Kochi was on the global trade map as early as in the 14th century as a major spice trading centre. Lured by the spices, traders and travellers from different parts of the world arrived and successively established their settlements here. The Portuguese launched the first European colonial settlement in India here in 1503. Later, the city fell into the hands of the Dutch, followed by the British.
Cochin, the commercial capital of Kerala is a vibrant city with a glorious past and a thriving future. Centuries of playing host to visitors from far and wide have made the city truly cosmopolitan in nature. From being a trading centre in the past, the city has grown to become a hub of industrial and commercial activity. The city boasts one of the world’s finest natural harbours, and the Cochin Port is well connected to all the major centres of maritime trade.
Cochin continues to be a key centre of global spice trade. Lately it has emerged as a key IT destination, hosting software parks with gleaming high-tech office spaces. Besides a well-connected International Airport, several upcoming projects such as a container transshipment terminal, a full-fledged marina and a metro transit system point to Cochin’s rising status as one of India’s prominent cities.
Kochi (colonial name Cochin) 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'. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala. From time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese have left indelible marks on the history and development of Cochin. Over the years, Cochin has emerged as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala and is perhaps the second most important city on the west coast of India (after Mumbai/Bombay). Cochin is proud of its world class port and international airport that link it to many major cities worldwide. This lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Its proximity to the equator, the sea and the mountains provide a rich experience of a moderate equatorial climate.
Strictly speaking, Cochin is a small town. But, Cochin has outgrown its original bounds and is now the general name given to much of the region adjoining the original town, which now includes Cochin, Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, Ernakulam and many other nearby towns and villages. Cochin is situated in Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala. Ernakulam is also the name of a town - the administrative capital of Ernakulam district - but, for all practical purposes Ernakulam and Cochin, generally, refer to the same place.
Kochi is the arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.