With the Western Ghats at an elevation of 2700m from sea level on its east and the Arabian Sea on its west and south, Kerala has 44 rivers which give this land a beautiful diversified landscape It is no exaggeration to call this beautiful part of the world as ‘God’s Own Country’. Mountains, valleys, backwaters and beaches fill the beautiful landscape of Kerala making the epithet ‘God’s Own Country’ not an exaggerated one. Blessed with hot summers, long monsoon, water & jungle based resources, verdant landscapes and long beaches, legends say that ‘Parasu Rama’, the temperamental figure in Hindu mythology was the one who reclaimed the territory of Kerala from the ocean.
Kerala lies between latitudes 8°.17'.30" N and 12°. 47'.40" N and longitudes74°.27'47" E and 77°.37'.12" E. Based on the geography, Kerala can be divided into three. They are ‘Mala Nadu’ (High land or hilly region), Ida Nadu (Mid land or plains) and Theera pradesham (Coastal region or low land). The hilly region, located adjacent to the Western Ghats, lies in the north south direction. This region has tropical, moist evergreen forest filled with wild animals. Most of the rivers in Kerala originate from these forest covered hills. The most famous evergreen forest in this hilly region of Kerala is Silent Valley, located near Mannarkaadu of Palghat district. Anamudi, at an elevation of 2,695 metres is the highest peak in Kerala and Agasthyakoodam at an elevation of 1869 metres is the highest peak in the southern end of Kerala. Silent Valley and Iravikulam are the two national parks of Kerala. The western coastal region lies parallel to the Western Ghats from north to south. Between the hilly region and the coastal region lies the ‘Ida Nadu’ which contains small hills and plains. Kerala has 41 rivers flowing westwards into the backwaters & Arabian Sea and 3 rivers flowing eastwards. Based on the report of the Public Works Department of the Kerala government, published in 1974, the streams which are longer than 15 kms are considered as rivers.
Kerala has many freshwater lakes. The Vellayani Kayal (Thiruvananthapuram), Sasthamkotta Kayal (Kollam), Enamakkal Kayal and Manakkodi Kayal (Thrissur) and Pookkodu Thadakam (Wayanad) are the fresh water lakes of God’s Own Country.