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sub­ject to a hu­mid trop­i­cal cli­mate. Many rep­tiles, such as king co­bra, viper, python, and var­i­ous tur­tles and croc­o­diles are to be found in Ker­ala — again, dis­pro­por­tion­ately in the east. Ker­ala has about 453 species of birds, Ori­en­tal bay owl, large fru­giv­o­rous like the great horn­bill and In­dian grey horn­bill, as well as the more dis­tinc­tive birds such as peafowl, In­dian cor­morant, jun­gle and hill my­nas, the Ori­en­tal darter, black-hooded ori­ole, and black dron­gos, bul­bul, species of king­fisher and wood­pecker, jun­gle fowl, Alexan­drine para­keets, as­sorted ducks and mi­gra­tory birds.

Ker­ala is fa­mous for spices. Have you thought of ex­plor­ing that area as well?

The spices of Ker­ala date back to thou­sands of years in the his­tory of the state. In the an­cient times, Ker­ala rose to fame all around the world be­cause of its mo­nop­oly over spices. Ker­ala is well-known for the pro­duc­tion and ex­port of the one of the most sought-af­ter spices in In­dia, Pep­per, which is also known as the ‘King of Spices’. It is a vastly-used and also the ear­li­est known spices. Pep­per of Ker­ala reached Europe through the Arab traders. Europe saw great po­ten­tial in pep­per as a food preser­va­tive and looked for com­plete con­trol on its trade. The money that was gained from the profit trade was used in colo­nial wars and con­quests. This spice is grown both in the low­lands and the high ranges of the state. It is also used for its amaz­ing medic­i­nal prop­er­ties. Car­damom, Clove, Cin­na­mon, Gin­ger, Turmeric, ta­marind, nut­meg, Curry leaves are the other most pop­u­lar spices of Ker­ala.

U.V. Jose, Di­rec­tor, Ker­ala Tourism

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