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Definition of KERALA
state SW India bordering on Arabian Sea ∗ Thiruvananthapuram area 15,007 square miles (38,868 square kilometers), pop 31,838,619
State (pop., 2008 est.: 34,232,000), southwestern India. It lies on the Arabian Sea, is bordered by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states, and surrounds the coastal enclave of Mahe (part of Puducherry union territory). It has an area of 15,005 sq mi (38,863 sq km), and its capital is Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). During the 3rd century BCE, it was an independent Dravidian kingdom known as Keralaputra. The Kulashekhara dynasty ruled the region in the 9th–12th century, when the regional Malayalam language took hold; it is still the dominant language. Portuguese intervention from 1498 was followed by Dutch rule in the 17th century. The Dutch were ousted in the mid-18th century by the princely state of Venad (Travancore), which itself came under British rule as part of the Madras Presidency in the early 19th century. It acquired its present name and shape in 1956. Kerala is one of India's most densely populated states.