ABOUT KOCHI (ERNAKULAM):
- Captivating Kochi, the commercial capital and the most cosmopolitan city of Kerala is an excellent blend of traditions and modernity.
- Kochi, the “Queen of the Arabian Sea” is full of history legends and natural beauty.
- Since time immemorial, Arabs, Chinese, Dutch, British and Portuguese had trade relations with Kochi.
- Beautiful town considered to be one of the most attractive destinations in the world is also a shopper’s paradise.
- Shopping list comprises of antiques, wood carvings, wooden jewellery boxes, oil lamps, coir products, textiles, spices and other handicraft items.
MODE OF COMMUNICATION:
- Airport: Cochin International Airport, Kochi (COK), 34 kms away from Kochi city centre.
- Rail: Ernakulam Railway Station, Ernakulam, 6 km away from Kochi city centre.
- Road: Well connected with NH47 and NH 47A.
SIGHTSEEING AT A GLANCE
Chinese Fishing Nets
FORT & MONUMENTS
Vasco House Jewish Synagogue & Jew Town (Mattancherry) Dutch Palace (Mattancherry) Vypin Island & Light House
St. Francis Church Aluva (Alwaye) Kaladi Tripunittura
MUSEUM & AUDITORIUM
Tripunittura Edappally Museum of Kerala History & Its Makers M.N.F Gallery of Paintings & Sculptures
Fort Kochi Beach Willingdon Island Vypin Island & Light House
Ernakulam Indira Gandhi Boat Race
ATTRACTIONS OF KOCHI (ERNAKULAM)
- Chinese Fishing Nets:
- Huge cantilevered fishing nets are the landmark of Malabar Coast.
- Nets were introduced between 1350 and 1450 A.D., by traders from the court of Kublai Khan in China.
- Set up on teak wood and bamboo poles and are mainly used during the high tide.
- Vasco da Gama Square affords the best view of these nets, especially during sun-set time.
- Fort Kochi Beach:
- Beautiful beach extends from Kamalakada to the entrance of Kochi harbour.
- Along the beach are many colonial bungalows.
- St. Francis Church:
- Built in 1503, by Portuguese Franciscan friars and is believed to be the first church built by the Europeans in India.
- Vasco da Gama, the discoverer of sea route to India, died in Cochin in 1524 and was initially buried here.
- Vasco House:
- 16th century building is one of the earliest residences built in Fort Cochin.
- It is said to be the house of Vasco Da Gama.
- Willingdon Island:
- Set amidst mainland Ernakulam and the old town Mattancherry.
- Named after Lord Willingdon, one of the British Viceroys.
- Some of the finest hotels and trading centres of the city are located here.
- Jewish Synagogue & Jew Town (Mattancherry):
- Synagogue built in 1568, is the oldest in the country.
- Township around the synagogue is known for spice trade and curio shops dealing in antiques as well as rare glass and beads.
- Dutch Palace (Mattancherry):
- Built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Kochi, Veera Kerala Varma in 1555, but was later taken over by the Dutch.
- Palace has fine murals depicting scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharta and other mythological figures.
- Royal costumes, palanquins and other royal memorabilia are also exhibited here.
- Bolghatty Island:
- Scenic Island located in the Kochi Bay is known for the Bolghatty Palace built by the Dutch in 1744.
- Served as the seat of the British Resident and is now a heritage hotel run by the KTDC.
- Lush green landscape with great views of the backwaters makes it an attractive picnic spot.
- There is also a small golf course.
- Vypin Island & Light House:
- One of the most densely populated islands of the country.
- Light house at Ochanthuruth affords an awe-inspiring view of the Kochi City and Aluva town.
- Pallippuram Fort on the northern end of the Vypeen Island was built by the Portuguese in 1503.
- First fort built in India by the Europeans.
- Another attraction is the charming Cherai Beach.
- ‘Gateway to Kochi’ is regarded as the ‘Commercial Capital of Kerala’.
- There are beautiful parks, children playgrounds and beach side pavements.
- Naval base and the Cochin Shipyard are also located here.
- Places of interest of Ernakulam are Mangalavanam small bird sanctuary, Marine Drive – Par Avenue – Fine Arts Avenue, St. Francis Assisi (Naduvileppalli) and Siva Temple, one of the largest temples of the State.
- Indira Gandhi Boat Race:
- Famous snake boat race is held during the Onam celebrations (August/ September).
- It can be enjoyed from the Marine drive promenade.
ATTRACTIONS AROUND KOCHI (ERNAKULAM)
- Aluva (Alwaye):
- Important pilgrim centre and summer resort lies on the left bank of Periyar River, 25 kms away from Kochi city.
- Famous for the Mannapuram Shiva Temple and St. Dominic Syrian Church.
- Beautiful pilgrim site on the banks of river Periyar, 45 kms away from Kochi city.
- The birth place of Adi Sankaracharya, the great Advaitha philosopher and Bhakti saint of 8th century.
- There are two main shrines – one is dedicated to Adi Sankaracharya, as Dakshina Moorthi, while the other is of Goddess Sharada, the patron deity of Sringeri Mutt.
- Kodungallor (Crangnore):
- 32 kms away from Kochi city.
- Small historic port town was an ancient centre of trade and commerce and had relations with the Jews, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and the Arabs.
- It was earlier known as Muziris same to Greeks and Romans.
- Pliny, the great traveller described it as the ‘first emporium in India’.
- St. Thomas, the Apostle is believed to have first landed at Muziris port in 52 AD.
- First mosque in India was also built here.
- Unique mosque faces east unlike others which face Mecca in the west.
- Kodungallor is also known for the Kurumba Bhagavathi temple and it’s Bharani Festival in March/ April.
- 9 kms away from Kochi city.
- Important cultural centre, enroute to Kottayam, 9 kms away from Kochi city, was the seat of erstwhile Cochin Rajas.
- Main attractions here are – Sri Poornathreyesa Temple and Hill Palace Museum.
- 10 kms away from Ernakulam.
- Museum of Kerala History & Its Makers:
- Exhibits the rich historical legacy of Kerala.
- An Image of the legendary sage Parasuram is set outside the museum.
- M.N.F Gallery of Paintings & Sculptures:
- Located next to Museum of Kerala History.
- A rich collection of original paintings of eminent Indian painters.