At a distance of 190 km from Coimbatore, 204 km from Trivandrum, 426 km from Mangalore and 516 km from Bangalore, Kochi, also known as Cochin is a port city in Ernakulam district of Kerala. Also referred to as 'The Queen of the Arabian Sea', Kochi is the financial capital of Kerala. Kochi is one of the prime tourist places to visit in Kerala.
The city derives its name from the Malayalam word Kochazhi meaning small lagoon. Kochi is one of the finest natural harbors in the world. The city has 3 parts - Fort Kochi, Willington Island and Ernakulam. Vasco da Gama, whose arrival in Kerala about 500 years ago opened up a new era of trade between India and Europe. Kochi & Ernakulam are twin cities which are separated by Kayal backwaters. It is one of the major places in the development of Tourism in Kerala.
Till early 16th century, kochi was a small fishing village that became the first European township in India. The town was shaped by the Portuguese, the Dutch and later the British. Kochi was an important spice trading center on the Arabian Sea coast since the 14th century. Occupied by the Portuguese in 1503 and it remained the capital of Portuguese India until 1530, when they opted for Goa as their capital. In 1635, the British settled in Kochi; however, the Dutch forced them out in 1663. Under the Dutch rule, Kochi developed as an important trade center. Kochi came under the administration of the British and developed into a major Indian harbor in 1814.
The tourism in Kochi is admired for its scenic beauty, traditional architecture and cultural diversity. This city is home to the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth as well as numerous old churches and temples. Attracting tourists from all around the world, Fort Kochi, Bolghatty Palace and the backwaters are major highlights of the city. Marine Drive, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, St. George Ferona Church - Edappally, Cochin Jewish Synagogue, Matancherry Palace, Chinese Fishing Nets and Fort Kochi Beach are the other attractions in Kochi.
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