Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cochin a.k.a Kochi a.k.a Ernakulam

Most tourists face the problem. What is the place really called? You fly into Kochi, the airport is called Cochin International Airport. Your Tour operator welcomes you to Cochin and takes you to a hotel in Ernakulam. You arrive by train at Ernakulam Town or Ernakulam Junction when you visit Cochin. The main old quarter of the town is called Fort Kochi. If you take a bus from somewhere to cochin, the destination must read Ernakulam , if you want to reach the city. There are no buses with Cochin as destination. You might get on one to Fort Kochi, though. And if you don’t know the Malayalam alphabet, you’re done for. Few carry English sign boards. And if want the postal address of a friend you made while here, you might get an address like: Mr. xyz, Abc villa, Palarivattom, Ernakulam Dist, Kerala. Pin Kochi- 682032

Well, I have been living in Cochin a.k.a Kochi a.k.a Ernakulam with a postal address similar to above and shopping in Ernakulam town for the last 12 years. I never understood it. When my friends outside the state call, I invite them to Cochin while the relatives in Kerala are invited to Ernakulam.

There is some cross wiring in our heads, somewhere, I am sure. Hope no short circuit happens.


  1. That was some imp bit of info.

    Cross wiring sorted out.
    Thanks buddy. :)

  2. I never knew Ernakulam is Kochi too..Oh dear!!
    This proves we are so adaptable and intelligent. We can sure handle such confusions :-)

    thanks for enlightening. :-)

  3. Ok, I have stopped thinking of this very confusing name business. I sometimes consider using the spelling 'Cochi' to reduce the confusion to alteast half. Maybe we can rename the place to 'Cochikulam' or something?:-\

  4. Some confusion indeed! :D
    Unlike other cities, Cochin, or Kochi or Ernakulam has two synonyms each :)
    Heard a lot about peple saying it's fort cochin which is referred to a Cochin and the city which is Ernakulam. But I don't find the answer satisfactory. Cross wiring for sure!

  5. Thank God! I was thinking I was the confused soul. I have not spend much time in Kerala.So It becomes rather difficult when people expect me to know the difference and I don't....Thanks.

  6. hahahahahaha @cross wiring.
    Like Insignia here, I never knew Ernakulam too = Kochi.
    thanks for the trivia :)

  7. The difference between them is clearly explained on wikipedia: and

  8. Actually, the proper Kochi is what is now known as 'West kochi'+Palluruthy+Edakochi. Proper Ernakulam is just the place around the Shiva temple. Anyway, Ernakulam can also mean the whole district and Kochi can also mean the old princly state of Kochi which included Trissur too, but not Aluva, Kalamassery and Paravur. Sorry if I confused you more. ;-)

  9. Though it never appeared as a problem to me before, I too have reflected several times on the different names a place like Kochi carry.

  10. "What's in a name?" Well, you better take a back seat Mr. Shakesphere, for it doesn't apply here. :P
    Even though there are confusions regarding the name, it must be a beautiful city. Hope to visit sometime.
    "Hope no short circuit happens" lol... :D

  11. you know, my recent trip to Kerala left me really confused..since I am not familiar with the local names there, all the names sounded so very familiar..and our driver used this name - Ernakulam - the most..thank u for the I know where I have been exactly :D

  12. Tulika
    I suppose I just saved souls the confusion

    Be you be the next enlightened one:)

    Novice Writer
    Cochikulam,let's write to the ministry:D

    Destiny's child
    We are destined to live in confusion

    Welcome to the club of equally at loss

    The light of knowledge spreads.;)

    Isn't that bad enough that you have to look up wikipedia to say where you live or visited?
    Only one question - we read often that Kochi is one of the fastest growing Tier II cities. But the city itself is called Ernakulam. Why?

    Same problem here

    As you like it, she is Queen of Arabian Sea

    Nazish Rahman
    Free Knowledge. Take it.:D

    A New Beginning
    Info bank open now.:P

    Poor girl! Now you know.

  13. Holylama,

    I think I found the answer:

    Most of the districts have the name of the main city/township. Trivandrum, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Trissur, Kannur, Palakkad, Kozhikkod, Pathanamthitta and Kasaragod. The only exceptions are Wayanad and Idukki.

    Wikipedia says: "Initially the district headquarters was at Ernakulam, which gave the district its name". That's probably why this confusion happened.

    My theory is that, this confusion wouldn't have happened at all if the district was called Kochi.

  14. When I first came down to 'whatever you want to call this place', I thought that Cochin and Ernakulam were twin cities like Hyderabad and Secunderabad. After living in this city for a coupla years, I realized that it was just one city with 2 names (the third name is just the desi version of Cochin, so we'll leave that behind for now). I've noticed too that people say they're going to Ernakulam, when they're going to town. Our Pin Code says Cochin. Our district is Ernakulam. It truly is confusing! And you've very neatly summed up the confusion in your blog. So, will chk back again to see what others have to say. Maybe, we'll be able to crack the mystery, afterall!

    True. It was Cochin kingdom earlier. Thanks for the help:)

    Birds of the same confusion flock together. Welcome aboard.

  16. Cochin or Kochi or Ernakulam...
    I intend to go there some day...Gr8 u cleared the confusion beforehand...
    Hey interesting blog!:)
    Wud come back for more!

  17. Jaunty Anima
    Welcome to the blog and to the place.:)

  18. I Am thinking to visit it from a long time !!Will surely go there some day !!

  19. Let me know when you are coming down:)

  20. So you are saying Cochin and Ernakulam are same and there is new ver2.0 Kochin name floating in the air do.
    I just remember this dialog from Friends. Rachel say this to chandler: Why would you do this to her?
    tell me Chandler!
    Why, Why WHY??

    PS: First time here...Great read!!


  22. The city today has developed into a modern, growing hub in comparison to its western twin, Kochi. The township is a popular host to tourists and is thronged by the highest number of international and domestic tourists visiting Kerala. Check out best hotels in Ernakulam also.