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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.
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You are Here : HomeCities in Kerala >> Ernakulam (Cochin)
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Ernakulam (Cochin), Kerala

Population 2589038, Greater Cochin (2001 census)
Location Latitude : 9o57' N; Longitude 76 o15' E/ North Malabar Area (Kerala)
Language Malayalam is the Official Language. English is popularly used in business circles
Religion Hindus account for the largest comrnunity followed by Christians and Muslims. Cochin has also a small population of Jains, Jews, and Sikhs.
Time (Indian standard Time + 5.30 hours GMT).
Altitude Sea Level
Climate The warm tropical climate recommends light cotton clothes, waterproofing is essential during monsoons.
Season Best time to visit is between October and March
Boundaries North - Thrissur District, East - Idukki District, West - Arabian Sea, South - Kottayam & Alappuzha Districts
Area 2997 sq.km.
Clothing Tropical cottons.
Radio Cochin FM 102.3 MHz. (Timings: 1658 hrs to 300 hrs (all days)
Geographical Area 2407 Sq.kms
Coast line 46 Kms

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
  • 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 honeymoon cottages.

  • Chendamangalam
    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 relics.

  • 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 Cochin.

  • 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 exhibited here.

  • 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.

  • Malayattor
    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
    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
    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.

How to reach Cochin
  • 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.

  • Ferries
    Ferry service is available for travel between the island towns.

  • Local transport
    Taxis, city buses and autorickshaws.

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