Kerala History

Princely states of Travancore and Cochin were first combined in 1949 and came to be known as “THIRU-COCHI”.Sri Chithira Thirunal Bala Rama Varma was the head of state and was known as “RAJAPRAMUKHAN”.On November 1, 1955 ‘Travancore-Cochin and parts of ‘Malabar’ , which was part of Madras presidency merged to form a new state called ‘KERALA’.On that date ‘Raja Pramukhan’ retired.Before Kerala was created Malayalam State extended from Kassercode including Gudallor to Kanya Kumari in the south. In the process that lead to creation of Kerala we lost four ‘taluks’ in southern Travancore, some parts of ‘Chenkottai’ and ‘Kanya Kumari’.We gained Malabar excluding ‘Gudallur’.


With it’s lush green vegetation, and palm trees Kerala is one of the smallest states in India along the Malabar coast of the Arabian sea. It is a rather narrow strip of land measuring about 15000 square miles that stretch 75 miles at it’s broadest and only 20 miles wide at certain points in the north and south. It is different from he north of India where large rivers, and planes and scrubby lands welcome visitors.

Kerala is a distinct region separated from the adjoining states of India by the Western Ghats mountains which run parallel to the sea for about 85 miles along the shores of the Arabian Sea.

The plains are very humid and warm with an average temperature of 85 degrees. Two annual monsoons provide adequate precipitation, the South West monsoon from mid June to September and the Northeast monsoon from October to the end of November. The rest of the year is dry with occasional showers. While Kerala has the densest population in India it has a literacy rate of almost 100%.

The recent history of Kerala includes the prelude to independence, the road to Communism and the evolution of the modern state of Kerala. Kerala was formed out of three political units- the princely state of Cochin, which dates back to the middle ages, the kingdom of Travancore, which was created in the 18th century, and the Malabar district which was the former Kingdom of the Zamorin of Calicut. Among the modern line of traders – the Portuguese, Dutch, French and the English, it was the English that presided over the fate of Kerala from 1791, to the end of British rule in 1947. During the first eighty years of British rule life changed very little. Caste structure and the matrilineal joint family systems continued in the three units that were to become Kerala. By the end of the eighteenth century, tea and coffee plantations developed. An industrial revolution began in the 1850s – textiles, tiles, coir etc. Modern education took root. The influx of missionaries contributed to western education. Democratic institutions were formed in 1888, and political activity which began during the following decade, intensified during the 1920s when the Indian National congress spearheaded the national independence movement. This was a period when the communist movement gathered momentum especially in Malabar.

As India itself was edging towards independence from Britain in 1947, Travancore, Cochin and Malabar all entered India as separate units. This was a period when the communist movement gathered momentum especially in Malabar.

All communities in Kerala share a common language, Malayalam. Malayalam is a Dravidian language closest to the Tamil language. It has it’s own script which is slightly different from Tamil. It is also different from the Devanagari script used in Hindi, the national language. The vocabulary of Malayalam is a mixture of Tamil, Sanskrit and it’s own elements.

Kerala is one of the most advanced states in India in the fields of education, transportation, communication and health care delivery. Most of the advancement since independence has come in the field of education. Industrial development has lagged behind some other centers in India due to labour unrest, lack of power resources and government ineptitude.

Vast pools of highly trained technical people from Kerala are serving elsewhere in India or overseas.

Profound economic changes are taking place in India and there is no doubt Kerala too is very eager to be part of that development with major initiatives in a variety of fields such as airports, electronics and power development.