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History of Kerala

Kerala is indeed God’s own country for so many reasons. From its rich cultural past to the current developments in the state, the tag of being Gods Own Country is well justified. The cultural fusion and the political developments had made its mark from the early years itself. The region was united approximately between A.D. 216 and 825, when the Malayalam era was said to have begun. By the beginning of the ninth century A.D. the area was divided into a number of small kingdoms, each ruled by a royal family. These families were relatively autonomous, owing little allegiance to any overlord.

Between the thirteenth century and 1498 (when the Portuguese arrived in Kerala) Kolattiri in the north and Travancore in the south, expanded into small kingdoms. In the central part of the coast, the Zamorin of Calicut was in the process of establishing ascendancy over many of the petty rulers and was slowly expanding his territory through an alliance with the local Muslims and Arab traders. Although the Portuguese and later the Dutch and the British built up the rule at Cochin, the Zamorin’s kingdom remained powerful until the invasions of the Mysoreans in the eighteenth century.

After defeating the Mysoreans in 1792, the British amalgamated the seven northern kingdoms (including the reduced domain of the Zamorin) to form the Malabar District of the Madras Presidency. The kingdoms of Cochin and Travancore remained independent, though each had a British resident and many British businesses. When India became independent in 1947, Malabar District became part of Madras Province and Travancore-Cochin became a separate state. In 1956 the state of Kerala was formed, uniting the Malabar District with the state.