Kerala is one of the 29th states in South India, India on the Malabar Coast. The name Karala has an uncertain etymology. One popular theory derives Kerala from ‘Kera’ which means “Coconut tree” in Malayalalm and ‘Alam’ which means “Land”, thus it called “Land of Coconuts”. Land of Coconut is a nickname for the state, used by locals due to abundance of coconut trees.
Kerala has been also a major spice exporter since 3000 BCE, according to Sumerian records and it is still referred to as the “Garden of Spices” or as the “Spice Garden of India”. In the last centuries BCE the coast become important to the Greeks and Romans for its spices, especially black pepper.
In 2012, National Geographic’s Traveler magazine named Kerala as one of the “ten paradises of the world” and “50 must visit destinations of a life time”. Travel and Leisure also described Kerala as “one of the 100 great trips for the 21st century”. The city of Kochi ranks first in the total number of international and domestic tourists in Kerala. Until the early 1980s, Kerala was a relatively unknown destination compared to other states in India.