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Cochin
General Information about Cochin

 

Area:

8700 Sq.km

Population:

1,600,000

Languages:

Malayalam, English, Hindi, Tamil, Konkani

Religions:

Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Jainism and Judaism

Main Occupation:

Trading, Fishing

It is not known exactly how the name Kochi originated. But many theories exist. Some historians believe that Cochin is a modified form of the word 'Cochazhi' which in Malayalam means 'small sea'

Others are of the opinion that 'Kochi' was named so by the Chinese. According to them, traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan, gave Kochi the name of their homeland. Believe it or not, the chinese fishing nets , found here (outside China) and nowhere else may be sufficient proof to support their belief. Still another theory is that Kochi is derived from the word 'Kaci' meaning 'harbour'.

The Cochin harbour
Kochi earned a significant position on the world trading routes after the world famous port at Kodugallur (Cranganore) was destroyed by massive flooding of the  river Periyar in 1340 AD. Records show that Kodugallur/Cranganore was known to the Arabs and Chinese traders for centuries.

After the Kodugallur port was destroyed, the forces of nature created the harbour at the nearby city - Kochi. Kochi then started to grow and soon developed into a major trading point dealing in pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, etc. which were and still are famous for their quality.

The Chinese, Arabs, British, Dutch and Portugese helped Kochi to emerge as a bustling centre of commercial activity, connecting the mainland to the rest of the world. Kochi owes a lot to great travelers, scholars and traders like Fa Hien, Vasco da Gama, Sir Robert Bristow etc. to her present form of existence

About the princely state of Kochi
Over the centuries , the princely state of Kochi came under numerous empires. The original local rulers were dominated by the Portugese, Dutch , British and even the Zamorin of Kozhikode (Calicut). Around 1530 AD , under the Portugese, Kochi grew into a prosperous town. The ruler of Kochi gave the Portugese, permission to build a fort at Kochi called 'Manuel Kotta' - which is the first European fort in Kochi .

The Dutch invasion began around 1653 and by 1663 they emerged victorious over the Portugese. The Dutch then built Fort Williams here .

The Dutch were defeated by the great ruler of Mysore - Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. But at last, when the whole nation lost to the British regime , Kochi too became a part of the British colony in 1814. The magificient forts built here were destroyed by the British.

Under the supervision of Sir Robert Bristow, Kochi was developed into a major harbour and the Willingdon Island was created. Willingdon Island now accommodates the Cochin Port, Airport and the Head Quarters of Southern Naval Command apart from a host of other trading and commercial organisations .

After India became independent in 1947, the state of Kerala was formed by the unification of provinces Kochi, Malabar and Travancore in 1956. The Corporation of Kochi was formed in 1967 by the merger of the towns - Fort Kochi, Mattanchery , Ernakulam and many nearby villages.

At present, Kochi is one of the most important industrial, trading and commercial centre of South India.

Location
Kochi [Cochin], the Queen of the Arabian Sea, is situated on the west coast of India in the beautiful state of Kerala. Kochi can be regarded as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala. Kerala is one of the most prosperous state of India, flanked by the Arabian Sea on the western side and the Western Ghats on the eastern side.Roughly speaking Kochi is 10 North and 76 East.

Kochi is the most important city in Kerala. It is the second most important city (after Mumbai) on the western coast of India .

Kochi is known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea and the Queen of the Adriatic. It is also referred to as the Gateway of South India.

Climate
Being situated very close to the sea, Kochi has a moderate climate. Heavy showers are experienced during the months June,July and August due to the South-West Monsoon. The North-East Monsoon brings light rainfall during the months September, October, November and December. December to February is pretty cool. The annual rainfall is about 310 cm . In summer the temperature rises to a maximum of 35 C while in winter it is around 25 C.

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