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Ernakulam is located in the eastern zone of the mainland of Kochi in Kerala, and is also the commercial capital of Kerala. Ernakulam has derived its name from the name of a very famous temple of lord Shiva, called the Ernakulathappan Temple. Ernakulam has also been said to derive its name form the word Ere Naal Kulam, which means "pond for a long time". Ernakulam lent its name to Ernakulam district (headquartered at Kakkanad) on 1st April, 1958, by carving out the areas of Travancore, Kochi & Malabar Kingdoms.

Ernakulam district has an area of 895 sq. km, and an altitude of 300 m, and can be pided geographically into highland, midland, and coastal area. Ernakulam district is bordered by 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, which is Keralas 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 an optimum climate, and mostly lies within the Malabar Coast moist forests eco region, while the highlands are part of the South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests eco region.

Ernakulam has a significant place among the districts of Kerala in the domain of literacy and educational standards. This District is the first district throughout the country to have achieved 100 percent literacy by 1990.

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