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In the arena of sports, Kerala holds a prestigious position. The state has always been a role model in this regard for other states to emulate.

The origin of sporting events on a professional level in the state owes allegiance to the efforts of the late Goda Varma Raja. The sports school in Thiruvananthapuram which is a haven of aspiring sportsmen in the state was started in his honour.

Kerala has given men and women of international calibre, who have done the nation proud in sporting events held both inside and outside the country.

P.T. Usha, the first name to spring to mind when sporting achievements of the nation are referred to, hails from this state. This tradition does not end with Usha. There are also glittering names like Shiny Wilson, M.D. Valsamma, Beenamol  and Anju Bobby George among women and the late Jimmy George, T.C. Yohannan, Suresh Babu, I.M. Vijayan and Sreesanth among men to name only a few.

In addition, for the comprehensive development of sporting activities in the state, the Kerala Sports Bill was passed by the Assembly on December 21, 2000.




Kerala is the land of many colourful festivals. Almost every village in Kerala has its own temple and the annual festival associated with it is a great event for rejoicing. The most important festivals are:-

The Onam, festival of harvest occuring in August-September is the most important and the most colourful of Kerala's festivals. Onam, the truly national festival of Kerala, has its origin in a legend. According to this, Kerala was ruled once upon a time by a celebrated Asura Emperor, Mahabali. Though he was exiled by Vamana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, allegedly for his pride, he was supposed to be a just ruler during whose time equality was pervasive. During the festival, this beloved legendary king is supposed to visit every household in Kerala.

The most spectacular aspect of the Onam celebrations is the boat race. The best known of these are the Nehru trophy boat race organised on the second saturday of August, every year at Punnamada near Alappuzha and the Uthrittadi boat race at Aranmula. The most significant aspect about the Onam festival is that it cuts through all barriers of caste, community and religion.

Vishu, which falls in April-May when the rains are about to commence, is another important festival in Kerala. Vishu marks the sowing season and is celebrated with great devotion all over Kerala.

Thiruvathira falls in the month of December-January and is a festival of Hindu Women folk. It commemorates the death of Kamadeva, the Cupid of Hindu mythology.

In the North Kerala the Pooram Festival which falls in the month of March-April is the counter part of Thiruvathira. The Festival, is accompanied by the 'Poora Vilakku' (illumination) and the 'Poorakali', a kind of folk play in the temples.

Among the temple festivals of Kerala the Trichur Pooram is the most famous and its attracts crowds from all over South India. The festival held on the day of Pooram asterism in Medam (April-May) was originally introduced during the reign of Saktan Thampuran (1989-1803) and is now celebrated on a fabulous scale with the co-operation of all castes and communities in Trichur. The festival is particularly noted for the significant display of fireworks and elephant procession.

The Chandanakudam at Beemapally in Thiruvananthapuram is one of the most colourful Muslim festivals in Kerala. It is said to be the death anniversary of Beema Beevi; the devout pilgrim lady who came to Kerala from Mecca and settled down at this place with her son. The festival begins on the first of Jamadul Akhar of the Hijra Era (October) and lasts for 10 days.

The greatest of the festivals celebrated by the Christians in Kerala is the one in the St. Thomas Shrine at Malayattoor. It falls on the sunday after Easter (in the last week of March or the first week of April). Thousands of pilgrims from all parts of Kerala undertake the arduous trip to this shrine situated well within the jungles of the Western Ghats. For about a fortnight during the festival season a grant fair representative of most of the cottage Industries of Kerala is held at Malayattoor.



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