|Timeline of Kochi|
|1102 AD||The kingdom of Kulasekhara breaks up, and the Cochin State is formed.|
|1341 AD||The port at Kodungallur is destroyed in a massive flooding in the Periyar. The prominece of Kochi as a trading post increases.|
|1440 AD||Italian traveller Niccolò Da Conti visits Kochi|
|1500 AD||Portuguese Admiral Pedro Álvares Cabral, lands at Kochi.|
|1503 AD||Kingdom of Kochi is taken over by the Portuguese.|
|1530 AD||Saint Francis Xavier arrives and introduces a Christian mission.|
|1663 AD||Portuguese rule overthown by the Dutch.|
|1773 AD||Mysore King, Hyder Ali's conquest descends on Kochi.|
|1814 AD||Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 officially passes the city to the United Kingdom|
|1947 AD||India gains independence, Kochi joins the Indian Union.|
|1956 AD||The State of Kerala is formed.|
|1967 AD||Kochi Corporation comes into existence.|
For many centuries up to and during the British Raj, the city of Kochi was the seat of the eponymous princely state. Kochi traces its history back many centuries, when it was the centre of Indian spice trade for many centuries, and was known to the Yavanas (Greeks and Romans), Jews, Arabs and Chinese since ancient times. Kochi earned a significant position on the world trading map after the port at Kodungallur (Cranganore) was destroyed by massive flooding of the river Periyar in 1341 AD.
The earliest documented references to Kochi occur in the books written by Chinese voyager Ma Huan, during his visit to Kochi in the 15th century as part of the treasure fleet of Admiral Zheng He. There are also references to Kochi in accounts written by Italian traveller Niccolò Da Conti, who visited Cochin in 1440 AD.. Today, Kochi is the commercial hub of Kerala, and one of the fastest growing second-tier metros in India.
Kochi was the scene of the first European settlement in India. In the year 1500, Portuguese Admiral Pedro Álvares Cabral, landed at Cochin. The King of Kochi welcomed his guests and a treaty of friendship was signed. Promising his support in the conquest of Calicut, the admiral coaxed the king into allowing them to build a factory at Cochin. Assured by the support, the king called war with the Zamorins of Calicut. However, the admiral retreated in panic on seeing the powers of the Zamorin. The Zamorins, on the other hand, eager to win the favor of the Portuguese, left without a war. Another captain, Joao Da Nova was sent in place of Cabral. However, he too faltered at the sight of the Zamorin. The consecutive retreats made the King of Portugal indignant. The king sent Vasco Da Gama, who bombed Calicut and destroyed the Arab trading posts. This invited the anger of the Zamorin, who declared a war against the Kochi Raja. The war between Calicut and Cochin began on 1 March 1503. However, the oncoming monsoons and the arrival of a small Portuguese fleet under Francisco De Albuquerque alarmed the Zamorin, and he called back his army. The Zamorin resorted to a retreat also because the revered festival of Onam was near, and the Zamorin intended to keep the auspicious day holy. This led to a triumph for the king of Kochi, who was later re-established in the possession of his kingdom. However, much of the kingdom was burnt and destroyed by the Zamorins.
The Portuguese built a Fort — Fort Manuel (after the reigning king of Portugal), surrounding the Portuguese factory, in order to protect it from any further attacks. The entire work was commissioned by the Cochin Raja, who supplied workers and material. The Raja continued to rule with the help of the Portuguese. Meanwhile, the Portuguese secretly tried to enter into an alliance with the Zamorins. A few later attempts by the Zamorin at conquering the Kochi port was thwarted by the Cochin Raja with the help of the Portuguese. Slowly, the Portuguese armory at Kochi was increased, with the presumed notion of helping the raja protect Kochi. However, the measured led to decrease in the power of the Cochin Raja, and an increase in the Portuguese influence. From 1503 to 1663, Kochi was ruled by Portugal through the namesake Cochin Raja. Kochi remained the capital of Portuguese India till 1510. In 1530, Saint Francis Xavier arrived and founded a Christian mission. This Portuguese period was difficult for the Jews installed in the region, since the Inquisition was active in Portuguese India. Kochi hosted the grave of Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese viceroy, who was buried at St. Francis Church until his remains were returned to Portugal in 1539. Soon after the time of Albuquerque, the Portuguese rule in Kerala declined. The failure is attributed to several factors like intermarriages, forcible conversions, religious persecution etc.
The Portuguese rule was followed by that of the Dutch, who had by then conquered Quilon, after various encounters with the Portuguese and their allies. Discontented members of the Cochin Royal family called on the assistance of the Dutch for help in overthrowing the Cochin Raja. The Dutch successfully landed at Njarakal and headed on to capture the fort at Pallippuram, which they handed over to the Zamorin.