The District which has an area of 895 km² can be divided geographically into highland, midland and coastal area. The altitude of the highland is about 300 m. The borders of the district are the Arabian Sea in the west, Thrissur District in the north, Idukki District in the east, and Alappuzha and Kottayam districts in the south. The Periyar River, Kerala's second longest, flows through all the taluks except Muvattupuzha. The Muvattupuzha River and a branch of Chalakkudy River also flow through the district. 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.
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 having natural facilities of drainage via backwaters and canals. The hilly or eastern portion is formed by a section of Western Ghats. Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalm and Aluva can be called the highlands. Muvattupuzha and Periyar are the main rivers of which the latter flows through Thodupuzha, Muvattupuzha, Aluva, Kunnathunadu 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.
The most important religious communities of the district are Hindus, Christians and Muslims. 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 72 A.D. Now there are very few Jewish families in Cochin.
The famous Sivarathri at the Siva Temple of Aluva attracts people from different parts of the country. There are lots of old Siva Temples in Ernakulam. More than last 5000 years people are used to pray lord Siva. In Sanskrit "Siva" means Kalyan (Good Wishs, Doing good with taking care of all). So As part of this universal brotherhood though People are used to celebrate MahaSivaratri, it comes in Month of Maha before two days of Black moon.For this day people are doing lots of preparation. On that day people are used to keep full days fasting and Doing puja for Universal Peace and Asking enery for destroys evils things. The famous Christian pilgrim Center at Malayattoor is in this district. The festival here lasts for 10 days in April. St. George Church at Kadamattam is very old and was founded by Mar Abo Metropolitan in 5th Century A.D. He brought a cross from Persia, which is still preserved in the church. The festival at the church of Vallarpadam on September 24 attracts people belonging to all religions. The icon of Virgin Mary in this church is credited with many miracles. St. George Forane Church at Edappally, which was founded in 593 A.D., is considered to be the oldest church in Kerala after the 7 churches founded by St. Thomas. St. Antony’s church at Kannamaly is famous for the Feast of St. Joseph on March 19 where a large number of people are fed. One of the ancient mosques in Kerala is at Kanjiramattam.A Long island is located in near Ernakulam known as Vypeen island about 25 km long. Cherai Pooram is famous festival in island.Celebrating this full moon day having two purpose. Fields are ready for cropping, Start cropping with prayers and some auspicious puja.Next reason is People are ready to go in to sea. So on this day women of India generally having fasting of full day and pray for her brothers, father, husband and Nation 's victory.
AGRICULTURE & INDUSTRY
Agriculture constitutes the most important segment of the district’s economy and it is the biggest source of employment. Of the geographical 235319 hectares, crops are grown in 210438 hectares. Coconut is the principal crop followed by rubber, paddy, and tapioca. A paddy cultivation system called pokkali is peculiar to the district.
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 perhaps the biggest commercial center in the state of Kerala. Its M.G. Road is the location of some of the biggest businesses in Kerala.
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.
FLORA & 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 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 their characterized fauna.
FISHERIES & PORT
The sea along the entire coast of the district and the backwaters abound in fish of various kinds offering enormous natural facilities for both marine and inland fisheries. Kochi is an ideal place to provide support to fisheries in its various aspects like education, research and development.
BOLGATTY ISLAND : A picturesque island with a palace is about a quarter mile north of Ernakulam. The Palace built by the Dutch in 1744. The building was once a Governor's Palace for the Dutch and later a home for British Governors. At present the palace converted into a hotel by the K T D C.The lush green landscape with panoramic view of the backwaters makes another tourist attraction on the island.
Willingdon Island : Named after Lord Willingdon, a former British Viceroy of India. This is a man made island created from earth dredged, while deepening the Kochin Port. There are frequent ferry and bus services from Ernakulam. The head quarters of southern naval command, airport, harbour are functioning here.
Chinese Fishing Nets : Chinese Fishing Nets is an enticing scene, became trademark of Kochi. At the entrance to the harbour these nets are a fascinating sight. The Chinese traders first bought them to Kerala from Kublai Khan's court. These nets are set up on teak wood and bamboo poles.
Hill Palace : The palace built in the 19th century by the King of Kochi, situated 12 Kms. away from Eranakulam on the Eranakulam-Chottanikkara route. Many years ago the Palace was the official residence of the Kochi royal family. Today it is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala, displaying different types of sculptures, paintings, collection of rare coins, old weapons and collection of articles used by the Rajas of Kochi.
Jewish synagogue, Mattancherry : The synagogue was built in 1568 A.D. scrolls of the Old Testament (Bible) and copper plates in which the grants of privilege to Jews from Kochi rulers were carved are preserved in this Synagogue. The exquisite hands painted blue Chinese tiles are another attraction in the Synagogue. The Jewish Synagogue in Kochi stands out as a testimony for the communal harmony in the state for centuries.
Visiting time: - 10 am to 12 am and 3 pm to 5 pm. Closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays.
Location: 8km from Kochi. Bus, boat services are available.
St. Francis Church, Fort Kochi : The Portuguese built this church in 1503 A.D. This is the first European Church in India. Vasco-De-Gamma was buried here in 1524; later remains were exhumed out and taken to Lisbon, Portugal.
Location: 12 km from Ernakulam. Buse, ferry services are available here.
The Dutch Palace or Mattancherry Palace : The Dutch Palace built by Portuguese in 1555 A.D and handed over to Raja Kerala Varma of Kochin. The palace was renamed as Mattancheri Palace in 1663.
Visiting time: -10 am to 5 pm Closed on Fridays, national holidays.
Pallippuram Fort : The Portuguese built Pallipuram Fort in 1503. It is one of the oldest existing European monuments in India. The Pallipuram Catholic Church is an important pilgrim center.
Kaladi : 45 km away from Kochi, Kalady is the birthplace of Adi Sankara the great Indian philosopher who lived in the 8th century. Kalady is situated on the banks of river Periyar. There are two shrines of Sri Adi Sankaracharya. One dedicated to him as Dakshinamurthy and the other to Goddess Sarada, maintained by the Sringeri Mutt. These shrines in Kalady are open to all pilgrims irrespective of religion or caste.
Parishath Thampuran Museum : The museum is situated near the famous Siva Temple, Ernakulam. Collection of 19th Century oil paintings, old coins, sculptures in stone and plaster of paris and copies of mural paintings are exhibited here. The museum is housed in enormous traditional style Kerala building.
Malayatoor : Malayattoor St. Thomas church is the famous Catholic pilgrim center, situated on 53 Kms away from Kochi and 8 Kms. from Kalady.This pilgrim center is blessed by the Apostle of Christ St. Thomas, who had landed the Kerala coast in 52 AD. The church at the top of the hill, about 2 Kms. can be reached only by foot. The annual festival Malayattur Perunnal is during the month of March/April.
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary : Located 54 kms from Kochi and 12km from Kothamangalam, This bird sanctuary is a peninsular land of 25 sq. km. formed between the branches of river Periyar. There are more than 200 verities of birds in the region. The most notable of the indigenous birds are Malabar grey hornbill, Crimson-Throated Barbet, heron, egret, grey jungle fowl, jungle myna, Sunbird, wood pecker, rose winged and blue-winged parakeet. Rare birds like Ceylion frogmouth, Rose billed roller etc. are also seen. Dr. Salim Ali, the renowned ornithologist, designs the sanctuary. The sanctuary is a pleasant heaven on earth for any ornithologist.
Cherai Beach : This is a beautiful and clam beach bordering Vypeen Island is an ideal spot for swimming. It is the new generation tourist hot spot. The thick coconut groves, Chinese fishing nets, backwaters, historical monuments are added attractions. Dolphins are occasionally seen here.
Location: 18 Kms. away from Vypeen.
Gundu Islands : Gundu is the smallest island about 5 acres only in size, which is close to Vypeen. Here one can observe one of Kerala's traditional manufactures: Coir [coconut fibre]. This island can be reached from Vypeen only by boat.
Museum of Kerala History : This museum is a treasure house of important scenes of Kerala History from the Neolithic ages to the modern era through life-size figures. The history of Kerala is exhibited and narrated with the help of light and sounds.
Location: 8 Kms. from Eranakulam.
Visiting Time: 1000 hrs to 1700 hrs. Closed on Monday.
Entry Fee- Rs. 5/-.
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary : This is a small bird sanctuary, located in the heart of Kochin city. This sanctuary is the home of many exotic and rare varieties of migratory birds.
Bhoothathankettu : Situated on 63 Kms. away from Kochi is one of the most visit place of Kerala.The forest department would also arrange Elephant rides through the forest to old Bhoothankettu, which is very interesting.