Formerly known as Cochin, Kochi is located along the Arabian Sea, on the south-west coast of India. Kochi is one of the seven taluks of Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala. Straddled by the backwaters, it is bordered by the Arabian Sea in the west and urbanised region in the east. The major part of the city lies at sea level along the coastline of around 48 km. Spread over an area of 94.88 sq km, Kochi is the second largest city of Kerala. Inhabited by 601,574 people, the city of Kochi is a part of an extended metropolitan region.
HOW TO REACH
The city has an international airport; it is known as the Cochin International Airport. The airport is located in Nedumbassery about 38 km from Kochi main city.
About 9 domestic and 17 international airlines connect with this airport. Bus and taxi services are easily available to travel from the airport.
Kochi has two major railway stations; they are the Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town. The Southern Railway Zone of the Indian Railways caters to the city of Kochi. The railways stations at Aluva, Thripunithura, Kalamassery, Kumbalam, Nettoor and Aroor serve the city outskirts and surrounding metropolitan area. Kochi is well linked with major cities and states of India.
Kochi is well connected by road to adjoining cities and states via several state and national highways. Kochi is well link with the National Highway number 47, 17, 49, 47A and 47C. The city is also well connected with several state highways. Buses and taxis services are available daily in Kochi.
WHAT TO SEE
St. Francis Church:-
St. Francis Church of Kochi was originally named as Santo Antonio, the patron Saint of Portugal. Though it has hardly any architectural merits, it has been the model of many churches in India. The church has gabled timber-framed roof covered with tiles. The doors and windows of the church have semi-circular arches. The facades are flanked on either side by a stepped pinnacle. The bell turret of St. Francis Church at Kochi is divided into three compartments. Inside the church, the gravestones of the Portuguese is on the northern wall and that of the Dutch is on the southern wall.
Dutch Palace, Kochi is more popularly known as Mattancherry Palace. It is located at Palace Road, 10 km from Ernakulam city, Kochi. The palace was constructed by the Portuguese and presented to the then Rajah of Kochi, Veera Kerala Varma.The Rajahs of Keralas made subsequent renovations of the palace, giving it a Hindu texture. In fact, it has become one of the best testimony of the Hindu Temple Art.
Pareekshith Thampuran Museum:-
Hill Museum is an important part of sightseeing in Kochi. Pareekshith Thampuran Museum is a part of this Hill Museum. This archaeological museum is situated inside the Hill Museum. Pareekshith Thampuran Museum is more popularly known as the Durbar Hall in Kochi.
Pareekshith Thampuran Museum of Kochi cover a large area. It is a busy tourist spot in Kochi. But apart from that, the museum has some more significance as well. This museum is of prime importance from the historical and archaeological point of view.
Pallipuram Fort, Kochi is one of the heritage sites of Kochi that deserves special mention among the tourist destinations in Kochi. Pallipuram Fort is situated in Ernakulam, one of the districts of south Kerala.
Pallipuram Fort, Kochi was erected by the Portuguese in 1503. The Pallipuram Fort of Kochi is one of the oldest European forts of India which houses a rich cultural heritage. The Pallipuram Fort is situated in the extreme northern part of the Vypeen Islands and heralds a glorious past within the territory of Kochi.
Santa Cruz Basilica:-
The name Santa Cruz Basilica bears a special significance for the Christians residing in the south-western peninsular city of Kochi, as it celebrated the dawn of Christianity in the enigmatic land of India. Legend has it that the Santa Cruz Basilica has been stoutly standing its ground for a mammoth 500 years which is a spectacular feat in itself. Although the Santa Cruz Basilica had suffered ugly bruises at the hand of the robust British invaders in the year 1795, it continues to dazzle the on-lookers with its indelible charm and unparalleled charisma.
Bolgatty Island is one of the finest tourist locales in Kochi. Located beside Ernakulam Island and Eillingdon Island, the place is a favorite tourist hangout. The exotic seas scape and the serene ambiance of the island are worth a visit.
Bolgatty Island of Kochi is a small island which is just a boat ride away from Kochi harbor mouth. The small journey amidst the cool breeze is very interesting. Though the island is accessible only through boat you can take up a train to Ernakulam which is juts 2 kilometers away. The nearest airport to Bolgatty Island in Kochi is Cochin International Airport which is about 22 kilometers from this island.
Gundu Island is the smallest of all the islands that constitute together the city of Kochi. The area of this island in the back waters of Kochi is only 5 acres and the land is mostly covered with coconut trees.
Gundu Island of Kochi is accessible through boat only from the Vypeen Island which is situated nearby. The island does not have any accommodation facility; so you have to return back by the evening. The serene nature and the cool breeze blowing across the waters, makes this island a favorite among tourists who visit it for picnics or small excursions.
Amongst the highly revered five temple towns of the mysterious state of Kerala, the Aranmula Temple is bestowed with the coveted recognition of being one of them.Being cozily nestled in the heart of the district known as Pathanamthitta, the Aranmula Temple is quite comfortably accessible from any remote nook of the state of Kerala.
The beleaguering plot of land around the Aranmula Temple in Kochi is home to an array of shrines consecrated to Lord Krishna. This fraction of the landscape which holds these temples is recognized by the designation of Trichambaram, Ambalappuzha and Tiruvarppu.
The Ernakulam district of Kochi is the spot where the humongous structure known as the Chendamangalam Fort has been standing for an unbelievable 450 years which is an unbelievable feat in itself.
The Ernakulum district is in fact a petite town that came into the limelight by virtue of housing the colossal Chendamangalam Fort that is situated at an estimated length of 42 kilometers from it.The ambiance that predominates the around the Chendamangalam Fort in Kochi is truly awesome. The entire credit goes to the verdant grasslands that runs parallel to the three sprawling rivulets with emerald blue waters that blesses the whole area with its ominous presence.
Indo Portuguese Museum:-
The Portuguese are inevitably linked with the south-western city in the peninsula of India, known as Kochi as they had left an indelible imprint on virtually all its spheres.
The Indo Portuguese Museum vouches for the supreme reign of the Portuguese in Kochi, as it is one of the very rare buildings that procures a domicile to many of the precious artworks and other relics belonging to the Indo-Portuguese era.The Indo Portuguese Museum was in fact the dream and aspiration of Dr Kureethra, who had served the tenure of the Bishop of Kochi at some point of his life. The sole objective that acted behind the erection of this monumental museum known as Indo Portuguese Museum in Kochi was the zeal to shield his own archdiocese from jeopardy. Another objective was to precisely bear on the legacy of his times so that the coming generation could learn something from them.
The Maritime Museum Kochi is perhaps one of the most inspiring and at the same time astonishing places in this southwestern city in India. The naval force of India earns the much-coveted recognition of being revered amongst the most robust naval powers in the world and the Maritime Museum in Kochi serves to be a platform to display their valor, patriotism and selfless service towards the country.
Kochi is well known for its handicrafts, you will find a unique assortment of items like figurines, colorful bead jewelry, mat, bangles et al made from coir, wood, bamboo, shells, brass, ivory and sandalwood.
In all probability, your predicament over what to buy in Cochin should end here. Though the concept of shopping malls is relatively new in Kochi / Cochin, yet there are a number of places here, where you can find branded goods and garments. If you have a specific item in mind, better find out from a local person once you reach Kochi.
Cochin cuisines comprise an impressive assortment of mouth-watering vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, having a distinct taste and flavor. And there are many good restaurants in Kochi serving these. Try out ‘pachadi’, ‘thoran’ or ‘kaalan’, while eating out in Cochin. As bananas are found in abundance here, it happens to be a very crucial ingredient in the majority of Cochin cuisines. Kallappams or Vellayappams are traditional rice flour pancakes eaten during meals in Cochin.