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Regions In Kerala

Kerala is divided into three main regions; Malabar or North Kerala region, Kochi region or Central Kerala region and South Kerala region which are grouped on the grounds of similarity of culture, history and geography. These regional divisions are also based on historical divisions of princely states and British ruled provinces.  There are 14 revenue districts of Kerala state; Malabar region has North Kerala districts of Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozh ikkode, and Malappuram; Kochi region has Central Kerala districts of Palakkad, Thrissur, and Eranakulam; and Travancore region that has South Kerala districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, and Idukki.

The Southern Travancore region has three zones or ranges; Northern Travancore  or the Hill Range consists of Idukki district and part of Ernakulam district, Central Travancore  or Central Range consists of Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Kottayam districts and Southern Travancore or South Range consisting of Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts. Except for Idukki , Wayanad and Ernakulam districts, all the districts in Kerala are named after an important town or city in the district. The districts are further divided into 62 taluks, 999 revenue villages and 1007 Gram Panchayats. Many  districts and their towns that had anglicized names were renamed with local or historical names such as Thiruvananthapuram which was formerly Trivandrum, Kollam that was Quilon, Alappuzha formerly called Alleppey, Thrissur  called Trichur or Thirushivaperur,  Palakkad which was Palghat, Kozhikode  formerly Calicut and Kannur that was Cannanore.

The 14 Districts of Kerala


The northern coastal district of Kannur which was earlier called Cannanore has Karnataka state to the east and Arabian sea to the west.  To the north is Kasargod District and to the south of Kannur lies Kozhikode District.  Kannur city is the headquarters of the district and is well known for exceptional scenic beauty, its exquisite beaches, primeval places of worship and festivals and rites such as the popular Theyam festival, that are carried out in temples. Tourism is the main new upcoming industry and other traditional industries are handloom and coir work.


Kasargod district is a coastal district that lies on the northern most part of Kerala that has the Arabian Sea on the west while the north and east sides are bound by Karnataka State and to the south is lies the Kannur District. The coastal town of Kasargod that is also a port is the headquarters of Kasargod District. Kasargod district is a tourist destination because of the historical significance of the place and ancient architecture. The scenic natural beauty of pristine seashores and charming countryside of the district are an attraction for tourists.


The district of Kozhikode has Kannur in the north, Wayanad in the east and Mallapuram in the west. Kozhikode, formerly called Calicut, was historically significant and politically important and also a principle and thriving centre for trade. The city of Kozhikode is also the district headquarters and a port of significance for trade and commerce of south India. The city of Kozhikode and the district are naturally beautiful, lush with flora and flush with fauna making them attractive destinations for tourists.


Mallapuram town is the headquarters of Mallapuram district which is in the southern portion of the  region lying in the north of Kerala. To the north of Mallapuram district lie districts of Kozhikode and Wayanad and on the east is Tamil Nadu State. Mallapuram touches Palakkad district on the east and south boundaries and the district of Thrissur also touches it.  Mallapuram has a rich history of culture and religion. One of the most populous districts of Kerala, Mallapuram is well developed with a large literate population and world-class health standards largely due to the money which comes home from the migrant workers of the district in the Gulf region. The district is also beautiful with deep green forests, a vibrant wild life, the blue hills of the Nilgiris, the backwaters and many small rivers flowing through the region. Many freedom fighters, political figures and writers come from the district.


Wayanad district is bound by Kannur in the north, Karnataka state in the east, Kozhikode in the west and Mallapuram in the south. The name “Wayanad” of the district means “the land of Paddy fields” and is also called the Green Paradise because of the green forests that cover most of the district. Lying mostly in the southern part of the Western Ghats, the district is the home of native tribal clans who have been living there for centuries. The district headquarters are based in the town of Kalpetta. Wayanad district grows many spices such as pepper, cardamom, cloves and also coffee plantations and tea plantations on the slopes of the hills.


Ernakulam District is the chief centre of trade and commerce of Kerala state and is also known as the commercial capital of the state. Ernakulam city which is part of the twin city of Kochi and Ernalkulam used to be the district headquarters with the district deriving its name from it. Now however, the district headquarters are based in Kakkanad.  Kochi or Cochin is a port city with a natural harbour and Ernakulam also has an International Airport, also the district has a wide network of railway and roads, providing facilities for transport and communication which have helped in the industrial growth of the region. Ernakulam district is bound by the Arabian Sea to the west, Idukki to the east, Alapuzha and Kottayam to the south and Thrissur to the north.


Idukki district is well known for its wildlife sanctuaries; Idulli Wild Life Sanctuary, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and Periyar Tiger Reserve which attract thousands of tourists to this region. The beautiful region is a haven for tourists and holiday makers as facilities for tourists have been well developed in the district. Kerala’s largest Hydro Electric Project; the Idukki Hydel Project on the Periyar River fulfills more than 66% of the requirement of electricity of the state.

Idukki district which is one of the districts of the central region of the state was formed in 1972 and has its head quarters in Painavu. It is bound on the east by Tamil Nadu State, to the north is Thrissur district,  while the districts of Eranakulam and Kottayam lie to the west and Pathanamthitta district lies to the South.


Palakkad district is the “granary” and “rice bowl” of Kerala State with headquarters at Palakkad town.  Lying in the central region of the state, Palakkad is a historical centre of culture and heritage which has seen the glory of many dynasties such as the Pallavas and the Perumals. More than one third of the district is covered by dense forests. There are many small and big rivers and dams across these rivers provide irrigation and power to the district. Palakkad shares its boundaries with Tamil Nadu to its east, Mallapuram to its north and west and Thrissur in the north. Palakkad  district is rich culturally with  many Carnatic music exponents making it their home.


Thrissur district lies in the central region of Kerala and has its headquarters based in the city of Thrissur. The district was formed in 1949 and has many ancient temples, mosques and churches. The name “Thrissur” is derived from the Malayalam 'Thiru-Shiva-Perur' which means the city of Lord Shiva. The district is a centre of culture, religion and heritage monuments. The colorful and magnificent Thrissur Pooram festival is celebrated with gaiety and thousands visit the city during the time of the festival. Thrissur district is bound on the southern side by Eranakulam and Idukki districts, Palakkad district is to the east and Mallapuram district to the north while on the west lies the Arabian Sea.


The coastal district of Alappuzha was called Allepey in the time of the British Raj. The town of Alppuzha is the headquarters of the district. Area wise it is the smallest district of Kerala but a great centre for tourism made famous for its backwaters. The dense network of canals spread in the area attracts  many tourists who come to enjoy boat rides and live in house boats.  To the east of Alappuzha district is Pathanamthitta district and Kollam district lies in the south. The district has the Arabian Sea on the north and the west.


Kollam district has its headquarters based in the town of Kollam called Quilon by the British. It is a historical sea port that used to trade actively with China, Phoenicia and ancient Rome. The district has a long coastline and also an inland lake called Ashtamudi Lake which covers 30% of the area of the district. The district Kollam has a thriving cashew industry and is also a tourist centre because of its vivid topography of plains, mountains, lakes, lagoons, forests, farmland and rivers. To the north of the district are the districts of Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram district lies on the southern side.


Kottayam is one of the most progressive districts of Kerala with district headquarters based in Kottayam town. Kottayam has the rare distinction of being the first to become fully literate in the country. The district is also the first to become completely tobacco free in 2008. The rubber plantations, the many beautiful lakes, places steeped in history and legend and the high literacy rate make Kottayam a special place with great distinctive factors and so are called the land of letters, legends, latex and lakes.  The district is surrounded by Eranakulam, Idukki, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts.


Carved out of the surrounding districts, Pathanamthitta district was created in 1982 with Pathanamthitta  town as its headquarters. Pathanamthitta district has on all four sides  districts of Idukki, Kottayam, Kollam and Alappuzha. Being among the few districts that are inland, Pathanamthitta district does not touch the Arabian Sea. While agriculture is the main occupation of the people there are also many rubber, coffee and tea plantations. The Hindu place of pilgrimage in thedistrict; Sabarimala is visited by more than10 million devotees annually.


The capital of the Kerala State, Thiruvananthapuram city is also the headquarters of the district by the same name. It is the seat of legislature, judiciary and administration of the state. The district lies on the southern tip of the state and the country and is the main centre for tourism of the state and a busy business district. The district has been important commercially as well as culturally since historic times and is rife with places of worship, monuments and pristine beaches, making it a hot spot for tourists. The international airport and port, the network of railways and the highways make it a busy and prosperous centre for trade and commerce.

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