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About Cochin

Kochi

 

 

 

Kochi, also known as Cochin, is a major port city on the south west coast of India by the Arabian Sea and is part of thedistrict of Ernakulam in the state of Kerala. Kochi is often called by the name Ernakulam, which refers to the mainland part of the city. The city of Kochi (pop. 601,574) is the most densely populated city in the state and is part of an extended metropolitan region (pop. 2.1 million), which is the largest urban agglomeration in Kerala. Kochi city is also a part of the Greater Cochin regionand is classified as a Tier-II city by the Government of India. The civic body that governs the city is the Cochin Municipal Corporation, which was constituted in the year 1967, and the statutory bodies that oversee its development are the Greater Cochin Development Authority(GCDA) and the Goshree Islands Development Authority (GIDA).

Known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the west coast of India from the 14th century. Occupied by the Portuguese Empire in 1503, Kochi was the first of the European colonies in colonial India. It remained the main seat ofPortuguese 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. 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 theOutlook 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 study done by McKinsey Global Institute.

Kochi is the home to Southern Naval Command of the Indian Navy and the state headquarters of the Indian Coast Guard with an attached air squadron, named Air Squadron 747. Commercial maritime facilities of the city include the Port of Kochi, an International Container Transshipment Terminal, the Cochin Shipyard, offshore SPM of the Kochi Refineries, and the Kochi Marina. Kochi is also home for the Cochin Stock Exchange, International Pepper Exchange,industries like HMT , Cyber City , Kinfra Hi-Tech Park major chemical industries like the FACT, TCC, IREL, HOCL and Kochi Refineries, electrical industries like TELK and industrial parks like the Cochin Special Economic Zone and Infopark. Kochi is home for the High Court of Kerala and Lakshadweep, and the Cochin University of Science and Technology. Kochi is also home for Kerala's National Law School, The National University of Advanced Legal Studies.


 

 

Metropolis
From Top Clockwise: Waterfront Marine Drive , Chinese fishing nets, Kochi Marina, Parikshith Thampuran Museum, Infopark
From Top Clockwise: Waterfront Marine Drive ,Chinese fishing nets, Kochi Marina, Parikshith Thampuran Museum, Infopark
Flag of Kochi
Flag
Official seal of Kochi
Seal

Nickname(s): Queen of the Arabian Sea


Kochi is located in Kerala

 

 

 

 

 

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. Kochi rose to significance as a trading centre after the port Muziris around Kodungallur (Cranganore) was destroyed by massive flooding of Periyar in 1341. The earliest documented references to Kochi occur in books written by Chinese voyager Ma Huan during his visit to Kochi in the 15th century as part of Admiral Zheng He's treasure fleet.There are also references to Kochi in accounts written by Italian traveller Niccolò Da Conti, who visited Kochi in 1440.

According to many historians, the precursor state to Kingdom of Kochi came into existence in early 12th century, after the fall of the Chera Kingdom. The reign of the Kingdom was hereditary, and the family that ruled over the region was known as the Perumpadappu rulers in the local vernacular. The mainland Kochi remained the capital of the princely state since the 18th century. The King of Kochi only had authority over the region encompassing the present city of Kochi and adjoining areas. However, during much of this time, the kingdom was under foreign suzerainty, and the King often only had titular privileges.

Portuguese navigator, Pedro Álvares Cabral founded the first European settlement in India at Kochi in 1500. From 1503 to 1663, Fort Kochi(Fort Emmanuel) was ruled by Portugal. This Portuguese period was a harrowing time for the Saint Thomas Christians and the Jews, as theInquisition was active in Portuguese India. Kochi hosted the grave of Vasco da Gama, the first European explorer to set sail for India, who was buried at St. Francis Church until his remains were returned to Portugal in 1539. The Portuguese rule was followed by that of the Dutch, who had allied with the Zamorin of Calicut to conquer Kochi. By 1773, the Mysore ruler Hyder Ali extended his conquest in the Malabar region to Kochi forcing it to become a tributary of Mysore. The hereditary Prime Ministership of Kochi held by the Paliath Achans ended during this period.

Meanwhile, the Dutch, fearing an outbreak of war on the United Provinces, signed the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 with the United Kingdom, under which Kochi was ceded to the United Kingdom in exchange for the island of Bangka. However, there are evidences of English habitation in the region even before the signing of the treaty. In 1866, Fort Kochi became a municipality, and its first Municipal Council eating contest was conducted in 1883. The Maharaja of Cochin, in 1896 initiated local administration by forming town councils in Mattancherry and Ernakulam. In 1907, the Governor of the Madras Presidency, Sir Arthur Lawley and his brother, Beilby Lawley, 3rd Baron Wenlock, Governor of Madras, 1891 to 1896, left for an official tour of Cochin and Travancore, which lasted from 25 January to 14 February. On 26 January, they were met by His Highness the Rajah of Cochin who gave a State Dinner in their honour at Ernakulam.

In 1925, Kochi legislative assembly was constituted due to public pressure on the state.

Towards the early 20th century, trade at the port had increased substantially, and the need to develop the port was greatly felt. Harbour engineer Robert Bristow was brought to Kochi in 1920 under the direction ofLord Willingdon, then the Governor of Madras. In a span of 21 years, he transformed Kochi as one of the safest harbours in the peninsula, where ships berthed alongside the newly reclaimed inner harbour equipped with a long array of steam cranes. 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 theRajpramukh 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. On 9 July 1960 the Mattancherry council passed a resolution—which was forwarded to the government—requesting the formation of a municipal corporation by combining the existing municipalities of Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, and Ernakulam. The government appointed a commission to study the feasibility of the suggested merger. Based on its report, the Kerala Legislative Assembly approved the corporation's formation. On 1 November 1967, exactly eleven years since the establishment of the state of Kerala, the corporation of Cochin came into existence. The merger leading to the establishment of the corporation, was between themunicipalities of Ernakulam, Mattancherry and Fort Kochi, along with that of the Willingdon Island, four panchayats (Palluruthy, Vennala, Vyttila and Edappally), and the small islands ofGundu and Ramanthuruth.

The city's economic growth gathered momentum after economic reforms in India introduced by the central government in the early-1990s. Since 2000, the service sector has energized the city's economy. The establishment of several industrial parks based on IT and other port based infrastructure triggered a construction and realty boom in the city. Over the years, Kochi has witnessed rapid commercialisation, and has today grown into the commercial hub of Kerala.

 

 

 

Syriac Aramaic inscription at Syro-Malabar Catholic Major Archbishop's House, Ernakulam.
 
Hebrew inscription at the Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in theCommonwealth of Nations
 
St. Francis CSI Church built in 1503, is the oldest European church in India
 
It was earlier thought that the netsmight have been introduced by the Chinese explorer Zheng. He Recent research shows that these were introduced by Portuguese Casado settlers from Macau

 

Culture

 

 

Marine Drive, Kochi

 

 

 

As a result of successive waves of migration over the course of several centuries, 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.

 

 

 

A Jain temple in Mattancherry

Kochi has a diverse, multicultural, and secular community consisting of Malayalis, Konkanis, Gujaratis, Bengalis, Marathis,Punjabis, Tamilians, Biharis and a few families of Jews among other denominations, all living in peaceful co-existence. The city once had a large Jewish community, known as the Malabar Yehuden—and now increasingly as Cochin Jews—that figured prominently in Kochi's business and economic strata. The Syro-Malabar Church, one of the 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches and a part of the Saint Thomas Christiancommunity, has its seat at Ernakulam. The headquarters of the Latin Archdiocese of Verapoly and the Latin Diocese of Cochin are also situated in the city. Prominent places of Christian worship include the St. Mary's Syro-Malabar Catholic Cathedral Basilica, Ernakulam, the St. Antony's Shrineat Kaloor and St Mary's Bascilica, Vallarpadam. Appropriate to its multi-ethnic composition, Kochi celebrates traditional Kerala festivals like Onamand Vishu along with North Indian Hindu festivals like Holi with great fervour. Christian and Islamic festivals like Christmas, Easter, Eid ul-Fitr andMilad-e-sherif are also celebrated. A merry making fest called the Cochin Carnival is celebrated at Fort Kochi during the last ten days of December.

The residents of Kochi are known as Kochiites; they are an important part of the South Indian culture. However, the city's culture is rapidly evolving with Kochiites generally becoming more cosmopolitan in their outlook. The people are also increasingly fashion-conscious, often deviating from the traditional Kerala wear to western clothing.

Kochiites generally partake of Keralite cuisine, which is generally characterised by an abundance of coconut and spices. Other South Indiancuisines, as well as Chinese and North Indian cuisines are popular. Fast food culture is also very prominent. Being a tourist hotspot, Fort Kochi have a number of restaurants that offer international cuisine, like Italian, French, Mexican etc. Being close to the ocean and the backwaters, Kochi has an abundance of seafood, which reflects in the cuisine. A service known as You Buy, We Cook is available at the waterfront of Fort Kochi, where the fresh seafood purchased from the nets is cooked as per the customers needs. Arabian food joints that serve Shawarma and roasted chicken are a new addition to the fast food scene in the city.

 

 

 

Kochi also has a number of shopping malls including Oberon MallGold Souk Grande KochiBay Pride Mall and Lulu Mall, which is the largest shopping mall in India in terms of total leasable area of 17 acres. Various shopping malls are expected to open in the city in the near future including Forum Thomsun Mall and Center Square Mall, which hosts Kerala's first Cinepolis.

Kochi was home to some of the most influential figures in Malayalam literature, including Changampuzha Krishna Pillai, Kesari Balakrishna Pillai, G. Sankara Kurup, and Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon. Prominent social reformers such as Sahodaran Ayyappan and Pandit Karuppan also are from Kochi.

The Maharajas of Kochi (then Cochin) were scholars who knew the epics and encouraged the arts. The paintings at the Hill Palace and the Dutch Palace are testimony to their love for arts.

Kochiites are known for their enthusiasm in sports, especially football and cricket. The Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi is one of the largest stadiums in India with floodlights for Cricket and Football matches. The Regional Sports Centre is an important centre of sporting activity in the city. Kochi is reportedly the 6th best city in India according to the livability index of 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kochi


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