Places to Visit in Kochi
Kochi also was known as Cochin is a major port city in Kerala. Located in South-west coast of India by the Arabian Sea and the Laccadive Sea, it is the part of district Ernakulam in the state of Kerala. Kochi is famous as “The Queen of the Arabian Sea” with an important spice trading centre on the west coast of India from the 14th century onwards. It was the first European colonies in India and influenced with Portugal culture more often. With extraordinary views, palaces, museums, and beach, the city has some of the places that are must visit.
Mattancherry is another fascinating area in Kochi. The name Mattancherry originated from the house name “Ancherry Mattam,” a Brahmin house that was pronounced by foreign traders as Mattancherry. It is a tourist spot in Kochi where Portuguese influence can be seen and in particular the Dutch Palace. Jew Town is another tourist attraction of Mattancherry with the synagogue dating from 1568 which is India’s oldest functioning synagogue along with other tourist spots like Mattancherry Palace Museum which hosts different weapons such as swords, spears, etc.
The Chinese fishing nets, which symbolises Kochi, can be seen only in Fort Kochi. The only place in the world where the Chinese fishing nets are unique outside China for which the credit goes to the traders from the court of Chinese emperor Kubla Khan. Presently, 11 Chinese fishing nets are dotting the Fort Kochi shoreline
The Indo-Portuguese Museum is a reflection of Indian and Portuguese culture and architecture. Located in Fort Kochi area, it was built by former Bishop of the city, Joseph Urethra. The museum is divided into five wings exhibiting Altar of Furniture, Treasure, Procession, Civil Life and Cathedral.
The beautiful Jewish church built in 1568; Paradesi synagogue or the Jewish synagogue is the oldest one amongst all Commonwealth countries. Jewish synagogue is located in Jew Town area of Cochin and was built by Cochin Jewish group or Malabar Yehudan people.
Hill Palace Museum
Hill Palace is a heritage museum and houses many archaeological relics and imperial belongings dedicated to the Maharaja of Kochi. Constructed in 1865, the palace comprises of 49 buildings. The beautiful gardens and refreshing outer facade of the museum are a bonus, besides the real knowledge and artefacts huddled inside the buildings.
Museum of Kerala History, Edappally
When you visit the Museum of Kerala History in Edappally, a statue of Parasurama, the sage who is said to have created Kerala, will greet you. The museum is quiet ethnic building hidden in the shades of huge trees and has modest gallery houses immortal creations that give glimpses of the glorious history and rich cultural legacy of Kerala. The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Mondays and public holidays.
Andhakaranazhi is a lovely beach, which is located at a distance of 30 km from Kochi towards Alleppey near Ezhupunna. You can see many fishing boats on the beach from the parallel fishing village & fishing is the main activity of the village folks here.
Kodanad Elephant Training Centre
A rural riverside village situated near Periyar river is another must visit to witness bathing elephants in the river. Watching elephants at an arm’s length is an incredible experience and all part of coming to a beautiful place like Kerala. Kodanad is among the Ecotourism destination projects of Govt of India and currently is an Elephant rescue centre for captured Elephants from the forests in the adjacent mountains.
Cherai & Vypin Beach
Vypin or Vypeen Island is another island that is really popular among visitors to Kochi & Kerala. Vypin is also the location of Pallipuram Fort which is the oldest surviving fort in India built by European settlers and was constructed in 1503. Just off the Coast of Vypeen Island is Cherai beach, which is among the famous beaches in Kerala and which is a beach that is shallow, calm, and is ideal for swimming & sunbathing and is also known as Princess of Arabian Sea.
Veegaland is the country’s first theme park, popularly known as Wonder La Amusement Park, is one of the most happening places to visit in Cochin. Located on a hilltop, Veegaland is famous for fun filled and adventurous rides, thus making it a perfect for a family outing.
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
A biosphere reserve located at Central Cochin is a natural habitat for many endangered and regular species of local and migratory birds, as well as mangrove vegetation. The sanctuary encircles a tidal lake, which is connected to the backwaters and one of the ideal places for sightseeing in Cochin, especially for nature lovers. It is also a home to several species of fishes.
Santa Cruz Basilica
One of the most ancient churches in India and one among the 8 Basilicas, Santa Cruz Basilica is truly one of the oldest and the most beautiful places to see in Cochin. It reflects ancient glory and pride. This Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Cochin is considered as one of the heritage sites of the state.
St Francis Church
St Francis Church is one of the oldest churches in India, built by the Europeans. It is well known for its beautiful surroundings, serene environment, and stunning design. The St Francis is the oldest European church in India. The Portuguese built it in 1503, but later on demolished by the Dutch and rebuilt. The church holds great religious and historical significance.
A typical Malabar coastal topography with serene beaches, lush green bordering vegetation, fisherman settlements and sandy shoreline sums up the picture of Veeranpuzha Beach. Backdrop and beach itself are among the calmest tourist places in Cochin. Certainly, a stop that assures calmness, peace and quality time with your near ones.
Ernakulam Shiva Temple
One of the major temples located in the downtown area of Kochi is dedicated to the presiding deity of Lord Shiva as the protector of the city. The temple houses seven royal temples of the Maharajas of Kochi that are beneath associated with history. The existence of temple was first mentioned in Sangam Literature as one of the major temples under Chera Dynasty.
Marine Drive as its name suggests in not a driveway through which vehicles can be driven, but a scenic promenade in Ernakulam, which has a rainbow bridge, that has become a symbol of Ernakulam. It was built on the land reclaimed from backwaters. Later on, the coastline rules prohibited it because of which the road was converted to a walkway which also has a Chinese Fishing net bridge as well. Private Boat operators offer hourly cruises starting from Marine Drive that goes through Cochin Harbour, Bolgatty and other places around.
`Malayattoor’ is a combination of three small words. Mala (Mountain) Arr (River) Oore (Place). One can say, Malayattoor is a meeting place of mountain, river, and land. The most famous tourist attraction in Malayattoor is the Malayatoor Church is situated atop the 609 m high Malayatoor Hill. The church on top of a hill is dedicated to St. Thomas, who is believed to prayed at this shrine when he came to India. One of the most famous pilgrim centres in India, this church is a must visit.
Lulu Shopping Mall, Edappally
Kochi also has India’s largest shopping mall in Edappally – Lulu Shopping Mall. There are lots of markets for a shopping experience in Kochi, but a visit to Lulu Mall is a treat including 300+ food outlets, stores and restaurants. Both national and international brands are present to see in this modern complex, and there is also a premium five-star, 20-storey, the 300-room hotel managed by JW Marriott Hotels is located adjacent to it, within the mall compound.