-Vaisakh Nair, 2nd Year, EP
It all started in 1497, when Vasco Da Gama, the great Portuguese explorer, landed in Calicut in Kerala. That small step by him was indeed a giant leap for putting Kerala on the global map. Thereafter, many other explorers and saints from different parts of the world came to Kerala and got mesmerized with its beauty. All this led to the sobriquet that Kerala earned: ‘God’s Own Country’.
But many Indians still ponder the fact as to why Kerala is hailed as ‘God’s Own Country’. There are many other states in India as well as other countries which are known for their natural charm and tourist appeal. So why has Kerala been called ‘God’s Own Country’? Here are six reasons to support this sobriquet:
- Kerala is beautiful from its northern most point in Kasargod district to southernmost tip in Trivandrum. Every district in Kerala has tourist spots that attract millions of people from all over India as well as the world. These include the popular backwaters, hills of Munnar, forts of Tipu Sultan in Bekal and Palakkad, Athirapally Falls (which featured in various movies like Guru, Raavan etc.), beaches of Kovalam, Kochi and Calicut among others.
- Nature in Kerala can be found in its most pristine form. Most of the villages are still untouched by industries which hamper the blissful environment of villages. Yet, the development in Kerala is unparalleled. The country’s largest IT hub (Techno Park) is now in Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala. This city is expected to overtake the position of Bengaluru as the next IT hub. The airports at Trivandrum, Kochi and Calicut cater to the needs of more than 1 million people flying to various parts of the world, especially the Middle East.
- Kerala is also known for its cent percent literacy rate. Education is given utmost importance in Kerala. With the establishment of various higher educational institutions like IIM, IISER, IIST and proposals for the creation of IIT, AMU and AIIMS, Kerala is definitely a leader in higher education. The remarkable feat lies in the fact that in the year 2013, 45% of the students admitted through various medical exams were from Kerala. Also, Keralites mark their presence in the top 10 list of civil services rank list every year.
- Kerala is also present in the list of states having lowest unemployment rates in India. The governance of Kerala is also highly commendable. The ‘Jan sampark’ programme launched by the Kerala government earned laurels even from the U.N. , winning the award for the best programme by a state government for the benefit of the people. Several pension schemes bestowed upon the rural population ensure that they are at par with their urban counterparts.
- Kerala is the cradle for various forms of music, dance and food. Kathakali, mohiniattam and koodiattam are the typical dance forms of Kerala. Kerala has also proved its mettle in the field of music by producing legends like Swati Thirunal Maharaja, Chembai and Dr. K.J. Yesudas among others. Kerala is also the birth place of Raja Ravi Verma , the world renowned artist. Martial art Kalaripayattu also found its roots in Kerala.
- Kerala Kalamandalam is a unique institution totally dedicated for development , teaching and propagation of various cultural forms pertaining to Kerala and other states.
There are several other factors that makes Kerala such an amazing place such as the nature of Keralites. They are so friendly and warm that they even allow other states to own their dams. The people are tourist friendly. The cost of living too is very low in Kerala.
These factors work together and justify the sobriquet ‘God’s own country’. So next time, make sure you visit Kerala in your vacations and cherish each moment spent in the lap of God.
(The writer is not being paid by Kerala tourism development board for this but is writing his heart out from his recent visit to Kerala.)