Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Kerala is a state on the Malabar shore of southwestern India. To its east and northeast, Kerala boundaries Tamil Nadu and Karnataka; to its west and south lie the Indian Ocean islands of Lakshadweep and the Maldives, correspondingly. Kerala envelops a coastal exclave of Pondicherry. Kerala is one of four states that create the linguistic-cultural region known as South India.

First settled in the 10th century BCE by speakers of Proto-South Dravidian, Kerala was prejudiced by the Mauryan Empire. Later, the Cheran kingdom and feudal Namboothiri Brahminical city-states became major powers in the region. Early contact with abroad lands culminated in struggles between regal and native powers. Finally, the States Reorganization Act of November 1, 1956 elevated Kerala to statehood. Social reforms enacted in the late 19th century by Cochin and Travancore were prolonged upon by post-Independence governments, making Kerala along with the Third World's longest-lived, healthiest, most gender-equitable, and most educated regions. However, Kerala’s rates of suicide, joblessness, and violent crime rank among India are highest.

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