About Kochi / Cochin
Kochi or Cochin is a city tucked in the beauty of coconut palms and endless blue waters is one of the important towns in Southern India, with a natural harbour. Cochin is also the commercial hub of Kerala. A trading port since Roman times, Cochin lies on the main trade route between Europe and China.
The three main parts of the city are Fort Kochi, Willingdon Island and Ernakulam.
Air : International Air Port at Nedumbassery, near Aluva, is about 22 kms away from Ernakulam.
Rail : Kochi has 2 stations, Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town. These 2 stations are connected. These lines also link the railway stations to Thiruvanthapuram, Mangalore and Mangalore to Chennai. Trains from the Northern cities/Southern parts of India stop at Ernakulam Junction.
Road : KSRTC Central Bus station is near the Junction railway station. It runs Express and Fast services from Ernakulam to other major cities within Kerala and into the neighbouring states.
Some of the major attractions in Kochi are as follows:
Marine Drive: Also called as Shanmugham Road, Marine Drive is a long gracefully curving road along the seacoast of the Kochi City. It offers a breathtaking view of the backwaters and the harbor. The breach offers a number of water activities include motor boats that are available for rides in the backwaters.
Jewish Synagogue at Mattancherry: Located in Jew town, Mattancherry, this imposing structure of the Jewish Synagouge was built in 1568 when the Jews settled in Mattancherry, after their expulsion from the Rahabi. There is a clock tower and paved floor with 18th century hand painted willow pattern tiles from China. Its most important relics are the impressive copper plates recording King Bhaskara Ravi Verma's 4th century decree that guaranteed the Jewish settlers domain over Cranganore (Kodungalore) as well as the Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, great scrolls of the Old Testament etc.
Timings: 10 am to 12 noon; 3 pm to 5pm and closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays.
Dutch Palace, Mattancherry: Built by the Portuguese in the mid 16 th century, this palace was taken over in 1663 by the Dutch, who renovated it before presenting it to the Rajas of Cochin. The palace is notable for some of the best mythological murals in India, particularly in the bed chambers with the entire story of Ramayana on the walls. The palace also houses Dutch maps of Old Kochi, royal palanquins, coronation robes of former maharajas of Kochi and displays an example of traditional Kerala flooring, which looks like polished black marble but is actually a mixture of burned coconut shells, charcoal, lime, plant juices and egg whites. It is situated at Palace Road, Mattancherry.
Timings: Saturday to Thursday from 10 am - 5 pm, Closed on Fridays and National holidays.
Chinese fishing nets, Fort Kochi Beach: Chinese traders from the court of Kublai Khan are believed to have introduced these huge cantilevered fishing nets sometime during the late14th century. The nets are built of teak wood and bamboo poles. They can best be seen at sunset, on the north end of the promontory, a few metres from Fort Kochi, or from a boat tour of the harbour. Vasco da Gama square just behind the nets is an idle place to sit and savour the delicious seafood freshly caught in the nets, catered by the stalls here.
Veega Land Amusement Park: Located just 12 Kms away from Vyttila by-pass junction, Ernakulam, Veega Land is an amusement park situated on top of a hill with enchanting scenic beauty. The musical fountain, shown in the theater is something no one can miss. Various water games keep adults and children fully engaged. This is a great place to spend a holiday or a weekend.
11.00am to 6.30pm. Saturdays, Sundays and other holidays - 11.00am to 7.30pm. Closed on Wednesday.
Fort Immanuel: Bbuilt in 1503, the fort was symbolic of the strategic alliance between the Maharaja of Cochin and the Ruler of Portugal. By 1806, the Dutch, and later the British, had destroyed most of the fort walls and its bastions. The remains of this bastion of the Portuguese in Cochin can bee seen along the beach.
Other tourist attractions : Kochi offers many other tourist attractions including the Dutch Cemetry,
Pierce Leslie Bungalow - a 19th century elegant colonial mansion was the office of the coffee merchants , Thakur House, Bastion Bungalow - an architectural
splendor in the Indo-European style, the Bishops House - built by the Portuguese in A.D.1506 as residence of the Portuguese governor, it is the oldest Catholic Dioceses in India located near the Parade ground, Fort Kochi.
Site seeing in Kochi
If you are a tourist staying at a hotel in Kochi, your best bet would be to contact the reception for various tourist attractions in Kochi and how to get there.
Shopping Centers in Kochi
Kochi is a shopper's delight with textiles, readymade garments, jewellery, handi crafts, antiques as well as spices. Some of the famous shopping area are as follows:
The Mahatma Gandhi Road (M.G road) earlier known as the Seventy-feet Road, branches off from Banerji Road in its north end to Thevara Junction down south covering approximately four kilometers. M.G. Road is today the city's main commercial centre housing retail shops selling all kind of goods such as textiles, ready made garments, jewellery, toys, home furnishing , handicrafts, decorative items etc.
The Marine Drive or the Shanmugham road has the lively GCDA commercial complex and the Pioneer Towers along the water front, which houses a variety of showrooms, many business establishments and several fast food cafes and restaurants. The nearby Penta Menaka complex has fast food cafes and restaurants, and a variety of duty free shops.
The Northern end of Broadway is the Ernakulam Main Market selling fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, meat,