(colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west
of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous
of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Its strategic importance over
the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea.
Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala.
time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese
left indelible marks on the history and development of Cochin. Over the
years, Cochin has emerged as the commercial and industrial capital of
and is perhaps the second most important city on the west coast of
(after Mumbai/Bombay). Cochin is proud of its world class port and
airport that link it to many major cities worldwide.
lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the
Arabian Sea on the west. Its proximity to the equator, the sea and the
mountains provide a rich experience of a moderate equatorial climate.
speaking, Cochin is a small town. But, Cochin has outgrown its original
bounds and is now the general name given to much of the region
the original town, which now includes Cochin, Fort Kochi, Mattanchery,
Ernakulam and many other nearby towns and villages. Cochin is situated
in Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala. Ernakulam is also the
of a town - the administrative capital of Ernakulam district - but, for
all practical purposes Ernakulam and Cochin, generally, refer to the
is the arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable
diversity and beauty of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist
by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National
Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.
is the original name of the city, while Cochin is the colonial name.
Fishing Nets, Fort Kochi
chinese fishing nets (Cheenavala) are distinctly unique to Cochin. It
believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan
these nets here. Oddly, these nets are found only in Kochi, outside
Many fishermen earn their livelihood by fishing using these massive
A whole stretch of the coast along Fort Kochi and Vypeen are dotted
along the beach, particularly at sunset with the chinese fishing nets
sailing ships in the background, is a memorable experience. Many
style bungalows can be seen along the shoreline. The coastal stretch
loads of small stalls, which make on demand mouth-watering traditional
cuisines using freshly caught fish.
Francis Church, Fort Kochi
the oldest church built by Europeans in India. On his 3rd visit to
Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese trader who reached India from Europe by
fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church.
his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that, his burial
inside the church has been clearly marked out.
House, Fort Kochi
house, located on Rose Street, is believed to be one of the oldest
houses in India. Vasco da Gama is believed to have lived here. This
features European glass paned windows and verandahs.
Cruz Basilica, Fort Kochi
original church, situated in Fort Kochi, was built by the Portuguese in
1505 and named as a cathedral in 1558. The British colonists destroyed
the cathedral in 1795. The current structure was built in 1905 and
to the status of a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984.
Synagogue and Jew Town, Mattancherry
synagogue, built in 1568, is magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles
Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found
It is located near the Dutch Palace in Mattancherry.
Palace (Mattancherry Palace), Mattancherry
Dutch Palace was originally built by the Portuguese. Later, in 17th
the Dutch modified it and presented it to the Raja of Kochi. Coronation
of many Rajas of Kochi were held here. The palace has a fine collection
of mural paintings depicting scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharatha
Ramayana. The palace is located in Mattancherry.
Palace, Bolghatty Island
Dutch palace is situated on Bolghatty island which is just a short boat
ride away from the mainland. The palace has been converted to a hotel
by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC). The island has a
tiny golf course and the panoramic views of the port and the harbour,
it an attractive picnic spot. Frequent boat service is available from
in the 19th century by the Raja of Kochi, this palace served as the
of the Raja of the Kochi province. The palace has been converted into a
museum displaying a fine collection of articles showing the wealth and
splendour of the Rajas of Kochi, including the thone and the crown. The
musuem also houses a large collection of archaeological findings. Hill
Palace is located 16km east of Cochin in Tripunithura, a satellite town
is a protected bird sanctuary situated right in the heart of Kochi
It is the home of many exotic and rare varieties of migratory and
birds. Mangalavanam is located right next to the High Court of Kerala.
of Kerala History, Kalamassery
museum has on display spectacular audio-visual exhibits depicting the
and culture of Kerala along with many life size statues of many famous
personalities and several paintings depicting Kerala history.
Rajas of Cochin used to conduct their durbars in this impressive
located within the Durbar Hall grounds. It was later converted to a
which has a treasure trove of archaeological findings and relics
old coins, sculptures, oil paintings and murals. The building has been
taken over by the Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy and now houses the
of Contemporary Art. All the exhibits of the museum have been moved to
the Hill Palace museum.
lovely beach ideal for swimming is located on the north end of Vypeen
one of the many small islands just off the mainland. The beach is lined
by gorgeous coconut groves and paddy fields. Vypeen can be reached by
or by boat.
man-made island was created in 1933 by sand dredged while deepening the
backwaters for the Cochin Port, under the direction of Sir Robert
A while back the Airport, Sea port and the railway terminus (Cochin
Terminus) were situated on this island. Today, it is the home of the
Port and the headquarters of the Sourthern Naval Command. The airport
to be the naval air station, while the main airport has been moved to
30kms north-east of Cochin. Most of the trains now terminate at
Junction instead of Cochin Harbour Terminus.
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