Kochi formerly known as Cochin, is a city in the Indian state of
Kerala. The city is one of the principal seaports of the country and
is located in the district of Ernakulam, about 220 kilometres (137
mi) north of the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. It has an
estimated population of 600,000, with an extended metropolitan
population of about 1.5 million, making it the largest urban
agglomeration and the second largest city in Kerala after the
In 1102 CE, Kochi became the seat of the Kingdom of Cochin, a
princely state which traces its lineage to the Kulasekhara empire.
Heralded as the Queen of Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice
trading centre on the Arabian Sea coast since the 14th century.
Ancient travellers and tradesmen referred to Kochi in their
writings, variously alluding to it as Cocym, Cochym, Cochin, and
Cochi. Occupied by the Portuguese in 1503, Kochi was the site of the
first European colonial settlement in India. It remained the capital
of Portuguese India until 1530, when they opted for Goa as their
capital. The city was later occupied by the Dutch, the Mysore and
Kochi entered a period of economic growth after 2000, leading to a
spurt in the city's development. A growing centre of shipping
industries, international trade, tourism and information technology,
Kochi is the commercial hub of Kerala, and one of the fastest
growing second-tier metros in India. Like other large cities in the
developing world, Kochi continues to struggle with urbanisation
problems such as traffic congestion and environmental degradation.
Successive waves of migration over the course of several millennia
have made Kochi a cultural melting pot. Despite the risk of
overdevelopment, the city retains its distinct colonial heritage and
a blend of tradition and modernity.
Getting to and from the airport
KSRTC operates four classes of bus service from the airport:
regular, fast passenger, super fast express (operate every 10-20
minutes to most of the nearby towns and places), low floor A/C Volvo
service (operates every 30-40 minutes only to Kochi City via Aluva,
Kalamassery, Vytilla and terminates at Fort Cochin). The charge from
the airport to City Junction (Vytilla Junction) is around Rs 60, and
around Rs 80 to Fort Cochin when using low floor A/C Volvo services.
All the bus services stop only at the bus point located near
departure gate of the international terminal (city-side).
There are regular and prepaid white taxis with no signs. Regular
taxis can be caught from the taxi stand on the right side of the
departure gate of the international terminal. Pre-paid taxis need to
be booked at the counter in the arrival hall of either terminal.
Take a receipt and walk to the prepaid taxi stand to catch your
taxi. For transfers to Kochi city or airport transfers, the standard
charge is Rs 510 for non air-conditioned cab or Rs 650 for A/C Cab,
with an additional premium of 15-25% as night charges (7PM-6AM),
while it costs only Rs 250 for a trip to Aluva. Cochin Airport
recently started pre-paid airport cab services using its own fleet
of various segments for short tours, city tours and transfers to
other airports which is priced at standard govt rates.
Many car rental companies operates counters in the arrival area of
both terminals. Many hotels and travel agents provide free
pick-up/drop-off services in their cars.
Pawan Hans, located in departure gate of domestic terminal, operates
a wide range of helicopter services to almost all parts of city as
well as state, which requires a prior booking. K-Air also operates
air-taxi and private jets.
Kochi is well connected by train from all parts of India. Most
Kerala-bound trains have a major stop here. There are two major rail
terminals inside the city limits.
* Ernakulam Town Station (North Station), (IR Code : ERN),
+91-484-2395198, is mainly for Inter City trains and a few long
* Ernakulam Junction Station (South Station), (IR Code : ERS)
+91-484-2353751 (service inquiries 131, 133, reservations 132, 1361)
is a major Indian railways station. Most of the long distance trains
to and from Kerala pass through here. There is a good food court,
large waiting areas, book shops, a medical shop and a few retiring
rooms along with a dorm. Some of the major trains that pass through
this station are:
Kochi is accessible from all parts of the country as well as other
parts of the state, through the extensive state run Kerala Road
Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus service, as well as those run by
other states. Most inter-state buses start and end their journey
from KSRTC Central & Inter-state Bus Station (CBS), located in the
heart of the city at Rajaji Rd. To reduce congestion at CBS, some
KSRTC buses start/end their services at KSRTC Boat Jetty Stand
located in Park Avenue.
KSRTC operates six type of service; Ordinary (no frills), Limited
Ordinary (limited stop), Fast Passenger(point-to-point), Super
Fast(Regular and A/C services), Deluxe(premium A/C) and Garuda
(luxury Volvo). Sleeper Buses also ply overnight routes. Karnataka
State buses run daily services from Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore
with two type of services, the Rajahamsa (executive push-back
service) and Airavat (A/c Sleeper service). Tamil Nadu SETC operates
superfast and executive services to many destinations like Madurai,
Palani, Ooty, Coimbatore, Salem, Erode and Trichy.
Daily services to and from other major cities in South India such as
Mumbai, Bangalore(12 hrs), Mangalore (12 hrs), Coimbatore (4.5 hrs)
and Chennai (14 hrs), are operated by national players mostly based
in MG Road, where almost all services start and end. All these buses
are executive or premium services offering air-conditioned travel
with good facilities and higher prices to match.
There are also numerous private buses connecting almost every
district, city and town in Kerala. All private buses start/stop
their journey at the Private Bus Terminal (PBT) in Kaloor. These
offer very basic comforts and are rarely air-conditioned.
Kochi is well connected by road from all parts of the state as well
as other major cities. Three major national highways connect Kochi
with other parts of country.
* NH 17, the 7th longest highway in India, connects Kochi with
Mumbai via most of major towns in Malabar, Mangalore, Goa.
* The heavily congested NH 47 connects Thiruvananthapuram with Kochi
and continues on to Coimbatore and Salem in Tamil Nadu via Palakkad
* NH 49 connects Kochi with Ramaeswaram in Tamil Nadu which passes
through Madurai via Munnar.
Kochi is well connected to other parts of state through various
Kochi can be reached by sea in yachts or the occasional cruise ship
from Goa, Mumbai, Lakshadweep, Colombo and Male. Many cruises
operate to Kochi from the US and Europe, but there is no booking
office or boarding point in Kochi. There is a direct ferry service
between Kochi and Colombo.
Hotels, Lodge Guest Houses and Homestays in Kochi.
Kochin Hotels by surrounding cities, local city and area:-
Fort Cochin - Mattancherry ***
Willingdon Island ***
Cochin area ***