KOCHI ( (_ listen )), also known as COCHIN (/ˈkoʊtʃɪn/ KOH-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 specific district. With a corporation limit population of 612,343, and metropolitan population of 2.1 million, Kochi city is also a part of the Greater Cochin region, which is the largest urban agglomeration in Kerala and is classified as a Tier-II city by the Government of India. The civic body that governs the city is the Kochi 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, 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 to Kerala's National Law School , The National University of Advanced Legal Studies . Kochi has been hosting India's first art biennale, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale , since 2012, which attracts international artists and tourists.
* 1 Etymology * 2 History
* 3 Geography and climate
* 3.1 Geography * 3.2 Climate
* 4 Civic administration
* 4.1 Law and order * 4.2 Politics
* 5 Economy
* 6 Transport
* 6.1 Air
* 6.2 Road
* 6.2.1 National highways * 6.2.2 State highways * 6.2.3 City roads
* 6.3 Public transport
* 6.3.1 Road
* 6.3.2 Rail
* 18.104.22.168 Kochi Metro
* 6.3.3 Water
* 7 Demographics * 8 Culture * 9 Healthcare
* 10 Education
* 10.1 Secondary education * 10.2 Higher education
* 11 Social service organisations * 12 Media * 13 Sports * 14 Navy * 15 Sister cities * 16 See also * 17 References * 18 Further reading * 19 External links
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". The name Cochin implies "co-chin", meaning "like-China". It looked like China when the Chinese came to the region during the 14th century and installed Chinese nets. 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 but court has later dismissed the plea.
Kochi was the centre of Indian spice trade for many centuries, and was known to the Yavanas (Greeks and Romans ) as well as Jews , Syrians, Arabs , and Chinese since ancient times . Kochi rose to significance as a trading centre after the port Muziris around Kodungallur (Cranganore) was destroyed by massive flooding of Periyar in 1341. The earliest documented references to Kochi occur in books written by Chinese voyager Ma Huan during his visit to Kochi in the 15th century as part of Admiral Zheng He 's treasure fleet. There are also references to Kochi in accounts written by Italian traveller Niccolò Da Conti , who visited Kochi in 1440. Kochi City around 1635 Paradesi Synagogue Inscription St. Francis CSI Church built in 1503, is the oldest European church in India.
According to many historians, the precursor state to Kingdom of Kochi came into existence in early 12th century, after the fall of the Chera Kingdom . The reign of the Kingdom was hereditary, and the family that ruled over the region was known as the _Perumpadappu Swaroopam _ in the local vernacular.
Portuguese navigator, Pedro Álvares Cabral founded the first European settlement in India at Kochi in 1500. From 1503 to 1663, Fort Kochi ( Fort Emmanuel ) was ruled by Portugal . This Portuguese period was a harrowing time for the Saint Thomas Christians and the Jews , as the Inquisition was active in Portuguese India . Kochi hosted the grave of Vasco da Gama , the first European explorer to set sail for India, who was buried at St. Francis Church until his remains were returned to Portugal in 1539. The Portuguese rule was followed by that of the Dutch who renamed Fort Immanuel as Fort Stormsburg. In meantime, the Royal Family of Kochi relocated the capital of Kochi Kingdom to Thrissur , leaving nominal authority over Islands of Kochi. In 1664, Fort Kochi Municipality was established by Dutch, making it the first municipality in Indian subcontinent, which got disolved when Dutch authority got weaker in 18th century. The remaining part of Kochi were governed by governors of Kochi Kingdom. By 1773, the Mysore ruler Hyder Ali extended his conquest in the Malabar region to Kochi forcing it to become a tributary of Mysore . The hereditary Prime Ministership of Kochi held by the Paliath Achans ended during this period.
Meanwhile, the Dutch, fearing an outbreak of war on the United Provinces , signed the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 with the United Kingdom, under which Kochi was ceded to the United Kingdom in exchange for the island of Bangka . However, there are evidences of English habitation in the region even before the signing of the treaty. In 1866, Fort Kochi municipality was reinstalled and its first Municipal Council seating contest was conducted in 1883. In 1896, H.H. Rama Varma XV , The Maharaja of Cochin, initiated local administration by forming town councils in Mattancherry and Ernakulam . In 1907, the Governor of the Madras Presidency, Sir Arthur Lawley and his brother, Beilby Lawley, 3rd Baron Wenlock , Governor of Madras, 1891 to 1896, left for an official tour of Cochin and Travancore , which lasted from 25 January to 14 February. On 26 January, they were met by His Highness the Rajah of Cochin who gave a State Dinner in their honour at Ernakulam . By 1870s, the capital of Kochi Kingdom was relocated again to Kochi Suburb of Tripunithura . In 1910, Ernakulam became the administrative capital of Kochi Kingdom with establishment of Royal Secretariat and State Durbar. The Offices of Diwan and High court were soon moved into Ernakulam.
In 1925, Kochi legislative assembly was constituted due to public pressure on the state. Towards the early 20th century, trade at the port had increased substantially, and the need to develop the port was greatly felt. Harbour engineer Robert Bristow was brought to Kochi in 1920 under the direction of Lord Willingdon , then the Governor of Madras . In a span of 21 years, he transformed Kochi as one of the safest harbours in the peninsula, where ships berthed alongside the newly reclaimed inner harbour equipped with a long array of steam cranes.
In 1947, when India gained independence from the British colonial rule , Cochin was the first princely state to join the Indian Union willingly. In 1949, Travancore-Cochin state came into being with the merger of Cochin and Travancore . The King of Travancore was the Rajpramukh of the Travancore-Cochin Union from 1949 to 1956. Travancore-Cochin, was in turn merged with the Malabar district of the Madras State . Finally, the Government of India 's States Reorganisation Act (1956) inaugurated a new state—Kerala—incorporating Travancore-Cochin (excluding the four southern Taluks which were merged with Tamil Nadu ), Malabar District, and the taluk of Kasargod , South Kanara . On 9 July 1960 the Mattancherry council passed a resolution—which was forwarded to the government—requesting the formation of a municipal corporation by combining the existing municipalities of Fort Kochi , Mattancherry , and Ernakulam . The government appointed a commission to study the feasibility of the suggested merger. Based on its report, the Kerala Legislative Assembly approved the corporation's formation. On 1 November 1967, exactly eleven years since the establishment of the state of Kerala, the Kochi Municipal Corporation came into existence. The merger leading to the establishment of the corporation, was between the municipalities of Ernakulam, Mattancherry and Fort Kochi , along with that of the Willingdon Island , four panchayats (Palluruthy , Vennala , Vyttila and Edappally ), and the small islands of Gundu and Ramanthuruth . Kochi and Ernakulam district formed on 1 April 1958 carving areas of erstwhile Travancore-Kochi-Malabar kingdoms. Major portion of the district is from the Kochi kingdom.
The city's economic growth gathered momentum after economic reforms in India introduced by the central government in the early-1990s. Since 2000, the service sector has energised the city's economy. The establishment of several industrial parks based on IT and other port based infrastructure triggered a construction and realty boom in the city. Over the years, Kochi has witnessed rapid commercialisation, and has today grown into the commercial hub of Kerala.
GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
A view of Thevara from Kundannur bridge
Main article: Geography of Kochi
Kochi is located on the southwest coast of India at 9°58′N 76°13′E / 9.967°N 76.217°E / 9.967; 76.217 , with a corporation limit area of 94.88 km2 (36.63 sq mi). Over the years, the city has expanded considerably outside the corporation limit set in 1967, although the official city limits hasn't yet been increased. The city straddles the backwaters, encompassing the northern end of a peninsula, several islands and a portion of the mainland. To the west lies the Laccadive Sea , and to the east is the urbanised region in the rest of the mainland area. Much of Kochi lies at sea level, with a coastline of 48 km.
The current metropolitan limits of Kochi include the mainland Ernakulam , Fort Kochi , the suburbs of Edapally , Kalamassery and Kakkanad to the northeast; Tripunithura to the southeast; and a group of islands closely scattered in the Vembanad Lake . The state government and the GCDA have plans to include Mala and Kodungallur in Thrissur district, Angamaly , Perumbavoor , Piravom and Kolenchery in Ernakulam district, Thalayolaparambu and Vaikom in Kottayam and Cherthala in Alappuzha district within Kochi metropolitan limits. The newly formed metropolis would be put under the charge of a new authority called Kochi Metropolitan Regional Development Authority. However, _The Hindu_ reported that the state government is yet to take any concrete steps in this regard.
Soil consists of sediments such as alluvium , teris, brown sands, etc. Hydromorphic saline soils are also found in the areas surrounding the backwaters.
Predominant rock types found here are Archaean -basic dykes , Charnockites and Gneisses . An ecologically sensitive area, the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is located in the central part of the city. It has a wide range of mangrove species and is a nesting ground for a vast variety of migratory birds.
Kochi's water needs are entirely dependent on ground water and the two rivers flowing through the district viz., Periyar and Muvattupuzha . Periyar serves the entire northern part of the city whereas Muvattupuzha river under the JnNurm project covers the West Kochi, East Kochi and parts of Cherthala taluk under the Japan Water Project Scheme.
Under the Köppen climate classification , Kochi features a tropical monsoon climate (_Am_). Kochi's proximity to the equator along with its coastal location results in little seasonal temperature variation, with moderate to high levels of humidity. Annual temperatures range between 23 and 31 °C (73 and 88 °F) with the record high being 36.5 °C (97.7 °F), and record low 16.3 °C (61.3 °F). From June to September, the south-west monsoon brings in heavy rains as Kochi lies on the windward side of the Western Ghats . From October to December, Kochi receives lighter (yet significant) rain from the northeast monsoon, as it lies on the leeward side. Average annual rainfall is 2,978.0 mm (117.24 in), with an annual average of 125 rainy days.
CLIMATE DATA FOR KOCHI (1971–2010)
MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR
RECORD HIGH °C (°F) 36.4 (97.5) 35.7 (96.3) 36.0 (96.8) 36.5 (97.7) 35.2 (95.4) 34.2 (93.6) 33.1 (91.6) 32.5 (90.5) 34.2 (93.6) 34.6 (94.3) 35.6 (96.1) 34.8 (94.6) 36.5 (97.7)
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 31.7 (89.1) 31.9 (89.4) 32.5 (90.5) 32.9 (91.2) 32.3 (90.1) 30.1 (86.2) 29.3 (84.7) 29.3 (84.7) 30.0 (86) 30.6 (87.1) 31.2 (88.2) 31.8 (89.2) 31.1 (88)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) 22.6 (72.7) 24.0 (75.2) 25.3 (77.5) 25.9 (78.6) 25.7 (78.3) 24.1 (75.4) 23.7 (74.7) 23.9 (75) 24.2 (75.6) 24.1 (75.4) 24.0 (75.2) 23.1 (73.6) 24.2 (75.6)
RECORD LOW °C (°F) 16.5 (61.7) 16.3 (61.3) 21.6 (70.9) 21.3 (70.3) 21.1 (70) 20.4 (68.7) 17.6 (63.7) 20.6 (69.1) 21.1 (70) 19.2 (66.6) 19.2 (66.6) 17.7 (63.9) 16.3 (61.3)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 23.3 (0.917) 25.9 (1.02) 30.8 (1.213) 94.8 (3.732) 282.8 (11.134) 705.8 (27.787) 593.6 (23.37) 403.1 (15.87) 279.6 (11.008) 320.3 (12.61) 174.9 (6.886) 43.2 (1.701) 2,978 (117.244)
AVERAGE RAINY DAYS 1.0 1.2 2.3 6.2 10.7 23.2 22.3 20.0 13.8 14.3 7.8 1.9 124.7
Source: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010)
KOCHI CITY OFFICIALS
Mayor Soumini Jain
Deputy Mayor T J Vinod
Police Commissioner M.P.Dinesh IPS
The city is administered by the Kochi Corporation , headed by a mayor. For administrative purposes, the city is divided into 74 wards , from which the members of the corporation council are elected for five years. Earlier; Fort Kochi , Mattancherry and Ernakulam were the three Municipalities in Cochin area, which was later merged to form the Cochin Corporation. The Corporation has its headquarters in Ernakulam, and zonal offices at Fort Kochi , Mattancherry, Palluruthy , Edappally , Vaduthala and Vyttila . The general administration of the city is handled by the Personnel Department and the Council Standing committee Section. Other departments include that of town planning , health, engineering, revenue and accounts. The corporation is also responsible for waste disposal and sewage management. The city produces more than 600 tons of waste per day and a large portion of waste is decomposed at Brahmapuram Soild Waste plant into organic manure. The supply of potable water , sourced from the Periyar River is handled by Kerala Water Authority with support of Water works department of Kochi Corporation. Electricity is provided by the Kerala State Electricity Board . The GCDA and GIDA are the government agencies initiating and monitoring the development of Greater Cochin area, mainly in developing infrastructure facilities for the city.
LAW AND ORDER
Kochi is the seat of High Court of Kerala , the highest judicial body in the state of Kerala. The Kochi City Police is headed by a Police Commissioner , an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. The city is divided into five zones and each zone under a circle officer. Apart from regular law max-width:224px"> The Greater Cochin Development Authority is the statutory body overseeing the development of the city Established in 1926, the Cochin Port Trust overlooks the activities of Cochin Port Wonderla amusement park, Kochi Kakkanad is a major industrial center and is home to the Cochin Special Economic Zone , Infopark and Smart City
Availability of electricity, fresh water, long coastline, backwaters, good banking facilities, presence of a major port, container trans-shipment terminal, harbour terminal and an international air terminal are some of the factors which accelerated the industrial growth in the city and its adjoining district. In recent years the city has witnessed heavy investment, thus making it one of the fastest-growing second-tier metro cities in India. Sales tax income generated in the Kochi metropolitan area contributes heavily to state revenue. The district contributes the highest portion, 41.74%, of the state's GDP. Construction and manufacturing combined contributes 37%, and trade, tourism and hospitality together provides another 20%. Major business sectors include construction, manufacturing, shipbuilding , transportation/shipping, seafood and spices exports, chemical industries, information technology (IT), tourism, health services , and banking. Kochi is recognised as one of the seventeen major industrial cities of India by World Bank, Doing Business Group. However, in the 2009 rankings of ease to start and operate a business, among the 17 Indian cities selected, Kochi was rated as the second most difficult city to start business and was ranked 16th, above Kolkata. Kochi LNG Terminal Vembanad Rail Bridge is the longest railway bridge in India The Kochi International Marina is the only marina in India TCS centre at Infopark
As in most of Kerala, remittances from non-resident Indians (NRI)s is a major source of income. Eloor , situated 17 kilometres (11 miles) north of the city-centre, is the largest industrial belt in Kerala, with more than 250 factories manufacturing a range of products including chemical and petrochemical products, pesticides , rare earth elements , rubber processing chemicals, fertilisers , zinc and chromium compounds, and leather products. Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Limited (FACT), one of the oldest fertilizers and chemical industry in Kerala is located in Kochi. Kochi Refineries of (BPCL) at Ambalamugal is one of the largest oil refining facilities in South India. Petronet India has now almost completed Kochi LNG Terminal , for importing and storing natural gas, for energy and fuelling needs. Central Government establishments like the Coconut Development Board , the Coir Board and the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) have head offices located in the city.
Kalamassery which is situated around 16.5 km from the City Center is one of the major Industrial areas. Leading factories like FACT , HMT and IT/Biotechnology park like KINFRA Hi-Tech Park are located here. The headquarters of Neera Development Center is located at Kalamassery . The Cochin University of Science and Technology is located at Kalamassery. Irimpanam is another major industrial area in Kochi. The Seaport-Airport Road (SPAP Road) passes through this place and oil giants like Indian Oil Corporation , Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum have plants here.
Like elsewhere in Kerala, tourism is one of the strongest drivers of the local economy. Ernakulam district , in which Kochi is situated, ranks first in the total number of domestic tourists visiting Kerala, and thus contributes to the economy of the city. The tourist enclave at Fort Kochi and presence of several historical monuments, museums etc. as well as natural attractions like the Vembanad lake and the backwaters attract large number of tourists to the city. Presence of several leading hospitality brands have been a major source of employment for locals. The Kochi Port is one of the leading ports where international cruisers call on regularly. The city has the first marina facility in the country Kochi Marina which attracts large number of yacht-totters. Real Estate industry is also one industry which is contributing a lot to the economy of Kochi. Many players have entered the market and have developed residential properties. Kochi is the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command , the primary training centre of the Indian Navy. The Cochin Shipyard , contributes to the economy of the city. The fishing harbour at Thoppumpady is a minor fishing port in the state and supplies fish to local and export markets. To further tap the potential of the all-season harbour at Kochi, an international cruise terminal and several marinas are being constructed.
Exports and allied activities are also important contributors to the city's economy. The Cochin Port currently handles export and import of container cargo at its terminal at Willingdon Island . The International Container Transshipment Terminal operating out of Vallarpadam , is India's largest transshipment terminal. Cochin Port Trust also planning to build an Outer Harbour near Puthuvype . Kochi's historical reliance on trade continues into modern times, as the city is a major exporter of spices and is home to the International Pepper Exchange , where black pepper is globally traded. The Spices Board of India and World Spice Organisation are headquartered in Kochi.
The IT and ITES related industries are growing up in Kochi. Availability of cheap bandwidth through undersea cables and lower operational costs compared to other major cities in India, has been to its advantage. Various technology and industrial campuses including the government promoted InfoPark , Cochin Special Economic Zone and KINFRA Export Promotion Industrial Park operate in the outskirts of the city. Several new industrial campuses are under construction in the suburbs of the city. SmartCity at Kakkanad is the prominent project under proposal. Cyber City at Kalamassery is another integrated IT township SEZ being planned in the private sector.
Kochi has an established electronics hardware industry with companies such as V-Guard Industries, OEN India Limited, FCI OEN Connectors and SFO Technologies. The Government of Kerala has announced a project to build an industrial park named Electronic City spanning an area of 340 acres (140 ha), to cater to the electronic hardware industries. The private operator NeST is building a Special Economic Zone specifically for electronics hardware spanning an area of 30 acres (12 ha).
Main article: Transport in Kochi A panoramic view of Vyttila Mobility Hub
The air gateway to Kochi is the Cochin International Airport (CIAL) located at Nedumbassery , which is about 28 km (17 mi) north of Kochi city, and handles both domestic and international flights. It is the first international airport in India to be built without Central Government funds and is the world's first fully solar energy powered airport.
The Cochin airport provides direct connectivity to popular international destinations in the Middle East, Malaysia and Singapore and to most major Indian cities apart from tourist destinations like Lakshadweep . Kochi is also the headquarters of the Air India Express service. With a terminal area of 840,000 sq ft (78,000 m2), and a passenger capacity of 2200 (international and domestic), it is the largest and busiest airport in the state. It is also the fourth busiest airport in India in terms of international passenger traffic, and seventh busiest overall. The Cochin International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the country and the first fully solar powered airport in the world KURTC Volvo city service buses in Kochi Kochi Metro is the fastest completed metro project in India Ernakulam Boat Jetty is one of the main boat jetties in the city Ferry Service boat at Kochi backwaters
Kochi is well connected to neighbouring cities and states via several highways. It is a node in the North-South Corridor of the National Highway system.
Kochi is served by National Highway 66 , National Highway 544 , National Highway 966A and National Highway 966B .
Several state highways also connect Kochi with other parts of Kerala. SH 15, Ettumanoor- Ernakulam Road , connects the city to Kottayam , Pala , Kumily , Changanacherry , Pathanamthitta etc. SH 41, Palarivattom-Thekkady Road , provides a corridor to the eastern parts of the district. SH 63, Vypeen Pallipuram Road and SH 66, Alappuzha – Thoppumpady road are coastal roads that serve the narrow sliver of land between the backwaters and the sea.
The main arterial roads of the city are the Mahatma Gandhi Road and Sahodaran Ayyappan Road in Ernakulam, constructed in 1925 & 1962 respectively which runs parallel font-size:88%; padding:0.4em; width:auto; background: white;">
RELIGIONS IN KOCHI
With a population of 601,574 As of 2011 , the city of Kochi has Kerala's second highest population density parameter with 6340 people per km2. The Santa Cruz Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the eight Basilicas in India
As of 2011 , Kochi had a metropolitan area population of 2,117,990. The female-to-male ratio is 1,028:1,000, significantly higher than the all- India average of 933:1,000. Kochi's literacy rate is 97.5%. The female literacy rate lags that of males by 1.1%, amongst the lowest such gaps in India. Dharmanath Jain Temple at Mattancherry
Kochi's major religions are Hinduism , Christianity and Islam . Jainism , Judaism , Sikhism and Buddhism , with smaller followings, are also practised in Kochi. Though 47% practice Hinduism, Christianity's large following (35%) makes Kochi a city with one of the largest Christian populations in India. The majority of the city's residents are Malayalis . However, there are significant ethnic minority communities including Tamils , Gujaratis , Jews , Anglo-Indians , Sikhs and Konkanis Malayalam is the main language of communication and medium of instruction for primary education, although a number of schools do offer English medium education. The higher education is invariably in English medium, and it is the preferred language in business circles. Tamil and Hindi are widely understood—albeit rarely spoken.
Like other fast-growing cities in the developing world, Kochi suffers from major urbanisation problems. The city was ranked 10th among Indian cities in terms of house-cost and availability, urban household crowding and household incomes.
The government has plans to make the city slum-free by 2016. According to the National Crime Records Bureau , the city holds the fourth position in the number of recorded crimes in India. In 2009, the city recorded an average crime rate of 646.3 against the national average of 181.4. But Kochi City Police Commissioner later clarified that this anomaly was due to higher reporting rates of minor crimes in Kochi than in other Indian cities. The State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB) report gives further credence to this as it finds that Kochi has the least number of crime against women in the state of Kerala. According to the 2011 CII/Institute of Competitiveness report on Liveability, Kochi stands first in the state, and 6th in the country. Kochi is ranked seventh in the list of the top ten most affluent cities in India by 2009 study by Nielsen Company. Kochi was ranked the fourth cleanest city in India in the Swachch Bharat rankings for cities. It was selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagship Smart Cities Mission .
As a result of successive waves of migration over the course of several centuries, the population of the city is a mix of people from all parts of Kerala and most of India. The pan-Indian nature is highlighted by the substantial presence of various ethnic communities from different parts of the country. Pedestrians can stroll along the Marine Drive , a waterfront promenade of Kochi LuLu Mall is the largest shopping mall in India The Kettuvallom Bridge at Marine Drive
Kochi has a diverse, multicultural, and secular community consisting of Malayalis, Konkanis, Gujaratis, Bengalis, Marathis , Punjabis, Tamilians, Biharias, Anglo Indians and a few families of Jews among other denominations, all living in peaceful co-existence. The city once had a large Jewish community, known as the _Malabar Yehuden_—and now increasingly as Cochin Jews —that figured prominently in Kochi's business and economic strata.
Kochi was one among the seven diocese of Syrian Orthodox (Jacobite Syrian Christian Church ) in Kerala formed in 1876. The seat of the Bishop is at St George Cathedral, Karingachira. Also At Mary's Cathedral Elamkulam, seat of bishop of Simhasana churches of Jacobites is in the City. The seat of Roman catholic Cathedral of Kerala's first Archdiocese Archdiocese of Verapoly and the first diocese Diocese of Cochin are located in the city. The Syro-Malabar Church , one of the 22 _sui iuris _ Eastern Catholic Churches and a part of the Saint Thomas Christian community, has its seat at Ernakulam. Prominent places of Christian worship include the St. Mary\'s Syro-Malabar Catholic Cathedral Basilica, Ernakulam , St. Francis Assisi Roman Catholic Cathedral, Ernakulam, Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom, Vallarpadam- Ernakulam , Santa Cruz Basilica Roman Catholic Cathedral, Fort Kochi , St. Antony\'s Shrine at Kaloor , St. George Forane Church, Edappally and . Appropriate to its multi-ethnic composition, Kochi celebrates traditional Kerala festivals like Onam and Vishu along with North Indian Hindu festivals like Holi with great fervour. Christian and Islamic festivals like Christmas , Easter , Eid ul-Fitr and Milad-e-sherif are also celebrated. A merry making fest called the Cochin Carnival is celebrated at Fort Kochi during the last ten days of December.
The residents of Kochi are known as Kochiites; they are an important part of the South Indian culture . However, the city's culture is rapidly evolving with Kochiites generally becoming more cosmopolitan in their outlook. The people are also increasingly fashion-conscious, often deviating from the traditional Kerala wear to western clothing.
Kochiites generally partake of Keralite cuisine , which is generally characterised by an abundance of coconut and spices . Other South Indian cuisines, as well as Chinese and North Indian cuisines are popular. Fast food culture is also very prominent. Being a tourist hotspot, Fort Kochi have a number of restaurants that offer international cuisine, like Italian, French, Mexican etc. Being close to the ocean and the backwaters, Kochi has an abundance of seafood, which reflects in the cuisine. A service known as _You Buy, We Cook_ is available at the waterfront of Fort Kochi, where the fresh seafood purchased from the nets is cooked as per the customers needs. Arabian food joints that serve Shawarma and roasted chicken are a new addition to the fast food scene in the city.
Kochi also has a number of shopping malls including Oberon Mall , Gold Souk Grande, Bay Pride Mall , Centre Square Mall, Abad Nucleus Mall and LuLu Mall , which is the largest shopping mall in India in terms of total leasable area of 17 acres (7 ha). Various shopping malls are expected to open in the city in the near future including Forum Thomsun Mall .
Kochi also has the most number of five star hotels in the state. These include international hotel brands like Crowne Plaza , Marriott , Le Méridien , Radisson Blu , Ibis , Vivanta By Taj , Holiday Inn , The Gateway etc.
Kochi was home to some of the most influential figures in Malayalam literature , including Changampuzha Krishna Pillai , Kesari Balakrishna Pillai , G. Sankara Kurup , and Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon . Prominent social reformers such as Sahodaran Ayyappan and Pandit Karuppan also are from Kochi.
Kochiites are known for their enthusiasm in sports, especially football and cricket . The Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi is one of the largest stadiums in India with floodlights for Cricket and Football matches. The Regional Sports Centre is an important centre of sporting activity in the city. Kochi is reportedly the 6th best city in India according to the livability index of 2011.
Aster Medcity is one of the largest hopitals in the state
With a large number of advanced tertiary/quaternary care facilities, Kochi has one of the best healthcare facilities in India. It is the prime destination for people seeking advanced healthcare facilities from across Kerala.
In recent times, it has attracted a large number of patients from all over India, Middle East, African nations as well as from Europe and United States looking for relatively inexpensive advanced medical care. Kochi is the only city from Kerala that have carried out successful heart transplantations. Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre , Sunrise Hospital , Specialist Hospital , Medical Trust Hospital , PVS Memorial Hospital, Renai Medicity , Lakeshore Hospital , Lisie Hospital , Aster Medcity , Rajagiri Institute of Medical Sciences are some of the advanced tertiary/quaternary healthcare facilities in Kochi. Other reputed institutions in the city include Ernakulam Medical Centre, KIMS Hospital, Gautham Hospital, Lourdes Hospital , Kochi Medical College , and Saraf Hospital . Some of the reputed fertility related treatment centres in India – like Vijaya Hospital, Bourn Hall Clinic and CIMAR – are located in Kochi. General Hospital, Ernakulam is the only notable medical institution in the government sector in Kochi.
Established in 1875, the Maharaja\'s College is one of the oldest colleges in the state The main building of Model Engineering College was inspired from India's first satellite, Aryabhatta The Cochin University of Science and Technology is one of the top educational institutions in the country Rajagiri College of Social Sciences at Kalamassery
The pattern of primary education is essentially the same all over the state. There are government owned schools and government aided schools, which are affiliated to the Kerala State Education Board . A few privately owned schools are also affiliated to the system. Most of the schools owned by private organisations or individuals are affiliated to the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE). Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) have some schools affiliated to them as well. The state education board offers both Malayalam and English medium instruction, while the other boards offer English medium alone. There are a few schools that follow international curricula, such as IB and IGCSE.
There 34 government schools, 67 private aided schools and 31 unaided schools affiliated to the Kerala State Education Board in the city and suburbs. There are 62 CBSE Schools, 2 IGCSE and 9 ICSE Schools as well.
The general pattern of education is ten years of common schooling to reach the secondary level. Kindegartens are widely available, but considered separate from formal schooling, and generally unregulated. After the secondary level, three streams, namely Arts , Commerce or Science are offered for higher secondary education. After finishing the school, students can opt for higher education related to the streams they had undergone for higher secondary schooling.
The notable schools in the government sector are Sree Rama Varma High School , Edappally High School, Government School- Kochi and Govt Girls Higher Secondary School, Ernakulam. There are Kendriya Vidyalaya , Chinmaya Mission and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan run several quasi-private charter schools within the city limits, as well as in the suburbs. There are several private schools (both aided & unaided0 that are owned by secular and religious trusts which are of particular renown, such as:St. Albert\'s HSS, Ernakulam , St. Teresa's CGHSS, St. Mary's CGHSS Ernakulam, St. Antony's CGHSS, Model Technical Higher Secondary School, Kaloor The Delta Study , Rajagiri Public School, Campion School, Assisi Vidyaniketan , Cochin Refineries School , Gregorian Public School, Greets Public School, Toc-H Public School, Navy Children School , Global Public School, Choice School , Vidyodaya School , Mar Thoma Public School , Nava Nirman Public School and St. Pauls International School, Kalamassery, The Charter School Kochi.
The Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) is a major university named after the city. Most of the colleges in Kochi offering tertiary education are affiliated either with the Mahatma Gandhi University or with the Cochin University . Kochi has one of the campuses of the Indian Maritime University at Willingdon Island . Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit in Kalady is a research oriented university located at the outskirts. Other national educational institutes include the Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training , the National University of Advanced Legal Studies , the National Institute of Oceanography and the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute .
Kochi has some of the leading B-Schools in the region. The Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK) has set up its first satellite campus at Athulya building in InfoPark, Kochi . Cochin University's School of Management Studies (SMS) is the first and oldest managerial education institution in South India. SCMS Cochin is one of the emerging B-Schools in the country. Another major B-School XIME is opening a new campus in Kochi. Other leading managerial institutions include Rajagiri Centre for Business Studies, Kochi Business School, Amrita School of Business, Albertian Institute of Management and Toc-H B school.
The city and outskirts are home to four medical schools—Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre at Ponekkara, Cochin Medical College at Kalamassery , Sree Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences, and M.O.S.C. Medical College, Kolenchery . Some of the prestigious general colleges are Maharaja\'s College , St. Albert\'s College , St. Teresa\'s College , Sacred Hearts College , Bharata Matha College, Aquina's College, De Paul Institute of Science & Technology (DIST) and Cochin College . The major Engineering and Technology colleges in the city are School of Engineering CUSAT , SCMS School of Engineering and Technology at Kalamassery , Model Engineering College , Rajagiri School of Engineering & Technology and FISAT (Federal Institute of Science "> Akshara Mandiram at Marine Drive
Major Malayalam newspapers published in Kochi include _Malayala Manorama _, _ Mathrubhumi _, _ Siraj Daily _, _ Madhyamam _, _ Deshabhimani _, _Deepika _, _ Kerala Kaumudi _, _ Janmabhumi _, etc. Popular English newspapers include _The Hindu _, _The New Indian Express _, _The Times of India _, _The Pioneer _ and _The Deccan Chronicle _. A number of evening papers are also published from the city. Newspapers in other regional languages like Hindi, Kannada , Tamil and Telugu are also available.
A number of financial publications are also published in the city. These include _ The Economic Times _, _ Business Line _, _The Business Standard _ and _The Financial Express _. Prominent magazines and religious publications like the _ Sathyadeepam _, _The Week _ and _ Vanitha _ are also published from the city.
Kochi houses several leading Malayalam television channels like _ Asianet Plus _, _Flowers _, _ Jeevan TV _, _ Mazhavil Manorama _, _Kairali We _, _ Manorama News _ and _ Reporter TV _ as well as major news bureaus of _ Asianet _, _ Kairali TV _, _ Amrita TV _ and _ Doordarshan _. Prasar Bharati maintains its earth station and broadcasting centre in Kakkanad, Kochi. Satellite television services are available through DD Direct+ , Dish TV , Airtel digital TV , Reliance DTH , Sun Direct DTH and Tata Sky . FM radio channels broadcast from Kochi are Rainbow FM (AIR) 101.9 MHz, AIR Kochi 102.3 MHz, Club FM 94.3 MHz, Radio Mango 91.9 MHz, Red FM 93.5 MHz, Radio Mirchi 104.0 MHz.
Kochi is considered to be the hub of the vibrant Malayalam movie industry, especially new generation Malayalam movies. The rise of Kochi to the centre stage of the entertainment industry occurred coinciding with the economic boom of the last couple of decades. A large number of movies are shot in Kochi every year. Kochi also has a host of state-of-the-art production and post production facilities. Due to these reasons, major section of film personalities including of actors, technical experts and other related workers reside in Kochi. There are over 50 cinema halls that screen movies in Malayalam, Tamil, English and Hindi. The city hosts Kerala's first cine multiplex, at the Oberon Mall with four screens. Gold Souk Grande also has a cine multiplex operated by Q cinemas with four screens. PVR with 9 screens is another national multiplex brand that has presence in Kochi and is based out of LuLu International Shopping Mall . Cinepolis at Centre Square Mall with 11 screens is the first international megaplex brand in the state. 16 more multiplex screens are expected in the city in the near future.
The district has the largest number of telephone connections in Kerala. Telephony services are provided by various private sector players like Aircel , Airtel , Idea Cellular , Vodafone , Reliance Infocomm , Tata Docomo , Jio , Tata Indicom and the state owned BSNL . All the private sector telecom companies have their headquarters for Kerala circle located in Kochi.
Like elsewhere in Kerala, football is the most passionate sport among locals. Kochi is home to two of India's major professional football teams, FC Kochin and Chirag United Kerala and also teams like Josco FC since 2008. In 2014, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and PVP Ventures won the bid to own Kochi based football team, Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League . Blasters reached the finals of Indian Super League in the debut season as well as in the 2016 season, finishing as runners-up on both occasions. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is one of the largest stadiums in India The Regional Sports Centre at Kadavanthra houses the Mahesh Bhupathi Tennis Academy
India's third largest stadium and second largest cricket stadium, the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium located in Kaloor, is a major facility for football and cricket. Recently, the stadium was renovated to facilitate more cricket tournaments as well as for hosting IPL Matches . Kochi was home to the Indian Premier League cricket team, the Kochi Tuskers which won franchise rights to play IPL which participated in the 2011 edition of IPL. Kochi is selected as one of the six host cities for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held in India. Because of this selection, huge investments and business opportunities are expected to come to the city.
The Maharaja's Stadium located on MG Road in the heart of the city, is the major athletic facility in the state with synthetic tracks and turf grass as per international standards. The Ambedkar stadium, maintained by GCDA , will be developed exclusively for Football with funds from Government of Kerala and FIFA . Spanish club Real Madrid has proposed to set up a football school in Kochi.
The Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex at Kadavanthra is a major indoor stadium, mainly used for conducting badminton, tennis and basketball tournaments. The 25m X 10m swimming pool at the centre is one of the larger water sports facility in the state, where regular swimming competitions and coaching are conducted.
The FACT Grounds at Udyogamandal, Sacred Heart's College Grounds, HMT Grounds at Kalamassery and St. Albert's College Grounds are the other major training facilities for various games like volleyball, badminton, cricket etc.
Kochi has two golf courses in the city, and one in the suburbs. The oldest golf club is located at Bolgatty Palace constructed in 1903, which is a nine-hole facility run by Cochin Golf Club society. The Cochin Golf and Country Club located near to Cochin Airport, operated by CIAL, is Kerala's first 18-hole golf course with a playing area of over 7,200 yards . The first phase of the all-weather golf course comprising nine holes was opened in May 2010 for members and public. The expansion to an 18-hole course is progressing, which is scheduled to be open in September 2012.
Being surrounded by water bodies, the city is ideal for Yachting . The Kerala Yachting Association and the Cochin Yacht Club are located in the city. Both organisations conduct regular yachting tournaments. Kochi was the only Indian city chosen for stopover during the Volvo Ocean Race 2008 .
The Southern Naval Command, one of the three main formations of the Indian Navy has its HQ in Kochi at INS _Venduruthy_ . It is commanded by the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief. The Southern Naval Command consists of Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST), a training squadron, training establishments and bases, and land forces and survey ships. It has a naval air station, and a ship repair yard.
The Indian Navy Day is also celebrated here. It is a week-long event showcasing warships, planes, helicopters etc. of the Indian Navy at INS _Venduruthy_ . It is a public event attended in large numbers.
The close by located Cochin Shipyard Limited is the largest shipbuilding and maintenance facility in India. Presently it is building the first indigenous aircraft carrier for the Indian Navy.
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in India
Kochi is twinned with:
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