Kerala

Kerala is an important international and internal tourist destination: the backwaters, beaches, Ayurvedic tourism, and tropical greenery are among its major attractions. National Geographic's Traveler magazine named Kerala as one of the "ten paradises of the world" and "50 must-see destinations of a lifetime"

Kerala is wedged between the Lakshadweep Sea and the Western Ghats. Kerala experiences the humid equatorial tropic climate. The state has a coast of length 590 km and the width of the state varies between 11 and 121 km). Geographically, Kerala can be divided into three climatically distinct regions: the eastern highlands (rugged and cool mountainous terrain), the central midlands (rolling hills), and the western lowlands (coastal plains). Anamudi, the highest peak in South India, is at an elevation of 2,695 metres (8,842 ft). Just west of the mountains lie the midland plains comprising central Kerala, dominated by rolling hills and valleys. Generally ranging between elevations of 250 and 1,000 m (820 and 3300 ft), the eastern portions of the Nilgiri and Palni Hills include such formations as Agastya Mala and Anamala.

Kerala's western coastal belt is relatively flat, and is criss-crossed by a network of interconnected brackish canals, lakes, estuaries, and rivers known as the Kerala Backwaters. Lake Vembanad, Kerala's largest body of water, dominates the Backwaters. It lies between Alappuzha and Kochi and is more than 200 km2 in area. Around 8% of India's waterways are found in Kerala. The most important of Kerala's forty-four rivers include the Periyar (244 km), the Bharathapuzha (209 km), the Pamba (176 km), the Chaliyar (169 km), the Kadalundipuzha River (130 km), the Valapattanam (129 km) and the Achankovil (128 km). The average length of the rivers of Kerala is 64 km. Many of the rivers are small and entirely fed by monsoon rains.

Cheraman Juma Masjid is a mosque in Methala, Kodungallur Taluk in the Indian state of Kerala. The Cheraman Masjid is said to be the very first mosque in India, built in 629 AD by Malik lbn Dinar. It is believed that this mosque was first renovated and reconstructed in the 11th century AD.

In the 16th century, the Portuguese brought in the new style of Church-architecture in Kerala and then the latinization of churches took place. Santo Antonio, currently known as St. Francis Church in Kochi is the first church built in India in this European style. With passing time many churches were established in Kerala.