Kochi (; Malayalam: [koˈtːʃi] ), also known by its former name Cochin ( KOH-chin), is a major port city along the Malabar Coast of India bordering the Laccadive Sea. It is part of the district of Ernakulam in the state of Kerala. The city is also commonly referred to as Ernakulam. As of 2011, the Kochi Municipal Corporation had a population of 677,381 within an area of 94.88 km2, and the larger Kochi urban agglomeration had a total population of more than of 2.1 million within an area of 440 km2, making it the largest and the most populous metropolitan area in Kerala. Kochi city is also part of the Greater Cochin development region and is classified as a Tier-II city by the Government of India. The civic body that governs the city is the Kochi Municipal Corporation, which was constituted in the year 1967, and the statutory bodies that oversee its development are the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) and the Goshree Islands Development Authority (GIDA).Nicknamed the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trading center on the west coast of India from antiquity. The port of Muziris traded with the Romans, Persians, Arabs, and Chinese. From 1503 to 1663, the Portuguese established a colony in Fort Kochi (Fort Emmanuel), before being taken by the Dutch in 1663. The Dutch then ceded the area to the United Kingdom. Kochi remained under the control of the Kingdom of Cochin, which became a princely state of the British.