At a glance
Found on the scenic south-west coast of India, the country is well noted for its beautiful coastline and also nicknamed ‘God’s Own Country’. Kerala immediately pops into the mind when one thinks of Kochi, which has been featured in the National Geographic Traveler as the 50 Greatest Places of All Time.
Kochi, formerly known as Cochin, was the centre of the Indian spice trade for many centuries. It was occupied by the Portuguese in 1503 and Fort Kochi was the site of the first European colonial settlement in India. Kochi remained under Portuguese rule until the Dutch took over. The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 with the United Kingdom saw Kochi formally surrendered to the United Kingdom.
Kochi witnessed economic stagnation in the years following India's independence. The city's economy started picking up after economic reforms in India were introduced in the mid-1990s. Over the years, Kochi has witnessed rapid commercialization, and has today grown into the commercial capital of Kerala.
The current metropolitan limits of Kochi include the mainland Ernakulam, old Kochi, the suburbs of Edapally, Kalamassery and Kakkanad to the northeast; Tripunithura to the south east; and a group of islands closely scattered in the Vembanad Lake.