Cochin or Kochi as it has been re named, is the commercial capital and one of the most modernised cities of Kerala. The place offers umpteen tourist magnets with one of its parts displaying a completely laid back lifestyle with its frozen in time colonial structures, serene beaches and tranquil backwaters while the other part absorbed in modernity with its contemporary structures and ultramodern shopping complexes. Cochin is basically an aggregation of islands and narrow peninsulas with Ernakulam being its main land and the hub of all commercial activity.
Places to visit in Kochi
Bolgatty Palace Situated on the Bolgatty island, just a short boat ride away from Kochi, the ancient Bolgatty Palace was built in 1744 by a Dutch trader. Now turned into a heritage hotel, the palace is situated amidst lush greenery and a variety of trees and flowering plants and is one of the oldest Dutch palaces outside Holland. The Bolgatty palace was leased to British at the beginning of the twentieth century and remained their property until 1947 when the British raj in India came to an end.
Mattancherry Palace Originally constructed by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to the ruler of Cochin king Veera Kerala Verma, the opulent palace was renovated by the Dutch in 1663 and thus acquired the name Dutch palace. Amongst the remarkable features of the palace are the intricate carvings and beautiful murals on its walls which depict scenes from the Hindu epics.
Jewish Synagogue One of the oldest synagogues in the world, the Jewish synagogue was constructed way back in the year 1568. The huge structure consists of beautiful hand painted tiles brought in from China.
St. Francis Church The St. Francis Church is another ancient structure constructed in 1503 by the Portuguese. The wooden construction was renovated during the 16th century and converted into a more firm stone structure. The place once housed the grave of the great explorer Bascom Da Gama until his remains were dug out and taken back to Portugal.
Chinese Fishing Nets The St. Francis Church is another ancient structure constructed in 1503 by the Portuguese. The wooden construction was renovated during the 16th century and converted into a more firm stone structure. The place once housed the grave of the great explorer Bascom Da Gama until his remains were dug out and taken back to Portugal.
Chinese Fishing Nets The most exotic fishing nets lined across the sea front use an indigenous system of catching fish. Introduced by traders from the court of Kublai Khan, these nets are believed to be seen only here outside China.
Other tourist attractions in Kochi
Backwater Cruise Once in Kerala, do not miss out on a fun filled backwater cruise. Sobriquet as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Cochin is one of the most enchanting backwater destinations in Kerala. As you move along in a houseboat, you will discover exotic locations as never seen before, silvery beaches, swaying palm trees and people engaged in daily activities such as fishing and coir making.
Shopping Shopping at Cochin will introduce you to a lot of interesting stuff that you may not find in other areas of the country such as camel bone carvings, metal articles, pine mats etc. The major shopping area is around M. G. Road where most of the tourists gather in the evening. The GCDA shopping complex is another area where you can shop for gold/silver jewellery and antiques. Ernakulam is dotted by umpteen Silk Shops that offer some great bargains and are a must buy due to their rich quality and texture.
How to reach
By Air Cochin International Airport is located just 25 km north-east of the city centre at Nedumbassery. International destinations connected with Cochin include Abu Dhabi, Doha, Kuwait, Singapore, Muscat, Sharjah and Bahrain. Indian Airlines and other private airline operators provide regular services to Cochin from major Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai etc. So it is easy to visit Kochi, choose from our kerala tourist packages.
By Rail Cochin has three railway stations at Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town and Willingdon Island. Trains from the northern cities of the country including Delhi arrive at Ernakulam Junction, which is the main station where the computerised reservation office is located.
By Road State and national highways connect Cochin with other cities in Kerala and rest of the country. State transport buses operate regular services between Cochin and neighbouring cities, which is also a great way to observe the natural beauty of the area.
Best time to Visit Cochin being a seaside city, experiences hot and humid climate throughout the year. While the humidity can reach unbearable levels during the summer and monsoon season, December to February are the cooler months. The best time to visit the place is from November to March.