Kochi (also Cochin), located on the coast of the Arabian Sea
, is the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala
. A perfect blend of tradition and modernity, it is also one of the oldest ports in India with a natural harbor and is replete with backwaters, coconut lagoons, churches, synagogues and temples. It is 221 km north of the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram
Kochi consists of the mainland Ernakulam, the man made
Willingdon Island, Mattanchery, Fort Kochi, world's most populous area of Vypeen Island, Bolghatty Island and Vallarpadam Island.
Kochi takes its name from the Malayalam word 'Cochazhi' meaning 'small sea'. Thomppumpady Bridge connects Fort Kochi to Willingdon Island and the Venduruthy Bridge links Willingdon Island to Ernakulam. The Vypeen Island, Bolghatty Island and Vallarpadam Island are situated between the Arabian Sea and the Vembanad Lake.
Points of interests are Bolghatty Palace, Mattancherry Palace, Fort Kochi Beach, Jewish Synagogue and Jew Town, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, Museum of Kerala History, Pallipuram Fort, St Francis Church, Chinese Fishing Nets, Parikshith Thampuram Museum, and
Lakshadweep Islands is accessed from Kochi.
Cochin International Airport is 20 km away. Kochi is an important rail junction on the Southern Railway with three railheads: Cochin Harbour Terminus, Ernakulam Junction Railway Station and Ernakulam Town Railway Station. The
National Highway 47 passes through Kochi and National Highways 17 and 49 starts at Kochi. Ernakulam Central Bus Station connects Kochi to major towns and cities in South India. By sea, the place is accessed from the Kochi Harbor. Ferry services from Fort Kochi and Ernakulam links the islands.