Kochi – ‘Gateway of Kerala’
Kochi, also known as Cochin is the Port City of the South which was intermittently known for trade and the beautiful places back in the old days. Even today, it is one of the prominent tourist places to be visited on the list of people who are on a tour of India. Even the Indians, who want to venture the beauty of the South along with family or friends, do not miss out on this city!
When to visit
This port city can be visited during the peak tourist season i.e. between December to February or even the off-season when it rains heavily making it a great time to rush towards the beach. The off-season is the time when one can avail maximum Monsoon discounts up to 50% of the peak season prices.
Must visit places
1. Fort Kochi
This monument will surely transport you to a different time zone where the ancient fort was possessed by the Portugese, then the Dutch as well as the British. It sure displays traces of European architecture which is marvelous. It marks the identity of Kochin.
2. Cochin backwaters
The backwaters of this Keralite city are famous worldwide and in itself offer an experience to cherish. The houseboats accentuate the serenity making it a stress-buster for vacationers.
The Bologatty Palace is one of the oldest palaces that had been built by the Dutch in India. It is situated on the Bologatty islands in Cochin. Equally charming is the Matancherry Palace which also belongs to the Dutch era of India and is often referred to as the Dutch Palace also.
4. Chinese Fishing nets
These are fixed nets which are used for a unique and unusual way of fishing which as the locals narrate, were introduced by the traders from China. Even today, these nets are used by the fisherman for catching fish and they would even be ready to show you how by charging a small fee.
5. Jewish Synagogue
It is the oldest synagogue which was built in the 16th The interiors are beautiful and the decorations are noticeably Chinese & Belgian in design. It is situated close to the Dutch Palace.
6. Francis Church
This church holds the distinction of being the oldest church built by the European in the country. Also famous for being the burial ground for the Portugese trader Vasco da Gama, this place is a must visit tourist attraction.
7. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
For nature lovers, this place offers a number of migratory as well as resident birds which are worth looking out for.
8. Willingdon Island
This island is a man-made one created during the British rule while deepening the backwaters of Cochin. It also harbors the Cochin port.
9. Hill Palace
Located around 16 kms away from Cochin and built in the 19th century, the Hill Palace served as the royal abode of the Kings of Cochin. Presently, it serves as a museum, also housing some archaeological findings.
10. Other prominent places
Some other famous destinations include the coastal pathway – Marine Drive, the amusement park – Veega Land, the Palliport Fort and the beautiful – Cherai beach to name a few.
Cochin also offers art lovers its museums to take a tour of history. The famous ones are the Museum of Kerala History and the Parikshith Thamparun Museum which was once the court of the kings.
Must try these activities:
- Enjoy te Kathakali dance
- Try an Ayurvedic massage
- Go for motorboat cruise
- Buy original spices
- Watch sunset near the estuary
Cochin is well-connected by air, sea as well as road. The Cochin International airport welcomes national as well as international tourists while the two railway stations – Ernakulum Junction and the Ernakulum Town Station help people reach via train. Further, buses, cabs or taxis can be used for moving around in the city.
One can choose from a number of budget as well as luxury hotels in the city which are pocket-friendly and offer a host of facilities. Many of them would also help to get a tour guide on request.
Come, be a part of serenity; come visit Kochi !