Kochi (Cochin), The Queen of the Arabian Sea, is the commercial capital and the most cosmopolitan capital of Kerala. Kochi is the landing point for all visitors visiting Kerala and was a major center of commerce and trade with the Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and the British in the past. With one of the finest natural harbours in the world and strategically located on the East-West sea trade route from Europe to Australia, this harbour city can help replenish your yacht for essential supplies, stocks and even repairs.
Historically Kochi trade links with the Arabs and Chinese is said to be atleast 2000 years old. The first Europeans arrived here in the 15th Century. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrived in Kerala at Kappad Beach near the northern Malabar City - Calicut in 1498. Trade links with Europe flourished soon and Kochi became a Portuguese colony. The Dutch arrived towards the end of the 15th century overthrowing the Portuguese. Kochi came under the rule of the British Raj in the late 17th century, which continued till 1947.
Christianity in Kochi dates back to the diaspora of St.Thomas, the apostle who is believed to have landed first in India (at Kodungallur - 50 kms., from Kochi) in A.D 54. The oldest Muslim Mosque in India, the Cheraman Juma Masjid built in A.D 629 is also situated at Kodungallur. The Jews of Kochi have been here since A.D 388 and had established themselves permanently over here after fleeing from Kodungallur, ravaged by the Moors in 1567. The history of the Jews in Kochi is well documented.
The city of Kochi offers her visitors plenty of sites to visit and enjoy. The port was developed to international standards by Sir Robert Bristow against far too many odds and was also called by the British Raj as the " Jewel in the Crown of the Queen of the Arabian Sea." The Queen of the Arabian Sea is one of the biggest cities in Kerala and the largest sea ports and still retains her old charm in the suburbs of Mattanchery, Fort Kochi and Tripunithara. Kerala famous dance forms - Kathakali, Mohiniyattom are on show here.
Facts about Kochi
|| Lat, 9 57' N, Long, 76 15' E
|| 87.34 Kms.
|| Sea level
|| GMT +5.30
|| Tropical Monsoon
|| 1.66 million
|| Malayalam, English, and Hindi
|| 230V AC, Cycle 50 Hz.
|| (0) 484
From Kochi, Yachters can visit a host of unrivalled and mystic destinations such as the ancient Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Basilica- where Vasco da Gama (the Portuguese Navigator) was buried, the Dutch Palace, Bolghatty Palace, Backwater Resorts, Athirapally waterfalls, Ayurveda (the science of life) treatment centers and different architecturally elegant temples. It is also a Shoppers paradise catering to traditional handicrafts, Oriental clothing, leather goods, spices and antiques. The palaces, museums and Art Galleries will also be of interest to kochi's guests.
The city also prides in being the only international internet gateway in South Asia
for the South Africa Far East (SAFE) project for high speed internet access and communications, therefore communication facilities here are very much up to international standards.
Kochi consists of a group of islands, a peninsular land mass and the main land. Fort Kochi, which is the older part of the city, forms a large elongated stretch of land, making up the southwest portion of the city. The Arabian Sea is to the west of Fort Kochi. Willingdon Island is to the east of the backwaters. This is a man made Island created in the 1920's and has the Sea Port, Naval base and the Naval Aerodrome. Ernakulam, the commercial town, lies further east of the backwater. This town has all the modern amenities which includes Railway stations, bus stations, government offices and ofcourse Mintvalley's Head Quarters!! Two elongated peninsulas - Boghatty and vypeen lie to the North West of Ernakulam. Aluva (North of Ernakulam) lies close to the Cochin International Airport. Thripunithara, the former set of the Maharajas of Kochi, abundant with palaces and artifacts, is located to the south of Ernakulam.
The Cochin International Airport (30 kms from city center, Ernakulam) located at Nedumbassery (a village in Kochi) is well connected to all major cities of India and destinations in the Middle East. Some of the Airlines operating daily flights from here are Air India, Indian Airlines, Oman Air and Kuwait Airways.
There are a wide range of Hotels and Motels that suit the Yachters budget. From Continental food, spicy seafood to traditional Kerala feasts, you name it Kochi's network of restaurants and fast food joints will serve you well!!