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Which is better to live in, Kochi or Trivandrum?

Which is better to live in, Kochi or Trivandrum
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Which is better to live in, Kochi or Trivandrum?

Both Kochi and Trivandrum are great places to live, and the choice ultimately depends on your preferences. Kochi is known for its vibrant culture, historical significance, and scenic beauty, while Trivandrum is known for its peaceful atmosphere, educational institutions, and government offices. 

You may enjoy living in Kochi if you prefer a bustling city with a cosmopolitan vibe. If you prefer a quieter city focusing on education and Government, Trivandrum may be your better choice. Ultimately, it’s best to visit both cities and see which one you feel more comfortable in and at home.

Thiruvananthapuram is the best of Kerala’s big cities, ahead of Kozhikode and Kochi in that order. That’s the finding of a five-city field survey done exclusively for The Times of India. Thrissur and Kottayam were the other cities covered by the survey.

Kochi is a hyped city for the younger generation. Trivandrum is a very gracious city with many options to save, spend, enjoy, and relax. Kochi is less clean than Trivandrum. Trivandrum is a well-planned city, and all roads are interconnected.

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Which is better to live in, Kochi or Trivandrum?

I have lived for not more than a week in Kochi. But I have been living in Trivandrum for more than 25 years. The main attraction of Trivandrum is cultural programmes every day. Kerala’s best Schools and colleges are situated in Trivandrum. For IAS aspirants, Trivandrum is a better place of study than Kochi. 

Trivandrum has more hospitals than Kochi. So the, medical treatment is easily available. In Trivandrum, shopping Malls are fewer than in Kochi. But in the case of Cinema Halls, Trivandrum is the best choice for Kochi. Kerala’s International Film Festival is conducted every December in Trivandrum. The lodging facility is better than in Kochi. 

The best libraries are available in Trivandrum. Trivandrum is a city of Government servants. Most of the people are salaried class. Business people are only less than Kochi. City roads are clean, and the street sides are planted with trees in Trivandrum.

Restaurants from the low level to the high level are available in Trivandrum. In the city’s heart is a park called the Lungs of Trivandrum. If you prefer a busy life, Kochi may be your choice, while life in Trivandrum is calm and quiet.

It depends on what your passion is. If you are adventurous and want to explore a metro-style life with good people around you, Kochi will be your choice. Trivandrum will be for you if you like a peaceful, calm and simple life.

I have to admit these:

  • Trivandrum has better roads and is much cleaner than Kochi.
  • Kochi is all right, but it is dirtier than TVM.
  • Kochi is the trendsetter of Kerala.
  • Food is tastier on TVM
  • Kochi is mainly based on the vision of the people. It’s a more privatised city, unlike TVM, which has more public funds
  • Kochi IS THE LARGEST CITY in Kerala (but not officially .. you will know it if you have stayed there )
  • Kochi is the best place to try something new; it offers a better market that is preferred by business
  • TVM is best if you want a tension-free and simple life (salaried gov job type )

I love to draw comparisons between things, and as a guy who has lived in both Trivandrum and Kochi, I can post my opinion here. Choosing which city is better in this case, however, depends greatly on what kind of a person you are.

I wanted to point out the stark contrast in culture because all the rest of the changes are simply a consequence of this change. Trivandrum is still reminiscent of its old Tamilian culture. There are still many Brahmins here living in small houses near temples, which is symbolic of its Tamil ancestry. Even though many cities have adopted a Bengali workforce, Trivandrum is still home to many Tamil workers.

Which is better to live in, Kochi or Trivandrum?

In Trivandrum, if you have a bit of grey hair, fair skin, wear a tucked-in shirt, have a round belly, and show up in a costly car, you are pretty much guaranteed to be respected everywhere you go as people tend to think of you as a Travancore aristocrat (Sorry if I offended anyone, but most of the aristocrats look that way. And yeah, maybe I exaggerated a little bit. And maybe it’s because I’m 20 years old).

Government jobs are considered the best jobs in Trivandrum, making the elderly, retired government workers more respectable than an IT worker. It would make the elderly population have more money and power in the city than their children. It, combined with the ancestral wealth of most people in Trivandrum, makes Trivandrum a paradise for older adults.

The fact that Trivandrum has 0 shopping malls and very few cinemas is a direct consequence of the abovementioned phenomenon.

Of course, I’d infer this from my experience, and it may seem completely wrong to someone else. Trivandrum receives more investment than any other city because it is the capital. The Kazhakootam projects seem promising to deliver a more “modern” face to Kazhakootam, which was a wasteland until now. Some are even calling it the “New Trivandrum”.

I hope that the “old” and “new” Trivandrum(s) conflate the best of both worlds and bring progress without diminishing the city’s cultural significance.

Which is better to live in, Kochi or Trivandrum?

Now, let’s come to Kochi. Kochi is often designated as a city of youth. It is primarily because Kochi has a more “international” approach to everything. Kochi, or specifically, Ernakulam, has a lot of shopping malls, theatres, fast-food restaurants, high-rise apartments and villas. Kochi’s airport is leagues ahead of its Trivandrum counterpart, although it is far off from the city, whereas the Trivandrum airport is inside/very close to the city. Kochi has fancy 5-star hotels (Marriott, Le Meridian, Taj Gateway) far better than those in Trivandrum (South Park, The Taj, The Leela).

Kochi’s InfoPark often hosts more events than the Trivandrum TechnoPark, but both are great. A special vibe hits you when you leave the mainland and enter Mattanchery. Mattanchery hosts a ton of things found nowhere else in Kerala. The Jew Street, the Synagogues, the Judaism temples, the Jain temples and many churches enlighten this mystical and mesmerising place. Many Bengali workers also influence Kochi’s culture found here. Because Kochi has many businesses, many people from different states stay in Kochi. They all contribute their culture to make Kochi a splendid mix of different faiths and beliefs.

Kochi also has a very high Christian population, which makes a Kochi Christmas worth every dime. Active, energetic youngsters rally the streets, writing down “Happy New Year” on the roads as firecrackers light up the New Year’s Eve sky; people celebrate the year’s end on their apartment’s rooftops with the finest New Year cakes and bottles of whiskey; couples romancing around the river-side Marine Drive; and people going nuts in 5-star hotel rooftop-parties spread across Kochi make Kochi the best party place in Kerala. I could go on and on, but I assume you get the picture.


Everything that makes Kochi different to Trivandrum is their difference in cultures. There are pros and cons to them both. Law and order are more strictly enforced in Trivandrum, while Kochi has a much better waste management programme.

Kochi has many fast-food restaurants, but Trivandrum has better schools and colleges. Trivandrum is the capital city and is thus never going to die. In contrast, Kochi solely relies on the businesses on its land, and we all know that business cities only last for a while.

Temples are surprisingly open on Onam and other festivals in Kochi. In contrast, Trivandrum, home to the world’s richest temple and the temple that holds a Guinness Record, has temples overcrowded with people on festive occasions.

Kochi, in all its modern glory, stays at the pinnacle of business and entrepreneurship with its special economic zone, while an entirely new phase of development is happening in Trivandrum with 6-lane express highways (compared to the 4-lane stretch in Kochi), larger shopping malls (LuLu Trivandrum is supposed to larger than the iconic LuLu Kochi) and dozens of high-rise buildings.

So, ultimately, Kochi or Trivandrum? It depends on who you are and what you’re doing.

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If Kerala is so developed, why does it lack big cities like Mumbai or Bangalore, except for Kochi?

Let’s begin with my story:

I’m a typical Keralite and have lived here since my birth about 25 years ago. My residence is Kottiyam (in Kollam District), which is classified as a ‘rural area’ by the Government. So, officially, I’m a rural man.

Now let me tell you the amenities that this rural man has:

  1. About 20 schools within a 10 km radius (2 are girls’ schools, so I cannot go)
  2. 3 Medical colleges within a 15–20 km radius, one being Government medical college.
  3. 5 Government-aided Arts and Science Colleges within a 10 km radius. I need to find out how many private colleges are there.
  4. One Polytechnic and one ITI within 2km reach.
  5. Two multi-speciality hospitals within 1 km reach and about other five within a 10 km radius (excluding the 3 Medical colleges mentioned in point number 2)
  6. Several Allopathy, Ayurvedic and Homeopathy clinics within 2 km reach, including those run by the Government.
  7. The nearest bus stop is 200 meters away from my home, and the nearest main bus stand is about 1.5 km away from my home. Buses run one after another in all directions.
  8. The nearest railway station is 8 km from my home (Kollam Junction), and the nearest Airport is 60 km from my home (Trivandrum International Airport).
  9. I can get any grocery items within 100 meters of my home, and I can get almost all needy things within a 1 km radius.
  10. Many shopping malls, boutiques and Cinema theatres are within a 10 km radius.
  11. ……………..

So these facilities I enjoy (and remember that I’m a rural man). Now, the second part of my answer:

I’ve visited and travelled to the majority of states in India, including the four so-called Metropolitan Cities of India. When I travelled through these states, I always wondered about seeing the vast area of unoccupied barren lands on either side of the Highway or Railway because in Kerala (My state), You cannot see an unoccupied place within 1 km unless You are inside the forests high ranges or tribal areas.

Let me add some photos to reduce the monotony caused to you by my words:

It is Mumbai city, which is the largest metropolitan city in India in all aspects. Beautiful, isn’t it?? (I’m not adding the picture of 62% of Bombay City people living in slums.)

Now, please see the picture of a remote village in Maharashtra. I wonder if the people in this village ever knew about the facilities in the biggest metropolitan city in their state.

Now it’s turn for my state:

It is Kochi city, which You added as an exception. It is not even qualified to be a metropolitan city. Refrain from comparing it with Bombay, Bangalore, Chennai, Calcutta, and not even Hyderabad. But it is the biggest city in Kerala.

It is the picture of NH, which is 100 meters away from my home. I enjoy all the facilities a man living in Kochi enjoys except the Metro and Airport (Don’t tell me about Lulu Mall!).

Why do people think Kochi is more developed than Trivandrum, while the reality is the opposite?

Originally Answered: Why do people think Kochi is more developed than Trivandrum, while the reality is just the opposite?

It is because of the over-hype created by the media. Malayalam cinema played an important role in creating this hype. In most modern Malayalam cinemas, Kochi is visualized as a Metropolitan city like Mumbai. One of the main reasons might be the beauty of Kochi. Of Course, I agree that Kochi is beautiful with the Arabian Sea and Lakes surrounding it.

Another fact is the hype created by News Media. Every small project in Kochi will get extensive fuss through news channels. Even a small kid in Kerala would have heard about the latest projects happening in Kochi.

But Trivandrum is ignored by all the media. I don’t know why!

Technopark, Technocity, Light Metro, Road Developments, Vizhinjam. There are a lot of things happening here. But no one knows.

As a normal Malayalee, your views about Kochi would be like this.

  1. Vallarpadam / Cochin Port is the biggest port in Kerala: Reality – Vizhinjam Port in Trivandrum is India’s largest container transhipment terminal, even bigger than Mumbai Port!
  2. Smart City will make Kochi the next Bangalore: Reality – Smart City is even smaller than Technopark Trivandrum (Technopark is the biggest IT Park in India). As of now, Trivandrum is the IT Hub of Kerala. A lot of things are happening in Trivandrum IT Sector. You can google it.
  3. Kochi has Malls. I agree! This is a fact. As of now, Trivandrum doesn’t have a shopping mall. But Malls like Travancore, Lulu Mall, Taurus Group Project, etc., are under construction.
  4. Kochi is the capital of the Malayalam Film Industry. – Ya Maybe. But it is coming back to Trivandrum. Have you ever heard about Aries Plex Cinema Theater in Trivandrum? The Only 4K DMAX (Imax Equivalent) Theater in South India. You might not even know that Bahubali has a record collection in Ariesplex Cinemas, beating every other theatre in India.

There are a lot of other facts to answer your question. But the common reason behind all these is just ‘HYPE’! Kochi is overhyped.

So what do You think?

Development in Kerala is evenly distributed throughout the state, whereas in other states, it is not. Those states have huge cities, but the development is confined within the boundaries of that city and other urban pockets.

Let me add some more statistics:

GDP of Kerala: ₹. 7.73 trillions.

GDP of Maharashtra: ₹. 25.35 trillions.


Wow, more than triple the GDP of Kerala!

Now let me show You somewhat interesting:

Estimated GDP of Bombay City: ₹20 trillion approximate


Thus, the GDP of Maharashtra without Bombay City = 25.35- 20 ₹. 5.35 trillions!

OMG…. Bombay City contributes the bulk of Maharashtra’s GDP.

Now let’s go to Kerala:

Estimated GDP of Kochi: 70000 cr approximately

GDP of Kerala without Kochi: 7.73 trillion- 70000 cr = 7.03 trillion

It means only around 9% of the total GDP of Kerala is contributed by its biggest city- Kochi. Some things could be improved in the economy of Kerala, such as over-dependence on foreign remittance, lack of industries, etc. 

The lack of big industries was also a reason behind the need for big metro cities. But there are many reasons behind this, including scarcity of land resources (many cite communism as the sole reason).

I believe cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta or Bengaluru, as long as development is evenly distributed in Kerala.


[1] List of Indian states and union territories by GDP – Wikipedia

[2] Economy of Mumbai – Wikipedia

Which is better to live in, Kochi or Trivandrum?

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