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About Kochi, Kerala


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Situated on the south-west coast of India, Kochi or Cochin is a bustling commercial port city with a trading history that dates back to at least 600 years. Called as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, the city is the financial, commercial and industrial capital of Kerala.

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The city is marked by influences of Arabs, Dutch, Phoenicians, Portuguese, Chinese and the British city as well as that of the Indian rule of the Chera Dynasty followed by rule of the Feudal Lords. A gaggle of islands interconnected by ferries, this cosmopolitan town has upmarket stores, art galleries and some of the finest heritage accommodations. In a true vintage-meets-future fashion, pubs, restaurants, shopping hubs and futuristic stores crowd Ernakulum, Jew Town and Fort Kochi while palaces, beaches, temples and heritage sites marking their presence too. Kochi is also an important place to see Kathakali and Kalarippayattu performances and annual Biennale Festival.

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Strategically located between the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian sea on the west, the city of Cochin has been an important commercial trading centre since ancient times. It was called the spice trade centre of India, and entertained a wide network of trading with the Arabs. Kochi was also the first of the European colonies in India, with the Portuguese invasion in 1503. The city was later ruled by both Dutch and British forces. After India’s independence and the slew of economic reforms that followed in the 1990s, Kochi grew in commercial significance with the boom of the service sector. The growth of port activities and the establishment of the IT sector contributed to Kochi becoming the commercial centre of the state of Kerala.

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Kochi has a mix of both traditional and cosmopolitan culture, being the capital city of the state of Kerala. It has a widely diverse crowd including people from all over the country, and it also has a large Jewish community - the Malabar Yehuden, who form an important part of Kochi’s business circles. Kochi also has a strong foothold in both Jacobite Syrian Orthodxy and Roman Catholicism, with many churches devoted to them spread across the city. The city was a hub of cultural intellectualism in yesteryears, home to many famous writers of Malayalam literature as well as social activists like Sahodaran Ayyappan.

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Known as the Queen of Arabian Sea, Cochin, now Kochi is a principal port in the state of Kerala. Well connected by all means possible, this coastal city is both a popular tourist hotspot and an active naval base, being officially the home to the Southern Command of the Indian Navy and an air squadron of Indian Navy. Besides the above, Kochi has its own unique blend of Indian and western culture.

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Despite being colonised by more than one country, the essence of Indianness has never eroded from Kochi, while at the same time preserving some of the colonial heritage as it was. Very few people know that one of the largest shopping malls in India, as well in Asia, Lulu Shopping Mall, is also in India. Soon to have the distinction of having the first water based metro transport system in India, Kochi is a coastal beauty you should never miss in your life, at all.

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Kochi's cuisine, though has little that stands out, manages to foster the primary elements of a typical Keralan cuisine, and does so in the most splendid way possible. Essentials such as Appam and Stew and delicacies such as Fish Molly, Fish Peera and more are found here.

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Some of the dishes that one must try in Kochi are Thoran, Banana Chips, Kaalan, Paachadi and Pootu, which is made from bananas and rice flour. Also, seafood is widespread and exquisite, like in most areas of the state.

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Places to visit in Kochi

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