Ernakulam (Cochin), Kerala
||2589038, Greater Cochin (2001 census)
||Latitude : 9o57' N; Longitude 76 o15' E/ North Malabar Area
||Malayalam is the Official Language. English is popularly used
in business circles
||Hindus account for the largest comrnunity followed by
Christians and Muslims. Cochin has also a small population of Jains,
Jews, and Sikhs.
||(Indian standard Time + 5.30 hours GMT).
||The warm tropical climate recommends light cotton clothes,
waterproofing is essential during monsoons.
||Best time to visit is between October and March
||North - Thrissur District, East - Idukki District, West -
Arabian Sea, South - Kottayam & Alappuzha Districts
||Cochin FM 102.3 MHz. (Timings: 1658 hrs to 300 hrs (all days)
A city tucked in the beauty of coconut palms and
endless blue waters is one of the important towns in South India, with a
natural harbour. It is the commercial hub of Kerala. Kochi is a dynamic
city with soaring land prices and rapidly industrialising suburbs. A
trading port since Roman times, it lies on the main trade route between
Europe and China. Kerala's prime tourist destination, it spreads across
islands and promontories in a stunning location between the Arabian Sea
and Backwaters. Its main sections: modern Ernakulam in the east and the
old districts of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin on a peninsula in the west
are linked by a complex system of ferries.Places
to Visit in Cochin
How to reach Cochin
- Fort Kochi
A leisurely walk through the city is the
best way to discover historic for Kochi. An obscure fishing village
that became the first european township In india, kochi has an
eventful and colourful history. The buildings show the influence of
European architecture. The Chief attraction of Fort Cochin is the
St. Francis Church built by the Portuguese. It is believed to be the
first church built by Europeans in India. The body of Vasco Da Gama
was buried here. Close to St. Francis Church is Santa Cruz Church.
Some beautiful paintings can be seen in the Roman Catholic Church.
- Chinese Fishing Nets
The elegant Chinese fishing nets
that line the northern shore of Fort Kochi add charm to exotic
waterside view and are probably the single most familiar
photographic image of Kerala. Known in Malayam as 'Cheenavala', the
Chinese Fishing nets found in the region are the only one of its
kind in the country. Traders from the court of the Chinese ruler
Kublai Khan introduced these nets in India in the year 1350 - 1450.
They are the important trademark of the Cochin city. Built of teak
and bamboo, these nets are still used by the local fishermen to
catch the fish. The specialty about these nets is that, apart from
China these nets are only found in Kochi.
- Bolghatty Island
This island is famous for its palace
of the same name. Bolghatty palace built by the Dutch in 1744. Later
it became the seat of the British Resident of Cochin. The palace is
now converted into a hotel. There is also a well laid golf link. The
palace is two-storeyed and contains well-decorated bed chambers, a
huge lounge wherein historical portraits are displayed. The ferry
ride from the mainland Ernakulam to the island is a pleasurable
experience. with a small golf course, and the panoramic views of the
port and the harbour, makes it an attractive picnic spot and special
This land was once the abode of the
Paliath Achans, the prime ministers of the Maharajas of Kochi. Their
residence, the Paliam Palace represents the architectural splendour
of Kerala. The Palace houses a collection of historic documents and
- St. Francis Church
St. Francis Church is a granite
church set on quiet lawns amidst the bustle of Fort Kochi, 10 kms
from Ernakulam. Originally named as Santo Antonio, this protestant
church was originally built by the Europeans in India. This was
initially built of timber and later reconstructed in stone masonry.
It was restored in 1779 by the protestant dutch, converted To an
anglican church by the british in 1795 and is at present governed by
the church of south india. Vasco da gama was buried here in 1524
before his Remains were moved to Lisbon, portugal.
- Wellington Island
Wellington Island is the man made
island created from earth dredged, while deepening the Fort Kochi.
The architect of this island was designed by Lord Bristow. There are
ferry and regular bus services from Ernakulam to this island.
- Dutch Palace(Mattancherry Palace)
Built in oriental
style, situated in Ernakulam district of Kerala was originally built
by the Portuguese and presented to the king of Cochin, Veera Kerala
Varma, in the year 1555 AD. It was later taken over by the Dutch who
improved it through extensions and repairs in 1663 AD. The glory of
the Palace lies in the murals which are in the best traditions of
Hindu Temple Art. In the central courtyard of the palace is the
temple dedicated to Pazhayannur Bhagavathi. In the coronation hall,
there is a display of dresses and Palanquins used by the rulers of
- Museum of Kerala History (Kalamassery)
This museum is
a treasure house of important scenes of Kerala History from
Neolithic age to modern period portrayed through life-size statues.
Recorded commentary of each scene with sound and light shows is
staged here. Greeting the visitor outside is a statue of Parasurama
,the mythological safe who is said to have created Kerala.
- Santa Cruz Basilica, Fort Kochi
This Roman Catholic
church is situated near the St.Francis church and is worth a
visit.It is a specimen of portugese architecture built in 1503.
'Frescoes'and mural paintings decorate the ceiling and interior
parts of the church. The current structure was built in 1905 and
raised to the status of a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984.
- Hill Palace Museum Tripunithurav
It was built by the
Raja of Kochi in the 19th century , this palace served as the seat
of the Raja of the Kochi province. The palace has been converted
into a museum displaying Paintings, carvings, etchings and other
trappings of royalty like majestic beds ,weapons and samples of
epigraphy. Different types of sculptures, collection of rare coins,
old weapons and collections from the Cochin Royal Family are also
- Pallipuram Fort
It is the oldest surviving European
fort in India, built by the Portuguese in 1503. Its situated in
Pallipuram on Vypeen island. The Dutch captured the fort in 1661 and
sold it to the State of Travancore in 1789.The Catholic church at
Pallipuram is an important pilgrim centre.
- Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
Mangalavanam is a
protected bird sanctuary situated right in the heart of Kochi city.
It is the nestling ground of large variety of migratory birds and
support many varieties of Mangroves. There are 41 species of birds
in the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary representing 25 families. Little
Cormorant and Black-crowned Night Heron are the most common species
found here. Highest species richness of birds was found in the
months of May and July. It is located right next to the High Court
of Kerala. It attracts a large number of tourists.
- Parikshith Thampuran Museum
This Rajas of Cochin used
to conduct their durbars in this impressive building located within
the Durbar Hall grounds. It was later converted to a museum which
features collections of the 19th century paintings , Pre-historic
monuments , Old coins in a numismatic gallery,Scriptures in stone &
Plaster of paris, Copies of mural paintings etc & the collection
from the Cochin royal family.
- Marine Drive, Kochi
Marine Drive is considered to be
one of the most beautiful part of Kochy city. The marine walk is the
main hangout for the local populace as the view of the backwaters
and the harbour from here is excellent. The bustling backwaters,
dotted with fishing boats, speedboats, ships, tankers and passenger
boats, can be observed from this walkway that lines the
coast.Thecoastal pathway that lines the backwater is well worth the
time spent, especially late afternoon or dusk.
- Cherai Beach
Cherai Beach offers a unique combination
of sea and backwaters rimmed by lush green coconut palms. This
lovely beach ideal for swimming is located on the north end of
Vypeen island, one of the many small islands just off the mainland.
The beach is lined by gorgeous coconut groves and paddy fields.
A place of prayer and pilgrimage; made
rich by the foot steps of St. Thomas the Apostle, who sowed the
seeds of Christianity in this part of the world. The church at the
top of the hill, about 2 Kms. can be reached only by foot. Situated
beside the Periyar river and a small lake called Manappattuchira,
Malayatoor is also a place of scenic beauty.
- Kallil Temple
A 9th century Jain temple on a small
hill in a picturesque surrounding. This temple is cut from a huge
rock and a climb of 120 steps leads to the temple. This temple is
carved out of a single stone. It also has statue of Mahaveera.
- Jewish Synagogue
The imposing structure was built in
1568 by the Jews who had settled in Mattancherry. this Synagogue is
the oldest in India, the Synanogue still has the scrolls of the Old
Testament and the copper plates, which recorded the grants of
privilege, bequeathed by the Kochi rulers. The Synagogue has
elaborately decorated crystal chandeliers and carved wood with blue
and white ceramic tiles.
Kalady is the birth place of Adi
Shankaracharya the great Indian Philosopher who lived in the 8th
century. It is situated on the banks of river Periyar and there are
2 shrines in memory of Sankaracharya - one for Dakshinamoorthy and
the other for the Goddes Sharada. Adi Sankara's shrines in Kalady
are open to all pilgrims irrespective of religion or caste.
- Boothathan Kettu
A scenic dam here and in the
reservoir boating facilities are provided. The Forest Department
provides elephant rides thorugh the forest to old Bhoothankettu,
which is very interesting. It is a popular picnic sport with Salim
Ali Bird Sanctuary near by.
- Chottanikkara Temple
The Chottanikkara Devi temple
is well known for its healing powers, particularly related to the
mental sickness and disorders. The Devi here is called by various
names like Raja Rajeshwari, Badrakali, Durga, Saraswathi and Amman.
This deity is worshipped in three different forms - as Saraswati in
the morning - draped in white, as Bhadrakali at noon draped in
crimson, and as Durga in the evening decked in blue.
Kodanad lies on the southern bank of Periyar
river amongst the scenic beauty of the High Ranges. It is one of the
largest elephant capturing centres of South India. In 1977 the
elephant capturing came to an end, but the elephant kraal and
training centre are still there intact. There is an elephant taming
centre here. There is also a mini zoo at Kodanadu.
- By Air
The nearest airport is at Karipur, Kozhikode,
about 93kms south.
- By Rail
Kannur railway station is an important rail
head of the Southern Railway and is well linked to major towns up
country as well as within the State.
- By Road
Kannur is accessible by road.
Ferry service is available for travel between
the island towns.
- Local transport
Taxis, city buses and autorickshaws.
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