Famous For: Popularly known as the Queen of Arabian Sea, the city flaunts one of the finest natural harbours of the world and was the centre of the world spice trade for many centuries. Here are some interesting places to visit in Kochi below:Fort Kochi, Mattanchery Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Willingdon Island, Bolgatty Palace, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, Veeranpuzha Lake and Backwaters, Chinese Fishing Nets, Dutch Palace, Marine Drive, Sunset Cruise, Santa Cruz Basilica, Hill Palace Museum, Kerala Folklore Museum, Princess Street Kochi, Cherai Beach, Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple, Kalady, Parikshith Thampuran Museum, Jew Town, Vasco da Gama Square, St Francis Church Kochi, Pallipuram Fort, Pierce Leslie Bungalow, Lulu Mall, Munambam Beach, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Indo Portuguese Museum, Areekkal Waterfalls, Kuzhupilly Beach, Puthuvype Beach, Puthenthode Beach, Andhakaranazhi Beach, Veeranpuzha Beach, Fort Kochi Beach etc.Major Attractions: Fort Kochi, Jew Town, Dutch Palace, Bolgatty Palace, Kerala Kathakali Centre, Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple, Willingdon Island, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary.Ideal Visit Time: Winter (October to February) is the best time to visit Kochi as the weather is very pleasant. Temperatures range between 17°C and 33°C. This is a great time of the year for honeymooners, beach bums and adventure seekers.
Situated on the south-west coast of India, Kochi or Cochin is a bustling commercial port city with a trading history that dates back to at least 600 years. Called as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, the city is the financial, commercial and industrial capital of Kerala. Personally, I think Kochi is a maritime city. Because there are many sea beaches around Kochi.
Called the “Queen of the Arabian Sea”, Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the west coast of India from the 14th century onward, and maintained a trade network with Arab merchants from the pre-Islamic era. (According to wiki)
Let’s talk about some attractive places of Kochi below –
Kochi has a rich cultural heritage and the buildings here reflect the city’s past in a special way. The architectural style of Fort Kochi is influenced by Portuguese, Dutch and British style architecture. Some of the important places in Fort Kochi include Fort Emanuel, Tagore House, David Hall, St. Francis Church and Vasco-da Gama Square. It’s need to say that, Fort Kochi was granted by the king of Kochi to the Portuguese in the year 1503 as a mark of gratitude for the help received while fighting Saamoothiri, Kozhikode. The tourists’ flock hear all around the year to have a glimpse of how Portuguese or Dutch colonialism affected parts of our country.
This city looks a lot like the small towns of Southern Europe. The ancient streets, colorful and fascinating buildings tell of this. And this strange city has a European structure and its overall environment will remind you of the colonial power that once ruled over this place.
The Jew Town is an area near the palace of the Kochi king and was allotted to the Jews. When the Jews took refuge with the King of Kochi in 1524, the territory was allotted to them. It was here that the Jews first settled in India in around 700 BC and were here till they moved to Israel. The Jew Town is famous for its antiques. A wide variety of wooden furniture, jewelery, wooden pillars, crockery, lamps, vintage photographs, handicrafts, paintings and many more antiques can be found here. If you like antiquity, you will see it as a paradise. This town is also famous for its architecturally solid synagogue that continues to stand till today. It is a series of narrow alleys between Mattancherry Palace and Paradesi Synagogue.
It is also known as Mattancherry Palace. This two-storied archipelago palace reflects the traditional architectural style of Kerala. Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to King Bira Kerala Verma of Kochi, further reforms by the kings of Kerala have presented it as a Hindu architectural style. Doors, windows and walls are similar to European architecture, the palace looks mainly in Indian style. Mural paintings depict Hindu mythology, such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The gallery houses items, weapons and turbans used by the royal family. It gives a direct idea of the costumes and weapons used by the ancient royal family.
Bolgatty palace is situated on Bolgatty Islands in Kochi. The specialty of this palace is that among the existing palaces constructed by Dutch this is the oldest. It was built in the year 1744. The palace with its lush garden is breathtaking. The palace is not converted into heritage hotel. The two-storied palace is beautifully decorated. You can find an Ayurvedic center here. The famous dance form Kathakali is performed here every day.
Kerala Kathakali Centre
If you want to get a closer look at the culture of the people of Kerala or get a taste of the culture, you need to visit this place. The “Kerala Kathakali Center” was established in 1990 to promote the classical arts of Kerala. Kathakali Centre encourages talents and rigorous training makes them more disciplined. The center provides various performances such as Kathakali, classical music and dance, Kalaripayattu, famous martial arts forms etc.
You should take some time to visit the place and watch the performance. I guarantee that, you are sure to be blown away by their performances. The costume and makeup need special mention. Known as the Queen of the Arabian sea, Kochi offers stunning views. The city boasts of a glorious past rich in cultural heritage. You could have a relaxed holiday and have your body and mind rejuvenated.
Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple
This is the most famous temple in the state of Kerala. It is situated on outskirts of Kochi. The two main deities here are Rajarajeswari and Badrakali. People believe that these Goddesses are very powerful. It is located in a serene atmosphere. Whatever your belief might be, you could still visit the place, which is one of the most important tourist destinations and offers you tranquil moments.
Cherai Beach is one of the best-voted beaches of the state. It is situated at a distance of 30 km from Kochi city. Its strategic location on the northern end of the Vypin Island in Kochi makes it a perfect merging point of the sea and backwaters. The surrounding greenery and the seashells present in different shapes and Chinese fishing nets add to the beauty of the sea. Its coastline alone runs for about 15 km and plays a distinguishing factor from all the other beaches.
Indo Portuguese Museum
This Indo-Portuguese museum in Kochi is an attractive site to view old artefacts, architectural relics and antique pieces of the bygone era. It echoes the colonial past of Kerala and helps acquaint people with the things of social, cultural and political importance. The museum is thus, one of the favourite spots of tourists who visit this place.
Willingdon Island is one of the largest man-made islands in India. It is named after Lord Willingdon, the then British Viceroy of India. This beautiful island provides various links between Kochi port and other national and international ports. Also, the island is home to some of the district’s most iconic hotels and commercial and industrial buildings. There is a bridge that connects the mainland of Kochi with the island of Wellington. The man-made island also serves as the headquarters of India’s Southern Naval Command. In addition to commercial purposes, the island has a collection and natural habitat for unique exploration.
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
The Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is situated in the heart of the lively city of Kochi. Comprising of 18-acres of Mangroves which is home to a large variety of migratory birds and densely populated species of trees and plants, its sprawling over 2.74 hectares. In the middle of the sanctuary, there is a shallow tidal lake present which is surrounded by thick mangrove vegetation and is connected to the backwaters of Kochi via a canal.
How To Reach
By Road: Kochi is well-connected with many other major cities of India through the state-run Kerala Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus services. The neighbouring state transport corporations like Tamil Nadu SETC and Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) also ply buses to Cochin, frequently. Private travel operators like Kallada Travels, Atlas Travels, Suresh Kallada Travels, VRL Travels, KPN Travels etc. connect Cochin to Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mysore, Chennai etc.
By Train: Kochi has two major railway stations, namely the Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town. The Ernakulam Junction, also known as the South Station, connects the city to different parts of India. Many long-distance trains such as Rajdhani Express, Duronto Express, Sabari Express, Netravati Express etc. stop here. The Ernakulam Town is also called North station and operates inter-city trains and a few trains to other states in India as well. After reaching the railway station, you can easily hire a taxi or cab to reach your preferred destination.
By Air: Kochi has an international airport of its own. It is around 29 km away from the city. It is accessible from major international cities like New York, Paris, London, Singapore, Sydney, Dubai etc. Visitors can make use of the services of major airlines like Etihad Airways, Air India, Emirates, Qatar Airways and so on. Almost all of the major Indian cities have flight connectivity to Kochi. The cities of Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata etc. are connected to Kochi by the airlines like Jet Airways, SpiceJet, Go Air, Indigo Airlines etc. After reaching the airport, you can easily hire a taxi or cab to reach your preferred destination.