Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cochin. 1. A native state of India in the presidency of Madras, between lat. 9° 48' and 10° 50' N, and long. 76° 5' and 76° 58' E., having South Malabar and Coimbatore on the N.E. and W., the Indian Ocean on the W., and Travancore on the S. The state has an area of 1,361 square miles, and is divided into seven districts. Hemmed in between the sea and the Western Ghauts, it is well watered by numerous rivers which form lagoons and backwaters, which alternate between wide navigable sheets in the wet season - from June to December - and scattered shallows in the dry season. Rice is extensively grown, and there are remains of fine teak forests, which produce a considerable quantity of timber. Among other productions the chief are coffee, cotton, pepper, ginger, and spices. Besides the British port of Cochin, there are the trading ports of Malipuram and Narakel, the latter of which forms a port of shelter during the monsoons, where the British India Company's steamers touch during several months of the year instead of at Cochin.

2. A town of British India, on the South Malabar coast, at the north of a strip of land twelve miles long by an average of one mile broad, almost cut off from the mainland by inlets of the sea and backwaters of the river estuaries. In 1663 the Dutch captured it from the Portuguese and made it a very prosperous town; the English captured it in 1796 and the trade considerably declined. A bar obstructs the entry of the river, and renders it unsafe of approach during the monsoons. A lighthouse, visible at fifteen miles, marks the south entrance of the harbour. For ship-building and commerce Cochin ranks next after Bombay.