Flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west, the port city of Cochin has long been a favorite destination for explorers, traders and seafarers. From time to time, this region witnessed successive waves of migration by the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese, who came here mainly for the purpose of trade. Their presence and influence on Kochi as it is today called is not only visible in the numerous forts, churches and palaces dotting the city, but also in its lifestyle and demography.
Cochin, which gradually emerged as commercial and industrial capital of
the south Indian state of Kerala, is virtually a melting pot of
cultures. The city has a diverse, multicultural and secular community.
Its population consists of mainly Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Jains,
Sikhs, and Buddhists, among other denominations. In the present day
Kochi, the denizens are a mix of people from different parts of Kerala
and India. Here, Hinduism is the main religion, being followed by almost
47 percent of the population.
The majority of Kochi residents are Malayalis. There are, however, many
ethnic minority groups also like Tamils, Gujaratis, Jews, Sikkimese,
Anglo-Indians, Konkanis, and Tulus. As per a study conducted in the year
2001, the population of Kochi was 5,96,473, with a density of 6850.7
people per square kilometer. Scheduled castes and scheduled tribes
consisted of approximately 4.3% of the city's population. The literacy
rate of the Cochin was 94.3%.
Kochi has come a long way from being a major trading zone in ancient
times. Today, it is also an important tourist hub in Kerala. The people
of Cochin are very much inclined towards preserving and furthering their
regional art and culture. As such, Kochi boasts of many of its denizens
making a name for themselves, both nationally and globally. Some
prominent personalities include K J Yesudas (singer), Sahodaran Ayyappan
(social reformer), Pandit Karuppan (social reformer), Sreekanth
(international cricketer) and Asin (model and actor).
Cochin is a cultural melting pot. Read on about the lifestyle of the people living in Kochi, Kerala.