One of the finest natural harbours on the Arabian Sea coast,
Cochin, earlier known as Cochin has been a port of call for
foreign traders from early times. Its cosmopolitan character
is reflected in the buildings and structures representing
different regions of the world. A city of peninsulas and islands,
today it is Kerala's commercial hub. Cochin, the commercial
and industrial capital of Kerala, has one of the finest natural
harbours in the world. Ancient mariners from Arabia, China,
Holland, Britain and Portugal have all left their mark on
this beautiful island city.
Cochin is Kerala's major port, which is strategically located
on the East-West trade route. Boasting of one of the finest
natural harbours in the world, the city forms the hub around
which the city revolves. Most of the city's commercial centres
and shops are located in the town called Ernakulam, which
also lends its name to the district. The most cosmopolitan
of the state's cities, Cochin has been long eulogised in tourist
literature as the `Queen of the Arabian Sea'. The beauty of
the place is stunningly different and has long-standing maritime
The oldest synagogue in India, it was built in 1586 AD by
the prosperous Jewish community whose links with Kerala began
in Kodungalloor in northern Kerala.
Fort Kochi Beach
A leisurely walk through the lanes of the city is the best
way to discover historic Fort Kochi. An obscure fishing village
that became the first European township in India, Kochi has
an eventful and colourful history.
Originally built by the Portuguese in the mid-16th century,
the Dutch Palace or Mattancherry Palace is located at Mattancherry.
It was presented to the Kochi Maharaja in 1555 AD and later
taken over by the Dutch who carried out repairs.
A Scenic island near the city of Ernakulam, Bolghatty is famous
for the Bolghatty Palace built by the Dutch in 1744 AD.