Cochin Tourism & Travel Guide - Know Before you Go!

Cochin Overview

Flanked by the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, Kochi, which was earlier known as Cochin, is an important port town in Kerala. It is situated in the Ernakulam district, and well-connected to other towns through its fantastic port as well as by rail, road and air. Kochi also figures out on the travel maps of several tourists and is a landing base for travellers, who plan to visit the more exotic locations in Kerala. With a rich past, plenty of touristy hotspots and some great places to eat and stay at, Kochi also serves as a travel destination on its own. This modern city is believed to have got its name from Koch Azhi, which means small lagoon in Malyalam, though according to old manuscripts, Kochi was christened by traders from China. Whichever meaning you choose to believe, it goes without saying that Kochi has been an important commercial centre through the ages. Known for its bustling spice-trade in the 14th century, Kochi now is known for tourism, international trade, ship building, health services and information technology. With a coastline that spans up to 48 km, the city is also well-known for beaches that tourists throng to. This ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’ with its intriguing past and dynamic present, comprises of the Vypeen Island, Mattancherry and Fort Cochin on the southern peninsula, and, Gundu and Bolgatty and Willington in the harbour. A melting pot of cultures, the architecture and town planning reflects influences of Europeans, Arabs, Jews and the Chinese. Ancient churches, traditional Chinese fishing nets, homes built in the Portuguese and Chinese styles, and synagogues - all add elements of interest to the town. Interestingly, this ancient trading centre is still famous for its exports in coir, rubber, seafood and pepper. An important port town that is believed to have originated sometime in 1341 AD, its fine natural harbour attracted traders from across the world like bees to honey. Vasco da Gama established the first trading station here in 1502, and the Portuguese Viceroy built a European fort in Kochi in 1503. The British made forays into the place in 1635, but the Dutch forced them out three decades later in 1663. It was under the Dutch that Kochi flourished as a trading centre. Finally, the town was captured by Hyder Ali in 1776 and then surrendered to the British by Tipu Sultan in 1791.

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