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About Kerala, India

Discovering Kerala History 

Kerala, often called “God’s Own Country,” is not only famous for its natural beauty but also for its rich history. The history of Kerala is a tapestry of ancient traditions, powerful dynasties, and diverse cultural influences. Let’s delve into the fascinating history of Kerala and explore some of its most significant historical monuments.

Kerala History

Ancient Kerala

The history of Kerala dates back to ancient times, with evidence of human settlements as early as 3000 BCE. The region was known for its trade connections with ancient civilizations like the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans. Kerala’s spice trade, particularly in pepper, brought it into contact with many foreign cultures.

Early Dynasties

Kerala was ruled by several powerful dynasties over the centuries. The Chera dynasty was one of the earliest and most significant rulers, known for their contributions to art, literature, and architecture. The region also saw the rise of the Kulasekhara dynasty, which played a crucial role in shaping Kerala’s cultural and political landscape.

Medieval Period

During the medieval period, Kerala was a hub of maritime trade. The arrival of traders from Arabia, China, and Europe brought new cultural influences. The region was also marked by the establishment of various feudal kingdoms, such as the Zamorin of Calicut and the Kingdom of Travancore, each leaving a distinct mark on Kerala’s history.

Colonial Era

The colonial era brought significant changes to Kerala. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish a presence, followed by the Dutch and the British. These colonial powers not only influenced the region’s trade but also its culture and architecture. The impact of colonial rule can still be seen in Kerala’s historical monuments.

Historical Monuments of Kerala

Bekal Fort

Bekal Fort, located in the northern part of Kerala, is one of the largest and best-preserved forts in the state. Built in the 17th century by Shivappa Nayaka of the Keladi Nayaka dynasty, the fort offers stunning views of the Arabian Sea and is a testament to Kerala’s architectural prowess.

Padmanabhapuram Palace

Padmanabhapuram Palace, located in the town of Padmanabhapuram, is a stunning example of traditional Kerala architecture. This 16th-century palace, once the seat of the Travancore kings, is known for its intricate woodwork and beautiful murals.

Mattancherry Palace

Also known as the Dutch Palace, Mattancherry Palace in Kochi was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and later renovated by the Dutch. The palace is famous for its beautiful murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Thalassery Fort

Thalassery Fort, built by the British East India Company in the 18th century, is located in the town of Thalassery. The fort played a crucial role in the British colonial administration and trade in Kerala.

St. Francis Church

St. Francis Church in Kochi is one of the oldest European churches in India, built by the Portuguese in 1503. The church is the final resting place of the famous explorer Vasco da Gama, who died in Kochi in 1524.

Conclusion

Kerala’s rich history and its historical monuments offer a glimpse into the region’s glorious past. From ancient forts and palaces to colonial churches, these landmarks stand as a testament to Kerala’s diverse cultural heritage and historical significance.

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