Atithi Devo Bhava
Kerala Blog Express
Kochi - The Queen of Arabian Sea
Kochi ( ( listen)), also known as Cochin (ko-chin), is a major port city on the south-west coast of India by the Arabian Sea and is part of the district of Ernakulam in the state of Kerala. It is often called Ernakulam, which refers to the mainland part of the city.
Cochin or Kochi, is sobriqueted as ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea‘, is the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala. Being strategically located natural harbour on the East- West trade route, Cochin is one of the major ports in India.
Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the west coast of India from the 14th century. Occupied by thePortuguese 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.
Cochin’s fertile land and richness brought Arabs, Chinese, Dutch, British and Portuguese to its shores. They came for spices, camphor, sandalwood, gold and silks. These traders brought with them the culture and technology of other lands, making Cochin a global city.
Kochi ranks first in the total number of international and domestic tourist arrivals in Kerala. Kochi has been ranked the sixth best tourist destination in India according to a survey conducted by the Nielsen Company on behalf of the Outlook Traveller magazine. Kochi was one of the 28 Indian cities found to be among the emerging 440 global cities that will contribute 50% of the world GDP by the year 2025, in a 2011 study done by the McKinsey Global Institute.
Much of Kochi lies at sea level with a coastline of 48 km. The city has an estimated population of 650,000, with an extended metropolitan population of over 1.6 million, making it the largest urban agglomeration and the second largest city in Kerala.
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.
Influenced by successive waves of migration over the course of several millennia, 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. 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.
Keeping up with its multi-ethnic Diaspora, Kochi celebrates traditional Kerala festivals like Onam and Vishu along with North Indian Hindu festivals like Holi and Diwali with much gaiety. Christian and Islamic festivals like Christmas, Easter, Eid ul-Fitr and Milad-E-Sherif are also celebrated. A merry making feast called the Cochin Carnival is celebrated at Fort Kochi every year during the last ten days of December.
Kochiites (the locals) generally partake of typical Kerala cuisine, which is 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.
|Kochi (Cochin) is the largest urban agglomeration spread over an area of 95 sq. km|
|Fastest growing Indian city on the West coast|
|International travellers coming to city for trade, missionary, tourism, etc|
|Gateway to Kerala for tourists|
|Highest emigration rate of 17 people per 100 households|
|Top rated for ITES and BPO|
|Eco-tourism and rich cultural heritage|
|High Literacy and Education|
|Net Domestic product of the district is around Rs. 45,660 million|
|Commercial and Industrial capital of Kerala|
|Some of the large scale Infrastructure projects being carried out are: Vallarpadam Container Terminal, Cochin Port Transhipment Terminal, Airport-Seaport Road, SMART City, Infopark, SEZ and CIAL Development Plan among others|
|Area||95 sq. km.|
|Location||9° 58″N, 76° 17″E|
|Time Zone||Indian Standard Time (IST) – UTC +5:30|
|Seasons||Monsoon season : June – September (heavy rains)
Mild winter : October – February (cool, dry with occassional rain)
Summer : March – May (hot and humid)
|Languages||State language: Malayalam
English is widely understood. Hindi and Tamil are used occasionally.
|Religions||Being a city in a secular country, almost all major religions are represented including Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Jewism, Jainism and Buddhism.|
|Main Occupation||Trading, fishing, heavy industry and information technology|
|Airport code||IATA: COK, ICAO: VOCC|
|Emergency numbers||Police: 100, Fire: 101, Ambulance: 102.|
|Currency||Indian Rupee (INR), 1 Rupee = 100 paise.
Approximate rates: $1 = Rs 65, £1 = Rs 100, €1 = Rs 70http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/
Ernakulam is located on the coast of the Arabian sea with Kottayam and Alappuzha districts in the south, Idukki in the east and Thrissur in the north.
Public transportation within the city is largely dependent on private buses. Taxi and auto rickshaws are available for hire throughout the day. Narrow roads have made traffic congestion a major problem in the city. So if you are thinking of driving around the city by yourself, think again!
Modes of Transportation: Road, Rail, Water & Air ways
Major Attraction in Kochi: Trip Advisor
- Wonderla Amusement Park
- Kerala Kathakali Centre
- Folklore Museum
- Kashi Art Gallery
- LuLu Mall
- Santa Cruz Basilica
- Paradesi Synagogue
- Jew Town
Major Tourist Attraction in Kerala:
The cuisine of Kerala
Kerala Blog Express was an initiative by Kerala Tourism, who took 30 international bloggers on a bus all around Kerala state. Brazil, UK, Indonesia, Spain, Israel, New Zealand, Italy, USA and 13 other countries were represented on this 15-day trip that saw us climbing coconut trees (me, me!), sleeping in houseboats, avoiding blood-hungry leeches in the forests and exploring tea and spice plantations. Add to that a visit to elephant orphanages and being visited by cheeky forest monkeys, and you will have “the journey of a lifetime”, as promoted by Kerala Tourism.
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