The state of Kerala stretches for 550km along India’s southwest coast, divided between the
densely forested mountains of the Western Ghats inland and a lush, humid coastal plain of rice
paddy, lagoons, rivers and canals. Its intensely tropical landscape, fed by the highest rainfall in
peninsular India, has intoxicated visitors since the ancient Sumerians and Greeks sailed in search
of spices to the shore known as the Malabar Coast.