is a booming business metropolis, a fascinating mixture of the
old and the new, is having the finest natural harbours in the
world. Cochin underlined by the sobriquet ‘Queen of the
Arabian Sea’, was once a major centre for commerce and trade.
At Cochin, the blue water of the Arabian Sea merges with
Kerala’s Emerald Backwaters. Even today, Cochin continues the
tradition of welcoming visitors with its customary warmth and
PLACES OF INTEREST
Bolgatty Island: This long narrow palm-fringed island, easily
accessible from the mainland, is where the Bolgatty Palace is
situated amidst 15 acres of lush green lawns. Built by the
Dutch in 1744, it became the seat of the British Resident
later. In 1976 the palace was converted into a hotel under the
Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. The Cochin Golf Club's
course is on the palace grounds.
Art Complex - Madhavan Nayar Foundation, Edappally: This
Art Complex is 10 kms north of Ernakulam en route to Alwaye.
The centre also exhibits certain larger-than-life mural
reproductions of ancient Indian Art. The complex consists of
two units: the Gallery of Paintings and Sculptures which
presents over 200 original paintings by contemporary Indian
artists, some of them internationally acclaimed, and works of
reputed Indian sculptors. The other unit, the Centre for
Visual Arts is reserved for authentic reproductions of
selected world masters from Leonardo da Vinci to those of the
Chinese Fishing Nets, Fort Cochin: These fixed,
cantilevered fishing nets, at the entrance of the harbour and
along the backwaters, were introduced by traders from the
court of Kublai Khan. Records show that they were first
erected between AD 1350 and 1450. The best place to watch
these nets is from Vasco da Gama square, a narrow promenade
that lies parallel to the beach.
Cherai Beach: The beach is located 25 kms from Ernakulam
in a typical village ambience is this lovely unspoilt stretch
of sand, ideal for swimming. But if the sea and sand still do
not whet your appetite, there are many numbers of food outlets
and ice-cream parlours to do so. At Cherai, life guards are
always on the look out for the over adventurous. Dolphins are
also commonly seen in the waters.
Fort Cochin Beach: The Beach is an ideal place for an evening
stroll and to watch a spectacular sunset. Bathing and swimming
are not recommended here. The colourful carnival at New Year's
Eve is a feature of this beach.
Hill Palace Museum, Tripunithura: The Museum is set on top
of a hillock, these prodigious palace-turned-museum display 13
categories of exhibits, including paintings, carvings and
other royal antiquities donated by the Cochin and Travancore
royal families and the Paliam Devaswom. The Heritage Museum,
located on the rear side of the palace buildings, familiarizes
you with the traditional lifestyles of ancient Kerala. The
museum premises have also been converted into a botanical
garden with exotic tropical trees from Central America to
Sree Poornathreyesa Temple, Tripunithura: The legend says
that Arjuna, the great archer and warrior, had established
this sanctum. Formerly belonging to the Cochin royalty, this
temple has Maha Vishnu as its presiding deity. The annual
temple festival is held in Nov-Dec, while the colourful
Athachamayam, a cultural extravaganza, is celebrated every
year during the festival of Onam.
Mangalavanam (Mangrove Forest), Ernakulam: This small
protected area, a haven for birds, is located on Dr. Salim Ali
Road, adjacent to the High Court of Kerala. Best time to visit
is in the mid of January to early March.
Marine Drive: One side of the Marine Drive is backwater
while the opposite side is 70-ft Road, city’s widest road. At
the place of ruined old jetty there is Marine Drive Promenade.
Sit here and watch the backwaters and the Fort Kochi beyond.
The world’s highly densely populated Vypeen Island is in clear
view from here.
Parade Ground, Fort Cochin: The ground is covering more
than four acres, this large open ground was used by the
Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British for conducting military
drills and parades during the colonial years. The defense
establishments of these powers were housed in some of the
elegant buildings surrounding the ground. Located adjacent to
St Francis' church, the ground today serves largely as a
recreation and sporting turf.
Sree Rajarajeswari Temple, Chottanikara: The Temple is
located 15 kms from Ernakulam, this 10th century temple, one
of the most renowned in Kerala, is an important pilgrim
centre. The goddess here is worshipped in her three forms, one
after another, as the day progresses - as Saraswathy in the
morning, as Bhadrakali at noon, and as Durga in the evening.
The temple's annual festival is held in Feb-Mar for nine days
with 'Makam Thozal' considered the most important day. The
Navaratri celebrations are also worth seeing.
St. Francis church, fort Cochin: St. Francis Church was
originally named as Santo Antonio. It is the first church to
have been built in the new European influenced style and
tradition. The original wooden building of 1510 was soon
replaced by the present building around 1546. Vasco da Gama
died here in 1524 and was originally buried in the church,
fourteen years later his body was removed back to Lisbon, the
capital of Portugal. The church has an impressive facade. The
church, originally a Catholic Church was taken over by the
Dutch after they captured Kochi in 1663 and converted into a
Protestant Dutch. The British converted it into an Anglican
Church after they took power in 1795, and in 1949 the
congregation joined the Church of South India.
Vamanamoorthy Temple, Thrikkakara: The Temple is set in a
land of great mythological significance, this ancient temple,
dedicated to Vamana - the fifth avatara of Lord Vishnu - is
venerated by the Vaishnavaites as one among the 108 holy
places in India. The temple holds a large number of lithic
records, some of great historical significance. The annual
festival is held in the month of Chingam(Aug-Sept).
Voc Gate, Fort Cochin: Facing parade ground is this large
wooden gate with the initials 'VOC' carved onto it
representing the monogram of the once mighty Dutch East India
Company. The inscription also indicates that it was built in
the year 1740.
How to Reach Cochin?
By Air: Kochi is connected by excellent air network to all
major cities in India.
By Rail: Kochi has three main railway stations, namely,
Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town and Harbour Terminus on
By 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
Local Transport: Taxis, city buses and auto rickshaws.
Ferries: Ferry service is available for travel between the