KOCHI, often called Ernakulam, is the commercial and financial capital of the state of Kerala. It is a cosmopolitan city on the south-west coast of India with a bustling commercial port. Kochi was formed as an ancient port city after the Great Floods of the Periyar River in the year 1341 AD. Also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the west coast of India from the 14th century onwards, and maintained a trade network with Arab merchants from the pre-Islamic era. Occupied by the Portuguese in 1503, Kochi was the first of the European colonies in colonial India. The city was later occupied by the Dutch and the British, with the Kingdom of Cochin becoming a princely state. A popular destination in the international and domestic tourist circuits, Kochi is also home to the Southern Naval Command of the Indian Navy and the state headquarters of the Indian Coast Guard. Commercial maritime facilities of the city include the Port of Kochi, an International Container Trans-shipment Terminal, the Cochin Shipyard and the Kochi Marina. Kochi is also home for the Cochin Stock Exchange, International Pepper Exchange and industrial parks including the Cochin Special Economic Zone, Smart City and Infopark.
During February, Kochi registers temperatures of up to 32°C at the hottest point of the day, which makes light, airy clothing preferable. In the evening, the mercury drops down to around 23°C. Both the daytime highs and nighttime lows stay pretty much constant throughout the month. The overall average temperature is 28°C. The total amount of rainfall in February is 26 mm, which is generally spread over 3 days. The chance that rainfall occurs is very low, but does increase in the course of the month, from 5% in the beginning to 14% at the end.
The main attractions in Kochi are Backwaters of Kochi, Marine Drive, Fort Kochi, Hill Palace, Mattancherry Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, Bolgatty Palace, Museum of Kerala History, St. Francis Church, etc. Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is an international stadium in Kochi (locally known as Kaloor International stadium).
Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), Kochi is a premier R&D establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Ministry of Defence, Govt. of India. NPOL is a ‘Systems Laboratory’ of DRDO engaged in the development of SONAR (Sound NAvigation and Ranging) systems and allied technologies. The thrust areas of R&D of the laboratory are Signal processing, Electronics, Engineering systems, Transducers, Materials and Oceanography. The laboratory has developed hull mounted sonars for ships and submarines, towed array sonars and airborne sonars for Indian Navy. NPOL’s work in this area has helped the nation achieve self-reliance in this vital area. NPOL was established in 1952 as a Naval testing laboratory, Indian Naval Physical Laboratory (INPL) in the Naval Base, Kochi. After becoming a part of DRDO, it was shifted to the present campus at Thrikkakara in 1991. The laboratory has its main campus at Thrikkakara also has a test & evaluation facility at Kulamvu, Idukki. The Lab also owns a research vessel called the INS Sagardhwani. It is the only unit of DRDO in the state of Kerala.NPOL had developed several gadgets for naval and civilian applications in its first two decades, besides providing fleet support for maintenance of equipment. Subsequently, in the late 70’s, NPOL undertook the path breaking staff project Advanced Panoramic Sonar Hull mounted (APSOH) Sonar. It was the first hull mounted sonar system electronics, which was taken from bread board stage to production at Bharat Electronics Ltd. This paved the way for total indigenisation of ship sonars, followed by submarine sonar suites, airborne sonars and torpedo defence systems.