about cochin - history


Called the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi, the biggest and most important port in Kerala today, is primarily an amalgam of several towns and villages like Fort-Kochin, Vypeen, Mattancherry, Palluruthy, Thevara, Ernakulam, Palarivattom, Edappally, Vyttila, Vallarpadam, Thoppumpady, Eda-Kochi and Bolghatty. Kochi is probably the only city in India formed from parts of three different states, viz. the two princely states of Travancore and Cochin, and the British Malabar.

The origin of the name ‘Kochi’ is still not known exactly, but many theories exist. Some historians are of the opinion that Cochin is a vernacular form of the word ‘Cochazhi’ which means 'small sea' in the native Malayalam language. Others are of the opinion that 'Cochin' was named so by the Chinese because the epithet ‘chin’ in Cochin is Chinese. According to them, traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan gave Kochi the name of their homeland. There is yet another theory that ‘Kochi’ is derived from the Tamil word 'kaci', meaning 'harbour'.

chinese fishing nets introduced by kublai khan


When the river Periyar flooded over and washed away the then renowned port of Cranganore (Kodungallur) in 1340 AD, Kochi earned a significant position on the world trading routes. After the Kodungallur port was devastated, a natural harbour was created at the nearby city of Kochi. The Chinese, Arabs, British, Dutch and Portuguese shifted their focus to the new port and helped Kochi to emerge as a busy centre of commercial activity, connecting the mainland to the rest of the world. Kochi gradually started to develop and before long progressed into a key trading point dealing in pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves etc., which were and still are legendary for their quality.
In 1814, the construction of a modern port began in consultation with the Raja of Kochi. The persistent efforts of dedicated people like Sir Robert Bristow and others  piloted Kochi into becoming a major harbour by 1936. The mainland Ernakulam district was formed in 1958. After gaining independence, in 1967, the Corporation of Kochi was formed.


about cochin |planning a trip |accommodation |places to see |restaurants |shopping |moving around |useful info |

contact us

Disclaimer: All efforts have been made to make the information as accurate as possible. No responsibility shall be owned by the author for the authenticity of the same or for any decision taken based on the information given.

designed & maintained by NR