“God’s Own Country” or How Parashurama created Kerala

Lord Vishnu takes physical form on earth to fix things when righteousness (dharma)  is on the decline. These are known as avatars. The mythic creation of Kerala was done by the sixth avatar Parashurama, which literally means “Rama with axe” (the most famous avatars are numbers 7 & 8, Rama & Krishna). According to legend, the kshatriyas, the ruling class of warrior/kings had become to proud and where oppressing the learned class of Brahmins. Mother Bhumi (mother earth) asked Narayana to save her from the footfalls of arrogant men. In response to her prayer, Parashurama was born and destroyed all the kshatriyas. Then to give a place only for the wise and learned, he went to the tip of modern Karnataka State and threw his axe far out into the Arabian sea. From where the axe fell,  out of the sea rose the land of Kerala: God’s own country.

Historically, the modern state of Kerala was made at independence in 1947 by the amalgamation of the 3 princely states of Travancore, Cochin (Kochi) and Malabar. I am from Travancore whose capital remains as Kerala’s state capital, Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram).

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