Kochi also known as Cochin is the most densely populated city in Kerala. Named as the Queen of Arabian Sea, Cochin is an important trading centre for Spices in the West Coast of India. Kochi is also referred as the Financial, Commercial & Industrial capital of Kerala. Kochi features a Tropical Monsoon Climate. The Air gateway to Kochi is the Cochin International Airport located at Nedumbassery. Cochin is well connected to neighbouring cities and states via several highways. The primary form of public transport within the city is largely dependent on privately owned bus Networks. It is the most popular tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors.
Things to Do in Kochi
Fort Kochi is part of a handful of water-bound regions and collectively known as Old Kochi or West Kochi. This place is famous for the Chinese Fishing Nets in the waterfront which is one of the major tourist attractions. The streets of Fort Kochi consists of colonial style old houses built by Portuguese, Dutch & The British. Other attractions in this place are:- Indo Portuguese Museum, Fort Kochi Beach, Southern Naval Command Maritime Museum, Bishop’s House, St. Francis Church, Mattancherry Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Jain Temple.
Cherai is a small town located to the north side of Vypin Island. Cherai has the longest Beach in Cochin knows as the Cherai Beach. This beach is ideal for swimming as the tide is mostly low and the waves are gentle. Cherai Beach is known for frequent Dolphin sightings as well. The beach offers clean and less busier environment which attracts tourists from all parts of the World.
Hill Palace Museum
Kerala’s largest archaeological Museum (The Hill Palace Museum) is located in Tripunithura – Kochi. The palace complex consists of 49 Buildings in the traditional style and spreads across 54 Acres. The complex has as archaeological museum, a heritage museum, a deer park, a pre-historic park and a children’s park. The palace is around 10 kilometres from the city and is approachable by road and rail.
The largest artificial Island of India (Willingdon Island) is located in Kochi. This Island is known as the Home for Port of Kochi as well as the Kochi Naval Base of the Indian Navy. The Island is connected to the mainland by Venduruthy Bridge, which has road and railway links. There are two railway stations on the Island – the Mattancherry Halt and the Cochin Harbour Terminus. The Island has a Dry Dock, A fire station, Tank Farms ETC. Cochin Shipyard – a major tourist attraction is also located in this Island.
Bolgatty Palace & Resort
This palace was built by Dutch on Bolgatty Island in Kochi. In 1947 when India attained Independence the palace became the property of the state and was converted into a heritage hotel resort. Bolgatty Palace has a swimming pool, 9-hole golf course, ayurvedic centre, and daily Kathakali performances and is a holiday destination for tourists. There is in a temple dedicated to Shiva that is the first of its kind in Kerala. The best time to visit the Bolgatty Palace would be from October to April since Kochi would have wonderful weather during this time.
Vasco De Gama square
This is an ideal place for Families, couples and friends to spend the evenings. There are many stalls available that sells Nuts, Spices and other delicacies. Vasco De Gama has an open stage for cultural performances. Fishermen lowers the Chinese Fishing nets to the sea and catches the fish and the same (Fresh Fish) is brought to the nearest Market.
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
This sanctuary is situated in the heart of Kochi. Total area covers 2.74 hectares comprising of 18 acres of Mangroves and is home to large variety of migrating birds. In the middle of the sanctuary there is a shallow tidal lake. This is connected to the backwaters of Kochi though a canal. Major attraction here is the watch tower that gives superb views for the visitors. There is free nature camp at the sanctuary conducted by Kerala Forest and Wild Life Department. This is a wonderful place to visit with friends and family.
This place is renowned as one of the best places to spend time. From here we get an amazing view of the sea as the same is built facing the backwaters. This is a famous hangout place for both local people and tourists. Important landmarks nearby include The Marine Walkway, The Rainbow Bridge, The Houseboat Bridge, The China Net Bridge and GCDA Shopping Complex. So if you are looking to discover the very essence of what Kochi is all about, Marine Drive is just the place for you.
Kerala Kathakali Centre
KKC is one of the best tourist location in Kochi. This place is normally crowded with local people and tourists who come to enjoy the dance form – Kathakali. This place offers mediation shows as well in which people can participate. The architecture of this place is special with interiors having Malabar style and are made up of mostly with Wooden carvings. Apart from Kathakali, the centre is also known to for its short-term as well as long-term courses in dance styles such as Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Mohinattam. It also has courses in Kalaripayattu, Classical music.
Princess Street – Kochi
Located in the heart of the city, the place is an amalgamation of ancient times and the new. It is littered with clubs and cafes. European homes built in the Dutch, British, French, and Portuguese styles, the grand style street reminds one of the colonial eras. In the mornings you can smell the aroma of freshly baked bread coming out of the dainty bakeries and in the evenings the street is lit up in neon lights and is bustled with people coming here for dinners, dances and parties.