About Kochi

Called the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the west coast of India from the 14th century onward, and maintained a trade network with Arab merchants from the pre-Islamic era.

Occupied by the Portuguese in 1503, Kochi was the first of the European colonies in colonial India. It remained the main seat of Portuguese 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.

Kochi is known as the financial, commercial and industrial capital of Kerala. Kochi, also known as Cochin, is a major port city on the south-west coast of India bordering the Laccadive Sea. The city has a corporation limit population of more than 6 lakhs and a metropolitan population of 2.1 million. It 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. Commercial maritime facilities of the city include the Cochin Port, International Container Trans-shipment Terminal, Cochin Shipyard Limited, offshore SPM of the BPCL Kochi Refinery.

Kochi is also home for the Cochin Stock Exchange, International Pepper Exchange, companies like HMT, Cyber City, Kinfra Hi-Tech Park, chemical companies like the FACT, TCC, IREL, Petronet LNG, Merchem, HOCL and Kochi Refineries, electrical companies like TELK, and industrial parks like the Cochin Special Economic Zone, Smart City and Infopark.

Kochi is home for the High Court of Kerala and Lakshadweep, Naval physical and oceanographic laboratory (NPOL), Indian Maritime University, Sree sankara Sanskrit University and the Cochin University of Science and Technology.

Kochi is also home to Kerala's National Law School, The National University of Advanced Legal Studies. Kochi has been hosting India's first art biennale, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, since 2012, which attracts international artists and tourists.

The origin of the name "Kochi" is thought to be from the Malayalam word kochu azhi, meaning 'small lagoon'. Yet another theory is that Kochi is derived from the word Kaci, meaning "harbour". The name Cochin implies "co-chin", meaning "like-China". It looked like China when the Chinese came to the region during the 14th century and installed Chinese nets.

Kochi City around 1635

Paradesi Synagogue Inscription

St. Francis CSI Church built in 1503, is the oldest European church in India.

A view of Thevara from Kundannur bridge

Kochi is located on the southwest coast of India at 9°58′N 76°13′E, with a corporation limit area of 94.88 km2 (36.63 sq mi).  Over the years, the city has expanded considerably outside the corporation limit set in 1967, although the official city limits hasn't yet been increased.  The city straddles the backwaters, encompassing the northern end of a peninsula, several islands and a portion of the mainland. To the west lies the Laccadive Sea, and to the east is the urbanised region in the rest of the mainland area. Much of Kochi lies at sea level, with a coastline of 48 km.

Kochi Municipal Corporation Town Hall

The High Court of Kerala located in the city is the highest court in Kerala

The Greater Cochin Development Authority is the statutory body overseeing the development of the city

Established in 1926, the Cochin Port Trust oversees the activities of Cochin Port


Wonderla amusement park, Kochi

The district collectorate is functioning at Kakkanad.  It is a major industrial center and is home to the Cochin Special Economic Zone, Infopark and Smart City

Kochi LNG Terminal

Vembanad Rail Bridge is the longest railway bridge in India

Vallarpadam Terminal is the first trans-shipment terminal in India

TCS centre at Infopark

A panoramic view of Vyttila Mobility Hub

The air gateway to Kochi is the Cochin International Airport (CIAL) located at Nedumbassery, which is about 28 km (17 mi) north of Kochi city, and handles both domestic and international flights.  

The CIAL Airport provides direct connectivity to popular international destinations in the Middle East, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore and to most major Indian cities apart from tourist destinations like Lakshadweep. Kochi is also the headquarters of the Air India Express service. With a terminal area of 840,000 sq ft (78,000 m2), and a passenger capacity of 2200 (international and domestic), it is the largest and busiest airport in the state.  It is also the fourth busiest airport in India in terms of international passenger traffic, and seventh busiest overall.

The Cochin International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the country and the first fully solar powered airport in the world

Kochi Metro is the fastest completed metro project in India to harness the heavy vehicular traffic on our roads.


Ernakulam Boat Jetty is one of the main boat jetties in the city


Ferry Service boat at Kochi backwaters

Kochi is well connected to neighbouring cities and states via several highways.  The Seaport-Airport Road is another major road and connects the Cochin Seaport to the Cochin International Airport. The Infopark Expressway in Kakkanad is connected to the Seaport-Airport Road and stretches all the way to Infopark. 

The city has four major railway stations – Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town (locally known as the South and North railway stations respectively), Aluva and Tripunithura followed by smaller stations, Edapally and Kalamassery. There is also the Cochin Harbour Terminus providing rail connectivity to the southern segment of the Port of Kochi. The terminus is currently under renovation for the suburban rail networks in the city. The main rail transport system in Kochi is operated by the Southern Railway Zone of Indian Railways, and comes under Thiruvananthapuram Railway division. The South station is one of the busiest railway stations in South India, with more than 128 scheduled train services daily. The North station situated on the northern side of the city, caters mostly to long distance services that bypass the South station, and also is an additional halt station for many trains.

There is also a historic station named as Ernakulam Terminus (station code:ERG) situated behind the High Court. Great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi and The British Viceroy had visited Cochin through this old railway station. Ernakulam Terminus was the first station to serve the city but had to be abandoned in the early 1960s. Now this station operates as a goods depot of Southern Railway.

The Kochi Metro is a metro rapid transit system serving the city of Kochi, intended to considerably ease traffic congestion in the city and its surrounding metropolitan area. The Phase-1 of the metro system will have 22 stations connecting the suburban towns of Aluva and Pettah while passing through downtown. The first half of the Phase-1 of Kochi Metro was inaugurated on 17 June 2017 by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Currently Kochi Metro is operational from Aluva till Maharaja's College along the Kalamassery - Edappally - Kaloor - MG Road stretch, covering a total of 18.4 km with 16 operational metro stations.
Kochi ranks among India's major seaports, partly due to being one of the safest harbours in the Indian Ocean. The port, administered by a statutory autonomous body known as the Cochin Port Trust, offers facilities for bunkering, handling cargo and passenger ships and storage accommodation. The port is a complex of three islands, one of which is man-made.

It also operates passenger ships to Colombo and Lakshadweep. Boat services are operated by Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation, the State Water Transport Department and private firms from various boat jetties in the city. The junkar ferry for the trans-shipment of vehicles and passengers between the islands are operated between Ernakulam and Vypin, and between Vypin and Fort Kochi. However, with the construction of the Goshree bridges (which links Kochi's islands), ferry transport has become less essential. The main boat jetties are Ernakulam Main Boat Jetty near Park Avenue, High Court Jetty in Banerjee Road, Embarcation Jetty in Willingdon Island and Fort Kochi Jetty.

Kochi has the second highest population density parameter in Kerala with 6340 people per km2.


The Santa Cruz Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the eight Basilicas in India

As of 2011, Kochi had a metropolitan area population of 2,117,990. The female-to-male ratio is 1,028:1,000, significantly higher than the all-India average of 933:1,000. Kochi's literacy rate is 97.5%. The female literacy rate lags that of males by 1.1%, amongst the lowest such gaps in India.

Dharmanath Jain Temple at Mattancherry

Kochi's major religions are Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism and Buddhism, with smaller followings, are also practised in Kochi. Though 47% practice Hinduism, Christianity's large following (35%) makes Kochi a city with one of the largest Christian populations in India.  The majority of the city's residents are Malayalis. However, there are significant ethnic minority communities including Tamils, Gujaratis, Jews, Anglo-Indians, Sikhs and Konkanis.  Malayalam is the main language of communication and medium of instruction for primary education, although a number of schools do offer English medium education. The higher education is invariably in English medium, and it is the preferred language in business circles. Tamil and Hindi are widely understood—albeit rarely spoken.

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.


Pedestrians can stroll along the Marine Drive, a waterfront promenade of Kochi

LuLu Mall is the largest shopping mall in India


The Kettuvallom Bridge at Marine Drive

Kochi also has a number of shopping malls including Oberon Mall, Gold Souk Grande, Bay Pride Mall, Centre Square Mall, Abad Nucleus Mall and LuLu Mall, which is the largest shopping mall in India in terms of total leasable area of 17 acres (7 ha). Various shopping malls are expected to open in the city in the near future including Forum Thomsun Mall.

Kochi also has the most number of five star hotels in the state. These include international hotel brands like Crowne Plaza, Marriott, Grand Hyatt, Le Méridien, Radisson Blu, Holiday Inn, Ramada, Ibis, Taj Malabar, The Gateway etc.

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.

Kochi is the only city from Kerala that have carried out successful heart transplantations.  Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Sunrise Hospital, Specialist Hospital, Medical Trust Hospital, PVS Memorial Hospital, Renai Medicity, Lakeshore Hospital, Lisie Hospital, Aster Medcity,  Rajagiri Institute of Medical Sciences are some of the advanced tertiary/quaternary healthcare facilities in Kochi.[178] Other reputed institutions in the city include Ernakulam Medical Centre, KIMS Hospital, Gautham Hospital, Lourdes Hospital, Kochi Medical College, and Saraf Hospital. Some of the reputed fertility related treatment centres in India – like Vijaya Hospital, Bourn Hall Clinic and CIMAR – are located in Kochi. General Hospital, Ernakulam is the only notable medical institution in the government sector in Kochi.

Established in 1875, the Maharaja's College is one of the oldest colleges in the state
The main building of Model Engineering College was inspired from India's first satellite, Aryabhatta


The Cochin University of Science and Technology is one of the top educational institutions in the country


Rajagiri College of Social Sciences at Kalamassery

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is one of the largest stadiums in India

The Regional Sports Centre at Kadavanthra houses the Mahesh Bhupathi Tennis Academy



Door No.8, First Floor,
Anwar Memorial Pain & Palliative Care Clinic Santhosh Lane, Purna Nagar, Aluva 683 101,
Kochi, Kerala, India. Tel: +91 88487 03774

E-mail: iapconkochi2019@gmail.com
Visit: www.iapconkochi2019.com

Whom to contact

K.Radhakrishna Menon
Mob:+91 9446000332, +91 8848703774
Mujeeb Kuttamassery, Mob: +91 9846068962
E-mail: mujeebkuttamassery@gmail.com