Along a sun drenched coastline, to the extreme south west of the Indian peninsula, lays Kerala, beautiful and benign. Flanked by the Arabian Sea on the west and the mountains of the Western Ghats on the east, this land of Parasurama stretch north-south along a coastline of 580 kms with a varying width of 35 to 120 kms.
Cascading delicately down the hills to the golden coasts covered by verdant coconut groves, the topography and physical characteristics change distinctly from east to west. Located between north latitudes 8 degree 18′ and 12 degree 48′ and east longitudes 74 degree 52′ and 72 degree 22′, this land of eternal beauty encompasses 1.18 per cent of the country.
The Western Ghats, bordering the eastern boundary of the State, form an almost continuous mountain wall, except near Palakkad where there is a natural mountain pass known as the Palakkad Gap. The average elevation of the Ghats is about 1500 meters above sea level, occasionally soaring to peaks of 2000 to 2500 m. From the Ghats, the land slopes to west on to the plains, into an unbroken coastline. The nature of the terrain and its physical features, divides an east west cross section of the state into three district regions – hill and valleys, midland plains and coastal region.