Cochin / Kochi

Cochin is known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. It is the commercial capital of the south Indian state, Kerala. It is one of India’s largest natural harbours in the country. There’s also a major naval base located in Cochin. The city is like the centre of a network. You can travel around the city or around the district. Cochin was occupied by the Dutch, the British and the Portuguese. It used to be a stop over for traders in ancient times. Its culture and lifestyle has been influenced by these people.

 

Cochin’s landmarks are the Chinese fishing nets at Fort Cochin, Vypeen and surrounding islands, the Marine Drive, and of course, the old and quaint Jew town. Cochin has interesting museums, churches, temples, and parks to be visited. Cochin has a mix of communities and language groups. There are a number of Konkanis, Jains, Marwaris and other communities here and it’s interesting to note their festivals, rituals and other aspects of life.

 

The Monsoons in Kerala last from June to September. And the summer is from March to May. The best time to visit is from September to February.

 

Constructed in 1557, the magnificent Mattancherry Palace was presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Cochin as a gift by the Portuguese. The Palace has murals depicting scenes from the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. There are Dutch maps of Old Cochin. The St. Francis Church in Fort Cochin was the first church built by the Dutch in 1503 A.D. Vasco Da Gama was buried here in 1524, and later around 1538, his remains were taken to Lisbon in Portugal.

 

Malayatoor is about 46km from Cochin. It is known for its Catholic church dedicated to St Thomas located on the Malayatoor Hills. There’s a popular annual pilgrimage during March-April. St Thomas is believed to have prayed at this shrine.

About two hours north from Cochin is Guruvayoor. Shri Krishna is the principal deity in the Guruvayur temple. It is believed that devotees will be cured of all incurable diseases if they pray and fast here. ‘Guruvayur’ is derived from ‘Guru Brihaspati’, who is the preceptor of Devas and Vayu, Wind.

 

The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary at Thekkady is one of the 16 Project Tiger Reserves in India. About 100 years ago, a British engineer, Col. J. Pennycuick, planned a dam across the Periyar River and it was constructed in 1895. It is one of the most famous reserves in India. There are tiger spotting safaris and boating on the river.

 

Travel Information
There are three tourist offices run by Government agencies. There’s a Tourist office at Willington Island, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) centre at Shanmugham road and a Tourism Department counter at the Cochin International Airport. There’s also an information centre near the Subhash Park close to the Marine Drive.

 

Tourists can find help at the Tourist police assistance cells located throughout the city. There are several web sites and web portals that give information about the city, places to visit, parks, museums, hotels, resorts and much more.

 

Air
The Cochin International Airport is located about 25km to the northeast of the city. There are flights to the Andamans, Bangkok, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Muscat, Singapore, Sharjah and other important cities. Air-India, Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways and Indian Airlines are some of the national carriers. They also fly to foreign destinations. New flights and routes are introduced every season. Most tourist spots in the city and around are well connected to the airports in Kerala.

 

Train
Cochin is connected to all parts of the country by the Indian Railways. There are two main railway stations in Cochin—Ernakulam Town and Ernakulam South. There also smaller ones at Edapally, Alwaye and Tripunithara. There are daily, weekly and seasonal trains.

 

Bus
The KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) operates express, long-distance, interstate buses and super fast bus services. Cochin is well connected by national highways with the rest of the country—NH 17 (Ernakulam - Mumbai), NH 47 (Kanyakumari - Salem), and NH 49 (Cochin - Madurai).

 

Road
Cochin is well connected by roads to other cities in Kerala and to other states. There is a National Highway that runs through the state connecting the major cities and towns.

 

Boat
Cochin has numerous waterways and canals that crisscross the city. Boat services and ferries take passengers and tourists around the city as well as to other districts like Alleppey, Kottayam and Kollam. There are houseboats and sailboats as well.

 

Districts

Alappuzha | Ernakulam | Idukki | Kannur | Kasaragod | Kollam | Kottayam Kozhikode | Malappuram | Palakkad | Pathanamthitta | Thiruvananthapuram Thrissur | Wayanad

 

Top Tourist Destinations

Fort Cochin | Thiruvananthapuram | Kovalam Beach | Munnar | Alappuzha
Thekkady | Kumarakom | Varkala | Silent Valley National Park | Athirappilly