image credit Varshapanikar 

Kochi (Cochin) commonly referred to, as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea” is the second most important port city in the western coast of India. It is situated in the Ernakulam District of Kerala, the state formed by the merger of the former kingdoms of Travancore, Cochin, and Malabar (which was a part of the Madras Presidency under the British). Kochi is as the commercial capital of Kerala.

History of Kochi
Kochi has a long history of trade and culture. Trading in spices such as black pepper and cardamom with the Arabs, Phoenicians, Portuguese, and Chinese more than 600 years ago. This helped Kochi to grow and to turn into the gateway to old India.
For centuries, the princely state of Cochin came under different Kingdoms. Over time, the local rulers, Portuguese, Dutch, British and Kozhikode Samorin (Samutiri) controlled the Cochin. By 1530 AD, Cochin had grown into a prosperous city under the Portuguese.
In 1663, the Dutch had conquered the Portuguese. After some time Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, the rulers of Mysore, defeated the Dutch. Finally, when the whole country was overpowered by the British, Kochi became part of the British Empire in 1814. Today Cochin has emerged as one of the major city on the west coast of India.
Interesting Places in Cochin
Cochin famed all over the world for its affluent and vibrant sights. Huge Chinese fishing nets, old synagogue, ancient mosques, Portuguese and Dutch era homes and crumbling relics of the British rule. Bake water and number of small islands on its are the main factors in enhancing the beauty of Kochi. Cochin is an admirable stop for yachts, and the marina is placed ideally within the city,
Some Important Places
Marine Drive is a charming walkway in Kochi. It is a popular hangout for the local populace and built facing the backwaters. Marine Drive is also an economically booming part of the city of Kochi. Marine Drive is a major center of shopping activity in Cochin.
Hill Palace Museum is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala located in Tripunithura.
Mattancherry JewishStreet and Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations, located in Kochi in South India. The Malabar Yehudan people or Cochin Jewish community in the Kingdom of Kochi built this in 1568.
Fort Kochi is the historical part of the city and many tourist attractions located here. The giant Chinese fishing nets, Mattancherry Palace and Santa Cruz Basilica are some of them. The  Kochi-Muziris Biennale, one of the international exhibition of contemporary art, held in and around here
Bolgatty Palace: A Dutch palaces built by the Dutch in India; it is located on the scenic Bolgatty Island in Cochin, built-in 1744, by Dutch traders.
Willington Island is a man-made island named after former British Viceroy Lord Willington. Cochin Harbour, Southern Naval Command, Cochin Port Trust headquarters, some of the best hotels in the city, and important trading centers are situated in there
Fort Emmanuel a Portuguese fort at Fort Kochi
Koonankurishu Palli or St.George Orthodox Church.
Museum of Kerala History
Mattancherry Dutch palace
Boathouses in Backwater
And many other attractions.
Best time to visit Kochi
August to February is the busiest season for visitors. December is the busiest month because of the famous Cochin Carnival and Christmas celebrations.
Onam season from mid-August to mid-September is a busy visitor season, which takes into account the traditional line of various festivals.
Kerala Tourism Department promoting monsoon season as a rejuvenating season, which gradually becomes a popular season for experiencing heavy rainfall.
March and April are not advisable for traveling to Cochin, considering the harsh summer,
How to reach in Cochin
Cochin / Kochi has an international airport located in Nedumbaserry 30kms to the northeast of the city. This airport connected with regular flights to major cities in India and international cities.
Kochi has three main railway stations: Ernakulum Junction (Main Station), Ernakulum Town and Cochin Harbour Terminus. Many important trains start from here and all others stop at these stations.
The three major National Highways the NH47, 17, 49 and state highways and local roads connect Cochin to the rest of India. Contract carriages, Private and public transport services are available from all the major cities in South India.
Shopping in Kochi
With many things, that one can purchase from Kochi, handicrafts, spices, etc… Handicrafts contain a wide variety of stuff made of coir, wood, shells, brass, ivory, and sandalwood. Broadway is the best place for small amounts of spices and other small items.MG road is another destination for a variety of things from clothes, handicrafts, and jewelry.

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