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Why Kerala got the name "God's own country"?

A travel enthusiast, Sunil Kunnoth finds pleasure in making trips to historic places and share his experience with the readers.


Kerala, the most beautiful state on the southern tip of India is a major tourist destination in the country. The National Geographic's Traveller magazine names Kerala as one of the "10 paradises on the world" and "50 must-see destinations of a lifetime". Kerala is better known as "The God's Own Country". It is a slogan projected and advertised by the Kerala Tourism department for the promotion of Kerala's highly tourism potentialities.

One may ask why Kerala is called "the God's own country". The question is genuine. But no one can supply a single word answer for the same. A lot of reasons can be attributed to the adoption of the catchy title. But before answering that, I wish to brief you certain facts related to the title "God's own country".

"God's own country" is a phrase used by New Zealanders to describe their homeland. Some other countries, mainly Australia and some American regions also adopted it. But the phrase is largely associated with New Zealand. The text in this regard appeared in Wikipedia reads thus: The earliest recorded use of the phrase as applied to New Zealand was as the title of a poem about New Zealand written by Thomas Bracken. It was published in a book of his poems in 1890, and again in 1893 in a book entitled Lays and Lyrics: God's own country and other poems. God's own country as a phrase was often used and popularized by New Zealand's longest serving Prime Minister, Richard John Seddon. He last quoted it on June 10, 1906, when he sent a telegram to the Victorian Premier, Thomas Bent, the day before leaving Sydney to return home to New Zealand. "Just leaving for God's own country", he wrote. He never made it, dying the next day on the Ship Oswestry Grange.

The world famous Kovalam Beach in Thiruvananthapuram

The world famous Kovalam Beach in Thiruvananthapuram

The literary meaning of Kerala is "the land of coconuts". "Kera" in Malayalam (the language of Kerala) means coconut. As Kerala is abundant with coconut plants, it naturally got the name Kerala. In Kerala, you can find Coconut trees everywhere. Look at the photo above. In fact, one of the reasons for Kerala's enchanting beauty is its rich presence of coconut trees. The scene of the thick concentration of Coconut trees is a real treat to eyes whether it be Kerala or elsewhere in the world.

Kerala is an exotic location. No extreme climate here to disturb you. The climatic conditions are so apt with neither too hot nor too cold. The case is not so in the rest of the regions of India, where extreme climate pricks you or gives you trouble as the season changes. Well educated and cultured people are Kerala's real asset. The most disturbing factor while one travels to a region beyond his boundary is communication. Here no such worry stare at the visitor as a good number of people here follow English well. Also, they behave friendly and helpful too.

The Keralites are good masters of hospitality too. Naturally, the visitors feel very comfortable when they land on this soil. The Kerala society has a neat track on health and hygienic awareness. They do take a bath every day and most of them do it twice a day. Keralites' love for the bath is, in fact, an interesting topic for discussion everywhere in India. The people also prefer to drink hot water thanks to their high health consciousness.

Mahatma Gandhi, the national father of India, once said, "cleanliness is next to God". If Gandhiji is right on his assumption, we can proudly say that the Keralites are in the good book of the God! If you wish to study more about Malayalees you can visit my Hub: The Dress Code of Malayalees (Keralites), which provides an elaborate account of the tradition and culture of the Malayali community.

Kathakali, the classical dance of Kerala

Kathakali, the classical dance of Kerala

Still, we have not covered our core point or the question: How Kerala got that magical tagline "The God's own country"? In fact, even many of the Malayalees, the son of the soil, don't know how it got that attractive tag-God's own country.

It was created by one Mr. Walter Mendez, who was also the Creative Director of a reputed Ad agency in India. The creation took birth in the year 1989. Sadly, the man is no more now as he died some 10 years ago. Walter coined the tag on the request of Kerala Tourism Department when the Kerala government wished to market Kerala's high tourism potentialities before the travel world.

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The fascinating Kumarakom, Kottayam

The fascinating Kumarakom, Kottayam

The phrase "God's own country" did wonders. Also, it had a magical impact. The tourists changed their travel plans and made Kerala their preferred destination when they noticed the ads in tourism magazines and other periodicals. They longed to experience and feel the luxury of "God's own country". As the tag was so catchy, the travel folks easily developed a love to see the land. And they were never disappointed while returning. The state has such wonderful and magnificent attractions beyond one's imagination. I have given some videos below, which will surely catch your attention and future travel plans. So I request you to watch it with attention.

The Kerala experience-a Visual treat

To watch the Kerala beauty in a Bollywood Movie...

There are some myths related to the origin of Kerala. One such myth is that Kerala was retrieved from the sea by Parasurama, a warrior sage. The legend has it that Parasurama, an Avatar of Mahavishnu (The Hindu God) threw his battle axe from Kanyakumari to northward across the ocean. As a result of the throw, the land of Kerala arose and thus was reclaimed from the waters.

If the story had influenced Mr. Walter in coining the tag line is not known. He is now in paradise. So we cannot put the question to him. But one thing is sure thanks to his extra brilliance, Kerala did get a mesmerizing tag line containing three simple words: God's Own Country!

Not only did he attest Kerala beautifully but also gave her a fresh, fragrant and vibrant life in the travel and tourism sector.

Kerala is truly amazing!

No doubt, it is very much the God's own country !!

Kettuvallom (country boat), the main attraction of Kerala tourism

Kettuvallom (country boat), the main attraction of Kerala tourism

The Tea plantation on the hills

The Tea plantation on the hills


Sandhya on March 04, 2020:

The phrase Gods Own Country was originally coined by Dr Vipin Gopal when he was a student at Carnegie Mellon University. This is documented in many places over the years. It is incorrect for an ad agency to.make this claim, which is purely commercially motivated. You should verify facts before posting wrong information in the website.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on March 22, 2017:

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You are right Varkala is superb. I have done a couple of hubs featuring the famous Beaches in India. Hope you will find and read the same.

Al Greenbaum from Europe on January 22, 2017:

It is a beautiful place. Varkala beach is stunning.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on June 03, 2016:

Hi Jodah, thank you so much for reading my post and leaving your precious comments. I am glad that you love Kerala, my home state. I hope you will visit the place once and you are most welcome to this tiny but beautiful land. Keep in touch.

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on June 02, 2016:

Hi Sunil, this was very informative and an interesting read. Kerala is beautiful.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on May 05, 2015:

thank you.

Mahesh Mohan from India on May 05, 2015:

informative one

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on February 09, 2015:

Hi Devika, Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so glad that you learned something from me about India's great destinations. Thanks for your vote too.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on February 09, 2015:

Jasmeetk, thank you for stopping by and leaving some encouraging comments.

Jasmeet Kaur from India on February 09, 2015:

as usual.. your articles are well written, informative and interesting!!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 06, 2015:

I like the photos and such an interesting hub. I learned lots from you about the great places of India. Voted up, interesting, and useful.

Okwuagbala Uzochukwu Mike P from Anambra State, Nigeria on February 06, 2015:

This is really informative. Keep up the good work you are doing right here.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on February 05, 2015:

Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

lex123 on November 03, 2014:

Beautiful hub about Kerala's beauty, added with the photos and videos. Your detailed description about how Kerala got this magical tag was very informative.

Saleem Venghat on October 08, 2014:

Kerala is God's own country. It is a blessed land of God by consider its natural beauty, backwater, greenery, hills and religious tolerance of people. As anywhere in the planet some people of Kerala are not God's own, but devil's own.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on September 21, 2014:

Interesting comments. Thanks for the input.

was owned by Hindu god maha Vishnu. on September 21, 2014:

A creative advertising director Mr Walter Mendez, did coin this phrase "God's own country" in the year 1989. But the idea was from the fact that the major part of the state was ruled by Travancore and the ruler of the kingdom had dedicated and presented the kingdom in AD 1750 at the feet’s of deity Padmanabha (Maha Vishnu) of Padmanabhaswamy Temple (the Trippadidaanam) and from then on the rulers of Travancore ruled as the "servants of Padmanabha. Kingdom .

jallah nippay on September 05, 2014:

Thanks go to the son of the soil for his brillience ideas for adknowleging the people of Keralam and and others around the world.

Alex Koshy from India on May 09, 2014:

Watch this vedio.. Beauty of Kerala in 32 secs.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on March 18, 2014:

Thank you Anagha for your visit and comments. I share your love for Kerala.

anagha on March 18, 2014:

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful comment about Kerala. Kerala ki jai

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on March 09, 2014:

Thanks for stopping by and leaving some comments.

Sajan Prince on March 08, 2014:

Good effort. Thanks for the valuable information about "God's own country".

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on March 03, 2014:


Glad to read a comment from the son of the soil. I too have that pleasure when talking and writing about Kerala, the God's Own Country. Let people come here and enjoy their stay in this beautiful land. Thank you for your visit and comments.

georgescifo from India on March 02, 2014:

You said it right Sunil. Kerala is indeed God's own country and really feels proud to be from this place.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on November 15, 2013:

So glad to note that you have some fine idea about Kerala. Congrats! Please read my other hubs on Kerala. Thanks for your comments.

Joe Poniatowskis from Mid-Michigan on November 13, 2013:

One other think about Kerala: it is the ancestral home of Kalaripayattu, one of the oldest fighting systems (if not the oldest) in the world.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on October 26, 2013:

I have learnt History well and will be thankful to you if you could give me new light to the portion I am ignorant of. Thanks for your visit and comments kic. on October 25, 2013:

I am not satisfied with the information pl. go through history.

naresh on October 02, 2013:

nice blogs

shivanand on September 16, 2013:


Raju on August 27, 2013:

Exactly the point. I think they need to get exposure. Well said. Thank you for the reply.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on August 27, 2013:

Hi Raju,

I do endorse some of your views. It is a fact that Malayalees are the conservative society in India. Though they have enough education they still lag behind on their approach and outlook. I think they need to travel more and study the life and culture of other people also. The cosmopolitan style is what we lack here and that may be one reason for Malayalees still going on with their conservation and prejudice. But these guys are doing and behaving so well when they go out of Kerala. And on your other question on country, don't worry about it. Here country is just used to term a place only and nothing with the actual meaning of state and country. Even now the aged people asks a strange malayali "Ningaludey rajyam ethanu?". Hope you got the point. Thank you for your visit and comments.

Raju on August 27, 2013:

Thanks for the information. Never knew anything of these before but just one question? Why is it called -gods own 'COUNTRY'??? It is a state and not a country. The people there are very conservative people and misunderstanding. Why did swami vivek ananda call malayalis lunatic? i don't like kerala people attitude towards outsiders. whatsoever they would have been in the past, i hope u know thatWE LIVE IN THE PRESENT AND NOT THE PAST. I hope the people realize their gifts and make use of it.

Dr.Kanam on August 25, 2013:

Well written.Congrats

Sukhdev Shukla from Dehra Dun, India on June 22, 2013:

sunilkunnoth2012, Thanks for explaining about God's Own Country. It deserves the title. I liked Kumarakom and beautiful tea plantations. Thanks for sharing this great information. Voted up.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on May 13, 2013:

Hi travelholidays

thanks for your stopping by and comments. I have written a couple of Hubs on Kerala

Hope you will read it all.

travelholidays from India on May 13, 2013:

WOW !!! the final green tea plantation image expresses real splendor of Kerala. Nice hub to know more about Kerala :)

benny sebastian, tirur, tcr on March 30, 2013:

truly amazing video... more details required about northern kerala...

agusfanani from Indonesia on February 11, 2013:

I didn't know that Kerala is such a beautiful place no wonder that they call it God's own country. Thank you for sharing information about places where you live.

anuramkumar from Chennai, India on February 08, 2013:

Excellent article on Kerala. I visit this state of mine almost once every year.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on February 08, 2013:

Hi Purple Perl,

Your comments noted with pleasure. Thanks for your nice words and voting up.

Esther Shamsunder from Bangalore,India on February 08, 2013:

Thanks Sunil, for a very informative hub. This was truly enlightening, as to how the tag came about. Also, you have described Kerala very well. Awesome pictures and video!Voted useful.

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