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Malabar ( ) is a region of southern Indiamarker, lying between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Seamarker. The name is thought to be derived from the Malayalam word Mala (Hill) and Puram (region) derived or westernised into bar. This part of India was a part of the British East India company controlled Madras State,when it was designated as Malabar District .It included the northern half of the state of Keralamarker and some coastal regions of present day Karnataka. The area is predominantly Hindu but the majority of Kerala's Muslim population known as Mappila also live in this area, as well as a sizable ancient Christian population.The name is sometimes extended to the entire southwestern coast of the peninsula, called the Malabar Coast. Malabar is also used by ecologists to refer to the tropical moist forests of southwestern India (present day Kerala).

Malabar region

The Malabar region lies along the southwest coast of the Indianmarker peninsula and forms the northern part of present-day Keralamarker state. Malayalam is the chief language of the region, and the ancestors of today's population have inhabited the region for centuries. The region formed part of the ancient kingdom of Chera for centuries. It became part of the Hindu Vijayanagara empire in the 15th century. with the breakup of the empire in the mid-16th century, the region came under the rule of a number of local chieftains notably the Kolathiris of North Malabarmarker, Zamorins of Calicutmarker and the Valluvokonathiris of Walluvanad. The region came under Britishmarker rule in the 18th century, during the Anglo-Mysore Wars. During the British rules, the Malabar area was divided in to two categories as North and South. North Malabarmarker comprises : Present Kasaragod and Kannurmarker Districts, Mananthavady Taluk of Wayanadmarker District and Vadakara Taluk of Kozhikodemarker District. Left over area in South Malabar.

At the conclusion of the Anglo-Mysore wars, the region was organized into a district of Madras Presidency. The British district included the present-day districts of Kannurmarker, Kozhikodemarker, Wayanadmarker, Malappurammarker, much of Palakkadmarker and a small portion of Thrissurmarker. The administrative headquarters were at Calicut (Kozhikode). With India's independence, Madras presidency became Madras State, which was divided along linguistic lines on 1 November 1956, when Malabar district was merged with the Kasaragod district immediately to the north and the state of Travancore-Cochin to the south to form the state of Kerala.

Malabar Coast

Backwaters in the Malabar, c.a.
The Malabar Coast, in historical contexts, refers to India's southwest coast, lying on the narrow coastal plain of Karnatakamarker and Keralamarker states between the Western Ghats range and the Arabian Seamarker. The coast runs from south of Goamarker to Cape Comorinmarker on India's southern tip.

The Malabar Coast is also sometimes used as an all encompassing term for the entire Indianmarker coast from the western coast of Konkan to the tip of the subcontinent at Cape Comorinmarker. It is over 525 miles or 845 km long. It spans from the South - Western coast of Maharashtramarker and goes along the coastal region of Goamarker, through the entire western coast of Karnatakamarker and Keralamarker and reaches till Kanyakumari. It is flanked by the Arabian Seamarker on the west and the Western Ghats on the east. The Southern part of this narrow coast is the South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests.

The Malabar Coast features a number of historic port cities, notably Kozhikodemarker (Calicut), Cochinmarker, and Kannurmarker, that have served as centers of the Indian Oceanmarker trade for centuries. Because of their orientation to the sea and to maritime commerce, the Malabar coast cities feel very cosmopolitan, and hosted some of the first groups of Christians (now known as Syrian Malabar Nasranis), Jews (today called as Cochin Jews), and Muslims (at present known as Mappilas) in India.

Geographically, the Malabar Coast, especially on its westward-facing mountain slopes, comprises the wettest region of southern India, as the Western Ghats intercept the moisture-laden monsoon rains.

European settlements in India

Malabar rainforests

The term Malabar rainforests refers to one or more distinct ecoregions recognized by biogeographers:
  1. the Malabar Coast moist forests formerly occupied the coastal zone to the 250 meter elevation (but 95% of these forests no longer exist)
  2. the South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests grow at intermediate elevations
  3. the South Western Ghats montane rain forests cover the areas above 1000 meters elevation

The Monsooned Malabar coffee bean comes from this area.

See also


Team malabar


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