Area Size : 94.88 Sq. Km.Population : 1.5 Millions.
Popular Languages : Malayalam, English, Tamil, Hindi
Kochi, formerly known as Cochin, is a city in the Indian state of Kerala. The city is one of the principal seaports of the country and is located in the district of Ernakulam, about 220 kilometres (137 mi) north of the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. It has an estimated population of 600,000, with an extended metropolitan population of about 1.5 million, making it the largest city in Kerala.
In 1102, Kochi became the seat of the Kingdom of Cochin, a princely state which traces its lineage to the Kulasekhara empire. Heralded as the Queen of Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the Arabian Sea coast since the 14th century. Ancient travellers and tradesmen referred to Kochi in their writings, variously alluding to it as Cocym, Cochym, Cochin, and Cochi. Occupied by the Portuguese in 1503, Kochi was the site of the first European colonial settlement in India. It remained the capital of Portuguese India until 1530, when they opted for Goa as their capital. The city was later occupied by the Dutch, the Mysore and the British. Kochi was the first princely state to willingly join the Indian Union, when India gained independence in 1947.
Kochi entered a period of economic growth after 2000, leading to a spurt in the city's development. A growing centre of information technology, tourism and international trade, Kochi is the commercial hub of Kerala, and one of the fastest growing second-tier metros in India. Like other large cities in the developing world, Kochi continues to struggle with urbanisation problems such as traffic congestion and environmental degradation.
Successive waves of migration over the course of several millennia have made Kochi a cultural melting pot. Despite the risk of overdevelopment, the city retains its distinct colonial heritage and a blend of tradition and modernity.
One says the city's modern name is derived from the Malayalam words, Koch Azhi, meaning 'small lagoon'. Whereas, as per some old manuscripts, the traders who came here from the court of Chinese ruler, Khubilai Khan, during ancient times, gave Cochin the name of their homeland. However, one thing constant about the city is that its strategic location has always made it stand out as a significant commercial and industrial hub of Kerala. During the 14th century, Kochi gained a reputation of being an important spice-trading center.
It started attracting travel from all over the world to its shores. Today, this port city of Kerala is a growing centre of information technology, health services, ship building, international trade and tourism and thus, is regarded one of the fastest growing second-tier metros in India. Tourism acts as a big draw for Kochi as it has many tourist places that are a must-watch. Having a coastline of 48 km, Kochi has beaches like the Fort Kochi and the Cherai, which are flocked by domestic and international tourists the year round.
Take for instance, the St Francis Church. It is believed to be the oldest church built by the Europeans in India. This church also happens to be the original burial site of the legendary seafarer, Vasco da Gama before his remains were finally shipped to Lisbon in Portugal. Santa Cruz Basilica, a Roman Catholic cathedral, built in 1557, is another historic edifice located here. Kochi can unarguably be the most ideal point if you wish to see the unfathomable beauty of the state of Kerala.
Kochi is a clean, green port city in Kerala, which stands dotted with a number of sites and monuments of historical significance. At the same time, it is also emerging as an important bustling trading centre. Keeping in mind the sound infrastructure this region provides tourists; you can plan a visit to Kochi absolutely anytime of the year. However, the peak season to travel Kochi is between October and April, when hot and dry climate prevails.
The daytime temperature would average around 32 degrees Celsius, whereas, the night's would be around 20 degrees Celsius. As Cochin is situated 10 degrees to the north of Equator, it experiences hot and humid climate throughout the year. The period between June and September invariably experiences heavy monsoon showers because of the southwest monsoon. The northwest monsoon causes drizzle during October to December. Thus, the best time to visit Kochi automatically between October and April.
AirCochin is connected by excellent air network to all major cities in India. Cochin also has an international terminal.
RailCochin is also well connected with all the major places in Kerala and India by Rail network. Cochin has three main railway stations, namely, Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town and Harbor Terminus on Willingdon Island.
RoadCochin, being an important commercial center of Kerala is very well connected and serviced by a network of National and state highways, connecting it to all major centers of the area.