Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Ernakulam district

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Time zone
IST (UTC+5:30)

3.28 million (2011)


Area rank

3,068 km²

ISO 3166 code

Ernakulam district keralatourismguideimagesdistrictimagesernakul

Vehicle registration
KL-7,KL-17,KL-39, KL-40,KL-41,KL-42,KL-43,KL-44,KL-63

Kochi, Ernakulam, Aluva, Kodanad, Angamaly

Colleges and Universities
Cochin University of Scienc, Maharaja's College - Ernakulam, Sacred Heart College, Mar Athanasius College o, Federal Institute of Science a

Points of interest
Paradesi Synagogue, Mattancherry Palace, Hill Palace - Tripunithura, Cherai Beach, St Francis Church - Kochi

Ernakulam is a district of Kerala, India situated in the central part of that state. Spanning an area of about 3,068 km2, Ernakulam district is home to over 12% of Kerala’s population. Its headquarters is located at Kakkanad, a suburb of Kochi city. Ernakulam is known as the commercial capital of Kerala. The district is famous for its ancient temples, churches, and mosques. The district includes the largest metropolitan region of the state, Greater Cochin. Ernakulam district is the highest revenue yielding district in the state. It is the third most populous district in Kerala, after Malappuram and Thiruvananthapuram (out of 14). Ernakulam district also hosts the highest number of international and domestic tourists in Kerala state.


Map of Ernakulam, Kerala

The language spoken in Ernakulam is Malayalam which is the mother-tongue of Kerala. English is widely used, especially in business circles. Ernakulam became India's first district having 100 percent banking or full 'meaningful financial inclusion' in 2012.


The name Ernakulam is derived from Erayanarkulam which means the abode of Lord Shiva. Ernakulam was also known as "Rishinagakulam" in ancient days.


From ancient times Ernakulam district has played a part in the political history of south India. The Jews, Syrians, Arabs, Chinese, Dutch, British and Portuguese seafarers followed the sea route to Kingdom of Cochin and left their impressions in the town. In 1896, the Maharaja of Cochin initiated local administration by forming a town council in Ernakulam. Initially Ernakulam district's headquarters was at Ernakulam, which gave the district its name; the headquarters was later shifted to Kakkanad.


According to the 2011 census Ernakulam district has a population of 3,282,388, roughly equal to the nation of Mauritania or the US state of Iowa. This gives it a ranking of 104th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 1,069 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,770/sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 5.6%. Ernakulam has a sex ratio of 1028 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 95.68%.

This district is listed as the "most advanced" district in Kerala. It had a resident population of 3,105,798 as of 2001, excluding the huge commuter traffic from neighbouring districts. It is urbanised 68.07%. Hindus (46.53) accounts for the largest community followed by Christians (38.78 including Syrians and Latins) and Muslims (14.55). A small population of Jains, Jews and Sikhs are also residing in Kochi. Also, Ernakulam district has the highest number of Christian population in India.

The most important religious communities of the district are Ezhavas with 756,475 members, Nairs with 356,321 members Syrian Catholics with 474,572 members Latin Christians with 260,258 Jacobites with 305,512 members, Malankara Orthodox Church with 74,568 and Muslims with 456,275 members. In addition to the major communities the Buddhists, the Jains, the Sikhs, and the Jews also form part of the cosmopolitan population. The ancestors of the Jews migrated from Jerusalem in 70 A.D. to India. Now there are very few Jewish families in Cochin as most of them were converted to Syrian Christians (Nasranis), and the rest migrated to Israel in the 20th century. The 15.7% of the population are Malayalam speaking Sunni Shafi'i Muslims.


Ernakulam district covers an area of 3,068 km2 located on the Western Coastal Plains of India. It is surrounded by Thrissur District to the north, Coimbatore District of Tamil Nadu to the north-east, Idukki District to the east, Alappuzha and Kottayam districts to the south and Lakshadweep sea to west. The district can be divided geographically into highland, midland and coastal area. The altitude of the highland is about 300 m. The Periyar River, Kerala's longest, flows through all the taluks except Muvattupuzha. The Muvattupuzha River and a branch of Chalakkudy River also flow through the district. The average yearly rainfall in the district is 3432 mm. The district has a moderate climate, and mostly falls within the Malabar Coast moist forests ecoregion, while the highlands are part of the South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests ecoregion. Many types of sands, soil and also rocks which are geological importance is abundant here. Cochin international airport is located in northern part of the district at Nedumbassery village in Angamaly. Owing to the international airport, water ways, railways, and road ways, Ernakulam is one of the most strategically connected district in the state.


The district is divided into three well-defined parts – lowland, midland and the highland consisting of seaboard, plains and the hills and forests respectively. 20 percent of the total area is low land region. The midland consists mainly of plain land and group of islands having natural facilities of drainage via backwaters and canals. The hilly or eastern portion is formed by a section of Western Ghats. Muvattupuzha and Kothamangalam taluks which were initially parts of Kottayam district can be called the highlands. Muvattupuzhayar and Periyar are the main rivers of which the latter flows through Thodupuzha, Muvattupuzha, Aluva, Kunnathunad and Parur taluks. During rainy season these rivers are full and heavy floods affect the low-lying areas on the banks, but in the summer season they generally go dry and narrow. The Periyar is stretched over a length of 229 km.


Ernakulam district is the richest district in Kerala in terms of GDP and per capita income. Ernakulam district is bestowed with all the geographical factors, which help the development of industry, and it is in the vanguard of all other districts in Kerala in the field of industry. The availability of all types of transport facilities viz., road, rail, canal, sea, air is a factor which is unique to this district. Ernakulam is the biggest commercial centre in the state of Kerala. Its M.G. Road is the location of some of the biggest businesses in Kerala.

The sea along the entire coast of the district and the backwaters abound in fish of various kinds offer enormous natural facilities for both marine and inland fisheries. Kochi is an ideal place that supports fisheries in its various aspects like education, research and development.


The eastern part of the district is primarily agrarian in nature. Rice is the principal crop cultivated in the wet lands. The area under paddy cultivation in the district has been decreasing steadily over the past 3 decades. Ernakulam district is the largest producer of nutmeg and pineapple in the state. The area under nutmeg cultivation is showing an upward trend continuously. More than 70% of the total pineapple produced in the state is cultivated in the district. Pineapple is largely cultivated in Muvattupuzha and Vazhakulam. Rubber is the most cultivated plantation crop in the district and the district is the second largest producer of rubber in the state behind Kottayam. The other important crops cultivated in the district are Tapioca, Black pepper, Arecanut, Coconut, Turmeric, Banana and Plantain.


There are mainly two revenue divisions namely Fort Kochi and Muvattupuzha.


The district has the most number of taluks in the state. District is divided by two revenue divisions with 7 taluks.

  • Paravur
  • Aluva
  • Kunnathunad
  • Muvattupuzha
  • Kochi
  • Kanayannur
  • Kothamangalam
  • Municipal Corporation



    Ernakulam district has the most number of municipalities in the state.

  • North Paravur
  • Piravom
  • Muvattupuzha
  • Koothattukulam
  • Perumbavoor
  • Aluva
  • Angamaly
  • Thripunithura
  • Kalamassery
  • Kothamangalam
  • Eloor
  • Maradu
  • Thrikkakara
  • Parliamentary Constituencies

  • Ernakulam Parliamentary Constituency
  • Chalakudy Parliamentary Constituency (partially)
  • Idukki Parliamentary Constituency (parts of Muvattupuzha taluk and Kothamangalam taluk)
  • Kottayam Parliamentary Constituency (parts of Muvattupuzha taluk and Kanayannur taluk)
  • Assembly Constituencies

  • Piravom
  • Angamaly
  • Aluva
  • Kalamassery
  • North Paravur
  • Vypeen
  • Kochi
  • Ernakulam
  • Thrikkakara
  • Thripunithura
  • Perumbavoor
  • Kunnathunad
  • Moovattupuzha
  • Kothamangalam
  • Transport

    Ernakulam district is blessed with all types of transport. Also the district has got the maximum number of vehicles in the state. Ernakulam district has excellent road connectivity. The 3 major national highways passing through Ernakulam District are the Cochin-Mumbai Highway (NH 17), Salem-Kanyakumari (NH 47 part of NSEW corridor) and Cochin-Dhanushkodi highway (NH 49). Ernakulam district has 17 railway stations. The Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town are the major ones. The other stations are Aluva, Angamaly, Thripunithura, Edapally, Mulamthuruthy, Cochin Harbour Terminus, Karakutty, Chowara, Kalamassery, Nettoor, Kumbalam, Mattancherry H., Chottanikkara road and Piravom road. The railroutes are via Thrissur, Kottayam, Cochin H.T., Allapuzha and Vallarpadam. The Angamaly-Erumely Sabarimala route passes through the district. Routes are proposed via N.Paravur – Guruvayur, Moovattupuzha – Theni. Kochi Metro urban rail system is proposed in the city.

    Ernakulam district has two airports, Naval airport in W.island(Old Cochin airport) and Cochin International Airport(CIAL). CIAL is the fourth largest airport in the country after Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai having International passengers. Currently flights are operating to the Persian Gulf region, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and to major cities in India

    Ernakulam district lies in the flat delta region of the Periyar and Moovattupuzha rivers. Water transport is prominent in the district through rivers and lagoons. The major boat services are in Ernakulam area and other areas having small ferry services. The district boasts of having the largest port in the west coast of the country: the Cochin port, which is also the reason for large scale developments in the district. Now a new International port is completed in Vallarpadam which will boost the developments in the district further.

    Festivals and traditions

    The famous Sivarathri at the Aluva Manappuram (situated on the banks of river Periyar) in Aluva attracts people from around the country. There are many old Siva temples in Ernakulam. In Sanskrit "Siva" means kalyan (good wishes, doing good and taking care of all).

    Rajadhiraja St. Mary's Jacobite Syrian Cathedral, Piravom is believed to be the world's first Christian church. Tradition is that this church was founded by the Three Kings who visited Jesus. St Mary's Church at Angamaly is believed to be the first Christian church in India after Piravom church Rajadhiraja St. Mary's Jacobite Syrian Cathedral, Piravom and the eight churches founded by St Thomas. It was founded in 405 A.D. and was the headquarters of Archdeacon and St Thomas Christian till 18th century.

    Adi Shankaracharya was born in Kalady town of the district, which is considered as a major pilgrimage centre for Hindus around the world.

    Kallil Kshethram (Jain temple) near Perumbavoor is very famous.

    Puthencruz near is the regional seat of Syriac Orthodox Church in India. The world famous Christian pilgrim centre at Saint Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Malayattoor is in this district. The festival here lasts for 10 days in April.

    The eight-day lent (Ettunombu) fest at St Mary's Jacobite Syrian Valiyapally, Thamarachal is a very famous religious event in Ernakulam. It attracts tens of thousands from all over the state. St. George Orthodox Syrian Orthodox Church at Kadamattam near Muvattupuzha is very old and was founded by Mar Abo Syrian Metropolitan in the 5th century A.D. He brought a cross from Persia, which is preserved in the church. The festival at the Latin church of Vallarpadam on 24 September attracts people belonging to all religions. The icon of Virgin Mary in this church is credited with many miracles. St. George's Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church, Edappally was founded in 593 A.D. St. Antony’s church at Kannamaly is famous for the Feast of St. Joseph on 19 March where a large number of people are fed.

    Celebrating the full moon day has two purposes. For the beginning of field cropping with prayers and some puja. On this day women of India generally having fasting of full day and pray for her brothers, father, husband and Nation.

    Three important pilgrim places in Ernakulam are Koonan Kurish St George Orthodox Pilgrim church at Mattancherry,Vadakken Paravoor St Thomas Catholic church Founded By St Thomas in AD 56, Malayattoor Pally, Mor Thoman Church (Cheriapally) Kothamangalam and Thrikkunnathu St Mary's Orthodox Seminary Church, Aluva. The relics of Gregorios Abdul Jaleel are preserved at the St. Thomas church North Paravur. Thousands of pilgrims from Kerala culminate on 27 April for the Dhukrono of the Saint. Feast of Eldho Mor Baselios is celebrated in the tomb church Mor Thoman Church (Cheriapally) at Kothamangalam with spiritual grandeur every year on 2 and 3 October. Nearly a million pilgrims from Kerala attend the feast. The Feast of Paulose Mar Athanasius on 26 January at Thrikkunnathu St Mary's Seminary Church,Aluva, where he is entombed, also attracts thousands.

    Other Famous Churches are St George Orthodox Church at Kadamattom, St Mary's Church at Nadamel near Thripunithura, Karingachira St George Syrian Orthodox Church, St Peter's & St Paul's Orthodox Church, Kolenchery, are the pilgrim centres of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Gheevarghese Mar Gregorios of Parumala, also known as Parumala Thirumeni, the first saint of Malankara Orthodox Church from India was born and brought up in Mulanthuruthy .

    Places of Interest

  • Marine Drive, Kochi: Enjoy a scenic view of the sea and the Cochin Port. Shopping can be done at the GCDA shopping centre. Two spectacular bridges have also been built along the shore. Boat rides are available.
  • Cochin Jewish Synagogue: Constructed in 1567, oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations
  • Chinese Fishing Nets (Cheena Vala): can be seen at Fort Cochin.
  • Hill Palace Museum: at Tripunithura. Paintings, epigraphy, furnitures of the royal family etc. are displayed.
  • Bolgatty Island: has a palace built by the Dutch in 1744, and a golf course.
  • Willington Island: Formed from the sand deposited when Cochin Port was deepened, Willington Island has a naval base, a railway terminus, a port, and customs offices.
  • Dutch Palace: Made in 1568 by the Portuguese. Later re-structured by the Dutch.
  • St. Francis Church, Kochi: Originally built in 1503, the oldest European church in India
  • Kodanad: Elephant training centre is located here.
  • Pareekshit Thampuran Museum, a museum with memories of 19th century.
  • Kerala Historical Museum: Located at Edappally, on the Aluva–Ernakulam road.
  • Chendamangalam, a village that is the location of the Paliam palace, Vypeenakotta Seminary, and is also remarkable for having a Hindu Temple, Synagogue, Church, and Mosque, all within one kilometre of each other.
  • Bhoothathankettu, a scenic dam site with boating facilities is situated in a vast virgin forest.
  • St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Malayattoor: The only international shrine in Asia. Also believed to have been visited by St. Thomas, the apostle.
  • Wonder La, Kakkanad: Amusement park located at Pallikkara near Kakkanad
  • Cherai Beach.
  • Kuzhippilly Beach
  • Fort Kochi Beach
  • Paniyeli Poru
  • Ezhattumugham:
  • Personalities

    The below are the prominent personalities from the district:

  • Adi Sankaracharya (Saint Advaita)
  • Swami Chinmayananda (Indian spiritual leader and geetacharya )
  • Mar Varghese Payyappilly Palakkappilly (Servant of God and founder of S.D.)
  • Shadkala Govinda Marar (Carnatic Musician)
  • Sahodaran Ayyappan(Social Reformer and Ex-Minister Old Kochi State)
  • K J Yesudas (singer)
  • Changampuzha (Poet)
  • G. Sankara Kurup (Poet)
  • P K Vasudevan Nair (Ex-Chief Minister)
  • Joseph Kalathiparambil (Archdiocese of Verapoly)
  • Mar Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil (Major Arch Bishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church)
  • Daniel Acharuparambil (Archbishop of Verapoly)
  • Francis Kallarakal (Archbishop of Verapoly)
  • Balachandran Chullikad (Poet and Actor)
  • Dileep (actor)
  • Sreesanth (cricketer)
  • K. V. Thomas (politician)
  • Asin Thottumkal (actress)
  • Jayasurya (actor)
  • Cochin Haneefa (actor)
  • Sreejesh Ravindran (Indian Hockey Player)
  • Sankaradi (actor)
  • Salim Kumar (actor) – National Award winner for Best actor 2011.
  • T. K. Narayana Pillai (Former Chief Minister of Kerala)
  • Jayaram (actor)
  • Lalu Alex (actor)
  • Hibi Eden (politician)
  • K. M. George (politician)
  • Francis George (politician)
  • Johnny Nellore (politician)
  • T. M. Jacob (politician)
  • Anoop Jacob (politician)
  • Jose Thettayil (politician)
  • Fr. Prasant Palakkappilly CMI
  • Nivin Pauly (actor)
  • Nayanthara (actor)
  • Lal (Actor)
  • Flora and fauna

    The flora of this district is tropical. The heavy rainfall combined with moderate temperature and fertile soil support abundant vegetation. Many of the common plants are found in the coastal area, which forms the low land region. Coconut is extensively cultivated here. The midland region is mainly occupied by coconut palms. Paddy, tapioca, pepper, pineapple and pulses are also cultivated here. The lower slopes of the highland region are under teak, and rubber cultivation. The eastern part of the district has dense forests with its characteristic fauna.

    Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

    Thattekad Bird Sanctuary lies on the northern bank of the Periyar river. The sanctuary is about 25 km2 (10 sq mi). The bird sanctuary is the first of its kind in Kerala and is famous for its variety of bird species. The renowned ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali and his efforts are behind the formation of this sanctuary. This sanctuary is 80 km. from Cochin. Important birds found here include falcon, jungle fowl, water hen, hornbill etc. The flora of this area consists mainly of plantations of teak, rosewood, mahogany etc.


    Ernakulam occupies an important place among the districts of Kerala in the field of literacy and educational standards. Ernakulam District is the first district in the whole country to have 100 percent literacy by 1990. Pothanicad, first panchayath in India that achieved 100% literacy according to state literacy programme is in this district. There are two prominent universities in this district – Sanskrit University, Kalady and Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Kalamassery. Ernakulam district has the most number of educational institutions in the state. Kendriya Vidyalaya and St. Mary's Higher Secondary School, Morakkala. St. Mary's English Medium School, Morakkala is also located here.


    Ernakulam district Wikipedia

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