Kerala, on the southern tip of India’s west coast, is the most literate of Indian states, apart from having the highest life expectancy. Spread over 38,863 square kilometres (15,005 sq miles) the state has Karnataka to its north and northeast, Tamil Nadu to it south and southeast and the Lakshwadeep Sea to its west. The state has a long and rich coastline (590 kms or 367 miles) and extends over several agro-climatic regions, from the eastern mountainous highlands (Western Ghats) to the central midlands and the western coastal plains. Richly endowed with rivers – the main one being the Periyar – Kerala has 41 west-flowing rivers and three east-flowing ones. The natural beauty of the state has led to it being very successfully branded as ‘God’s own country’.

Kerala has a rich agriculture base with rubber, spices, coir, pepper and rice amongst its leading crops along with a healthy foundation in knowledge industries. Kerala’s capital is Thiruvananthapuram.