Transformation to a metropolis
Once a township, confined to a small area between Lake Vembanad and Chittoor Road, Ernakulam has grown much in size as well as in development. The transformation of the sleepy town - the erstwhile royal capital housing the Durbar Hall where the king’s cabinet met - to a metropolis was quick and amazing.
Records say that at the time of the integration of Travancore and Cochin, not more than 2000 people lived in the area, and they were mostly near the Palace Ground. The rest of the town was sparsely inhabited, with very few houses scattered here and there. With the creation of the Corporation of Cochin in 1967 and with the influx of business men into the area, the city was subjected to drastic changes in terms of geographic and demographic patterns. Today, with a population of more than 5500 persons per sq. km, Kochi city is one of the most densely populated in the state.
Over the past few years, the definition of the city’s borders has become vague. Today, even a resident of the city would be confused if queried on the exact location of the place, Ernakulum. The answers would be could be one of many - the place near the Ernakulathappan Temple, near the railway station, near the main commercial market and so on and so forth. The town area that was originally known as Ernakulam has expanded to cover the existing commercial area as well as suburbs like Edappally, Kadavanthra, Vyttila, Palarivattom, Kaloor etc. The city continues to be on an expansion spree embracing the borders of adjacent regions like Tripunithura.
With the increasing pace of urbanization and the influx of businessmen, the city has become the commercial hub of Kerala.