Kochi is a city of the Indian State of Kerala. The city derived its name from Malayalam word koch azhi, meaning 'small lagoon'. Kochi formerly known as Cochin (the colonial-era name), is a major port city located on the west coast of India by the Arabian Sea. Kochi is part of the district of Ernakulam in the state of Kerala. Kochi is often called by the name Ernakulam, which refers to the western part of the mainland Kochi. The civic body that governs the city is the Corporation of Cochin, which was constituted in the year 1967, and the statutory body that over sees its development is the Greater Cochin Development Authority.
Kochi is home to people of diverse faiths-Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jains, Jews, Sikhs and Buddhists. People from various parts of India have made Kochi their home. Kochi and its suburbs have an estimated population of about 1.5 million, making it the second largest city in Kerala. Kochi was one of the most frequented trading ports in ancient India. Influences of its trading past can be seen in the giant fishing nets that the locals use which are of the typical Chinese design of a couple of centuries ago. The ferries have special names for their stops. The east stop of Willindon Island is called Embarkation. The west stop is Terminus while the main stop at Fort Cochin is Customs.
Kochi economy is one of the fastest growing in the country. The main business sectors include gold retailing, seafood and spices exports, information technology (IT), tourism, banking, shipbuilding and fishing. Kochi also earns a lot from remittances by non-resident Keralites, majority of whom are in the Gulf countries. Of late, Kochi has emerged as a favored destination for IT and ITES companies. Tourism is a major revenue earner. It has been a major exporter of spices since times of yore, which is what drew the various groups of foreigners to its shores. Kochi houses the International Pepper Exchange and the headquarters of the Spices Board of India.
Kochi is blessed with temperate climate most of the year. One can visit any time, but as with other parts of India try and avoid both the summers and the monsoons if you can. Remember that the returning monsoons hit Kochi in the month of October. Other than that it is a beautiful place to visit.
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