Kochi, also known as Cochin, is a major port city on the south-west coast of India bordering the Laccadive Sea. It is part of the district of Ernakulam in the state of Kerala and is often referred to as Ernakulam. Kochi is known as the financial, commercial and industrial capital of Kerala. Ancient travellers and tradesmen referred to Kochi, variously alluding to it as Cocym, Cochym, Cochin, and Kochi. The Cochin Jewish community called Cochin “Kogin”, which is seen in the seal of the synagogue-owned by the community. The origin of the name “Kochi” is thought to be from the Malayalam word kochu azhi, meaning ‘small lagoon’. Yet another theory is that Kochi is derived from the word Kaci, meaning “harbour”. 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 transliteration of its original Malayalam name, Kochi, in 1996. This change in name was challenged by the city municipal corporation but the court later dismissed the plea.
History: Kochi was the centre of Indian spice trade for many centuries, and was known to the Yavanas (Greeks and Romans) as well as Jews, Syrians, Arabs, and Chinese since ancient times. Called the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the west coast of India from the 14th century onward and maintained a trade network with Arab merchants from the pre-Islamic era. Occupied by the Portuguese in 1503, Kochi was the first of the European colonies in colonial India. It remained the main seat of Portuguese India until 1530 when Goa was chosen instead. The city was later occupied by the Dutch and the British, with the Kingdom of Cochin becoming a princely state. In 1947, when India gained independence from the British colonial rule, Cochin was the first princely state to join the Indian Union willingly. 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.
(*All the above information are from Wikipedia.)
Airport: The Cochin International Airport in Nedumbassery is situated at a distance of 28 km north of Kochi city.
Rail: The city has four major railway stations – Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town (locally known as the South and North railway stations respectively), Aluva and Tripunithura followed by smaller stations, Edappally and Kalamassery. The North station situated on the northern side of the city caters mostly to long distance services that bypass the South station and also is an additional halt station for many trains. The Phase-1 of the metro system will have 22 stations connecting the suburban towns of Aluva and Pettah while passing through downtown. The first half of the Phase-1 of Kochi Metro is operational.
Road: KURTC and KSRTC along with many other privately owned bus networks operate bus services within the city and the nearby towns and other major cities. Kochi lies on the NH 66 which connects from Mumbai to Kanyakumari via Kochi.
Local: Auto Rickshaws, taxis and vehicles on rent are available for moving within and outside the city.
Ferry and Waterway: Kochi Port operates passenger ship to Colombo and Lakshadweep. Boat services are operated by Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation, the State Water Transport Department and private firms from various boat jetties in the city. The junkar ferry for the transhipment of vehicles and passengers between the islands are operated between Ernakulam and Vypin, and between Vypin and Fort Kochi.
Mattancherry Palace or the Dutch Palace: The Mattancherry Palace is a Portuguese palace popularly known as the Dutch Palace, in Mattancherry, Kochi, in the Indian state of Kerala which features Kerala murals depicting portraits and exhibits of the Rajas of Kochi.
Pardesi Synagogue: Constructed in 1567, it is one of seven synagogues of the Malabar Yehudan or Yehudan Mappila people or Cochin Jewish community in Cochin.
St Francis Church: St. Francis Church, in Fort Kochi (Fort Cochin), Kochi, originally built in 1503, is one of the oldest European churches in India and has great historical significance as a mute witness to the European colonial struggle in the subcontinent.
Santa Cruz Basilica: The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the eight Basilicas in Kerala. Counted as one of the heritage edifices of Kerala, this church is one of the finest and most impressive churches in India and visited by tourists the whole year round. It is a place of devotion as well as a centre of historic significance, endowed with architectural and artistic grandeur and colours of the gothic style.
Marine Drive: Marine Drive is a picturesque promenade in the city of Kochi, Kerala, India. It is built facing the backwaters and is a popular hangout for the local populace. No vehicles are allowed on the walkway. Marine Drive is also an economically thriving part of the city of Kochi.
The other places of interest are Chinese fishing nets in Vypin island, Indo-Portuguese Museum, Hill Palace, Folklore Museum, Mangalavam Bird Sanctuary, Cherai Beach, Veeranpuzha Beach, Gowreeshwara Temple Cherai and many others.