Kochi TourismWhen it comes to scenic beauty Kochi happens to be the most beautiful destinations of all. The picturesque backwaters, the serene beaches, famous Ayurvedic health hospitals and the historical sites make it an apt location to plan your holidays. It has a beautiful harbor and it is rightly termed as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. This small town falls under the Ernakulum district but generally speaking both Kochi and Ernakulum are refereed as the same. On the whole the region of Kochi comprises of Cochin, Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, Ernakulum city and some nearby places.
Places to Visit in Kochi
Backwaters of Kochi
If you are a nature lover and is interested in spending some quite time then this would be the best location. The lush green ecosystem is breath taking and this place mostly comprises of lagoons and lakes. House boats are used by tourists to spend time here. They have all amenities and you can enjoy the local cuisine of this area which are specially prepared by the staff. You can also opt for ferry rides that take you to desired locations on either of side of the backwater. There are also number of resorts that specially cater to tourists.
Fort Kochi has some very interesting tourist attractions. The Chinese fishing nets, the Santa Cruz Bas and the Mattancherry Palace are some of the highlights of this place.
- The Chinese Fishing Nets: In Kochi you can spot the very famous Chinese Fishing nets which are also known as Cheena vala. These nets are very big and at least require 6 fishermen to operate. One interesting point is that these nets are not found anywhere in India other than in Kerala. It is said that the Chinese traders had brought this and till now you can spot this on the coast of Fort Kochi and Vypeen.
- Santa Cruz Bascilica: The architectural beauty of this Church has attracted people from all across the world.The interiors of this church looks splendid and the glass windows just add to its beauty. Modelled painting of the famous Leonardo Da Vinci like Last Supper and scenes from the Via Crucis of Christ can also be spotted. This church was formerly built by the Portuguese in 1505.Later on it was given the Cathedral status in 1558.During the British reign this church was destroyed but later on in the leadership of Pope John Paul II it was revived in 1984.
- Mattancherry Palace: This palace is also known as Dutch Palace and it is a two storey building which has the traditional architecture of Kerala known as ‘nalukettus'. It has a huge collection of mural paintings from Indian mythology. There it also exhibits robes head dresses and weapons used by the Maharajas of Kochi during their reign. Earlier this palace was built by Portuguese and was presented to the Raja of Kochi. Later, it was renovated by the Dutch and hence it got its name.
- St Francis Church: This is one of oldest European churches in India. It was built in 1503 and Portuguese leader Vasco Di Gama was buried here. Later his remains were taken back but his burial spot is still kept intact.
The Marine Drive is the most popular places to hangout in Kochi and it has got the long coastal pathway that joins with the backwaters. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery and the sunset as you walk along the shore. Being a tourist destination this place also has a number of shopping malls and food joints to attract more and more people.
This is a manmade island which was built in 1663 under the direction of Sir Robert Bristow. It is named after the former British Viceroy to India Lord Willington. This place houses the Cochin Harbor, head office of Cochin Port and Southern Naval Command Headquarters. Read More
Cherai beach is located on the Vypeen Island and its greenery is best attraction.
Built in 1996 this stadium is also known as the Kaloor International Stadium. It has a seating capacity of 60000 people and it was primarily built as a football stadium .But currently you have international cricket as well football being played here.
Museum of Kerala History
Museum of Kerala History is located at NH Edappally and exhibits sculptures, art galleries and some audio-visual displays of Kerala heritage.
Fun in Kochi
If you feel you a need a little fun and enthusiasm then you could also opt for some recreational activities that are available around the city.
- Veega Land: This amusement park is located 14kms from Kochi. It is a perfect place to unwind and celebrate with family. There are rnumerous rides, water theme park, slides and various activities for both children as well as adults.
- Wonderla Amusement Park: This is located in Kakkanad and around 50 rides for its visitors.
- Go-Karting: People who love Go-Karting will be in for a treat in this place.This is located very near to the airport and even competitions are held during the weekends.
- Golf: If you have an interest in Golf you can try out the Country Club, Cochin Golf Club and the Naval Golf Course.
Shopping in Kochi
Kochi is a good shopping destination and it has numerous outlets providing good deals. Handicrafts made from coir, brass or ivory is the highlight of this place. There is a huge collection at the Government Handicrafts Emporium located at MG Road. But if you are interested in purchasing some spices or local tea or coffee then the Broadway in Ernakulum would be your choice. Some very popular gold outlets can also be spotted on the main road in Ernakulum and they deal not only in gold but also precious stones and diamonds too. Now to make shopping even more convenient here is a list of some shopping destinations.
- Cochin Crafts Antique Shop
- The Kairali Handicraft Emporium
- Oberon Mall
- Jayalakshmi Silks
- Acer Mall
- Grande Gold Souk
- Ernakulum Market
Best Time to Visit Kochi
Kochi has a tropical climate and is seen experience heavy showers between June-September. The weather is pretty pleasant and its temperature is mostly between the ranges of 23-31 degree. Light showers can also be seen during the months of October-December but summer season is best to be avoided which falls in months of April and May. So the best time to travel to Kochi would be in the months of October-March.
How to Reach
Road: Many private and public buses operate in and around Kochi. Longer route to Mumbai, Chennai or Bangalore is also available here. You can book your tickets with private coaches located on Jos Junction or the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC).
Rail: Kochi is connected all throughout India with the Indian Railways. The Ernakulum Junction and Ernakulum Town are the two important railway stations here. To make any railway enquiry you can contact Ernakulum Junction: +91 484 131; Ernakulum Town: +91 484 2390920/2395198.
Air: The Cochin International Airport connects the city of Kochi to all major destinations in the world. It also happens to be one of the busiest airport in India with both domestic and international terminals.
Sea: This is coastal region and there are many ferry services to places near Kochi. Tourists an also enjoy the beautiful backwaters of places like Kottayam, Kumarakom and Alleppey.
Kerala Tourism offices are located at all Indian states. The toll free number within India is 1-800-425-4747.