Kochi, formerly Cochin, is a major port city on the west coast of India by the Arabian Sea and is part of the district of Ernakulam in the state of Kerala.
Kochi is often called by the name Ernakulam, which refers to the eastern part of the mainland Kochi. The civic body that governs the city is the Corporation of Cochin, which was constituted in the year 1967, and the statutory bodies that oversee its development are the Greater Cochin Development Authority and the Goshree Islands Development Authority.
The city of Kochi is the most densely populated city in the state and is part of an extended metropolitan region (pop. 2.1 million), which is the largest urban agglomeration in Kerala. Kochi city is also a part of Greater Cochin region and is classified as a B-1 grade city by the Government of India, making it the highest graded city in the state. Kochi ranks first in the total number of international and domestic tourists in Kerala. Kochi has been ranked the sixth best tourist destination in India according to a survey conducted by the Nielsen Company on behalf of the Outlook Traveller magazine.
The city lies about 220 kilometres (137 mi) north of the state capital and largest city in Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, and about 180 kilometres (112 mi) south of Kozhikode, the third largest city in Kerala. Heralded as the Queen of Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the Arabian Sea coast from the 14th century. Occupied by the Portuguese Empire in 1503, Kochi was the first of the European colonies in India. It remained the main seat of Portuguese India until 1530, when Goa was chosen instead. The city was later occupied by the Dutch and the British, with the Kingdom of Cochin becoming a princely state.
Kochi is home to the Southern Naval Command of the Indian Navy and the state headquarters of the Indian Coast Guard with an attached air squadron, named Air Squadron 747. Commercial maritime facilities of the city include the Port of Kochi, an International Container Transshipment Terminal, the Cochin Shipyard, offshore SPM of the Kochi Refineries, and the Kochi Marina. Kochi is also home for the Cochin Stock Exchange, International Pepper Exchange, major chemical industries like the FACT, TCC, IREL, HOCL and Kochi Refineries, electrical industries like TELK and industrial parks like the Cochin Special Economic Zone and Infopark. Kochi is home for the High Court of Kerala and Lakshadweep, and the Cochin University of Science and Technology.