Kerala, the land of Kathakali, Kalaripayattu (the ancient martial art) and the elephants that one can see strolling lazily in the gorgeous hills of Munnar, is aptly described as God's Own Country. Legend has it the great Hindu sage Parashurama (who is believed to be the sixth avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu) threw a battle-axe across the sea and re-claimed the land of Kerala. Whether this is a myth or not, but Kerala certainly has a divine uniqueness with its exhilarating colorful festivals, sprawling rice fields, mango, cashewnut trees and coconut palms.
Kerala, the Godís own country, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The place has been named as one of the "ten paradises of the world" by the National Geographic Traveler. More than one crore tourists, including 7 lakh foreign tourists visit Kerala every year. The city of Kochi ranks first in the total number of international and domestic tourists in Kerala. Foreign tourists visiting Kerala, mainly comprise of, Americans, Germans, Russians, Israelis, and from other European countries. Kerala is popular for her beaches, backwaters, mountain ranges and wildlife sanctuaries.