Kerala is situated in the southwestern end of the Indian subcontinent. Kerala has a long history of art and cultural heritage and foreign trade with other countries. The state with the highest literacy rate in India, is noted for its achievements in education, health, gender equality, social justice, law and order. In addition to these, the state has the lowest infant mortality rate in the country.
Kerala lies between the Arabian Sea in the West and the Western Ghats (Sahyadris) in the East with an area of 38863 sq km. It is one of the five states in the linguistic-cultural area known as South India. The neighbouring states of Kerala are Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Mayyazhi (Mahe / Mahe) is a part of Pondicherry (Puducherry) and lies within Kerala. Though the Lakshadweeps in the Arabian Sea is part of the Union Territories, it has a close alliance with the linguistic and cultural heritage of Kerala.
Before the independence of India, Kerala was one of the princely states in India. Later on 1 July 1949, the princely states of Travancore and Cochin united to form the Travancore-Cochin State. Later, When the Malabar region (formerly part of Madras state) was added to the Travancore-Cochin State. The state was formed on 1 November 1956.