|» Location :
|» Languages :
||Malayalam, English, Hindi
|» Known As :
|» Best Season :
||September To May
Queen of the Arabian Sea
Kochi (Cochin), the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala, has one
of the finest natural harbours in the world. Ancient mariners from Arabia,
China, Holland, Britain and Portugal have all left their mark on this
beautiful island city.
One of the finest natural harbours on the Arabian Sea coast, Kochi
(Cochin), earlier known as Cochin has been a port of call for foreign
traders from early times. Its cosmopolitan character is reflected in the
buildings and structures representing different regions of the world. A
city of peninsulas and islands, today it is Kerala's commercial hub.
Kerala's prime tourist destination, it spreads across islands and
promontories in a stunning location between the Arabian Sea and
Backwaters. Its main sections: modern Ernakulam in the east and the old
districts of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin on a peninsula in the west are
linked by a complex system of ferries.
Prime Attractions of Kochi (Cochin)
» Forts & Palaces
§ Mattancherry Palace ( Dutch Palace) :
the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi
(Cochin), the palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. On display here
are beautiful Murals depicting scenes from the epics, Ramayana and
Mahabharata and some of the puranic Hindu legends. Them palace is open for
public viewing from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. all week days except Fridays. § Gundu Island :
Here is the magnificent 16th
century Pallipuram Fort that is open only on Thursdays.
§ Bolghatty Palace :
A Scenic island near the
city of Ernakulam, Bolghatty is famous for the Bolghatty Palace built by
the Dutch in 1744 AD. This palace, once the residence of the British
resident of Kochi (Cochin), is now a KTDC (Kerala Tourism Development
Corporation) hotel. » Churches
§ Santa Cruz Basilica :
This monumental church
dates back to 1558 and has beautiful paintings on the ceiling. § St. Francis Church :
Built in 1503 by
Portuguese Francisan Friars, this is the India's oldest European church.
It was restored in 1779 by the protestant Dutch, converted to an Anglican
Church by the British in 1795, and is presently used by the church of
South India. Vasco da Gama's remains were buried here in 1524 and later
moved to Lisbon, Portugal but his tombstone still remains. » Beaches
§ Cherai Beach :
This lovely beach bordering
Vypeen Island is ideal for swimming. Dolphins are occasionally seen here.
A typical Kerala village with paddy fields and coconut groves nearby is an
added attraction of this beach. » Museums
§ Hill Palace Museum, Thripunithra :
10 km from
Kochi, Hill Palace, the official residence of the Kochi royal family, was
built in 1865 AD. The palace complex consists of 49 buildings built in the
Traditional Architectural Style of Kerala and is surrounded by 52 acres of
terraced land with a Deer Park and facilities for horse riding. The palace
museum is open all days except Mondays from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00
pm to 4:30 pm. A full-fledged ethno-archaeological museum and Kerala's
first every heritage museum are the main attractions. Displayed inside the
thirteen galleries are oil paintings, 19th century paintings, Murals,
sculpture in stone and plaster of paris, manuscripts, inscriptions and
coins belonging to the Kochi royal family. § Pareekshith Thampuran Museum :
traditional Kerala style building previously called the Durbar Hall,
houses 19th century oil paintings, a collection of old coins, sculptures
and Mughal paintings. The museum remains open from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm
and 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm. all weekdays except Mondays.
§ Chinese Fishing Nets :
These huge cantilevered
fishing nets were brought here by traders from the court of Kublai Khan
§ Willingdon Island :
Named after Lord
Willingdon, a British viceroy to India, this man-made island is surrounded
by beautiful backwaters. The island is the site of the city's best hotels,
customs and trading centres, the port trust and the headquarters of the
Southern Naval Command. § Jewish Synagogue :
Constructed in 1568, this
is the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth. Destroyed in a shelling
during the Portuguese raid in 1662, it was rebuilt two years later by the
Dutch. Known for mid 18th century hand printed, willow pattern floor tiles
from Canton in China, a dock tower, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs,
ancient scripts on copper plates etc., the Synagogue is open from 10:00 am
to 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. It is closed on Saturdays and Jewish
holidays. § Vypeen Island :
There is a magnificent
lighthouse at Ochanthuruth, which remains open from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Excursions of Kochi (Cochin)
Beach (70 km) :
Also known as the Venice of the East, Alappuzha
is famous for its boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products
and coir industry. A singular characteristic of this land is the region
called Kuttanad. The granary of Kerala, Kuttanad is one of the few places
in the world where farming is done below sea level.
§ Kalady :
Located on the banks of the river
Periyar, this is the birthplace of the 8th century Advaita philosopher,
Sri Shankaracharya. The town is famous for its many temples. § Aluva (20 km) :
Just north of Kochi (Cochin),
this town is situated on the banks of the river Periyar. In February-
March, this town celebrates the famous Sivarathri festival, attended by
thousands of devotees. » Wildlife
§ Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thekkady (190 km) :
Rolling hills, tea and cardamom plantations welcome you to Thekkady.
One of the largest wildlife reserves in India, the Periyar Wildlife
Sanctuary is more popular as a tiger reserve. A boat ride on the splendid
waters of the Periyar Lake provides the perfect recreation. » Backwaters
§ Kumarakom (88 km) :
This unique backwater
destination situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake is considered the
gateway to the backwaters of Kuttanad. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a
favourite haunt of migratory birds from across the world, which makes it a
renowned bird watching centre. Kumarakom is also a centre for houseboat
» Hill Stations
§ Munnar (130 km) : 1600 m above sea level,
Munnar is a nature lover's paradise and was the summer resort of the
British government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book
towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular hill
Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands is the
'Neelakurinji'. This flower, which bathes the hills in blue once every
twelve years, will bloom next in 2006 AD. Munnar also has the highest peak
in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2695 m. Anamudi is an ideal
spot for trekking.
Tiger, Sambhar, Bison, Spotted Deer, Leopard, Malabar Flying Squirrel,
Stripe-necked Mongoose and so on can also be spotted in the forest.
Kumily, an important spice trade centre, lies in the periphery of the
§ Malayatoor Church : A famous Christian pilgrim
centre, this 9th century Catholic church is situated on the 609 m high
Malayatoor Hill. St. Thomas, the apostle, is believed to have prayed in
§ Cheeyappara Waterfalls : The Cheeyappara and
Valara waterfalls are located between Neriamangalam and Adimali on the
Kochi - Madurai highway. The Cheeyappara Falls cascades down in seven
§ Thommankuthu Waterfalls : Located 20 kms from
Thodupuzha, Thommankuthu is a small and beautiful, wild waterfall.
Thommankuthu attracts thousands of tourists every year. The wild beauty of
the scenic waterfall will steal the heart of any traveller.
§ Kanjiramattom Mosque : The mosque is situated
at Kanjiramattom, 30 km from Kochi (Cochin). It is believed that the
mosque was erected over the mortal remains of a Muslim saint, Sheikh
Parid. Another great Muslim saint, Baver is supposed to have prayed here
and attained salvation.
Shopping in Kochi (Cochin)
For Handicrafts :
» Kerala State Handicrafts Development showroom- Kairali, M.G. Road.
» State Handicraft Society Emporium - Surabhi, M.G. Road.
» Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan, the showroom of Khadi Village Industries
at Pallimukku, M.G. Road Coir Board :
» Coir Board Showroom on Mullassery Canal Road. Fairs & Festivals of Kochi (Cochin)
» Cochin Carnival
» Indira Gandhi Boat Race
» Jewish Festival
» Malayatoor Perunal Places to stay in Kochi (Cochin)
» Taj Malabar, Willingdon Island.
» Taj Residency, Marine Drive, Ernakulam.
» The Renaissance, Palarivatton, Ernakulam.
» ATS Willingdon, Willingdon Island.
» The International, M.G. Road, Ernakulam.
» Park Avenue, Princess Street, Fort Cochin.
» Luciya, Ernakulam. Seagull, Calvathy Road, Fort Cochin.
Tourist Information about Kochi (Cochin)
Tourist Information Centre :
Government Of India
Tourist Office, Willingdon Island; Kerala Tourism Development Corporation
Tourist Reception Centre, Shanmugham Road. Post & Telegraph :
General Head Post Office,
Hospital Road. Nearby Cities of Kochi (Cochin)
» Kozhikode (Calicut) (181 km)
How to Get There
Air : Kochi is connected by excellent air network to
all major cities in India.
Rail : Kochi has three main railway stations, namely,
Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town and Harbour Terminus on Willingdon
Road : Kochi (Cochin), an important commercial centre
of the South India is very well serviced by a network of national and
state highways, connecting it to all major centres of the area.
Local Transport : Taxis, city buses and autorickshaws.
Ferries : Ferry service is available for travel
between the island towns.
General Information about Kochi (Cochin)
» Area: 83.52 sq. km
» Population: (1991 census) 5,64,038.
» Altitude: Sea Level.
» Latitude & longitude: 9.9 N & 76. 2 E.
» Climate: Tropical.
» Temperature range: 35 C to 22.5 C.
» Clothing: light cottons
» STD code: 484.
Tour Packages of Kochi (Cochin)