Queen of the Arabian sea
Kochi, also known as Cochin, has a unique place in the Kerala tourism map. Though there are many places that will excite the travelers, Kochi maintains a stature of its own. The uniqueness of the place lies in its heterogeneity. The tourist destinations in Kochi are very diverse and different. Hence a visit to Kochi is a complete package that is sure to satisfy everyone in the group from children, couples, youngsters to grandparents.
The nature and landscape of Kerala are inherently green and adorned with serene backwaters and sandy beaches. Kochi is no exception to this norm. Such places, rich in natural beauty, attract nature lovers from around the globe and fill them with great joy. There are many such places in Kochi.
The tourist destination is also a land with a rich culture and history. Kochi is home to many palaces, religious centers, and monuments that stood the test of time. Some of them are almost a millennium old. A history enthusiast cannot help but marvel at these places.
Kochi is an IT hub of Kerala with a huge IT park which houses international giants. Thousands of skilled IT professionals find their livelihood by working here. Many malls, restaurants, and places of recreation have developed in the location to keep them entertained. Hence Kochi has developed into a city with most modern facilities.
There is an amusement park which is one of the best of its kind in India. The prospects of a visit to the park will excite children of all ages. It will be exhilarating for the young and the middle-aged.
Top attractions in Kochi
Fort Kochi is a heritage center in Kochi with a rich history. Throughout centuries, it was under the rule of Kochi kingdom, Portuguese, Dutch and the British. The place also gave asylum for Jews, Muslims, and Jains. It hence contains diverse relics that proclaim its prolific past. The historical monuments in Fort Kochi include Mattanchery palace (Dutch Palace), Jew Street, Synagogue, Jain Temple, Santacruz basilica, and so on which makes it a busy tourist attraction in Kochi. Chinese fishing net, which is a common sight in Fort Kochi, is reminiscent of the era when Kochi had trade relations with China. There are many churches in this tourism destination in Kochi with historical importance. St Francis Church is famous for the tomb of Vasco Da Gama. St George Orthodox Koonan Kurish Church is where the historical event of Koonan Kurish Sathyam (Oath of Koonan Cross) took place in 1653. The locality also hosts Kochi-Muziris Biennale, an international exhibition of contemporary arts every 2 years. The man-made Willington island and the Kerala Kathakali Center where the traditional art form Kathakali is promoted are other notable attractions.
Marine Drive is a picturesque walk-way in the heart of Kochi city. It has developed into a thriving tourist location due to its view of backwater, sunset and the line of restaurants. Natives and tourists throng the area usually during evenings. The clean long walkway is the perfect place to unwind and relax after a day of hard labor. Three bridges – the Chinese Fishing Net Bridge, the Rainbow Bridge, and the Houseboat Bridge – constructed in contemporary design adorn the tourist attraction in Kochi. The soothing cool breeze from Vembanad lake takes away the stress of daily life. You can avail boat services also from Marine drive. A nice long walk through the Marine drive is rejuvenating, especially in the evenings. You can also taste different types of foods from the restaurants lining the walkway.
Built by the Dutch in 1744, the Bolgatty Palace is one of the oldest Dutch mansions outside Holland. The place was the Governor’s palace for the commander of Dutch Malabar. Later it was leased to the British in 1909. It served as the palace of the British resident of Cochin during British colonial rule. The mansion is a huge construction with a 9 hole golf course and a swimming pool. The building is now converted into a heritage hotel resort where you can enjoy an ayurvedic massage in the adjacent ayurvedic center. There are also regular Kathakali performances for those who are interested in the traditional Kerala art form.
If you are interested in the cultural heritage and architecture of Kerala, the place is sure to enthrall you. The largest archeological museum in Kerala is located in Thrippunithura, about 10 kilometers from Kochi. Built-in traditional Kerala architecture in 1865, the palace was the official residence of the Maharaja of Kochi. The palace is now transformed into an Ethno-Archeological museum and first-ever heritage museum in Kerala. Spread over 52 acres of land, this tourist location near Kochi consists of 49 buildings, children’s park, deer park, and prehistoric park. The ground is also home to some rare kinds of medicinal plants. The golden crown, jewelry, paintings, coins and weapons used by Kochi kings on display in the museum will surely enchant you.
Museum of Kerala History
Founded in 1986, this is one of the oldest art and history museums in Kerala. The well-set museum stands as one of the best holiday destinations in Kochi. You will be thrilled to understand the history of Kerala through 36 dioramas, each representing a key historical moment or personality. A light and sound show accompanied by commentaries in Malayalam and English greets the visitors to the museum. There is also a modern art gallery in the museum with almost 230 works from pre-eminent masters of the art. The works of Raja Ravi Varma, M.F Hussain and Jamini Roy are sure to take your breath away. The fine tourism location also houses a doll museum containing nearly 150 dolls depicting diverse cultural groups and dance traditions in India. If you are a history enthusiast intent on learning the culture and history of Kerala, this is the best destination in Kochi for you.
Kerala Folklore Museum
If you love the traditional architecture and heritage of Kerala you should visit the Kerala Folklore Museum. The place has developed into a tourist attraction in Kochi due to its great art collection. There are more than 6000 exhibits here that will blow you away. The unique museum is the best place to learn about traditional Kerala arts, woodworks, and ancient carpentry. The first floor showcases the costumes of traditional and ritual dance forms of Kerala like Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Theyyam, and Ottamthullal. The second floor is dedicated to mural paintings. The exhibition of masks, ornaments, musical instruments and sculptures will educate you on the rich cultural heritage of the land.
Lulu International Shopping Mall
With a built-up area of 1.5 million square feet, Lulu mall is one of the largest shopping malls in India. It is estimated that almost 80,000 people visit the place daily, making it the busiest tourist destination in Kochi. It contains an excess of 225 outlets consisting of restaurants, entertainment zones, food courts, branded showrooms, and a multiplex. It is the only place in Kerala which has an ice skating rink. It also has a bowling alley which is a rarity in Kerala. If you come from a foreign country, and you require some groceries that are not available in Kerala, Lulu mall is the best place to go. You can find almost everything at the same quality here. Never miss this best tourist location while you are planning a holiday in Kochi.
Wonderla Amusement Park
One of the best amusement parks in India, Wonderla, is located just 12 kilometers from the Kochi city center. It is a major tourist location in Kochi, luring families from different parts of India. Spreading over 30 acres of land, the amusement park has more than 50 exciting rides. If you have children, they would be thrilled at the prospect of spending a whole day in this wonderland. If you are planning on a visit to Kochi, be sure to include the place in your tour package.
The backwater tourism of Kochi is second only to Kumarakom house boating. Renowned as the ‘Queen of Arabian sea’, the beautiful land contains serene lakes ideal for cruising. The lush green shores, Chinese fishing nets, and view of local village life reserve it the first spot in every Kochi tourism package. You will feel re-energized after a one-day cruise through the placid backwater, with the cool breeze blowing in your face. You may also get to see some varieties of migratory birds resting or peacefully soaring through the blue sky. If you are stressed out and are looking for a place where you can relax and unwind, this is the perfect holiday spot for you.
Best Time To Visit Kochi
Kochi is a location where you can wear your t-shirts year-round. But if you are not a fan of a humid climate, it is better to avoid the summer season. There are seasonal tour packages to Kochi with varying rates. The knowledge of the seasonal variation in the packages will help you to select the one best suited for you.
There are three main seasons in Kochi. They are:
- Winter (October- February): This may be the best season to visit Kochi. The climate will be cool and comfortable with the lowest temperature not below 16 degrees Celsius. The climate will be pleasant with rare short spells of rain. The downside is that the rate of tourism packages to Kochi at this time will be high.
- Summer (March-May): The summer can be quite hot and humid. The highest temperature sometimes hit the high thirties which can be quite draining. But the upside is that you can get a good discount on the package tours. If you are fine with the hot climate, this is the best time of the year to visit Kochi. Please make sure you carry sunscreen with you all the time.
- Monsoon (June – September): Monsoon in Kerala is a unique beauty. A visit to Kochi during this time will be a different experience for you. The heavy rain in the lush green land adds to the picturesque beauty of the place. Nature lovers would be excited to be in rain-drenched Kochi during this season. But remember to carry an umbrella with you as the downpour can be heavy and frequent.
How To Reach Kochi
One of the greatest boons of selecting Kochi as a tourist destination is that the tourist spot is very easy to reach. Be it via road, rail, or air the place is highly connected. Kochi also has a seaport that welcomes tourist ships from around the world. But you have to be filthy rich to get into one of them.
- By Road: National highways and state highways connect the metro city to nearby locations. NH 544 ( erstwhile NH 47) passes through Kochi and connects it to Salem and Kanyakumari. NH 66 (erstwhile NH 17) connects it to Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, and Goa.
- By Air: Just 25 kilometers to the north of the city is Cochin International Airport (CIAL). The busy terminal handles both domestic and international flights. Most major airline companies like Jet Airways, Emirates, Indian Airlines, and so on operate regular flights to the CIAL.
- By Rail: Kochi has many railway stations in its vicinity. You have to decide which part to go to and take a train that will stop at the respective station. But if you are coming from far off land Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town are the stations that you should get down at to reach Kochi.