Malabar Coast (mălˈəbär) [key], SW coast of India stretching c.525 mi (845 km) from Goa to the southern tip of the peninsula at Kanniyakumri (Cape Comorin), primarily in Kerala state and the northern part of Karnataka state. It is a narrow coastal plain bounded by the Western Ghats. Monsoon rains make the coast a fertile rice-growing region. It was the scene of trade struggles in the 16th and early 17th cent. between the Portuguese and their European and Indian rivals. In the late 17th cent. the British gained control of the region.