Gary Weiss (American journalist)
“Kochi is a town of enormous charm that reminds some visitors of the Caribbean more than India.”
Kochi (formerly Cochin) is a cosmopolitan city in the state of Kerala with a bustling commercial port. Kochi is the financial capital of Kerala and, with a population of more than 2 million, the biggest urban agglomeration in the state. It is one of the major tourist destinations in India.
Kochi, the last port of Vasco Da Gama, where you will find synagogues, mosques, churches and temples side by side, is a place with a fascinating history. It is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Heralded as the Queen of Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the Arabian Sea coast from the 14th century.
Kochi merchants began trading in spices such as black pepper and cardamom with the Arabs, Dutch, Phoenicians, Portuguese, and Chinese more than 600 years ago. This helped Kochi to prosper and to become the gateway to old India. It was from Kochi that the colonization of India started.
The foundations of modern Kochi city started when Sir Robert Bristow, a senior Royal Navy Engineer felt the need of a modern large port after the opening of Suez Canal. This made the creation of the largest man-made island in the country, the Willingdon Island to house new Kochi Port.
Kochi was traditionally a potpourri of various Indian and international communities. Syrian Christians started the first wave of immigration, followed by Jews between the 7th and 10th centuries. Arab merchants also made a strong settlement in Kochi. In the 15th century, Gujaratis settled in Kochi, especially on Mattencherry Island, where they played a strong role in spice trading and other areas. Apart from that, nearly 31 trading communities across India call Kochi as their home.
Generally, Kochinites are modern and fashionable. Being a city that has a tradition of various cultures being given equal respect, a high level of tolerance exists. The city has a modern attitude, but some basic social modesty still prevails, especially in villages and rural areas.
5 Interesting Facts
Cochin Is The Colonial Name Of Kochi
India’s 1st Church “St. Francis Church” Is Located In Kochi
Vembanad Lake Is The Longest Lake And Largest Wetland System In India
Pallipuram Fort In Cochin Is The Oldest Fort Built By Europeans In India
Kochi’s Spice Exchange Handles Over 90% Of The Pepper And Spice Trade Of India
Kochi has a typical tropical climate. It is one of the first places to experience the heavy Monsoon showers starting by mid-May. Best time to visit Kochi is said to be from the months of October to March which comprises of the winter season for the city.
- October - March