Malayalam is the native language spoken by the people of Kerala, the southernmost state of India, bordered by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
All Malayalam-speaking people are called Malayalis. Malayalam is one of the latest of the Dravidian languages to be developed, only 800 years ago. Malayalam evolved from another ancient south Indian language, Tamil, but borrows heavily from Sanskrit as well.
Malayalam has a very rich culture. Some of the greatest contributions have been made by Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan. The language uses 56 letters. Spoken language has many colloquial variations between the Southern and Northern versions. The name 'malayalam' is derived from the word 'mala'(hill).
The name 'Malayalam' has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest name of a language which is a palindrome.