The word Kerala is first recorded (as Keralaputra, meaning Cherathala makan or Cheraman) in a 3rd-century BCE rock inscription left by the Maurya emperor Ashoka (274–237 BCE), one of his edicts pertaining to welfare.
He won the war against the Devas, driving them into exile.
The Devas pleaded before Lord Vishnu, who took his fifth incarnation as Vamana and pushed Mahabali down to Patala (the netherworld) to placate the Devas.
In 1956, Kerala state was formed by merging Malabar district, Travancore-Cochin (excluding four southern taluks), and the taluk of Kasargod, South Kanara.
Kerala has the lowest positive population growth rate in India, 3.44%; highest Human Development Index (HDI), 0.790 in 2011; the highest literacy rate, 93.91% in the 2011 census; the highest life expectancy, 77 years; and the highest sex ratio, 1,084 women per 1000 men.
The legend was later expanded, and found literary expression in the 17th or 18th century with Keralolpathi, which traces the origin of aspects of early Kerala society, such as land tenure and administration, to the story of Parasurama.
Another much earlier Puranic character associated with Kerala is Mahabali, an Asura and a prototypical just king, who ruled the earth from Kerala.
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), historically known as Keralam, is an Indian state in South India on the Malabar coast.
The region has been a prominent spice exporter since 3000 BCE.