Kerala is on the southernmost tip of India. It stretches along the coast of the Arabian Sea and is separated from the rest of the sub continent by the steep Western Ghats. The state lies between 80 18 ' and 120 48 ' north latitude and 740 52' and 770 22' east longitude.
Kerala enjoys unique geographical features with the Arabian Sea in the west, the Western Ghats towering 500-2700 m in the east and networked by forty-four rivers, 34 lakes, canals, ponds, paddy fields that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia. An equable climate, a long shoreline with serene beaches, tranquil streches of emerald backwaters, lush hill stations and exotic wildlife, waterfalls, sprawling plantations and paddy fields, ayurvedic health holidays enchanting art forms, magical festivals, historic and cultural monuments, exotic cuisine, all of which makes Kerala a unique experience.
For administrative purpose, the state of Kerala is divided into fourteen districts. Almost all the districts are excellent tourist destinations.
Location: Southwestern tip of India. Area: 38, 863 sq km. Population: 3,18,38,619 Capital: Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) Language: Malayalam;English is widely spoken. Religion: Hinduism, Christianity, Islam Time: GMT +5:30 Currency: Indian Rupee Climate: Tropical Summer: February - May (24 - 330C) Monsoon: June - September (22 - 280C) Winter: October - January (22 - 320C) Major Cities: Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi (Ernakulam district) and Kozhikode. Taluks: 61 Revenue Villages: 1452 City Corporations: 5 Grama Panchayat: 991 Block Panchayat: 152 District Panchayat: 14 Population: 318.39 lakhs as per the latest 2001 Census (31.839 Millions) Density of Population: 819 per sq kms Kerala's Share in the National Population: 3.1 per cent District Average: 22.74 lakhs (2.274 millions) Sex Ratio: 1058 women for 1000 men
Literacy rate: 90.92 per cent. Male Literacy Rate: 94.20 per cent Female Literacy Rate: 87.86 per cent
Lower Primary Schools: (First - Fourth classes) 6712 Upper Primary Schools: (Fifth - Seventh classes) 2951 High Schools (Eighth - Tenth classes): 2608 Total number of Schools: 12271
Higher Education Universities: 7 Arts and Science Colleges: 286
Kerala has had a commendable record in terms of the Physical Quality of Life Index. Indicators of PQLI like infant mortality (11%), female literacy (87.86%), and life expectancy at birth for males (68.23) and females (73.62), are well above all India levels. The major reason for this achievement is Kerala's focus on the service sector. About 37% of the total annual expenditure of the State is earmarked for health and education. Another reason for this is the existence of a larger network of hospital infrastructure under the Directorate of Health Services with 933 primary health centres and 5094 sub centres.
Air : There are three international airports in the state. They are at Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Nedumbassery (Kochi) operates international flights and domestic flights. Road and Rail : The state is well connected by rail and road. Seaports Major: Kochi Seaports Minor: Beypore (Kozhikode), Alappuzha, Kollam Major Beaches: Kovalam, Varkala, Fort Kochi, Kappad and Bekal Major Wild Life Sanctuaries: Thekkady (Periyar), Parambikkulam, Wayanad, Silent Valley, Aralm, Peechi-Vazhani, Chimani, Shenduruny, Idukki, Chinnar, Peppara, Neyyar. Bird Sanctuary: Thattekad, Kumarakom Major Hill Stations: Ponmudi, Peerumade, Thekkady, Munnar and Wayanad Farm / Cash Crops: Rubber, Coffee, Tea, Spices, Pepper, Cashew, Coconut, Arecanut and rice Exports: Marine, Coir, Handicrafts, Spices, Food and other Products Major Industries: Tourism, Information Technology, Fertilizer, Oil Refining and Power Generation, Ship Buildings, Machine Tools, Electronics, Cables, Rubber.