Spread over a series of islands and crisscrossed by the sea and backwaters, Kochi (long known as Cochin) speaks of old world charm and leisure. The culturally and historically rich port city is the gateway for several visitors to start their tour of Kerala in South India, often hailed as ‘God’s Own Country’.
Nestled between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, the city has been one of the sought after destinations in the world. Situated 10 degrees to the north of Equator; Kochi experiences hot and humid climate throughout the year. The best time to visit Kochi is between October and April.
Kochi earlier comprised of Ernakulam, Fort Kochi and Mattancherry but now refers to the sprawling urbanization making rapid inroads into the hinterland. Fort Kochi and Mattancherry remain wonderfully serene, steeped with sepia tinted memories of past glory and heritage. With its spice markets, Jewish synagogue, European church, Chinese fishing nets, Portuguese palace and seventeenth-century Dutch homes, Kochi stands testimony to the irresistible pull felt by wanderers and traders for over 600 years.
Kumarakom, known for houseboat rides on backwaters and also for its bird sanctuary, and Alappuzha (called Alleppey) are situated to the north of Kochi. Kochi serves as the gateway to the hill stations of Munnar and Vagamon in Idukki and the wildlife hotspots of Eravikulam National Park and Periyar National Park.
In and Around
Even a casual stroll through Fort Kochi located in the port city of Kochi in Kerala is enough to make you feel transported to another world and time. The architectural style of the buildings and the town layout easily make Fort Cochin distinct from other cities and towns of Kerala. Since Fort Cochin was under the possession of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British at different points of time, the region still bear the influence of European architecture.
The splendid Bolghatty Palace is located on the Bolghatty Islands, in the Cochin city of Kerala. The appeal of the palace lies in the fact that it is among the oldest existing palaces built by the Dutch in India, during the pre-British times.
Hailed and worshipped as one of the most sacred Hindu religious places in the world, Guruvayoor is the abode to the Shri Krishna temple, which attracts more than 10 million devotees every year. The Shri Krishna temple is considered to be the first temple in India to open its doors to every Hindu, irrespective of their caste.
Chinese Fishing Nets
The Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi, located in the Kochi city of Kerala, make up a very popular tourist attraction. They are fixed land installations, which are used for a very unique and unusual method of fishing.
With coconut trees lining the pellucid lake waters for kilometers at a stretch …the backwaters of Cochin proffer one of the most enchanting sights to tourists. Apart from the numerous ancient monuments, like the Jewish Synagogue, Fort Kochi and the Mattancherry Palace, built during the pre-British times, the backwaters in Kochi city of Kerala is just another reason why hundreds of tourists flock to this beautiful port city the whole year round.
Even though it is austere in its appearance, the Mattancherry Palace of Cochin has a quaint charm of its own. The credit for building this landmark monument partly goes to the Dutch, who captured Cochin city of Kerala during the pre-British period.
Marine Drive is a beautiful promenade in Kochi (Cochin), Kerala state of India. The Marine Drive is built facing the backwaters of Kochi. It is a popular hangout for the local populace as well as the tourists.
The Thrikkakara Temple is one of the major centers of Onam celebrations in Kerala. Dedicated to Lord Vamana (considered the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu), the temple plays host to ten days of festivities and celebrations on the occasion of Onam. It’s quite a sight to see thousands of devotees come together and paint the temple in colours of joy.
The Jewish Synagogue in the port city of Kochi is the oldest synagogue in all the Commonwealth of Nations. Thus, it comprises the topmost slot in the itinerary of the tourists visiting the city.
Pareekshith Thampuran Museum
Pareekshith Thampuran Museum is a very good archeological museum located near the Shiva temple, on the Durbar Hall Road at Ernakulam. This museum boasts of an impressive collection of 19th century paintings, ancient monuments and coins, scriptures made in stone and Plaster of Paris, murals as well as memorabilia belonging to the Cochin royal family.
St Francis Church
St Francis Xavier’s Church at Fort Kochi was built in the year 1503, by the Portuguese traders. They came here with Admiral Pedro Alvarez de Cabral, via the same route taken by the legendary Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who landed at Calicut in 1498.
The Willington Island contains the modern port serving Cochin city of Kerala. The island is an artificial man-made island created from the sand dug out while deepening Kochi port.
Museum of Kerala History
Do not take the Museum of Kerala History in the Cochin city of Kerala as any ordinary museum. The significance of this ‘live’ museum lies in the fact that it recounts the history of the land through magnificent and informative light and sound shows.
Located 35 km away from Cochin, in the Cherai village of the Ernakulam district, the Cherai beach is amongst the must-visit places for anyone touring these parts of South India. Having a coastline of 15 kms, the Cherai beach is different from many beaches in the sense that it is very clean and shallow and thus, ideal for the purpose of swimming and sunbathing.
Fort Kochi Beach
If you simply wish to saunter in a peaceful and relaxed manner, no place in the whole of Cochin will provide you a more ideal location than the Fort Kochi beach. Nestled amidst coconut tress, green bushes and softly lashing seawaters, the Fort Kochi beach happens to be the favorite haunt of one and all. You will find not only the locals, but also the tourists basking up the tranquil atmosphere at the beach.
Set amidst lush greens and Kerala’s swiftly flowing Periyar River, Bhoothathankettu is a popular tourist spot. It is located about 50 km away from Ernakulam district of Cochin city.
After you have completed seeing the main tourist places within Cochin city of Kerala, perhaps, the next best spot you can hit is the Cheeyappara Waterfalls. Located between Neriamangalam and Adimali, along the national highway linking Cochin and Madurai, Cheeyapara is counted amongst Kerala’s most splendid waterfalls.
Comprising of three rivers, seven inlets, hillocks and green pastures, Chendamangalam is an amazing little town. It is located in Paravur Taluk of the Ernakulam district of Kerala. Tourists touring Cochin also explore Chenda Mangalam to see the magnificent Paliam Palace.
Kaladi village, located near Cochin city of Kerala, is a famous pilgrim center cum tourist spot. It was once an insignificant little village, but it gained importance after Adi Sankaracharya, the great Indian philosopher of the 8th century AD, was born there.
Kodanad is a beautiful village located about 50 km from the Cochin city of Kerala. Though there are various factors that together enhance Kodanad’s significance, the primary reason is the sheer natural beauty of this belt.
Located approximately 47 km away from Cochin city of Kerala, Malayattoor is one of the most important pilgrim centers for the Christians in India. The place is known throughout the world for its Catholic church, dedicated to the famous apostle of Jesus Christ, St Thomas.
Mangalavanam is a popular bird sanctuary frequented by tourists, bird lovers, ornithologists as well as locals. It is located in the heart of the Eranakulam region of Cochin, adjoining the backwaters and the Arabian Sea.
Boating in Kochi
The backwaters of Kochi offer a great boating experience to the nature lovers. There are ferries, boathouses and normal boats to enjoy the serene nature of Kochi.
Shopping in Kochi
Kochi is also a heaven for shoppers. Be it ‘ayurvedic’ clothing and fabrics, Indian textiles and home linens, personal care products, coir products, electronic items and mobile phones, antiques, arts, handicrafts and curios, Kochi is the best place to buy. Kochi is also The Destination to stock up on your pantry. The area adjoining the Synagogue is chockablock with shops selling spices like pepper, bay leaf, cinnamon, green cardamom, brown cardamom, cloves, etc. And if you are looking for some rest and recuperation, Kochi is the place. The city is a much sought after destination for Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine and well-being.
Best time to visit in the winter months between October and March.
How to Reach
The Cochin International Airport is well connected to major cities all across India and the world. From the airport, the main city centre is about 29 kilometres away. Buses, taxis, cabs, and trains can be used for the purpose of reaching the requisite destination from the airport.
Cochin is well connected to all the major railway stations in India. Most of the Kerala bound trains have a stop at either of the two railway stations in Cochin – Ernakulam Town Station and Ernakulam Junction Station. From the railway station, one can board a bus, a taxi or a cab to reach the required destination in Cochin.
Cochin has a strong network of Kerala State Run Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus services that connects it to all the major cities in Kerala and with some of the major cities in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Air-conditioned deluxe Volvo bus services are available from Cochin to cities such as Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum.
Stay / Eat
Where to Stay
Opposite Vyttila Mobility Hub,
Kaniampuzha road, Vyttila,
Kochi, Kerala 682019
Saj Earth Resort
Cochin International Airport ,
SAJ Junction, Nedumbassery,
Kochi, Kerala 683572
Sahodaran Ayyappan Road,
Elamkulam Junction Kadavanthar ,
Kerala, India 682020
Where to Eat
Napier Street, Fort Kochi,
Kochi, Kerala 682001
Kalavath Tower, Behind Kakkanad Bus Stop,
Civil Line Road, Palarivattam,
Kochi, Kerala 682025
NH 47, Cochin Bypass,Maradu,
Kochi, Kerala 682304