The twin towns of Ernakulam and Fort Cochin are inseparable twins with great historical background. This land is gifted with natural landscapes. The name ‘Ernakulam’ is believed to have come from ‘Erayanarkulam’, the abode of Lord Shiva. The district took shape in 1958. Thodupuzha which was part of Cochin, was given to Idukki when that district was formed. The district has parts of the Travancore and Kochi kingdoms. Ernakulam also consists of Mattancherry and the manmade Willington Island. Kaladi, situated in Ernakulam, is the birth place of great Hindu philosopher Adi Sankara.
Several parts of the district have seen tremendous influences of the Dutch, British, Portuguese, Arabs and the Chinese. The Chinese Fishing Nets which were established in 1350 A.D. is one of Kochi’s main landmarks. The Bolghatty Palace, Mattancherry Dutch Palace and the Pardesi Jewish Synangogue are other landmarks. There are museums, art galleries and exhibitions to be visited.
Geographically it can be divided into Coastal, Midland and Highland areas. Periyar and Muvattupuzha are the two main rivers that enrich this land. There are many islands, some of them very populated, which line the Arabian coast. Some of the islands are believed to have formed from the soil accumulated due to soil erosion of highlands. The hilly areas in Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalm and Aluva are part of the Western Ghats.
This district, too, has its share of canals and waterways. Houseboat rides and local country boats are plenty. You can take a houseboat to Alleppey or Kumarakom. There are many resorts that have come up along the coast and inland. Cochin, the headquarters of the district is known as the Commercial Capital of Kerala. It has a large expanse of shops, markets and shopping streets.
The Kochi Harbour is a natural one. Many cruises and passenger liners visit the city every month. There are cruises to Lakshadweep, Goa and Mumbai. Some of Kochi’s famous islands are Vypeen, Willlington Island, Ramanthuruth, Cheriya Kadamakkudi, Bolgatty Island, Vallarpadam, Valiya Kadamakudi, Panangad, Pizhala, Kumbalam, Korampadam. The Kodungalloor Kayal and Varappuzha kayal are also in this district
The district has many important churches at Fort Cochin, Vypeen and in the town areas. Temples at Thripunithura, Chottanikkara and Thrikakara have a lot of importance. There are two major railway stations in the city and connect it to other parts of the state and the country. Buses ply between other major towns of the state all through the day.
Rivers of Ernakulam
Periyar and Muvattupuzha are the main rivers of the districts. The Chalakudi river which flows through north of Aluva joins Periyar at Elanthikara. The smaller rivers Kaliyar, Thodupuzhayar and Kothamangalamar join to form Muvattupuzha River. The Periyar plays a major role in the development of agriculture, industrial, tourism and commercial sectors of the district.
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