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Cochin(kō'chĭn`), former princely state, 1,493 sq mi (3,867 sq km), SW India, on the Arabian Sea. Now part of Kerala state, the region of Cochin has one of the highest population densities in India. Agriculture is the chief economic activity. Ernakulam was the former capital and Kochi, formerly Cochin (1991 pop. 1,140,605), the chief port. The finest port S of Mumbai, Kochi, with its naval base and shipbuilding industry, is the primary training center for the Indian Navy. After Vasco da Gama visited Kochi (1502), the Portuguese established a settlement. The Dutch captured it in 1663 and the British in 1795. In adjoining Mattancheri there is a small community of descendants of Jews expelled from Portugal in the 16th cent., thought to be the oldest Jewish enclave in India.
a city and port in southern India, in Kerala State, on the bank of one of the lagoons of the Arabian Sea. Population, 438,000 (1971). In 1502, at the time of the arrival of Europeans on the Malabar Coast, Vasco da Gama’s expedition reached Cochin. A Portuguese fort was founded there in 1503, and since the 17th century, the city has been an important trading center. The port’s annual freight turnover is about 2.5 million tons. Exports through Cochin include coconuts, rubber, tea, cashew nuts, and spices, and the principal imports are coal, petroleum and petroleum products, grain, and machinery. The city has textile and food-processing plants and an oil refinery.