Kochi (Cochin), the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala, has one of the finest natural harbours in the world. It is now Kerala's commercial center. It's also quite a tourist attraction and knows how to make a visitor feel at home.
It is actually a loose agglomeration of townships connected by waterways. Its natural situation among the waterways and backwaters is quite lovely, and along with the Indian buildings are many remnants of the three colonial occupations (Portuguese, Dutch, English) that it has undergone.
The Backwaters extend east and south of the harbour and contain tiny islands formed naturally over a long time by alluvial deposits from the rivers that empty into them.
Major Tourist Attractions of Cochin
Kumarakom (88 km)
This unique backwater destination situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake is considered the gateway to the backwaters of Kuttanad. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a favourite haunt of migratory birds from across the world, which makes it a renowned bird watching centre. Kumarakom is also a centre for houseboat cruises.
A Scenic island of Kerala , Bolghatty is famous for the Bolghatty Palace built by the Dutch in 1744 AD.
Originally built by the Portuguese in the mid-16th century, the Dutch Palace or Mattancherry Palace is located at Mattancherry. It was presented to the Cochin Maharaja in 1555 AD and later taken over by the Dutch who carried out repairs and extended it further .
The oldest synagogue in India, it was built in 1586 AD by the prosperous Jewish community whose links with Kerala began in Kodungalloor in northern Kerala.
Indira Gandhi Boat Race
Indira Gandhi Boat Race is a grand fest on the rolling backwaters of Cochin. Conducted in the last week of December, it is a fitting finale to the Tourism Fair.
|Indira Gandhi Boat Race|
The festival of Attachamayam is held on the Atham day of the Malayalam month of Chingam (August/ September), at the historical town of Tripunithura, near Cochin
The Cheeyappara and Valara waterfalls are located between Neriamangalam and Adimali on the Cochin - Madurai highway. The Cheeyappara Falls cascades down in seven steps.
Chottanikkara temple, located near Ernakulam enshrines Bhagawati - the mother Goddess, one of the most popular deities in Kerala. Devi is worshipped along with Lord Vishnu.
Cochin Carnival is a merry making feast observed during the last week of every year in Fort Cochin in Kerala. The carnival dates back to the Portuguese New Year revelry held here during the colonial days.
The feast at the ancient Roman Catholic Church of Edapalli Perunnal is situated on the National Highway (NH 47) between Ernakulam and Aluva.
Kodungalloor, 50 kms north of Cochin, was the ancient port town of Muziris or Crangannore. Goddess Bhagavathi is the presiding deity of the ancient temple here.
The feast or the 'Perunnal' at the famous Catholic Church at Malayatoor is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, in the months of March/April.
Santa Cruz Basillica Chruch
Close to the St. Francis church, it is Roman Catholic Church, which was also built by Portuguese. It has a beautiful collection of paintings and a decorative ceiling.
|Santa Cruz Basillica Chruch|
St. Francis Church
Built in 1503 by Portuguese Francisan Friars, this is the India's oldest European church.
|St. Francis Church|
Thalaserry fort, located at a distance of 22 kms from Kannur constructed in 1708 AD was the military centre of the British.
Taj Malabar Hotel-Cochin
|Taj Malabar Hotel-Cochin|
How to reach Cochin
Cochin, the commercial capital of Kerala is accessible by air, rail and road.
By Air: Cochin Airport has a direct link with the major airports in India. There are regular flights to the metro cities and other major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Goa and Bangalore.
By Rail: Cochin is connected by rail to most of the important cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
By Road: Cochin is well connected by road with several tourist centers and cities in India. Cochin is 565 km from Bangalore, 223 km from Coimbatore, 848 km from Goa, 694 km from Madras-Chennai, 470 km from Mysore, and 312 km form Ooty.
Travel in Cochin: From Cochin one can travel to Fort Kochi by bus or ferry. The bus ride from Cochin town, which is nearly 13 km away, takes about an hour and the ferry ride from Main boat jetty at Cochin is about 20 minutes.