Kerala Piravi marks the birth of the state of Kerala. The state of Kerala was created on November 1, 1956. November 1 is therefore known as Kerala Piravi Dinam (day) in the state. Malayalees around the world celebrate November 1 as Kerala Piravi, which in Malayalam means the day Kerala was formed in the earth. Kerala, the southernmost state of India, was formed long after Indian independence on 15 August 1947. Prior to that date it was three independent provinces named Malabar, Cochin and Travancore. Kerala originally got its name after the first ruler, Keralian Thamboran, who ruled one of these independent provinces earlier in the millennia.
Mythologically Kerala stretches along the Arabian Sea from Gokarnam (Gokarna, in Karnataka) to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, though its official territory is only from Kasagode to Parassala. The western Ghats flank the eastern edge of Kerala with its diverse flora and fauna.
According to the Hindu myth Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Mahavishnu (The God-Lord), created Kerala. Parasurama flung his "Mazhu" (axe) from Gokarnam (Gokarna) to the sea and the sea receded to form the land Keralam.
Kerala is a 560 km long narrow stretch of land. At the widest, Kerala is 120 km from the sea to the mountains. On one side of Kerala are the lofty mountains ranging high to reach the sky. And on the other side the land is washed by the blue Arabian Sea waters. The land is covered with thick dense tropical forest, fertile plains, beautiful beaches, cliffs, rocky coasts, an intricate maze of backwaters, still bays and 44 rivers. Kerala's exotic spices have lured foreigners to her coast from time immemorial.
Earlier, Kerala was made up of three distinct areas. 'Malabar' as far up the coast as Thallashery, Cannanore and Kasargode with a tiny pocket-handkerchief French possession of Mahe nearby which was returned to India in the early 1950s and is now administratively part of Pondicherry. This area belonged to what was once called the Madras Presidency under the British. The middle section is formed by the princely State of 'Cochin'; the third comprises 'Travancore', another princely state.
The modern Kerala is divided into fourteen districts with Trivandrum as the state capital. Kerala is the first place in the world where a Communist Ministry came into power by general election in 1957. Kerala was formed by Parashurama the sixth incarnation of lord Mahavishnu. 2012 marks the 56th anniversary of Kerala Piravy.
|Ashir C Edakkarayil|