The Malabar Coast is historically significant as the place where numerous foreign travelers and settlers landed to make their way into the country. Christianity took root in the region in the first century when St Thomas set up seven churches here. The area was a major trading center in the 16th and 17th centuries. Since then, Malabar, to the Western world, has had romantic associations as the land of exotic pleasures.
A plentiful crop of rice is grown in this fertile coast due to the monsoon rains. Fishing is also a major occupation of the people on this coast. The harbor city of Kerala, Kochi, is on the Malabar Coast.