Kerala – an enticing state on India’s southern tip that functions more like a pivot that balances the entire nation on its own. The ‘land of coconuts’ is as famous for its breathtaking backwaters, as it is for once touching a 100 percent on the literacy scale. ‘God’s own country’ offers such scenic vistas, it feels God himself came down and declared it his own, with one smooth brush stroke. Your Kerala holidays will mean so much more if only you knew these intriguing, inspiring and fascinating facts about Kerala. Read on.
The lesser known facts about Kerala
1. The word ‘Kerala’ means ‘land of coconuts’
When on a blind sojourn if you spot a few coconut trees, and on your way ahead you spot a few more, then lo and behold, you’re in Kerala! There is a direct relation between the name of the state and its native tree. In Malayalam, the language of Kerala, the word ‘keram’ translates into ‘coconut tree’. And since you can literally live your entire life slurping coconut water and chomping on its meat in Kerala, the place came to be known as ‘Keralam’, or ‘land of coconuts’.
2. Kerala has the highest sex ratio in India
Kerala has the highest female to male ratio among all states in India. For every 1000 males, there are 1084 females. That number is quite the polar opposite of what you’ll find in other states in India. And it is something to be proud of, because what it signifies is that the educated state of Kerala welcomes a girl child with open arms.
3) Kerala has the highest literacy rate in India
One of the most commendable facts about Kerala and one that should make every Indian proud, is the state’s amazing literacy rate. The average literacy rate in Kerala is about 93%. If that wasn’t enough, the southern paradise once achieved the unique feat of a hundred percent primary education among the population. That is no mean feat.
4) Kerala has the highest life expectancy in India
Talk about topping in all subjects. When it comes to social ratios and rates, Kerala seems to be enjoying the view from the top. The ‘land of coconuts’ also boasts of the highest life expectancy in India. At 75 years, the life expectancy is a whopping 10 years more than that of the rest of India, which sits at about 65 years. Is it the coconuts or the curry? We may never know!
5) Ayurveda in Kerala – The best things about Kerala
Kerala is probably the only state in India that pursues Ayurveda as the primary treatment modality for lots of diseases and disorders. And it also boasts of the first Ayurvedic resort in the world – the Somatheeram, located just south of the Kovalam Beach. A huge chunk of Kerala Tourism is directed at the healing aspect of this soul-refreshing state. The flourishing greenery obviously has something to do with it since there is no lack of medicinal herbs and plants in the state.
6) Kerala backwaters are geographically unique
Kerala is known for its tranquil backwaters that calm the soul. But what is not so well known about Kerala is that the backwaters have a unique geography. The lakes and lagoons run parallel almost along the entire west coast of Kerala. What is even more interesting is the course of these waters. The lagoons twist, turn, run into land and make for a very intricate network. The majority of the backwaters consists of 5 lakes linked by narrow canals.
Read: Everything you need to know about houseboats in Kerala backwaters
7) The land of elephants
You can just about replace ‘land of coconuts’ with ‘land of elephants’ and no one would bat an eyelid. That is because this magnificent state’s green fields are roamed by more than 700 elephants. Mostly owned by religious institutions and temples, these elephants are Kerala’s pride. The elephant also features on the government emblem of Kerala.
8) Home to the richest temple in the world, Among the lesser know facts about Kerala
One of the lesser known facts about Kerala, and one that is at once humbling and awe-inspiring is that it houses the richest temple in the whole world. The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is not just the richest temple, but the wealthiest institution of worship on the globe because of its towering assets of gold and precious stones.
9) Kerala receives India’s first rainfall
Forget the MET Department’s sophisticated machinery to predict the weather. If you’re a Mumbaikar, a quick call to a Keralite can tell you when the monsoon’s coming your way. Kerala receives the country’s earliest rainfall, mostly on or around the first of June. And merely ten days later, the rains begin in Mumbai.
Must Read: Top 30 things to do in Kerala
10) Lowest rate of population growth
The highest literacy rate wasn’t enough, the high sex ratio is just a number, highest life expectancy? – meh. The crowning jewel in Kerala’s kitty is the phenomenally low rate of population growth. In a country like India, Kerala sticks out like a sore thumb in terms of population growth. While the country is growing steadily at about 17 percent, Kerala is comfortable at a mere 4 percent growth rate. The fact that Kerala is one of the world’s leading producers of rubber helps maybe?
11) Kerala has a lot of ‘firsts’ to its name
Among the most interesting but lesser known facts about Kerala, certainly lies its affinity for coming first. It is not just the first state of India to have a completely beggar-free capital city, it is also the first state to be titled ‘Digital State’ in 2015, and the very first to have 100% inclusion of banking (2007), apart from the well-known, first Indian state to with a district (Ernakulam) to achieve 100% literacy rate.
12) It has been listed among the top 5 family holiday destinations in world by Lonely Planet repeatedly
With a kid friendly atmosphere, high rate of literacy and family friendly tourist attractions in tow, it isn’t a surprise to find this fact about Kerala, is it? Surely, the state deserves this spot among the world’s best family vacation destinations as it was only last awarded by Lonely Planet in 2016. Thinking of taking your family on a trip to God’s Own Country already, are you?
13) A travel to this state is vouched by Nat Geo too- a certain fact about Kerala
Not just Lonely Planet, this amazing Indian state seems to be among the favourites of the popular and trustworthy, Nat Geo as well. The popular travel magazine has listed Kerala among the top 10 paradises in the world and also among the top 50 of the best places in the world worth visiting. Need another reason to book your tickets to the gorgeous coconut trees, elephants and backwater encrusted state?
14) Kerala is among the places with the highest number of bookworms and highest liquor consumption
If you thought drinking and reading can’t go hand in hand, think again. Unlike the usual notion of curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee, Keralites like to do it differently. It is a very lesser known fact about Kerala that the state has the highest per capita liquor consumption rate in the country, almost double the national average, but also the most number of reading addicts, after Mizoram. It is a fairly common sight to find people reading the local newspaper or books, sitting relaxed on their porches. It is perhaps also the reason why Kerala is also among the homes to the most informed people.
15)Kerala boasts of some of the most unique and impressive villages
Kerala has some of the most unique villages you will find in India. Kodinhi village in Malapuram district of Kerala which is also known as the Twin Town, could easily be the twin capital of the world. It is known for having a population percentage with almost 6 times more twins than the global average. On the other hand, Marottichal village of Kerala, located in Thrissur district of the state is a surprising little hamlet where about 70% of the population (6,000 residents) plays chess. The hobby/ way of life of the people of Marottichal started as a means to overcome the alcohol addiction of the youth here and now has moved on to create an Asian record for the biggest number of chess players in a town.
We agree, out of all these facts about Kerala, some are intriguing, some are inspiring, and some are simply a matter of national pride. So make sure you keep these amazing facts in mind as you feast your eyes on the bewitchingly beautiful state that is Kerala. Interested in taking a look at Kerala holiday packages?
10 Lesser Known Facts About Kerala - The Land of Parasurama
Your Kerala holidays will mean so much more if only you knew these intriguing, inspiring and fascinating facts about Kerala. Read on.