Kochi, also known as Cochin, is situated on the southwest coast of the Indian peninsula in the picturesque state of Kerala, often referred to as “God's Own Country”. The city's nickname, the Queen of the Arabian Sea, highlights its role as the commercial and industrial capital of the state. In fact, as a main port city, it has been the center of the spice trade and a destination for travelers from across the globe, especially the Portuguese, Dutch, Arabs, Chinese, and Japanese.
In Kochi, old-world charm and modernity blend together to create fascinating contrasts. Trading partners in the past contributed to the rise of a cosmopolitan culture, whose openness and ever-changing atmosphere can be still seen today.
Mainland Ernakulam is a mix of skyscrapers, shopping malls, and busy streets, all underlining the global role of the city. At the same time, the rich heritage and diverse communities, typical in the historical neighborhoods of Fort Cochin and Marrancherry, reveal their roots in history with 400-year-old synagogues, mosques, and palaces.
Kochi is also an ideal starting point to visit the surrounding islands, connected by ferries and bridges, as well as a gateway to the fascinating state of Kerala.