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Kochi
Queen of the Arabian Sea
A part of the Marine Drive, Kochi, as seen from the Vembanad Lake
Kochi
Location of Kochi
in Kerala and India
Coordinates 9°58′37″N 76°16′12″E / 9.977°N 76.27°E / 9.977; 76.27
Country  India
State Kerala
District(s) Ernakulam
Mayor Mercy Williams
Deputy Mayor C. K. Manisankar
Population
Density
Metro
564,589[1] (2001)
5,951 /km2 (15,413 /sq mi)
1,541,175[2] (2009)
Sex ratio 1.017 /
Literacy 94.3%
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area
Elevation
Coastline
94.88 km2 (37 sq mi)
0 m (0 ft)
48 km (30 mi)
Climate
Precipitation
Am (Köppen)
     2,743 mm (108 in)
Website www.corporationofcochin.org

Kochi (Malayalam: കൊച്ചി, pronounced [koˈtʃːi]( listen)), 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 urban agglomeration and the second largest city in Kerala after the state capital.

In 1102 CE, 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 entered a period of economic growth after 2000, leading to a spurt in the city's development. A growing centre of shipping industries, international trade, tourism and information technology, 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.

Contents

Name

Theories regarding the etymology of the name "Kochi" are disputed.[3] One suggests that the city's modern name is derived from the Malayalam word koch azhi, meaning 'small lagoon'. Another version mentions the name as derivative of the Sanskrit word Go shree which means 'prosperous with cows'. Certain ancient texts refer to the city Balapuri (Sanskrit for 'small town'), which became Cochin in course of time.[4]

Cheena vala (Chinese fishing nets).

According to some accounts, traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan gave Cochin the name of their homeland. Yet another theory is that Kochi is derived from the word Kaci meaning 'harbour'.[3] Accounts by Italian explorers Nicolo Conti (15th century), and Fra Paoline in the 17th century say that it was called Kochchi, named after the river connecting the backwaters to the sea.

After the arrival of the Portuguese, and later the British, the name Cochin stuck as the official appellation. The city reverted to a closer anglicisation of its original Malayalam name, Kochi, in 1996. However, it is still widely referred to as Cochin, with the city corporation retaining its name as Corporation of Cochin.

History

St. Francis CSI Church built in 1503, is the oldest European church in India.[5]
Hebrew inscription at the Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations
A painting depicting the city of Kochi (circa.1682)

Kochi was the centre of Indian spice trade for many centuries, and was known to the Yavanas (Greeks) as well as Romans, Jews, Arabs, and Chinese since ancient times.[6] Kochi rose to significance as a trading centre after the port at Kodungallur (Cranganore) was destroyed by massive flooding of the river Periyar in 1341.[7] The earliest documented references to Kochi occur in books written by Chinese voyager Ma Huan during his visit to Kochi in the 15th century as part of Admiral Zheng He's treasure fleet.[8] There are also references to Kochi in accounts written by Italian traveller Niccolò Da Conti, who visited Kochi in 1440.[9]

According to many historians, the Kingdom of Kochi came into existence in 1102, after the fall of the Kulasekhara empire.[10] The King of Kochi had authority over the region encompassing the present city of Kochi and adjoining areas. The reign was hereditary, and the family that ruled over Kochi was known as the Cochin Royal Family (Perumpadappu Swaroopam in the local vernacular). The mainland Kochi remained the capital of the princely state since the 18th century. However, during much of this time, the kingdom was under foreign rule, and the King often only had titular privileges.

Fort Kochi in Kochi was the first European colonial settlement in India. From 1503 to 1663, Fort Kochi was ruled by Portugal. This Portuguese period was a harrowing time for the Jews living in the region, as the Inquisition was active in Portuguese India. Kochi hosted the grave of Vasco da Gama, the first European explorer to set sail for India, who was buried at St. Francis Church until his remains were returned to Portugal in 1539.[11] The Portuguese rule was followed by that of the Dutch, who had allied with the Zamorins to conquer Kochi. By 1773, the Mysore King Hyder Ali extended his conquest in the Malabar region to Kochi forcing it to become a tributary of Mysore. The hereditary Prime Ministership of Kochi held by the Paliath Achans ended during this period.

Meanwhile, the Dutch, fearing an outbreak of war on the United Provinces signed the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 with the United Kingdom, under which Kochi was ceded to the United Kingdom in exchange for the island of Bangka. However, there are evidences of English habitation in the region even before the signing of the treaty.[12] In 1866, Fort Kochi became a municipality, and its first Municipal Council election was conducted in 1883. The Maharaja of Cochin, who ruled under the British, in 1896 initiated local administration by forming town councils in Mattancherry and Ernakulam. In 1925, Kochi legislative assembly was constituted due to public pressure on the state.

Towards the early 20th century, trade at the port had increased substantially, and the need to develop the port was greatly felt. Harbour engineer Robert Bristow was brought to Kochi in 1920 under the direction of Lord Willingdon, then the Governor of Madras. In a span of 21 years, he transformed Kochi as one of the safest harbours in the peninsula, where ships berthed alongside the newly reclaimed inner harbour equipped with a long array of steam cranes.[13][14]

In 1947, when India gained independence from the British colonial rule, Cochin was the first princely state to join the Indian Union willingly.[15] In 1949, Travancore-Cochin state came into being with the merger of Cochin and Travancore. The King of Travancore was the Rajpramukh of the Travancore-Cochin Union from 1949 to 1956. Travancore-Cochin, was in turn merged with the Malabar district of the Madras State. Finally, the Government of India's States Reorganisation Act (1956) inaugurated a new state — Kerala — incorporating Travancore-Cochin (excluding the four southern Taluks which were merged with Tamil Nadu), Malabar District, and the taluk of Kasargod, South Kanara.[16] On 9 July 1960, the Mattancherry council passed a resolution—which was forwarded to the government—requesting the formation of a municipal corporation by combining the existing municipalities of Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, and Ernakulam. The government appointed a commission to study the feasibility of the suggested merger. Based on its report, the Kerala Legislative Assembly approved the corporation's formation. On 1 November 1967, exactly eleven years since the establishment of the state of Kerala, the corporation of Cochin came into existence. The merger leading to the establishment of the corporation, was between the municipalities of Ernakulam, Mattancherry and Fort Kochi, along with that of the Willingdon Island, four panchayats (Palluruthy, Vennala, Vyttila and Edappally), and the small islands of Gundu and Ramanthuruth.

Kochi witnessed economic stagnation in the years following India's independence. The city's economic recovery gathered momentum after economic reforms in India introduced by the central government in the mid-1990s. Since 2000, the service sector has revitalised the city’s stagnant economy. The establishment of several industrial parks based on Information technology (IT) and other port based infrastructure triggered a construction and realty boom in the city. Over the years, Kochi has witnessed rapid commercialisation, and has today grown into a commercial hub of Kerala.[17]

Geography and climate

A view of the Kochi harbour mouth from Willingdon Island

Kochi is located on the southwest coast of India at 9°58′N 76°13′E / 9.967°N 76.217°E / 9.967; 76.217, spanning an area of 94.88 square kilometres (36.63 sq mi). The city is situated at the northern end of a peninsula, about 19 kilometres (12 mi) long and less than one mile (1.6 km) wide. To the west lies the Arabian Sea, and to the east are estuaries drained by perennial rivers originating in the Western Ghats. Much of Kochi lies at sea level, with a coastline of 48 km.[18]

The current metropolitan limits of Kochi include the mainland Ernakulam, old Kochi, the suburbs of Edapally, Kalamassery and Kakkanad to the northeast; Tripunithura to the southeast; and a group of islands closely scattered in the Vembanad Lake. Most of these islands are very small, varying in extent from six square kilometre to less than a square kilometre (1,500 to less than 250 acres).

Soil consists of sediments such as alluvium, teri's, brown sands, etc. Hydromorphic saline soils are also found in the areas surrounding the backwaters.[19]

Predominant rock types found here are Archaean-basic dykes, Charnockites and Gneisses. An ecologically sensitive area, the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is located in the central part of the city. It has a wide range of mangrove species and is nesting ground for a vast variety of migratory birds.

Under the Koppen climate classification, Kochi features a Tropical monsoon climate. Kochi's proximity to the equator along with its coastal location results in little seasonal temperature variation, with moderate to high levels of humidity. Annual temperatures range between 20 to 35 °C (68–95 °F) with the record high being 34 °C (96 °F), and record low 17 °C (63 °F).[20] From June through September, the south-west monsoon brings in heavy rains as Kochi lies on the windward side of the Western Ghats. From October to December, Kochi receives lighter (yet significant) rain from the northeast monsoon, as it lies on the leeward side. Average annual rainfall is 274 cm (108 in),[21] with an annual average of 132 rainy days.

Civic administration

Kochi City officials
Mayor
Mercy Williams
Deputy Mayor
   C. K. Manisankar    
Police Commissioner
Manoj Abraham

The city is administered by the Kochi Corporation, headed by a mayor. For administrative purposes, the city is divided into 70 wards, from which the members of the corporation council are elected for five years. Earlier; Fort Cochin, Mattancherry and Ernakulam were the three Municipalities in Cochin area, which was later merged to form the Cochin Corporation. The Corporation has its headquarters in Ernakulam, and zonal offices at Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Palluruthy, Edappally, Vaduthala and Vyttila. The general administration of the city is handled by the Personnel Department and the Council Section. Other departments include that of town planning, health, engineering, revenue and accounts.[22] The corporation is also responsible for waste disposal, sewage management and the supply of potable water, sourced from the Periyar River.[23] Electricity is provided by the Kerala State Electricity Board.

The Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) is the government agency initiating and monitoring the development of Kochi. The Kochi City Police is headed by a Police Commissioner, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. It comprises the traffic police, Narcotics Cell, Armed Reserve Camps, District Crime Records Bureau, Senior citizen's Cell, and a Women's Cell.[24] It operates 19 police stations functioning under the Home Ministry of State Government. An anti-corruption branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation also operates out of the city. Kochi is the seat of the High Court of Kerala, the highest judicial body in the state.

Economy

The Tejomaya building at InfoPark, Kochi

Kochi is unofficially reffered as the economic capital of Kerala by volume of trade; though, unlike other leading South Indian cities, Kochi has been slow to industrialise.[17][25] In recent years the city has witnessed heavy investment, thus making it one of the fastest-growing second-tier metro cities in India.[26][27] Sales tax income generated in the Kochi metropolitan area contributes heavily to state revenue.[28] The economy of the city can be classified as a business economy with emphasis on the service sector.[29] Major business sectors include gold and textile retailing, seafood and spices exports, information technology (IT), tourism, health services, banking, shipbuilding, and the fishing industry. The economy is mostly dependent on trade and retail activities.[30] As in most of Kerala, remittances from non-resident Indians (NRI)s is a major source of income.[31]

Eloor, situated 17 kilometres (10.5 mi) north of the city, is the largest industrial belt in Kerala, with more than 250 industries manufacturing a range of products including chemical and petrochemical products, pesticides, rare earth elements, rubber processing chemicals, fertilisers, zinc and chromium compounds, and leather products.[32]

Kochi is the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command, the primary training centre of the Indian Navy.[33] The Cochin Shipyard, which was the largest shipbuilding facility in India till 2008, contributes to the economy of the city.[34][35] The Cochin fishing harbour, located at Thoppumpady is a major fishing port in the state and supplies fish to local and export markets. To further tap the potential of the all-season deep-water harbour at Kochi, an international cruise terminal and several marinas are being constructed.[36][37]

Fishers trawling in traditional boats in the backwaters. Kochi is a major exporter of seafood
The Cochin shipyard

Exports and allied activities are also important contributors to the city's economy. The Cochin Port currently handles export and import of container cargo at its terminal at Willingdon Island. A new international container transshipment terminal is being commissioned at Vallarpadam, which is expected to be a major transshipment port in India.[38][39][40][41] Kochi's historical reliance on trade continues into modern times, as the city is a major exporter of spices and is home to the International Pepper Exchange, where black pepper is globally traded. The Spices Board of India is also headquartered in Kochi.

The IT and ITES related industries are growing up in Kochi. Availability of cheap bandwidth through undersea cables and lower operational costs compared to other major cities in India, has been to its advantage. Various technology and industrial campuses including the government promoted InfoPark, Cochin Special Economic Zone and KINFRA Export Promotion Industrial Park operate in the outskirts of the city. Several new industrial campuses are under construction in the suburbs of the city. Sobha Hi-tech city at Maradu and the SmartCity at Kakkanad are the prominent projects under proposals.

The Cochin International Airport is in the process of setting up an aerotropolis at Nedumbasserry.[42][43]

Kochi also has an oil refinery—the Kochi Refineries (BPCL) at Ambalamugal. Central Government establishments like the Coconut Development Board, the Coir Board and the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) have head offices located in the city.

Transport

NH 47 connects Kochi with Trivandrum to the south and Coimbatore and Salem in Tamil Nadu to north.
The Cochin International Airport is one of the busiest airports in India

Public transport in the city is largely dependent on private buses. Taxis and auto rickshaws (called autos) are available for hire throughout the day. Narrow roads and the mix of vastly differing types of vehicles have made traffic congestion a problem in the city. A metro rapid transit service, intended to considerably ease congestion, is currently awaiting sanction of Union govt.[44]

Since it is one of the safe harbours in Indian Ocean, Kochi ranks among India's major seaports.[45] The port, administered by a statutory autonomous body known as the Cochin Port Trust, offers facilities for bunkering, handling cargo and passenger ships and storage accommodation. It also operates passenger ships to Colombo and Lakshadweep. Boat services operated by Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation, the State Water Transport Department, and of private ownership are available from various boat jetties in the city. The junkar ferry for the transshipment of vehicles and passengers between the islands are operated between Ernakulam and Vypin, and between Vypin and Fort Kochi. However, with the construction of the Goshree bridges (which links Kochi's islands), ferry transport has become less essential. The Cochin International Airport, which is about 25 kilometres (15 mi) north of the city, handles both domestic and international flights. It is the largest airport of Kerala, and one of the busiest in India. It is the first international airport in India to be built without Central Government funds.[46] An airport run by the Navy also operates in the city. A third airport, for use by the Indian Coast Guard, is under construction in the suburbs.

There is no intra-city rail transport system in Kochi. The inter-city rail transport system in the city is administered by the Southern Railway Zone of the Indian Railways. There are two main railway stations—the Ernakulam Junction and the Ernakulam Town (locally known as the 'South' and 'North' railway stations respectively). The railway line connecting these two stations cuts the city longitudinally in two, with two narrow bridges connecting the two halves.

Demographics

An antique shop featuring Jewish remnants of Kochi
Slums next to high-rise commercial buildings in Kaloor, Kochi. Hundreds of people, mostly comprising migrant labourers from other states of India who come to the city seeking job prospects, live in such shabby areas.

With a city population of 564,589 As of 2001, Kochi city ranks first among cities in Kerala, in the population density with 5950 per km2.[citation needed] As of 2009, Kochi had a metropolitan area population of 1,541,175.[2] Scheduled castes and tribes comprise 14% of the city's population. The female-to-male ratio is 1,024:1,000, significantly higher than the all-India average of 933:1,000. Kochi's literacy rate is 94%. The female literacy rate lags that of males by 1.1%, amongst the lowest such gaps in India.[citation needed]

Kochi's major religions are Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam; Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism, and Buddhism have smaller followings. Though 47% practise Hinduism, Christianity's large following (35%) makes Kochi a city with one of the largest Christian populations in India.[47][48]

The majority of residents are Malayalis; however, there are significant ethnic minority communities including Tamils, Gujaratis, Jews, Sikkimese, Anglo-Indians, Konkanis, and Tuluvas. Malayalam is the main language of communication and medium of instruction, although English is more commonly used in business circles. Tamil and Hindi are widely understood—albeit rarely spoken.

A Jain temple in Mattancherry

Like other fast-growing cities in the developing world, Kochi suffers from major urbanisation problems, poor sanitation, and unemployment. The city ranks lowest among Indian cities in terms of house-cost and availability, urban household crowding and household incomes.[49][50]

The city registered an increase of 9.7 percentage points in its unemployment rate from 14.8% in 1998 to 24.5% in 2003.[51] Shortage of potable water is a major concern in the city.[52] The situation is aggravated by the threat posed by pollution in industrial areas.[53] The city also has a growing slum-dwelling population.[54] The government has plans to make the city slum-free by 2016.[55] According to the National Crime Records Bureau, Kochi has one of highest rates of crime in India—498.6, against the national average of 287.3.[56]

Culture

Pedestrians can stroll along the Marine Drive, a waterfront promenade of Kochi.

As a result of successive waves of migration over the course of several centuries, the population of the city is a mix of people from all parts of Kerala and most of India. The pan-Indian nature is highlighted by the substantial presence of various ethnic communities from different parts of the country.[57]

Kochi has a diverse, multicultural, and secular community consisting of Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists among other denominations, all living in peaceful co-existence. The city once had a large Jewish community, known as the Malabar Yehuden—and now increasingly as Cochin Jews—that figured prominently in Kochi's business and economic strata.[58] The Syro-Malabar Church, one of the 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches, has its seat at Ernakulam. Prominent places of Christian worship include the St. Mary's Cathedral and the St. Antony's Shrine at Kaloor. Appropriate to its multi-ethnic composition, Kochi celebrates traditional Kerala festivals like Onam and Vishu along with North Indian Hindu festivals like Holi and Diwali with great fervour. Christian and Islamic festivals like Christmas, Easter, Eid ul-Fitr and Milad-e-sherif are also celebrated. A merry making fest called the Cochin Carnival is celebrated at Fort Kochi during the last ten days of December.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi is one of the large multi-use stadiums in India

The residents of Kochi are known as Kochiites; they are an important part of the South Indian culture. However, the city's culture is rapidly evolving with Kochiites generally becoming more cosmopolitan in their outlook.[27] The people are also increasingly fashion-conscious, often deviating from the traditional Kerala wear to western clothing.[30]

Kochiites generally partake of Keralite cuisine, which is generally characterised by an abundance of coconut and spices. Other South Indian cuisines, as well as Chinese and North Indian cuisines are popular. Fast food culture is also very prominent.[59]

Kochi was home to some of the most influential figures in Malayalam literature, including Changampuzha Krishna Pillai, Kesari Balakrishna Pillai, G. Sankara Kurup, and Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon. Prominent social reformers such as Sahodaran Ayyappan and Pandit Karuppan also are from Kochi.

The Maharajas of Kochi (then Cochin) were scholars who knew the epics and encouraged the arts. The paintings at the Hill Palace and the Dutch Palace are testimony to their love for arts.

Kochiites are known for their enthusiasm in sports, especially cricket and football.[60] The Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi is one of the large multi-use stadiums in India with International Class Lighting for Day and Night Matches.[61] The Regional Sports Centre is an important centre of sporting activity in the city.

Education

Rajagiri School of Engineering and Technology, one of the Engineering schools in the city.

Schools and colleges in the city are either run by the government or by private trusts and individuals. The schools are each affiliated with either the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), or the Kerala State Education Board. English is the medium of instruction in most private schools; though government run schools offer both English and Malayalam. After completing their secondary education, which involves ten years of schooling, students typically enrol at Higher Secondary School in one of the three streams—Arts, Commerce or Science. Upon completing the required coursework, the student can enroll in general or professional degree programmes.

The Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) is situated in the city. Most of the colleges offering tertiary education are affiliated either with the Mahatma Gandhi University or the Cochin University. Other national educational institutes include the Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training, the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, the National Institute of Oceanography and the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute.

Media

The Shenoys, one of the popular Cineplexs in the city.

Major Malayalam newspapers published in Kochi include Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Deshabhimani, Deepika, Kerala Kaumudi, Madhyamam and Veekshanam. Popular English newspapers include The Hindu, The New Indian Express and The Pioneer. A number of evening papers are also published from the city.[62] Newspapers in other regional languages like Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu are also available.

Being the seat of the Cochin Stock Exchange, a number of financial publications are also published in the city. These include The Economic Times, Business Line, The Business Standard and The Financial Express. Prominent magazines and religious publications like the Sathyadeepam, The Week and Vanitha are also published from the city. Television stations in Kochi include Asianet Cable Vision, Indiavision, Kairali TV, Jeevan TV, Amrita TV, and Manorama News. Satellite television services are available through Doordarshan Direct Plus, Dish TV, Sun Direct DTH and Tata Sky. There are five FM radio stations in Kochi, of which two are operated by the All India Radio.[63] Private satellite radios such as WorldSpace, are also available. There are over ten cinema halls that screen movies in Malayalam, Tamil, English and Hindi. A film festival, known as the Cochin International Film Festival (CIFF), is held in the city every year.

Kochi has the highest density of telephones in India.[64] Telephony services are provided by various players like Aircel, Airtel, Idea cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Docomo, MTS, Uninor, Tata Indicom and the state owned BSNL.

Notes

  1. ^ "India:largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". world-gazetteer.com. http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=&men=gcis&lng=en&dat=32&geo=-104&srt=npan&col=aohdq&pt=c&va=&srt=pnan. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b "India:metropolitan areas". world-gazetteer.com. http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=&men=gcis&lng=en&des=wg&geo=-104&srt=pnan&col=adhoq&msz=1500&va=&pt=a. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  3. ^ a b "Etymology of Kochi". Etymology of Kochi. Corporation of Kochi. http://www.corporationofcochin.org/pages/Maintemp.asp?id=3. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  4. ^ "Etymology of Kochi". Culture of Kochi. Corporation of Kochi. http://www.corporationofcochin.org/pages/MainTemp.asp?id=4&val1=1&PLK=2. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  5. ^ "http://india.gov.in/myindia/facts.php". Govt Of India. http://india.gov.in/myindia/facts.php. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  6. ^ "History of Ernakulam". Ernakulam Portal. National Informatics Centre. http://ernakulam.nic.in/history.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  7. ^ "History of Kochi Rajas". Centre For Heritage Studies. http://www.centreforheritagestudies.com/heritage/html/history.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  8. ^ Ma Huan: Ying Yai Sheng Lan — translated by J.V.G. Mills (1970). The Overall Survey of the Ocean's Shores. Hakluyt Society, White Lotus Press. ISBN 974-8496-78-3. 
  9. ^ "Accounts of Nicolo de' Conti (ca.1395–1469)". Niccolo di Conti. win.tue.nl. http://www.win.tue.nl/~engels/discovery/conti.html. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  10. ^ "Prehistory and Archaeology of Cochin". Corporation of Cochin. http://www.corporationofcochin.org/pages/Maintemp.asp?id=3&val=1. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  11. ^ "Death of Vasco Da Gama in Kochi". Death of Vasco Da Gama in Kochi. Microsoft. http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761567498/Vasco_Da_Gama.html. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  12. ^ KP Padmanabha Menon. (1914). Kochi Rajyacharithram. 
  13. ^ "Cochin Harbour and Willingdon Island". Official website of Ernakulam District. Government of Kerala. http://www.ekm.kerala.gov.in/places.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-21. 
  14. ^ "The Cochin Saga". Robert Charles Bristow employed to develop Kochi port. Corporation of Kochi. http://www.corporationofcochin.org/pages/Maintemp.asp?id=7. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  15. ^ "History and culture of Kochi". Corporation of Kochi. http://www.corporationofcochin.org/pages/Maintemp.asp?id=4. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  16. ^ Plunkett, R, Cannon, T, Davis, P, Greenway, P & Harding (2001). Lonely Planet South India, Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-86450-161-8. 
  17. ^ a b "Statistical data". Govt. Of Kerala. http://www.kerala.gov.in/statistical/panchayat_statistics2001/ekm_shis.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-22. 
  18. ^ "Geography of Kochi". Corporation of Kochi. http://www.corporationofcochin.org/Pages/Maintemp.asp?id=2&val=1. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  19. ^ "Geology of Kochi". Corporation of Kochi. http://www.corporationofcochin.org/pages/Maintemp.asp?id=2&val=6. Retrieved 2006-08-22. 
  20. ^ "Historical weather for Kochi". weatherbase. http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weatherall.php3?s=035334&refer=&units=metric. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  21. ^ "Historical Weather for Cochin, India". Weatherbase. http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=35334&refer=&units=metric. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  22. ^ "Administrative set up". Corporation of Kochi. http://www.corporationofcochin.org/pages/MainTemp.asp?id=1&val1=1&PLK=2. Retrieved 2006-08-22. 
  23. ^ "Private firm allowed to draw Periyar water". The Hindu. 9 September 2003. http://www.hindu.com/2003/09/09/stories/2003090907690300.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-22. 
  24. ^ "Organisational chart". Kochi City Police. http://kochicitypolice.org/organizational-chart.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-22. 
  25. ^ "Kerala's economic setbacks — Is globalisation responsible?". The Hindu. 2002-07-12. http://www.blonnet.com/2002/12/07/stories/2002120700100800.htm. Retrieved 2006-01-06. 
  26. ^ George Joseph (2005-06-10). "Check out how Kochi is shining!". Rediff.com. http://www.rediff.com/money/2005/oct/06kochi.htm. Retrieved 2006-01-06. 
  27. ^ a b Rakee Mohan (2006-04-08). "Developing metro and quaint environs". Economic Times. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1482577.cms. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  28. ^ Report, The Hindu (2009-01-20). ""Rs.620-crore rise in revenue collection in Ernakulam district"". The Hindu. http://www.hindu.com/2009/02/26/stories/2009022653140300.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
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  30. ^ a b "Retail booooom". New Indian Express. 2006-05-09. http://newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEX20060508214642&Page=X&Title=Kochi&Topic=0&. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
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  32. ^ CNN-IBN (2006-06-27). "Toxic curse for Kerala chemical city". IBNLive.com. http://ibnlive.in.com/news/toxic-kerala-city-curse-for-residents/13986-3.html. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  33. ^ "Southern Naval Command". Bharat Rakshak. http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NAVY/SNC.html. Retrieved 2006-08-29. 
  34. ^ In terms of deadweight tonnage of ships built
  35. ^ "List of ship building centres in India". Shipping Ministry of India. Archived from the original on 2005-09-15. http://web.archive.org/web/20050915045113/http://shipping.nic.in/shipwing2.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  36. ^ "CPT hands over land for marina". The Hindu. 2005-08-26. http://www.hindu.com/2005/04/02/stories/2005040202321500.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  37. ^ "The first cruise terminal in the country to come up in Kochi". The Hindu. 2007-06-30. http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mp/2007/06/30/stories/2007063050020100.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  38. ^ "Kochi terminal handed over to Dubai Ports International". The Hindu. 2005-04-02. http://www.hindu.com/2005/04/02/stories/2005040202321500.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  39. ^ "Vallarpadam phase I by early 2009: DP World". The Hindu. 2005-04-02. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2006/06/13/stories/2006061302240700.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  40. ^ "Vallarpadam ICTT: Set to make Kochi a key hub". The Hindu Business Line. 2008-10-27. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2008/10/27/stories/2008102750370600.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  41. ^ "Statement by the Government of India". Press Information Bureau, Govt of India. 2008-10-27. http://trbaalu.nic.in/minister/press/2005/Feb05/16_02.pdf. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  42. ^ The Hindu (2008-06-05). "CIAL presents ‘Aerotropolis’ roadmap". The Hindu. http://www.thehindu.com/2009/02/28/stories/2009022852710300.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  43. ^ The Hindu (2008-06-05). "Kochi airport presents ‘Aerotropolis’ roadmap". The Hindu. http://www.thehindu.com/2009/02/28/stories/2009022858700300.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  44. ^ "Kochi Metro Rail". The New Indian Express. 2006-05-09. http://newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEX20060509002011&Page=X&Title=Kochi&Topic=0&. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  45. ^ "Trade with India — major ports in India". National Informatics Centre. Archived from the original on 2006-12-15. http://web.archive.org/web/20061215061719/http://www.indiainbusiness.nic.in/trade-india/ports.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  46. ^ "A novel venture in the history of Indian Aviation". Cochin International Airport. http://www.cochin-airport.com/html/0100fram.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  47. ^ "Religious data". Census India - Household Whizmap. Census of India. http://www.censusindiamaps.net/page/Religion_WhizMap1/housemap.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  48. ^ Demographics of Kochi - as given in census
  49. ^ http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/delhi-offersbest-8217qualitylife8217-cii-ifc-liveability-index-2010/387882/
  50. ^ http://beta.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/article223434.ece
  51. ^ K. C. Zachariah and S. Irudaya Rajan (2005) (PDF). Unemployment in Ernakulam. K. C. Zachariah and S. Irudaya Rajan. http://www.cds.edu/download_files/374.pdf. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  52. ^ "Acute drinking water shortage in Kochi". The Hindu. 2007-03-09. http://www.hindu.com/2007/03/09/stories/2007030925271000.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  53. ^ "Water pollution in Kochi". The Hindu. 2004-05-16. http://www.hindu.com/2004/05/16/stories/2004051610570300.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  54. ^ "Housing a dream". The Hindu. 2003-05-19. http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mp/2003/05/19/stories/2003051900180100.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  55. ^ "City Development Plan — Kochi" (PDF). Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. http://jnnurm.nic.in/cdp_apprep_pdf/CDP_Appraisals_ASCI/COCHIN/KOCHI_AR1.pdf. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  56. ^ National Crime Records Bureau (2004). "Crimes in Mega Cities" (PDF). Crime in India-2004. Ministry of Home Affairs. http://ncrb.nic.in/crime2004/cii-2004/CHAP2.pdf. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  57. ^ T S Sudhir (2006-04-29). "Kochi's 'mini-India'". NDTV. http://www.ndtv.com/template/template.asp?template=Assemblypolls2006&slug='Mini-India'+votes+for+better+Kerala&id=87395&callid=1&category=National. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  58. ^ "The Jews, Israel, and India". An Interview with Nathan Katz. Jerusalem Centre for public affairs. http://www.jcpa.org/cjc/cjc-katz-f05.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-17. 
  59. ^ "Fast food overtakes the spice route". The Hindu. 2005-11-28. http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mp/2005/11/28/stories/2005112801410100.htm. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  60. ^ "Football and Cricket — the Most Popular Games". Sports and Games in Kerala. Information and Public relations office of Kerala. http://www.prd.kerala.gov.in/sportsmain.htm. Retrieved 2006-06-12. 
  61. ^ "Stadiums in India". List of stadiums in India in order of seating capacity. worldstadiums.com. http://www.worldstadiums.com/asia/countries/india.shtml. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  62. ^ "Keeping Kochi updated". The Hindu. 2003-09-15. http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mp/2003/09/15/stories/2003091500530200.htm. Retrieved 2006-06-02. 
  63. ^ "FM Rainbow". FM in Kochi. The Hindu. http://www.hindu.com/2006/06/27/stories/2006062721290300.htm. Retrieved 2006-06-27. 
  64. ^ "InfoPark Kochi". Advantage Kochi. InfoPark. Archived from the original on 2007-02-26. http://web.archive.org/web/20070226153730/http://www.infoparkkochi.com/advantage.php. Retrieved 2006-06-02. 

References

This article contains Indic text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks or boxes, misplaced vowels or missing conjuncts instead of Indic text.
  • Ma Huan: Ying Yai Sheng Lan, The Overall Survey of the Ocean's Shores, translated by J.V.G. Mills, 1970 Hakluyt Society, reprint 1997 White Lotus Press. ISBN 974-8496-78-3
  • Plunkett, R, Cannon, T, Davis, P, Greenway, P & Harding, P (2001), Lonely Planet South India, Lonely Planet, ISBN 1-86450-161-8
  • Manorama Yearbook 2003 (English Edition) ISBN 81-900461-8-7
  • Robert Charles Bristow - Cochin Saga, Paico Pub. House; 2d ed. edition (1967), OCLC 1659055
  • Unemployment in Kerala at the turn of the century Insights from the CDS gulf migration studies — K. C. Zachariah, S. Irudaya Rajan
  • Kochi Rajyacharithram by KP Padmanabha Menon. P(1914)
  • Akhilavijnanakosam Malayalam Encyclopedia — D C Books Multimedia Series.

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Kochi (Kerala) article)

From Wikitravel

Kochi Harbour mouth, seen from Willingdon Island
Kochi Harbour mouth, seen from Willingdon Island

Kochi (earlier known as Cochin) is a cosmopolitan city in Kerala with a bustling commercial port. Kochi is known as the financial capital of Kerala and it is the biggest urban agglomeration in Kerala.

Kochi Harbour
Kochi Harbour

The city of Kochi is separated into numerous distinct areas particularly close to each other. These include the mainland areas of Ernakulam City (where the train stations to the rest of India leave and arrive), Willingdon Island, Fort Kochi (the primary tourist enclave), Mattancherry, Kumbalangi and outlying islands. These distinct neighbourhoods arose as the result of a mixed past.

Kochi merchants began trading in spices such as black pepper and cardamom with the Arabs, the Dutch, Phoenicians, Portuguese, Chinese more than 600 years ago.

Kochi has a lot of remnants from the past still clinging on. The famous landmark of Kochi is a row of Chinese fishing nets at the mouth of the harbor leading to the Arabian sea in Fort Kochi, the oldest part of the city. In Ernakulam, the latest in skyscrapers and modern shopping can be found, while the old quarter -- the Fort Kochi area and Mattancherry area -- maintains a colonial air. This makes Kochi one of the best places to travel [1].

Kochi is comparatively cleaner and quieter than many other Indian tourist places. Having said that, Kochi is still a health and sanitation problem. Trash and rubbish litter most public areas. The infrastructure of proper sidewalks and grey water control remains a problem. Be careful walking especially at night as poorly lit areas and multi-level sidewalks are common. Often gaping holes could land you in a puddle.

This area boasts of hundreds of islands, some even uninhabited, and is part of the Backwaters of Kerala. A famous island is that of Bolghatty (local name Mulavukad) where the Dutch built a palace. This palace was later used as house of the British Resident administrator. Right now the Dutch Palace is a tourist hotel, and you are welcome to live there as guest.

Rainy season is from June to September. Temperature 22-34° C depending on season. Use mosquito repellent cream while traveling during night, and consider a mosquito net for sleeping.

  • Cochin International Airport [2]

is located at Nedumbassery approximately 29 km from the city. There are flights to and from Colombo, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Sharjah,Salalah, Jeddah, Muscat, Riyadh, Doha, Dammam, Al Ain, Manama, Kuwait, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Calicut, Coimbatore, Lakshadweep, Mangalore, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Take a pre-paid taxi to your destination.

  • Trivandrum International Airport, which is around 220 km from Kochi, and travel to Kochi by road/rail. It is 5-6 hour journey.

By train

You can reach Kochi from other cities Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Coimbatore, Kozhikode (Calicut), Chennai, Bangalore, Bombay, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata by train.

There are two major Rail station in Kochi( Ernakulam Town and Ernakulam Junction, locally known as North and South railway stations). The Indian Railways [3] serves Kochi with a number of train services connecting it to other parts of the state and the country. One of the best ways to get to Kochi is to take the Konkan Railway train from Mumbai that passes through the Konkan coast. The train ride is renowned for the breathtaking scenery and the natural beauty of the terrain that the train passes through.

By bus

Kochi is accessible from all parts of the state of Kerala, through the extensive state run Kerala Road Transport Corporation (K.S.R.T.C.) bus service. These buses are generally cheap and reliable, but the drivers are notoriously reckless, although they have excellent control over their vehicles. There buses are classified as Ordinary Passenger, Limited Stop, Fast Passenger, Super Fast Passenger, Lightning Express and Garuda. The last is an air-conditioned service operating on the Thiruvananthapuram-Coimbatore and Thiruvananthapuram-Calicut routes, both passing through Kochi. These are modern buses and compare with buses in Europe, with well-maintained interiors and comfortable seats.

There are also numerous private buses or 'route buses' that connect pretty much every single district in Kerala to Kochi. Both the K.S.R.T.C and the private buses offer very basic comforts and are rarely air conditioned.

There also exists daily services to and from other major cities in South India including Mumbai, Bangalore(12 hrs), Mangalore (12 hrs), Coimbatore (4.5 hrs) and Chennai (14 hrs). These are run by both private operators and by the respective State Transport Authorities. The private buses offer better comfort, are cleaner and more modern, and are more expensive. A ticket on a private operator-run bus, especially an A/C Volvo bus, is costlier than a 3-AC train ticket.

By taxi

Trivandrum to Kochi around 220 km

Fishermen in Kochi Harbour
Fishermen in Kochi Harbour

By boat

Kochi can be reached by sea in yachts or by occasional cruise ship from Goa or Bombay.

Get around

[4]

By bus

Kochi has an excellent and cheap local bus service system, operated by private bus operators. The numbering system is rarely used although it appears to exist. The buses are red in color, and though they may vary in appearance, they still can be distinguished as city bus services.

Destination boards display signs prominently in Malayalam and in small letters the English version. Using the local bus service is not that difficult as most bus conductors would be able to provide assistance with basic knowledge of English or Hindi or even Tamil. Remember however that peak hours on weekdays can lead to overcrowded buses. That is not the best time to use these buses, like in any busy city.

Travellers must remember that a certain number of seats are allocated for ladies in the forward portion of each bus. Unless these seats are empty, gentlemen are not expected to occupy them, and they must be vacated when a lady wishes to sit there. The standard precautions of being wary of pickpockets and other anti-social elements must be maintained.

Several important points serviced by Kochi's city bus service include Fort Kochi, Thoppumpady, Edakochi, Mattancherry, Island (Willingdon Island), Thevara, Kaloor, Palarivattom, Kakkanad, Kalamassery, Edapalli,North Paravur, Alwaye, Tripunithura, and Vytilla Jn.

Many key routes that pass through the city (from Alwaye/Kakkanad etc to Fort Kochi/Thevara Jn etc) will have the following route/stops

  1. Kaloor (interchange for Long Distance Private Bus Services for Kottayam, Palai, Changanacheri, Mundakayam, Erumeli, Pathanamthitha etc.& night services towads Calicut, Kannur, Wayanad)
  2. Lissie Jn (Some Private Long Distance Luxury Bus Operators)
  3. Town Hall (Closest point to Ernakulam Town (North) Station)
  4. Kacheripady Jn (KSRTC State Transport Bus Stand - 1 km away & MG Road Start)
  5. High Court (KSINC Boat Jetty for Ferry to Vypeen, Mulavukad, Panambukadu, Ochanthurth, Murikkumpadam & Bolgatty, Long Distance Private Bus Services to Guruvayoor,Thrissur, Calicut,Irinjalakuda,Kodungallur,North Paravur )Private ordinary Bus Services to Vypeen,Cherai Beach,Munabam,North Paravur,Kodungallur via Goshree Bridges
  1. Marine Drive (GCDA Complex)
  2. Main Boat Jetty (Boat Jetty for Ferry to Vypeen, Fort Kochi, Mattencherry, Willingdon Island, Vallarpadam, Varapuzha, Perubalam, Karthedom, Mulavukad) Also KSRTC's ordinary limited stop buses to North Paravur, Kodungallur,Guruvayoor,Thrissur, Calicut starts from here.
  3. Shenoys/YMCA (Some services only & services towards Kaloor) - (Closest point to KSRTC State Transport Stand - 0.5 km)
  4. Jos Junction - Virtual Centre of Ernakulam (Alighting Point for Ernakulam Jn (South) - 0.5 km, Private Bus Operators to Thekaddy/Kumili, Munnar, Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalam, Idukki and Private Long Distance Luxury Bus Operators - To Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Mangalore Coimbatore etc.)
  5. Ravipuram - Main Business & Commercial Area. Buses for Thevara, Edakochi, Fort Kochi, Mattancherri, Thoppumpady & W. Island Pass through here.
  6. Thevara Jn
  7. Island (Old Airport)
  8. Thoppumpady
  9. Mattancheri
  10. Fort Kochi

Buses from/to Tripunithura/Vytilla Jn will deviate after Jos Junction to pass through:

  1. Kadavanthara
  2. Vytilla Jn.
  3. Tripunithura

Buses from/to Alwaye follow the following broad route Kaloor Jn., Edapally, Kalamassery, Alwaye

Buses from/to North Paravur follow the following broad route Kaloor Jn., Edapally,Varapuzha,North Paravur

Buses from/to Kakkanad follow the following broad route Kaloor Jn., Palarivattom Jn., Palarivattom Bye Pass, Chembukmukku, Padamugal, Kakkanad

Some services may operate directly between Alwaye, Edapally, Kakkanad and Vytilla Jn using the Byepass Road via Palarivattom Bye Pass.

By autorickshaw

This is a cheap way of transport between attractions. You can find an auto stand at almost every bus stop. This is the ideal way to cover short distances. Make sure you agree on a fare with the driver before the journey because almost none of the autorickshaws have working meters. Beware of autorickshaw drivers who charge extra if they know you are tourists. One easy solution is to approach pre-paid auto stands (they are available only in railway station) if you are coming through the rail.

By taxi

The taxis in Kochi are very convenient and comfortable. Most of the vehicles are Tata Indica cars or Ambassador cars, which are much safer than Auto rickshaws, and the drivers are polite. If you are alone or going to an unknown destination, you are strongly advised to choose this option, even though the rates will be double that of an auto.

Unlike most Western countries, taxis are not usually marked with 'TAXI' signs on the top. In fact, you must call for a taxi, as it is nearly impossible to hail one unless you are at a major point like the airport. When you call, you should negotiate a fare (or agree on using the meter) and get the taxi's 'number'. The taxi will come pick you up, and call you when they are close. When you go out on the street, look at the license plate for the number they gave you -- it will be the last four digits of the license plate. Taxis are generally white in color and have yellow license plates with black letters.

Although it can be hard for Westerners to realise at first, this process is very effective. If in doubt, ask a member of your hotel staff to help you, and when your taxi comes be sure to tip the helpful staff member Rs. 10 or 15 for the assistance.

By private car

Most taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers will be more than happy to offer you either a daily rate or an hourly rate, and take you around wherever you need to go. Alternately, your hotel or a travel company can arrange a private car.

If you find a good taxi or auto driver, this can be a great way to go for a foreigner. You'll certainly pay a lot more than if you bought individual rides, but you'll always have a driver waiting for you, and he can help with recommending local tourist sites, finding a good restaurant to eat at, and otherwise coping with day-to-day life. This can take a lot of the stress out of traveling.

Rates are generally something like Rs. 50 to 100 per hour for an auto-rickshaw, and Rs 150 to 250 per hour for a taxi. Rates for a private car booked via the hotel will probably be more. Like everything else in India, rates are very fluid.

By ferry

There are also good ferry services between islands.

A useful service is the 'Junkar' between Fort Kochi and Vypeen. There are regular boat services, every 20-30 minutes, from Ernakulam to Mattancherry, Fort Kochi, Vypeen and Willingdon Island which are much cheaper than the buses. This ferry service is also faster also in many cases because a bus or taxi has to travel longer & through crowded routes. E.g. if you are somewhere near M.G. Road and travelling to Willingdon Island or Mattancherry, it will be cheaper & faster to catch the ferry from Ernakulam Main boat jetty.

Talk

As with most parts of Kerala, the main langauge of Kochi is Malayalam. However, most educated people will be able to speak Hindi and English. Knowledge of English would be sufficient to get around as most people you will meet will be able to communicate in broken English at the very least.

  • Hill Palace Museum [5] - The erstwhile Kochi Raja's palace, now converted to a museum along with a small zoo, is 12 Km south-east of Ernakulam at Tripunithura. Has paintings and epigraphy from the collections of the Travancore & Kochi royal families.
  • Museum of Kerala History - at Edappally, 10km. north of the city
  • Pareekshith Thampuran Museum contains oil paintings, old coins, sculptures and Mughal paintings, and models of interesting temples and traditional Kerala buildings.
Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi
Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi
  • Fort Kochi
  • Mattancherry There is a beautiful Jain temple here. It is great to visit at about 12:15hrs when the pigeons are feed by Jain mandir people, which they have been doing for the past 17 years. A huge number of pigeons first take three circles of the temple and listen to mantra before eating.
  • Willingdon Island [6] - An large artificial island made out of sand dredged from the backwaters to deepen the Kochi Port.
  • Vypeen and Gundu Islands - The Island boasts a lighthouse at Ochenthuruthu, beaches and the early 16th century
  • Bolgatty - built in 1744 as Dutch Palace; one of the KTDC Hotels with green lawns and Golf Course.
  • Chinese fishing Nets [7] - at Fort Kochi.
  • Dutch Palace - constructed by the Portuguese in 1568 for Maharaja of Kochi Veera Kerala Varma. Later rebuilt by the Dutch.
  • St. Francis Church, Fort Kochi - constructed by the Portuguese[1503]. Vasco da Gama was buried here [1524] and later his remains were transferred to Lisbon, Portugal. His tombstone can be seen inside the church.
St. Francis Church, Kochi
St. Francis Church, Kochi
  • Jew Street and Synagogue - at Mattancherry, the synagogue was constructed in 1568 and rebuilt in 1662.
  • Santacruz Cathedral- at Fort Kochi
  • Art Complex - Madhavan Nayar Foundation - Gallery of Paintings and Sculptures at Edappally, 10 km. north of city. (There is the Kerala History Museum, history students take note!)
  • Thrikkakara Temple - at Thrikkakara, is a temple devoted to the Hindu deity Vamana. Thrikkakara temple is a major centre for celebration of the festival Onam, that is celebrated in great pomp and colour throughout Kerala. Get here during Onam time and you can catch the famous 10-day festival at the temple, peppered with performances of Kerala's traditional arts and ending with a Onam feast on the last day.
  • Thirumala Devaswom Temple - at Mattancherry. A temple built by the Gowda Sarawatha Brahmins, Lord Venkateswara the main deity, famous for second-largest brass bell in Asia. The North Gopuram is fully roofed with copper.
  • Ernakulam Siva Temple - situated at the centre of the town, near the Durbar Hall Ground.
  • Durbar Hall Ground [8] - venue of many fairs during festivals
  • Kalady - Birth place of Sri Shankaracharya (Adi Shankara) [786-820], the great Indian philosopher and founder of the Advaita philosophy. Shrines of Shankaracharya here are open to all pilgrims, irrespective of religion or caste. 48km north of the city.
  • Kanjiramattam Mosque - Muslim pilgrim center, venue of Kudikkuthu Festival, 30km east of the city
  • Chendamangalam - Historically the seat of Paliath Achan, the Prime Minister of Kochi Kingdom, old Oriental Jewish synagogue and colony. Now a centre for handloom weaving and coir manufacturing, view of annual fair "Mattachanda" (Barter Systems). It is 42km north-west of city near North Paravur .
  • Pallipuram Fort - built by the Portuguese in 1503, one of the oldest existing European monuments in India. Situated in Vypeen island at Pallipuram.
  • Aluva - called "Alwaye" till a few years ago, town on the way from the international airport to Kochi, has some places of interest - Sree Narayana Guru's Advaita Ashram and the erstwhile Travancore king's palace.
  • Aluva Manalpuram - is famous for the Shivarathri festival on the sandy banks of the Periyar river. A Siva temple is located along the banks too.
  • Malayattoor Mount - A Christian pilgrimage centre, supposed to be a place visited by St. Thomas. (St. Thomas visited Kerala in AD 52. Don't forget Christianity reached India much before it reached Europe!)
  • Cherai Beach - near North Paravur is a new-generation tourist hot-spot with golden beaches (with big sand grains, like those of river sand used in construction, probably deposited by the Periyar river at some point in time), coconut palm corridors, backwaters, and historical monuments. You can reach Cherai Beach by bus, auto rickshaw, etc., from Ernakulam town though bus is a lot cheaper. Frequent buses are available from High Court that go through Goshree bridges and Vypeen Island.
  • Boating on the Kochi backwaters, (at Marine Drive). Get a feel of the backwaters at Kochi .Be sure to Check the Safety Measures In the boat  edit
  • Fort Ayurveda, 2/6A Calvathy Road (next to Coast Guard). Experience rejuvenating Ayurvedic treatments at Fort Ayurveda, an undertaking of Fort HouseHotel in association with Nagarjuna Ayurvedic Group. Authentic, clean and in a fine setting.  edit
  • Kathakali (kathakali in Kochi), Kalathil Parambil House Kathakali Parambil Crossroad Second Left from Govt. Girls High School on Chitoor-Valanjambalam road Ernakulam South Kochi 682016, 0484-2376471/72 or 9846140691. Located in heart of Kochi city, this theatre now functions from the 160 year old Vakke Bungalow of Kathakali Parambil House situated in Kalathil Parambil Crossroad which is very near South Railway Station (Ernakulam Junction). With regular evening performances starting from 06:00PM, guests can watch the elaborate Make up performance with explanation followed by a detailed demonstration and narration of Kathakali styles, history etc. This is followed by an hour long presentation of Kathakali dance ending at 8:00PM with a brief open house for an intellectual discussion on Kathakali matters. Special shows with more dancers and non-traditional stories in other timings can be arranged in the theatre. Likewise special outdoor shows are also performed for various events, corporate get-togethers, and social functions as well as on shows on request for quite reasonable charges. Their contact email id is seeindiakathakali@yahoo.com  edit

Buy

Jewtown has numerous antique and craft stores. Bargains are available but be warned that many 'antiques' were probably made in the owners backyard! Shop with care and bargain hard.

  • Isidore Art Palace, Jewtown, Kochi 662002 (Next to the Synagogue), (). Will reliably ship stuff outside India. Bargain hard!  edit
  • Galleria Synagogue Art Gallery, Jewtown, Kochi 6820002 (Walk down from the synagogue), 484 - 2222544. Showcases art work from many different local artists. Prices are reasonable, and they very often have exhibitions showing some amazing art work from the region.  edit

Depending on what you are looking for, many clothing and jewelry shops along MG road and Marine Drive are available. Prices are reasonable for western budgets. Shopping Malls are a new concept for Kochi and the new Bay Pride Mall on Marine drive and Oberon Mall at Edapally offers air conditioned comfort with a small food court and a nice coffee shop.One of the latest additions to the city's lifestyle shopping needs is "My Kingdom" on MG Road, a one of its kind store spread across 4 levels catering to different generations of the family.

  • Kalyan Silks
  • Seematti(costly)
  • Jayalakshmi Silks
  • The Chennai Silks
  • Dew Drops
  • Lady Bug (closed for Renovation)
  • Graffitti - cheap summer clothing
  • There are stores of all major brands including Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Levis, Wrangler etc
  • Apple store At Kadavantra

These may be found on MG Road, Marine Drive, or the strip that connects them called Broadway, which is a street shoppers paradise.

Malls :

  • Bay Pride Mall, Marine Drive
  • Oberon Mall [9], Edapally Bypass
  • Wilson Tours, Princess Street, 04842217405, [10]. A long-running and reliable travel agent on Princess Street. Stanley Wilson arranged a very affordable trip to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary for us complete with a driver. He also can arrange backwaters tours on environmentally-friendly house boats in quiet areas.  edit
  • Bookport (English Bookshop),Ground Floor,Kurian Towers,Banerjee Road Phone: 0484-2397129,9746401310 [11]
  • Hamlet, Kurien Towers, Banerjee Road
  • DC, Kurien Towers, Banerjee Road
  • DeeCee, Island Castle, Chitoor Road
  • Shankar, M.G rd,Padma Road
  • Alphabet, Kadavanthara Road
  • Bay Pride Mall, Marine Drive
  • H & C, it has its stores just off m.g. road
  • GCDA Shopping complex, Marine Drive
  • Oberon Mall, Edapally
  • Pai and Co, M.G Road and Broadway
  • Idiom Books,P.O Box 32,Behind St.Francis Church,Fort Kochi Tel 0484 2217075,2225604
  • Kochi Books,Princess Street,Fort Kochi- Tel 00 91 484 2218730 E:sales@kochibooks.com

Eat

Plenty of great, fresh seafood is available all over Fort Kochi. Visit Fort Kochi beach where you can buy fresh fish near the Chinese fishing nets and get it cooked in the nearby food stalls for a small fee. Fish mongers will sell you a kilo of tiger prawns for around $6USD and a kilo of squid for around $5USD. For a fillet of fish you may have to do a little bargaining. Try and find out what the locals are paying and work for that. The food stalls will charge you between 40 and 50 Rupee per person to cook your fish (grilled, curry, whatever...) and provide you with a serve of chips and salad! It is done reasonably hygienic so you shouldn't worry to much about the salad.

Fish fry, fish molly, fish curry and fish peera are the favorites, usually taken with rice or steamed tapioca (cassava). Also worth trying are the traditional rice based breakfast snacks - puttu and kadala, appam and stew. Try the "thattukadas" where you get hot, fresh-cooked, foods, where they don't have refrigerators to preserve the balance food.

  • Chic King, M.G Road, Palarivattom. It looks, smells and tastes pretty much like KFC  edit
  • Fort House Restaurant and Hotel, 2/6A Calvathy Road (next to Coast Guard), 0484 2217103, [12]. Located at the water front and offers good Kerala food with great views  edit
  • Hotel Aaryas, (Near Varkeys, Manorama Junction). Vegetarian restaurant run by Tamilians  edit
  • Hotel Thali, (Opp Little Flower Church, Near Kadavanthra). Very good Kerala style cusine. Try their Dum Biriyani  edit
  • Just Biryani, 40/9534 Opp State bank of Hyderabad,Pulleppady, near padma jn m.g.road, ernakulam, 4022334. 12-3PM only. the finest original dhum biryani store, made using authentic cooking methods. 55.  edit
  • Kadaloram, Abad Plaza. Good buffet at about rs 150 per head.  edit
  • K.R Bakes. Cheap hygienic food. Both the bakery and restaurant offer pretty good food. Can be found at several places, including Palarivattom junction.  edit
  • Shala, 1/605 Peter Celli Street, Fort Kochi 682001, (0)484 2216036. A delicious Keralan restaurant which serves a small menu which changes daily in lovely surroundings  edit

Drink

Keralites are well known for their drinking habits. Kerala is the largest consumer of alcohol among the Indian states. So it shouldn't be a problem finding Bars and Pubs in Cochin. If you are not into alchol try some of these:

  • Karikku / ilaneer (tender coconut)
  • Sambhaaram (buttermilk), especially on hot summer days
  • Shakes, get them cold, like a Sharjah Shake for example - a good cooldown option
  • Fresh toddy from the coconut tree, especially around the Kumarakom area. Take caution as adulteration of the brew is very common. Your best bet would be to get it from a local who has given over his coconut trees for extraction.

Some of the Well known Bars are

  • Velocity. Banerji road  edit
  • Oberoi Bar, MG Road.  edit

There are many Coffee shops as well in and around the city

  • Cafe Coffee Day - Shenoy's Cinema, Oberon Mall and Ravipuram junction- your standard coffee hangout
  • Barista - Bay Pride Mall, Marine Drive - the place to cool down with coffee after a walk at Marine Drive
  • Coffee Beanz - Marine Drive road - another place to get your cold coffee and snacks
  • Teapot - Fort Cochin
  • Kashi art cafe - Fort Cochin
  • Cocoa Tree - MG Road
  • Tandav The most happening disco in town
  • Glow lounge bar cum discotheque of Hotel Harbour View promises not just exotic cocktails and signature drinks now. The DJ Nights here are not restricted to Fridays and Saturdays. It’s fun unlimited on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well.
  • Loungevity With an inhouse DJ playing your favourite tunes and the latest in Electronic Dance Music, there is ample space even for those who want to jive to the thumping beats after a sip of the fizzy cocktail. One of the coolest places for families.
  • Couchyn The lounge bar at The Grand Hotel is rocking. The great music just takes you to the floor as you enter. And not to forget the wide variety of cocktails.
  • Ramada located away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it is a 3 tier bar

Sleep

When booking keep in mind the area around Fort Kochi is quieter and more scenic than the rest of the city. There are quite a lot of tourists so prices are relatively high, but that’s still very cheap by western standards. Some of the heritage hotels are located here. Home stays are common.

  • Dream Catcher Home Stay, Vasavan Lane Road (Near Thamaraparambu Schoo), 0484 2217550 / 9746017881 (). Good home-cooked food, clean rooms, but host quite unpleasant. Will pick up from Bus/Railway station free of charge Rs. 600-1200.  edit
  • Green House Home Stay, Kunnumpuram Road, Njaliparambu, Fort Kochi, 0091-9895262296 (). Very nice and friendly home stay in a good location close to Princess Street (where Kumar has a shop, so try to track him down there if you can't reach him otherwise), which also offers a TV and a fridge in the common room/living room In high season doubles are around Rs500 (or more if you want A/C), whereas we paid Rs250 during the low season (May 2008).  edit
  • Leelu Home, Fort Kochi, Cheerans Ebenezer, Behind Fort Kochi Post Office, Quirose Street, '''Fort Kochi''' 682 001. (Hardly a 2 minute walk from the famous Santa Cruz Basilica), 0091-484-2215377, [13]. A recently renovated Victorian building in the heart of Fort Kochi. Cooking classes are conducted at the kitche every day from 11a.m. - 1p.m. and from 6p.m. - 8p.m.  edit
  • The Gateway Hotel, Marine Drive, City, [14]. Formerly Taj Residency near the harbour with good views over the sea from some rooms.  edit
  • Madaparambil Tourist Home, Chittoor Road (near S.R.V. L.P.School, Ernakulum), 682 011 Ph: 0484-2367533.  edit
  • Maple Regency Hotel, Cannon Shed Road, Ernakulam, +91-484-2371711 (). Near the main boat jetty is well located, friendly place with a good restaurant Rooms are from USD 6.50 to 10.00.  edit
  • The Royal Kerala Boats, 304 - Lalan Towers, Marine Drive Kochi Kerala 682022India, +91 9 847153764, [15]. If you are traveling to Kerala and are looking for a place to stay, there is nothing better than a One night stay on a House Boat. The boats are build on traditional transport boats and have now been modified into luxury house boats with all modern amenities.  edit
  • Taj Malabar, Willingdon Island, [16]. On the tip of Willingdon Island is has to be one of the best located properties in Kochi. In its heritage wing, built in 1935, is full of Victorian interiors, while it's tower wing is more modern.  edit

Stay safe

Kochi is infamous for mosquitoes. [17] Stay safe from the mosquitoes by buying mosquito pesticides. And make sure any room you book has mosquito repellants or atleast a mosquito net.

Be wary of Private Line bus and KSRTC bus drivers on the roads. Pedestrians live a hard life especially during peak hours in Kochi.

Contact

Wireless internet through Tata Indacom is available at the Avenue Regent (approximately 110 RS/2Hr) on MG road. Internet Cafes are available throughout the city.

  • In Ernakulam District
    • Kallil Temple - an old Jain temple but now a Hindu temple is 13 Km from Perumbavoor.
    • Kodanadu - Elephant training centre.
    • Kuttanpuzha
    • Bhoothathankettu - A Dam, 8 Kms north east of Kothamangalam.
    • Thattekkad - Bird sanctuary near Bhoothathankettu.
    • Paniyeli Poru - The sight of river Periyar through the forests and rocks is an amazing sight. 60 Km from Kochi and 15 km from Perumbavoor. Its a stunning scnenic spot.
    • Iringol Kavu - a kavu - protected small vegetation area near a temple - of around 50 acres! 15 km from Perumbavoor
  • Idukki District is a hilly region with lots of hill resorts.on the way to Idukki are
  • Athirappilly waterfalls near Chalakudy,Thrissur
  • Munnar a hill resort in Idukki District is 130 km east.
  • Thekkady and other places in Idukki
  • Alappuzha is famous for House Boats, is 70 km away.
  • Kumarakom in Kottayam
  • For Detailed report and photos of route to Palani from Kochi thru Athirappilly - Valpara goto Kochi-Valpara-Palani
  • Lakshadweep is 5 day (seasonal) cruise from the Kochi port.
  • Cherai is some 25 kms away from Kochi city, near North Paravur and its beautiful with a nice beach and local cousine.
  • Alwaye is about 40 mins away from Ernakulam. See the Aluva Palace, Shivrathri Manappuram
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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