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Geography of Kerala

Kerala is on the Malabar coast of Southwestern India. The state of Tamil Nadu borders Kerala to its east, Karnataka borders it to the Northeast and the Arabian Sea to the west. The state can be divided into different physical regions that include hills and valleys, midland plains and coastal belts. The hills of Kerala include the Western Ghats from Ponmudi in the south to Munnar in the center and Sultan's Bathery in the north. In the coastal belts of this state are situated world famous backwaters. (Interactive map of Kerala)

Kerala has the distinction of being identified as one of the world’s twenty-five biodiversity hotspots. Kerala has a total landmass of about thirty eight thousand, eight hundred and sixty three square kilometers that makes it roughly one point one eight percent of India’s total land mass. Its coast covers five hundred and eighty kilometers. Kerala can be divided into three distinct geographical regions, which are namely the eastern highlands, the central midlands and the western lowlands.  

The eastern highlands consists of mountainous terrain whereas the central midlands and the western lowlands contain rolling hills and coastal plains respectively. The eastern parts of Kerala under the rain shadow of the Western Ghats and as a result consist of high mountains, enormous gorges and deep valleys. Kerala’s western coastal belt is predominantly flat and encases canals, lakes and estuaries, which form its famous backwaters. The largest lake in Kerala is Lake Vembanad.

Around eight percent of India’s waterways are found in Kerala. Kerala is also home to forty-four of India’s rivers. Which include the River Periyar, Bharatapuzha, Pamba and the Chaliyar. Kerala has a wet and maritime tropical climate with a hundred and twenty to a hundred and forty rainy days a year. There are heavy seasonal rains and the rainfall in Kerala averages three thousand one hundred and seven millimeters a year.  

The state is prone to fierce storms and cyclone related activities. Summer starts in to Kerala around the month of April and continues for the next four months. The highest temperature during this season is around 33°C. Monsoons occur in the state in June and remains there till September though there is not a huge change in the temperature. Winter starts from October and lasts till January. During this period there is a drop in temperature. Kerala’s maximum daily temperature averages thirty six degrees Celsius and the minimum is around nineteen degrees Celsius. The Mean annual temperatures range from twenty degrees Celsius to twenty eight degrees Celsius and are lower in the highlands.



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