Surrounding the borders of Kerala are the Arabian Sea on the west and the Western Ghats mountain range on the east. The complicated and partly unexplored mountain ranges separate Kerala from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states on the eastern side. This mountain range contains some of the highest mountains in South India and act as a natural Great Wall of Kerala, which protected the land from many attacks by empire-builders in the past. This great wall allowed Kerala to develop a culture different from those in neighboring states. While the eastern side was protected that way, Kerala was open on the western side, due to the Arabian Sea and came under attack from the sea, many times. Kerala society also had been undergoing changes over centuries of history, due to immigration of peoples from Arabia, Iraq, Palestine, Persia, etc. and also due to the settlements and colonies of the European nations. It was on the beaches of Kerala that Vasco da Gama and other foreign adventures landed for trade and to buy pepper and other tropical spices.
Kerala’s lengthy coast and coastal plains are almost uniformly flat and devoid of cliffs. The coastal backwaters and lagoons, linked by canals, give Kerala a great beauty, besides being useful as means of transport.
The hilly hinterland in the midlands of Kerala is part of the ‘Sahya-Adri’ or the Western mountain range of south India. This area had been producing pepper, cardamom, tea, coffee, etc. from ancient periods and exporting them to Arabia, Palestine, Roman Empire, Egypt, China and unknown places in the old world.
Kerala has a truly tropical climate. Temperatures seldom go outside the range of 70-90° F or 30-40° C.