Brief history of Kochi

Unni Mohanadas Destinations 0
 Kochi is a port city that has attracted tourists, explorers and merchants since 14th century CE. It is a major tourist destination now. Kochi is often referred to as “Queen of Arabian Sea”. In October 2019, Kochi was ranked seventh in Lonely Planet’s list of top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2020.

 Early history of Kochi (12th century CE to 16th century CE) :-

 In 1102 Kochi state was formed by breaking up of Kulasekhara empire. Kochi earned a significant position on the world trading map after the port at Kodungallur (Cranganore) was destroyed by massive flooding of the river Periyar in 1341. Being a port that is center of spice trade since then it had attracted many European and Indian invaders. In 15th century Admiral Zheng He’s treasure fleet from Ming dynasty, China invaded Kochi. They allowed the Raja of Kochi to continue as ruler and gave protection against invasions of Zamoirm of Calicut.

 Portuguese Admiral Pedro Álvares Cabral, lands at Kochi in 1500 CE and established first Portuguese settlement in India. They took over kingdom of Kochi in 1503.On 1530 CE St. Francis Xavier reached Kochi and established one of the oldest European churches in India. Meanwhile oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations was established in Kochi ( Paradesi synagogue)in 1568 CE.

 Medieval history of Kochi( 17th century CE to 19th century CE) :-

 In 1663 Dutch overthrew Portuguese and took control of Kochi. They ( Dutch) established first municipality in Kochi the next year( 1664CE). Thus Kochi became first municipality in Indian subcontinent. By 1814 CE British overthrew Dutch and for next one century they ruled the princely state.

 Modern history of Kochi ( 20th century CE onwards) :-

 By the time India got independence from British in 1947 CE Kochi became part of Indian union. In November 1st 1956 Kerala state was formed and Kochi became part of the newly formed state

 Places of historical importance in Kochi :-

 1. Bolgatty Palace – Built in 1744 this is one of the oldest existing Dutch palaces outside Holland

2. Paradesi Synagogue – Its the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations . It was constructed by Malabari Jews ( Kerala Jews) in 1568

3. Mattancherry Palace – This Dutch palace was built around 1545 by Portuguese . Even Though Portuguese built it and handed over to Maharaja of Kochi, it was renovated by Dutch in 1663. Since then it is called Dutch Palace

4. Hill Palace – This palace in Tripunithura was the official residence of Maharaja of Kochi. It was built in 1865. It is now largest archaeological museum in Kerala

5. Indo-Portuguese museum – It was built in a Bishop house established in 1910 . The museum was initiated by Bishop of Kochi Dr. Joseph Kureethra

6. St.Francis church – It is one of the oldest European churches in India. Originally built in 1503, it was in this church that the mortal remains of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama was buried

 Nearby historical destinations (within 100 kms)


 Places of historical importance  in Thrissur-

 i) Muziris heritage site – Its based on Muziris port city which was washed away by floods of 1341 CE

ii) Cheraman mosque at Kodungallur – It was built in 629 CE

iii) Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours- It was built in 1814 CE

iv) Sakthan Thampuran Palace – This palace was built on 1795 in Kerala-Dutch style


Places of historical importance in Alleppey –

 i) Krishnapuram palace -It built on 18th century CE  and it houses  largest single piece of mural painting so far discovered in Kerala

ii) St.Mary’s Forane church – This church was built on  835 CE

iii) Karumadikuttan statue (statue of Buddha)- This statue is supposed to be erected between 9th to 14th century CE

iv) Ambalappuzha temple – It is believed to have been built during 17th century CE


 Best time to visit Kochi is the winter months November to February 

Season Average temperature
Winter season (November to February) 23°C to 32°C
Summer season (March to May) 25°C to 33°C

 City tour cost :-

 Normally one day Kochi sightseeing in a sedan car would cost Rs.1600/- or above . 2-3 people can travel in sedan car comfortably.The entry fees at historical sights, museums etc will be extra. We suggest to verify the final cost with your travel agent.

 Some of the heritage properties in Kochi :-

 Bolgatty Palace

Brunton Boat yard

Chittoor Kottaram

Forte Kochi

Old Harbour 

 Some of the hotels in Kochi with room tariff less than Rs.5000/- per night :-

 Cochin Palace

Nettoor Pavilion

Hilite Inn

Abad Pepper Route

Hotel Fort Kochi Beach Inn

 Photo courtesy: By Renikk –, Public Domain,

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