Kerala is a state located in southwestern India. The state was created in 1956 on a linguistic basis, bringing together those places where Malayalam formed the principal language. Kerala is famous for its sprawling backwaters and lush green vegetation. Kerala is generally referred to as a tropical paradise of waving palms and wide sandy beaches. Neighbouring states are Karnataka to the north and Tamil Nadu to the south and the east. The state is bordered by the Arabian sea towards the west. Thiruvananthapuram, located at the southern tip of the state forms the capital while Kochi, Kozhikode, Kollam, Thrissur, Kottayam, Kannur, Alapuzha, Manjeri and Palakkad form other major trading and activity centres.
The state has a 91 percent literacy rate, the highest in India. A survey conducted in 2005 by Transparency International ranked Kerala as the least corrupt state in the country. Kerala has witnessed significant migration of its people, especially to the Persian Gulf countries, starting with the Kerala Gulf boom, and is uniquely dependent on remittances from its large Malayali expatriate community. Kerala has the lowest rate of population growth in India, with a fertility rate of 1.6 per woman and it boasts a higher Human Development Index than most other states in India. Kerala is also considered to be the global capital of Ayurveda.