, South of Thiruvanathapuram) to trade indifferent kind of items like ivory, apes, sandalwood and peacocks.

One thing that every one loves to discover in Kerala are the spices that its known for and nevertheless the fame of these Kerala spices brought the Romans in 30AD to this state, who were followed by the Greeks, Arabs and the Chinese who started taking interest in these species that were cultivated and manufactured for different uses.

It was just not only for the domestic use of these species that interested them but also the medicinal value that they carried along for different cures and ailments.


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