Kochi metropolitan area

:"This article is about the urban agglomeration of Kochi. For the city of Kochi, see Kochi"The urban agglomeration (UA) of Kochi (pronunciation?·i; Malayalam: കൊച്ചി [Kocci] ); formerly known as Cochin) is the largest UA in the Indian state of Kerala. It includes the city of Kochi, one of the principal seaports of the country, the municipalities of Thrippunithura, Kalamassery, North Paravur, Aluva, Angamali, Perumbavoor, and the adjoining villages including Kumbalangi, Maradu, Thrikkakara, Kakkanad, Kanayannur, Eloor, Kalady, and Nedumbassery.

Kochi UA is in the district of Ernakulam, about 220 km north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. As of 2005, the UA has an estimated population of around 1.5 million, making it the largest urban agglomeration in Kerala. [cite news|url=http://www.hindu.com/pp/2005/10/01/stories/2005100100970400.htm|title=Achieving compact and high-density development]

Name

Theories regarding the etymology of the name "Kochi" are disputed. [ [http://www.corporationofcochin.org/pages/Maintemp.asp?id=3 Etymology] Corporation of Cochin official site] One of the theories suggests that the modern name of the city is derived from the Malayalam word "koch azhi", meaning 'small lagoon'. Another version mentions that the city derives its name from the Sanskrit word "Go shree" which means 'prosperous with cows'. Certain ancient texts refer to the city as "Balapuri" (Sanskrit for 'small town'), which became Cochin in course of time. [ [http://www.corporationofcochin.org/pages/MainTemp.asp?id=4&val1=1&PLK=2 Theory about the origin of the word "Kochi"] Corporation of Cochin official site. It may also be referred that there is a place called Kochi in Japan, which if related to Kochi in Kerala or not, has to be scrutinized. ]

According to some accounts, traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Khubilai Khan gave Cochin the name of their homeland. Yet another theory is that Kochi is derived from the word "Kaci" meaning 'harbour'. Certain scholars claim that Cochin is derived from the term "Cocha", which is a transfiguration of the Biblical term "Cohen". Accounts by Italian explorers Nicolo Conti (15th century), and Fra Paoline in the 17th century say that it was called "Kochchi", named after the river connecting the backwaters to the sea.

After the arrival of the Portuguese, and later the British, the name Cochin stuck as the official appellation. The city reverted to a closer anglicisation of its original Malayalam name, Kochi, in 1996. However, it is still widely referred to as Cochin.

History

Kochi was the princely state under the Kingdom of Kochi which came into existence in 1102, after the fall of the Kulasekhara empire. [ [http://www.corporationofcochin.org/pages/Maintemp.asp?id=3&val=1 Kochi Kingdom] Corporation of Cochin official site] The princely state was having the Kochi mainland as the capital. The state was ruled by Cochin Royal Family. However, the kingdom was under foreign rule since the 18th century, and the King often only had titular privileges.

On the earlier days, the kingdom of Kochi was always under the shadow of the attacks from Samoothirippadu(often anglicised as Zamorin), the ruler of Malabar the northern neighbour. From 1503 to 1663, Kochi was ruled by Portugal. Kochi hosted the grave of Vasco da Gama, the first European explorer to set sail for India, who was buried at St. Francis Church until his remains were returned to Portugal in 1539. [ [http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761567498/Vasco_Da_Gama.html Vasco-Da-Gama] Encarta encyclopedia] The Portuguese rule was followed by that of the Dutch, who had allied with the Zamorins in order to conquer Kochi.

In the battle of Ambalapuzha (3 January 1754), the Dutch allied Kochi was defeated by Marthanda Varma of Travancore after he ousted the Dutch in the Battle of Colachel-1741. In 1757 AD, a treaty was concluded between Travancore and Cochin, ensuring peace and stabilty on the Southern border. By 1773, the Mysore King Hyder Ali extended his conquest in the Malabar region to Kochi forcing it to become a tributary of Mysore. The hereditary Prime Ministership of Kochi held by the Paliath Achans came to an end during this period. Soon, Kochi was ceded to the United Kingdom by the Dutch, who feared an outbreak of war on the United Provinces signed a treaty with the United Kingdom. This was in exchange for the island of Bangka as per the treaty. Kochi was thus under the British rule, till India gained independence in 1947.

In 1949, Travancore-Cochin state came into being with the merger of Cochin and Travancore. The King of Travancore was the Rajpramukh of the Travancore-Cochin Union from 1949 to 1956. Travancore-Cochin, was in turn merged with the Malabar district of the Madras State. Finally, the Government of India's States Reorganisation Act (1956) inaugurated a new state Kerala; incorporating Travancore-Cochin (excluding the four southern Taluks which were merged with Tamil Nadu), Malabar District, and the taluk of Kasargod, South Kanara.

Kochi Urban Agglomeration was defined in 1998, with the corporation of Cochin, municipalities of North Paravur Aluva, Angamaly, Kalamassery and 11 adjoining villages.

Economy

IndiaCensusPop
title= Kochi metropolitan population
1981= 824900
1991= 1140600
2001= 1536400
estimate=
estyear=
estref=
footnote= Source: Census of Indiacite web|url=http://mospi.gov.in/comenv2000tab7.2.11.htm| title=TABLE 7.2.11|publisher=mospi.gov.in|accessdate=2008-06-23]

Kochi UA is referred to as the economic capital of Kerala. Due to the proximity of the sea port at Kochi city, the economy of the area is booming.

Kochi witnessed economic stagnation in the years following India's independence at 1947. The economic recovery gathered momentum after economic reforms in India introduced by the central government in the mid-1990s. Since 2000, the service sector has revitalised the stagnant economy. Over the years, the city has witnessed rapid commercialisation, and has today grown into the commercial capital of Kerala. [ [http://www.kerala.gov.in/statistical/panchayat_statistics2001/ekm_shis.htm Statistics of Ernakulam in 2001] Official site of Government of Kerala]

Constituents of the urban agglomeration

References

External links

* [http://www.ekm.kerala.gov.in/ Government of Kerala - Ernakulam Portal]
* [http://ernakulam.nic.in/ Government of India Ernakulam Portal]



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