Places to Visit in Kochi

Places to visit

There are many places to visit in Kochi. However, here is a list of places to visit and things that you can do depending on your interests and budget.

Tourism Cochin

  • Fort Kochi / Mattancherry is a nearby town easily approachable through road or ferry. Visit the historical sites – St. Francis Church, Jew Town, Santa Cruz Basilica, Jewish synagogue, Vasco House, Fort Kochi beach, Dutch Palace, Chinese fishing nets and watch the sunset.
  • Cherai beach is a wonderful place. Visit the nearby village, enjoy the sweetness of the tender coconut juice, walk through the paddy fields.
  • Visit museums and art galleries – Museum of Kerala History, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Hill Palace museum and Chaithram Art Gallery.
  • Shop for handicrafts, handicrafts, clothes along Broadway, Jew Town etc.
  • View a Kathakali performance.
  • Take a course of relaxing Ayurvedic massage at one of the leading Ayurvedic hospitals or your hotel, if such a service is available.
  • A boat-ride along the scenic backwaters of Cochin. Kettuvalams are available for trips for more than one day. Spend a few nights on board travelling up the tranquil backwaters and having freshly cooked meals prepared with freshly caught fish.
  • After the rains it is the time for festivals in temples and churches. Visit temples, churches and spend the evening joyfully.
  • Children and adults alike might like a visit to South India’s largest amusement park – Veega Land.

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Kovalam is a small village in the capital state of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram (earlier known as Trivandrum.) What made this small village in Kerala so popular and a tourist destination is its wonderful beach along the Arabian Sea. Kovalam beach is gorgeous with its kilometers long white sand, the long stretch of coconut trees along the beach and the gentle waves on the blue sea. The cool breeze makes the day temperature at Kovalam agreeable.

Kovalam began occupying a prominent place in the tourist map in the Seventies when the ‘Hippies’ began arriving in large numbers to India.  The transformation of this fishing village into a prominent tourist hub was sudden that it now occupies an import place in the tourist map of Kerala.

Kovalam has three semi-circular shaped beaches separated by pebbly outcroppings.  The Lighthouse Beach is the most popular one. While the Samudra Beach is famous for sun bath the Hawa Beach or Eve’s beach is just for relaxing and sight seeing. The Lighthouse beach has many restaurants, cafes and bars serving scrumptious seafood like lobsters and prawns. At sun set a walk along the beach tasting the Kerala’s most famous sea foods or selecting from the beach shops some jeweleries or handicraft items or sip up toddy (coconut beer) are memorable in the life of any tourist.

Kovalam is about 17 km from Thiruvananthapuram. Trivandrum International Airport connects Kovalam with rest of the countries. There are many super fast trains to Trivandrum from New Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai, Bangalore or Mumbai.  Kovalam is also linked with Bangalore and Chennai through road.

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Explore your travel through The Queen of the Seas – Cochin –Kochi

Explore your travel through The Queen of the Seas – Cochin –Kochi

                                                                                                 An Article sharing by Tourism Cochin

Kochi, also known as Cochin, is one of the most popular vacation spots in India. This beautiful city is fondly called by many as the Queen of Arabian Sea. This city has a historical record of trade relations (mainly spices) with many nations across various continents and oceans from as early as 12th century AD. It is one of those rare places where you can actually feel history, heritage, scenic beauty etc co-existing marvelously with modernity and metropolitan lifestyle. The name of the city is derived from the Malayalam term ‘Kochazhi’ which literally means small lagoon.
Kochi has a charm of its own which makes many tourists rearrange their schedules and stay longer- be it the scenic locales, the friendly locals, the food, or the rich cultural heritage and traditions. There are innumerable places in and around Kochi which attract tourists.
Fort Kochi Beach and the Chinese Fishing Nets (Cheenavala): A stroll through Fort Kochi beach during evenings seeing the famous Chinese fishing nets (Kochi is the only place which uses such nets outside China) can be one of the most treasured memories of your life. There are also many historically important places such as the Santa Cruz Basilica to visit nearby.
Mattancherry: Mattancherry, which lies very near to Fort Kochi, gives you a feeling of visiting an old-European town. The narrow pathways, the Jewish synagogue (built in 1568- decorated with Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers), old houses, Dutch palace, the spice shops, all have many stories to tell you.

Marine Drive, Wellington Island and Bolgatty Palace: Marine Drive, situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake, is the city’s most popular hangout- both for the tourists and the locals. It is also a huge shopping and food centre with various shopping malls and restaurants around. Wellington Island is a manmade island named after Lord Wellington, the British Viceroy of pre-independent India. It has many hotels, shopping centers, a harbor etc. Bolgatty Palace is situated in an island which overlooks Marine Drive, Cochin Shipyard etc. Built originally by the Dutch, this place now has a heritage hotel and a well-maintained garden.
The Backwaters: There are many small islands in the backwaters near Kochi. A house-boat ride through the scenic backwaters enjoying the light breeze will relieve you and will be exciting.
Kochi also has many museums and other places of interest which you can easily find out. Alleppey and Kottayam, two of the other famous tourist spots in Kerala, are not far away from Cochin.

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Queen of Arabian Sea – Cochin

Queen of Arabian Sea – Cochin

An Article Sharing by Tourism Cochin

Cochin or Kochi is one of the favourite locations of tourists in Kerala. Located on the shores of the Arabian Sea, it is also known as the Queen of Arabian Sea. Cochin is used to refer to the town or old Kochi which includes Willington island, Fort Kochi, Mattanchery and the places nearby.  However, nowadays, people seem to refer to Cochin in a wider sense which includes the Ernakulam city as well.

Cochin is a place worth visiting. The major attraction of Cochin is its backwaters. There are a number of lakes and lagoons on the banks of which we can see a neat line of resident buildings and resorts. The longest lake of India, the Vembanad lake is also situated here.

When you are at Cochin, Marine drive is one place you cannot miss. It is the hub of happenings. The line of red benches facing the sea is never empty. You can also see the ‘Cheenavala’, the Chinese fishing net from here. If you are lucky, the fishermen might actually let you try it out. The place is close to many shopping centres and can be called the heart of the city.

Fort Kochi and Mattanchery is a world by itself. It is the perfect picture of how cultures meet very well. The Mattanchery Palace is a storehouse of ancient culture. It is a conglomeration of culture in itself. Built by the Portuguese in the old ‘Naalukettu’ style, the architecture stands tall as a masterpiece. Fort Kochi is a place where there are some really nice food joints. Kashi is an art gallery with a small food joint famous for its coffee and lunch specials.

The Jew street at Mattanchery is a shopper’s heaven. From spices to antiques, junk jewelry to clothes, you get anything here and you can get it at an affordable place if you know how to bargain. The Paradesi Synagogue and the Clock Tower are situated nearby.

The boat ride to Bolgatty to sea the Bolgaty palace is also worth a visit. The artificial island, called the Willington island is a major trading area.

You can reach Cochin either by flying down at the Nedumbaseri International Airport or by taking the train and getting down at Ernakulam junction. There are also frequent bus services to the city from major cities of the southern states of India.

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Cochin Carnival- New Year Celebrations in Kochi

Cochin Carnival- New Year Celebrations in Kochi

An Article sharing by Tourism Cochin

Cochin hosts a carnival every year in the last week of December and it runs with the New year. While the hangovers dry out on the 1st of January from the excesses of the night before and the bonhomie of the New year’s wishes are at its pleasant highs, the Carnival starts off around 4′O clock in the evening in the Fort Kochi area.

Photographs copied from Anoop Negi on Flickr

Cochin Carnival Photograph

Cochin Carnival

The carnival has its roots in the 1500-1600 era when the Portuguese colonialists were the rulers of the pepper and spice trade running out of India. Cochin was their head quarters and as is to be believed, the New Year parties of the Portuguese were all night affairs and an event to show case their wealth and style.

The Dutch took over Cochin in mid 1600 and they and many others who came after them were mere enactments of history. But what the Portuguese began as a New year party has come to stay and has now turned into a gala carnival quaint and sweet in its Indian setting.The carnival is not on the grand scale of the Rio spectacle but smaller and has a heady mix of the New Year festivities with the old and the conventional themes and culture of India.

The Kochi Fort that was previously erected in Kochi by the Portuguese serves to be the nerve center of all the invigorating commotion and non-stop merriment that accompanies the Cochin Carnival. Entire city of Kochi just cast away all their worries and vexations and get drenched in the unadulterated spirit of the Cochin Carnival.

The commencement of the Cochin Carnival in India roots back to the period when colonialism ruled supreme in Kochi. It has been conjectured that the Portuguese rulers greeted the New Year in a truly grand fashion. Absolutely dazzling ceremonial elegance and unparalleled splendor marked the parties and fiestas that were conducted by them so that they could celebrate to their heart’s content.Although times have drastically changed, but this age-old tradition and unique style of celebration has lived on through aeons and eventually got aggravated in the year 1984, when it was bequeathed with the title of Cochin Carnival of India.

This fervid fete regarded as Cochin Carnival is characterized by five principles namely peace, progress, environment, participation and adventure. The Kochi Fort is adorned in such a delectable way that the on-lookers get spellbound instantaneously. Large flocks of enthusiastic native folks conglomerate here, clad in exotic colored attires to add that special touch to this magnanimous event.

Events like Sea-Swimming, Beach Volleyball, Beach Football and Beach Bike Race make the Cochin carnival more interesting and amusing. Even prizes are awarded to the competition winners. On the New Year’s Day elephants are brought out on the roads and the tunes of the instrument known as ‘Panchavadyam’ reverberates throughout the city.

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Kochi Tourist Attractions

Kochi Tourist Attractions

An Article sharing from Tourism Cochin

Kochi is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula – located approximately 600 km from Bangalore. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. From time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and the Portuguese have left indelible marks on the history and development of Kochi. A trip to the city leaves you enchanted with its beauty, history and architecture and lot of options for shopping in Kochi.

Workers on the Chinese Nets - Old Cochin - Kochi - India
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Cochin is bordered with the wooded and fascinating Western Ghats in the east and flabbergasting Arabian Sea in the west and lot of tourist attractions of Cochin in the middle . Cochin becomes a true paradise when the plentiful mangroves and dense coconut trees mirror in the crystal – clear backwaters. The city is also ornamented with flawless ancient churches, cathedrals, sanctuaries, and forts. To add on, Kochi has been a prominent trading zone since ancient times.

Tourist Attractions in Kochi

Mattancherry Palace
Also known as Dutch palace, it was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Kochi in 1555 AD.
The palace came to be known as Dutch Palace after 1663 when the Dutch carried out extensions and repairs in the palace.The exteriors of the Mattancherry Palace are barren with stark white walls and sloping brown roofs.A two-storied quadrangular building with a small temple dedicated to the deity Palayannur Bhagwati is in the central courtyard.Its interiors are a stark contrast decorated with murals from the Ramayana and there are some lively displays of royal costumes and palanquins.The murals are extensive and among the best in India. They cover approximately 300 sq ft of wall.Among the more erotic paintings is a mural in the Ladies’ Bedchamber that depicts Krishna making love to all of eight gopis simultaneously.

St Francis Church:
It is the oldest church built by the Europeans in India. The remains of the legendary Portuguese traveller Vasco da Gama were initially buried here and 14 years later, his mortal remains were taken to Portugal.
In 1503 Alphonso Alburquerque was given permission by the Rajah of Cochin to build a fort at the mouth of the river. Within the fort they erected a church of wood, which was dedicated to St Bartholomew.
A new Church was completed in 1516 and dedicated to St Antony. The Church remained in the order of St Francis until the arrival of the Dutch in 1663. They demolished all the convents and churches of the place, except the Church of the Franciscans, which they reconditioned and converted into their Government Church.
The Church became a protected monument in April 1923 under the Protected Monuments Act of 1904.
Santa Cruz Basilica Church is a beautiful Roman Catholic Church is located close to St Francis Church. The church is decorated with some beautiful paintings.

Willingdon Island: 
Willingdon Island is a man-made island situated between the main land Ernakulam and the old town Mattancherry and separated by the backwaters.The island is home to some important government offices such as Southern Naval Command Headquarters, Kochi Port Trust, Customs house etc.
An artificial lake that was made by the dumping of the materials that were dug out while Kochi port was being deepened – Willington Island today plays an important role in the city of Kochi and houses some of the district’s best hotels, commercial and industrial offices.

Jewish Synagogue:
Located near Mattancherry Palace the prosperous Jewish trading community built the Jewish Synagogue in 1568 whose links with Kerala begin in Kodungallor (Cranganore) in the north of the state. The oldest synagogue in India, it was partially destroyed in the war of 1662 and was rebuilt by the Dutch.
The interior offers more beautiful surprises: a Belgian chandelier, the great scrolls of the Old Testament, and the copper plates on which were recorded the grants of privilege made by the Kochi rulers to the Jewish community in the 4th century.There are also five finely wrought gold and silver crowns gifted to the synagogue by various patrons.

Bolgatty Palace: 
This former Dutch palace is situated on the Bolghatty island. Now it has been converted into a hotel. The island has a fine golf course and offers panoramic view of the city.

Chinese fishing nets: The Chinese fishing nets dot the sea front adjacent to St Francis Church.The Chinese fishing nets found here are the only ones of their kind in India.

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Tourism Kochi

Kerala, with an area of 38.855 square kilometers, is the smallest states in the Indian union. Kerala is known “as the favorite child of nature.” It is famous for its breath-taking natural beauty with its ever green forests, palms trees, mountains, extensive backwaters, swift flowing rivers, blue lagoons, it is known as God’s own country. No other state in India is so widely known or has played such an important part in history. This particular aspect has nurtured art and culture in Kerala.

Ernakulam district is formed by two princely states viz. Travancore and Cochin and the British Malabar. Ernakulam is the first district in the whole country to have 100% literacy. It is the commercial centre of Kerala. Kochi (Cochin) is a harbour town  in Ernakulam District of Kerala. Once a small fishing village, it is now a major port of Kerala, and plays an import part in the development of country’s economy. Kochi is also known as the Queen of Arabian Sea. The name Kochi derived from the Malayalam word “koch azhi” means a small lagoon. It also has Chinese hints. It also has its roots in the Sanskrit word Go Shree that literally means thriving with the auspicious animal. Niccolo dei Conti and Fra Paoline’s travelogues associate the name Kochi with the river Kochchi.

The European, Arab and the Portuguese came to trade with Kochi. The merchants from Holland also tried to establish their link in India.  However, the British East India Company finally succeeded in establishing their office in India. During 1920’s the then Governor of Madras, Lord Willington and   Robert Bristow, the engineer, developed  Kochi as  world class port facilities. Kochi now has a major sea-port and an international air port. The Smart City and the Vallarpadam Container Terminal is changing the face of this small city.

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