The Malabar Coast is a long and narrow coastline encompassing the Northern Kerala districts of Kasaragod, Kannur, Malappuram and Thrissur. Geographically, it comprises the wettest regions of southern India, as the Western Ghats intercept the moisture-laden monsoon rains, especially on their westward-facing mountain slopes. The Malabar Coast throughout recorded history has been a major trading center in spices with Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Jerusalem and the Arabs. By the 13th century, the Zamorin of Calicut became the most powerful King in the region, primarily due to flourishing international trade at Calicut and Beypore port. The region came under British rule in the 18th century, during the Anglo-Mysore Wars and was added to Kerala state when it was formed in 1956. Malabar is famous for its boat building, mangrove estuaries and magnificent sea forts.