Distance : 217km from Thiruvananthapuram
Population : 558,000
Ernakulam offers a pleasing blend of
scenic splendour and industrial progress. Overlooking the vast expanse
of the Arabian Sea, the district adjoins Alleppey and Kottayam on the
south, Trichur on the north and Idukki on the east.Watering the region
are rivers like the Periyar and Muvattupuzha.
¤ The Legendary Tale
Ernakulam has its own set of anecdotes explaining the origin of its
name. Prevalent among the local populace is the tale of Devalan, the
senior disciple of Kulu Muni.
As a result of a curse, Devalan is said to have grown a serpents
hood on his head because of which he was called Nagarshi. Pleased with
Nagarshis single-minded devotion, Lord Shiva (the Destroyer in
the Hindu Holy Trinity of Creator-Preserver-Destroyer) granted him
Ernakulam is considered as a derivation of Rishinagakulum, the name
given to the tank where Nagarshi attained salvation. One cant
rule out the possibility of the district having acquired its name from
the words Irainar Kalam (place of Lord Shiva).
The history of Ernakulam comprises mainly the rise and growth of the
erstwhile princely state of Cochin. Since certain areas of the former
states of Malabar and Travancore form part of the district as well,
their histories are intimately linked to that of Ernakulam. But Cochin
came into the limelight only around a.d 1341 when it emerged as a
major port (see Kochi).
While Kochi is the commercial capital of Kerala,Kaladi,
Kanjiramittam, Chennamangalam and Alwaye beckon the spiritually
inclined. Several granite slabs with Hebrew inscriptions found in the
Jewish synagogues, are of great value to historians.
Being the most economically developed district in Kerala, Ernakulam
boasts of many large and small-scale industrial units. Festivals that
are an integral part of the shrines in Kerala keep the tourist
entertained throughout the year while on threir Keral travel vacation.
Ernakulam hosts one of the most famous regattas of Kerala during the
festival of Onam(seeFestivals of India).