Published: 21 Sep, 2019 Nidhi Singh
Kerala, one of the most beautiful states in India, holds the attention of globetrotters with its popular hill stations, magnificent backwaters, coconut trees, sprawling and lush tea estates, azure Arabian sea, pristine hamlets, arts & culture, and much more. This south Indian state is also known for its rich history and culture. Its exotic wildlife also makes it an incredible destination for wildlife enthusiasts. Kerala also offers tourists with the opportunity to experience its vibrant festivals, dances, delectable cuisines, Ayurveda therapies, literature, and art & craft. There are a lot of things to know about this beautiful Indian state. To introduce you to a few of them, here’s the list of 100 interesting facts about Kerala you may not know.
1. Kerala is named after the vast coconut plantations in the state. ‘Kera’ means coconut tree and ‘Alam’ stands for land. Therefore, Kerala can be named as the land of coconut trees.
2. Kerala is one of the cleanest states in India. Along with Sikkim, it tops the list of the cleanest states according to the survey conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
3. It is the only state in India to have hospitals and banks in every village, therefore increasing the overall development of the state.
4. Kerala is known as ‘God’s Own Country’. This slogan is used by the Kerala Tourism Department. The beautiful Arabian Sea in the west along with the backwaters make for a picturesque backdrop. Coconut trees lining the shorelines and turquoise water of the sea grab tourists’ attraction in a jiffy.
5. Padmanabhaswamy Temple which consists of an enormous amount of gold and precious stones, is located in Kerala.
6. Kerala is famous for being a pioneer in Ayurveda. The state is home to the world’s first ayurvedic resort- Somatheeram.
7. Among several types of medicine available in the country, Kerala uses Ayurveda as its primary mode of medicine.
8. Kerala receives the first spell of rain in the country. While the monsoon arrives in July in most of the states, it does in Kerala in the first week of June.
9. Along with Pondicherry, Kerala is the only other state in India to have sex ratio higher than 0.99. The state has 1084 females per 1000 males.
10. Kerala also boasts the highest literacy rate in India. It has a literacy rate of 93.91% according to the census of 2011. The town of Pathanamthitta has a literacy rate of 97.42%.
11. Kerala is truly a secular state. It is home to people belonging to different religions living in harmony and peace. People belonging to different religions can be found in its every nook and corner.
12. One of the most amazing facts about Kerala is that it is the biggest consumer of gold in India. The state consumes about 1/5th of the country’s gold. That’s why it is a normal sight to see brides covered with gold in weddings in Kerala.
13. It is home to an enormous quantity of herbs with medicinal properties such as Bharangi, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Brahmi, Ashwagandha, Amalaki, and Phyllanthus Amarus etc.
14. According to CMS’ Indian Corruption Study of 2017, Kerala is one of the least corrupt states in India with about 4% corruption in public services.
15. Kerala is the largest producer of rubber in India. The state produces more than 90% of the total rubber produced in the country. More than 5 hectares of land in the state is used for rubber cultivation.
16. The Kerala Education Act introduced in 1958 gave a tremendous boost to the literacy rate in the state, and played a major role in making it the most literate state in India.
17. Kerala has been included in the list of Top Ten Paradises of the world in the 1999 edition of The Traveler Magazine, published by National Geographic.
18. One of the most wonderful facts about Kerala is that almost 99% of the men in the state enjoy access to media exposure while around 94% of the female population has the same reach. Newspapers in Kerala are available in 9 different languages.
19. Elephant is the state animal of Kerala and has a special bond with the state. It plays an imperative role in religious processions and festivals.
20. Backwaters are one of the prime attractions for tourists in the state. These backwaters are an intricate network of streams and canals, all interwoven exquisitely. Lagoons and lakes are the major components of these backwaters which run parallel to the Arabian Sea.
21. Coconut plantation plays a vital role in the economy of Kerala. Around 7.70 lakh hectares of cultivated area in the state is used for coconut plantation.
22. Kerala’s Pain and Palliative Society provide emotional support sessions and free home care services to the patients and because of their noble efforts, Kerala has been named as the best place to die in India.
23. In 2016, Kerala became the first digital state in the country. The then President, Pranab Mukherjee, conferred the state with this title. Kerala has the largest telecom literacy rate in India with full mobile connectivity and about 75% internet connectivity.
24. Kerala is the first state to include panchayats and villages under the National Optical Fiber Network Program’s high-speed broadband connections.
25. It is a lesser-known fact that Kerala has the highest number of digital banking users and operational bank accounts.
26. Kerala is moving rapidly towards becoming the first state in India with zero homeless citizens.
27. Kerala became the first state in 2016 to have achieved 100% primary education through its literacy program called Athulyam.
28. One of the facts that many people are unfamiliar with is that Kerala has the highest mortality rate in India. As per the Sample Registration Survey (SRS) survey conducted by the Registrar General of India, the mortality rate of the state is 10 per 1,000 live births.
29. Kerala is renowned for its spices and is called the Spice Coast of India. The state boasts an assortment of spices which originated from the cultures of Christians, Muslims, Jews, and merchants who settled down here. A creamy texture and aroma can be easily found in the original cuisines of the state.
30. Kerala has the highest per capita alcohol consumption in the country. According to a BBC study, Kerala’s alcohol consumption amounts to over 8 liters per person every year. This figure is more than Punjab and Haryana.
31. The oldest active synagogue is the Paradesi Synagogue in Kochi, Kerala.
32. The first ever mosque in India is Cheraman Juma Mosque and is located in Kerala. The mosque was built in the 629 A.D.
33. Kerala, the state that supplies a gigantic amount of the total global white coir fiber, is home to the first-ever coir factory in India. This factory was set up in Alleppey in 1859.
34. One of the unknown facts about Kerala is that it has a high life expectancy of 75 years as compared to 64 years in the country.
35. Kerala is blessed with the Western Ghats which are home to one of the eight hottest hotspots in the world. The state houses the majority of the national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and forests in the Western Ghats.
36. Anamudi Peak of the Anaimalai range is named the ‘Everest of South India’. The peak reaches an incredible height of 8133 feet and is the highest point on the Western Ghats. It shares its borders with Ernakulam and Idukki districts.
37. Kerala is home to some of the rarest wetlands, prominently the three wetland sites- Sasthamkotta Lake, Vembanad-Kol Wetland, and Ashtamudi Lake. These Ramsar sites play vital ecological roles and are among the best-preserved secrets of the state. Sasthamkota is the largest freshwater lake in Kerala.
38. The Nilambur Teak Plantation in Kerala is home to the oldest teak trees in the world. It is located in Malappuram and stretches across a vast region of 2.31 hectares. This plantation was established during the mid-19th century by H.V. Conolly- the collector of Malabar District.
39. Kannimari in Malappuram, is the oldest tree in the world. Besides its environmental importance, it is also worshipped by many tribes living in the area.
40. Kerala is the first state in the country with 4 operational international airports. These are located in Cochin, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kannur.
41. Another interesting fact is that Cochin Airport in Kerala is the first fully solar-powered airport in the world. The airport was awarded ‘Champion of the Earth’ by the United Nations for its contribution towards the environment.
42. Kerala is the first baby-friendly state in the world. The Baby Friendly Initiative sponsored by the WHO and UNICEF was adopted in Kerala by 1993.
43. Kerala is the only state in the country that has an institutional delivery rate of 99.9%. National Family Health Survey says that in Kerala, almost all of the infants are born in medical institutions and hospitals.
44. Muzhappilangad Beach of Kerala is the longest drive-in beach in Asia. It runs parallel to NH-66. This beach is also ranked amongst the world’s top 6 beaches for driving by BBC.
45. There are around 44 rivers flowing in the state, making it rich in agriculture.
46. The history of Kerala as an Indian state in its current form begins post-independence. The state was formed in 1956.
47. Malayalam is the most widely spoken language and is also the official language of the state.
48. Kerala is a treasure house of flora and fauna and boasts 5 national parks and 18 wildlife sanctuaries.
49. Anju Bobby George of Kerala was the first Malayali woman gold medalist in world Athletic Championship.
50. Holy Angels Convent, established in 1888, is the first girls’ high school in south India.
51. The launch of the first sounding rocket from Thumba, Kerala in 1963, marked the start of the Indian Space Program.
52. Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala is home to the headquarters of Kerala Bhasha Institute.
53. Eravikulam is the first and largest national park in Kerala.
54. Kerala is the birthplace of Sree Narayana Guru, who was a spiritual leader, a Hindu sage and social reformer in India.
55. Ammathottil was launched at Trivandrum in 2002. It is a government initiative that provides care and services for abandoned children.
56. KINFRA was the first animation parks in Kerala.
57. One of the unknown and interesting facts about this state is that the first soil museum in India is located at Parottukonam, Kerala.
58. Trivandrum was the first electrified town in Kerala. It was electrified in 1933.
59. Kozhikode in Kerala had the first woman police station in the state.
60. PT Usha, the famous Olympian, belongs to the state of Kerala.
61. KM Beenamol was the first Malayali woman winner of Khel Ratna Award.
62. KR Gowri was the first woman minister of the state.
63. Padma Ramachandran was the first woman chief secretary of Kerala.
64. Anna Malhotra was the first woman IAS officer from Kerala.
65. Annie Mascarene was the first Malayali woman MP.
66. R. Sreelekha was the first woman IPS officer from the state.
67. Fathima Beevi was the first Malayali woman to be a member of the National Human rights commission.
68. Sujata V. Manohar was the first woman high court chief justice of Kerala.
69. Jothi Venkatachalam was the first woman chancellor and governor of Kerala.
70. Mattancheri was the first tourist police station in Kerala.
71. Neendakara was the first coastal police station in Kerala.
72. Kerala has a fisheries university with the name of Kerala Fisheries University located in Ernakulam.
73. Kerala is known for the conservation of Sanskrit language. The famous Sree Sankaracharya Sanskrit University is located in Ernakulam district of Kerala.
74. Kozhikode, formerly known as Calicut, was the place where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed in 1498.
75. The famous Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is located in Kerala. It was the first bird sanctuary in the state.
76. Mattupetti was the first concrete dam built in Kerala.
77. Konni was the first forest reserve in Kerala.
78. Vellayani is a beautiful freshwater lake and is the southernmost freshwater lake in Kerala.
79. Kuthumkal in Idukki district is the biggest private-sector hydro-electric project of Kerala.
80. Silent Valley National Park is a national park in Kerala, in the Nilgiri hills. The park consists of some rare species of flora and fauna.
81. Malampuzha in Palakkad is the biggest dam in the state.
82. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is the first wildlife sanctuary in Kerala.
83. Periyar is the longest river in Kerala.
84. There are in total 9 national highways in Kerala.
85. There are 34 lakes and 44 rivers in Kerala.
86. Kerala has 20 Lok Sabha and 9 Rajya Sabha seats in the state.
87. There is only one cantonment in Kerala. In is located in Kannur district.
88. Jackfruit is the official fruit of the state.
89. Kanikkonna is the state flower of Kerala.
90. Karimeen (Green Chromide) is the official fish of Kerala.
91. Great Indian Hornbill is the official bird of Kerala.
92. There are 152 block panchayats and 75 Taluks in Kerala.
93. The state represents 1.18% of the total area of the country.
94. Kanjikkuzhi (Alappuzha) in Kerala was the first panchayat to get Swaraj Trophy.
95. Kerala has only one township called Guruvayur.
96. Agasthyavanam, the first biological park in India, is located in Kerala.
97. Thenmala of Kerala was the first eco-tourism project in India. It is a dam with the largest reservoir in the state.
98. Trivandrum Public Library was the first public library in Kerala.
99. As the state is known for its beaches, the coastal area of the state is of 580 square kilometers. Beaches of Kerala play a vital role in making it one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country.
100. Moolamattom Power Station, located in Idukki district of Kerala, is the biggest underground hydro-electric project in India.
Interesting isn’t? Kerala has a plethora of attractions you never knew about. It has intrigued every traveler who has put his/her foot on this exquisite land. If you have chosen Kerala as your next holiday destination, great! After all, every tourist who visits it is gifted with lovely memories and experiences which stays with him for a lifetime.