Kochi ([koˈtʃːi ]), also known as Cochin (KO-chin), is a major port city on the south-west coast of India by the Arabian Sea and the Laccadive Sea and is part of the district of Ernakulam in the state of Kerala. It is often called Ernakulam, which refers to the mainland part of the city. With a corporation limit population of 612,343, and metropolitan population of 2.44 million, it is the second largest city in kerala after Thiruvananthapuram and the second largest urban agglomeration in Kerala after Calicut. Kochi city is also a part of the Greater Cochin region and 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).
Kochi also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, 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 according to a survey conducted by the Nielsen Company on behalf of the Outlook 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 2011 study done by the 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 BPCL Kochi Refinery, 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, Petronet LNG, Merchem, HOCL and Kochi Refineries, electrical industries 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 for Kerala's National Law School, The National University of Advanced Legal Studies.
Ancient travellers and tradesmen referred to Kochi in their writings, variously alluding to it as Cocym, Cochym, Cochin, and Kochi. The Cochin Jewish community called Cochin as Kogin (קוגין), which is seen in the seal of the synagogue which is still owned by the community. 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". Accounts by Italian explorers Nicolo Conti (15th century), and Fra Paoline in the 17th century say that it was called Kochchi, named after the river connecting the backwaters to the sea. After the arrival of the Portuguese, and later the British, the name Cochin stuck as the official appellation. The city reverted to a closer Anglicization of its original Malayalam name, Kochi, in 1996. This change in name was challenged by the city municipal corporation and officially, the city is still called "Cochin" (Corporation of Cochin).
Retrieved from Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. (CC: BY-SA 3.0)