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Cochin (Kochi)

Queen of the Arabian Sea

Kochi (Cochin), the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala, has one of the finest natural harbours in the world. Ancient mariners from Arabia, China, Holland, Britain and Portugal have all left their mark on this beautiful island city.

One of the finest natural harbours on the Arabian Sea coast, Kochi (Cochin), earlier known as Cochin has been a port of call for foreign traders from early times. Its cosmopolitan character is reflected in the buildings and structures representing different regions of the world. A city of peninsulas and islands, today it is Kerala's commercial hub.

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. Cochin

Unique Attractions of Kochi (Cochin)

Mattancherry Palace ( Dutch Palace)
Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi (Cochin), the palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. On display here are beautiful Murals depicting scenes from the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata and some of the puranic Hindu legends. Them palace is open for public viewing from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. all week days except Fridays.

Bolghatty Palace
A Scenic island near the city of Ernakulam, Bolghatty is famous for the Bolghatty Palace built by the Dutch in 1744 AD. This palace, once the residence of the British resident of Kochi (Cochin), is now a KTDC (Kerala Tourism Development Corporation) hotel.

St. Francis Church
Built in 1503 by Portuguese Francisan Friars, this is the India's oldest European church. It was restored in 1779 by the protestant Dutch, converted to an Anglican Church by the British in 1795, and is presently used by the church of South India. Vasco da Gama's remains were buried here in 1524 and later moved to Lisbon, Portugal but his tombstone still remains.

Hill Palace Museum, ThripunithraHill Palace Museum, Thripunithra
10 km from Kochi, Hill Palace, the official residence of the Kochi royal family, was built in 1865 AD. The palace complex consists of 49 buildings built in the Traditional Architectural Style of Kerala and is surrounded by 52 acres of terraced land with a Deer Park and facilities for horse riding. A full-fledged ethno-archaeological museum and Kerala's first every heritage museum are the main attractions. Displayed inside the thirteen galleries are oil paintings, 19th century paintings, Murals, sculpture in stone and plaster of paris, manuscripts, inscriptions and coins belonging to the Kochi royal family.

Willingdon Island
Named after Lord Willingdon, a British viceroy to India, this man-made island is surrounded by beautiful backwaters. The island is the site of the city's best hotels, customs and trading centres, the port trust and the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command.

Jewish Synagogue
Constructed in 1568, this is the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth. Destroyed in a shelling during the Portuguese raid in 1662, it was rebuilt two years later by the Dutch. Known for mid 18th century hand printed, willow pattern floor tiles from Canton in China, a dock tower, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, ancient scripts on copper plates etc.

Travel Attractions of Kochi (Cochin)

Alappuzha Beach (70 km)
Also known as the Venice of the East, Alappuzha is famous for its boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. A singular characteristic of this land is the region called Kuttanad. The granary of Kerala, Kuttanad is one of the few places in the world where farming is done below sea level.

Wildlife
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thekkady (190 km) : Rolling hills, tea and cardamom plantations welcome you to Thekkady. One of the largest wildlife reserves in India, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is more popular as a tiger reserve. A boat ride on the splendid waters of the Periyar Lake provides the perfect recreation.

Backwaters
Kumarakom (88 km) : This unique backwater destination situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake is considered the gateway to the backwaters of Kuttanad. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a favourite haunt of migratory birds from across the world, which makes it a renowned bird watching centre. Kumarakom is also a centre for houseboat cruises.

Cochin Hill StationsHill Stations
Munnar (130 km) : 1600 m above sea level, Munnar is a nature lover's paradise and was the summer resort of the British government in South India. Sprawling tea plantations, picture-book towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular hill station.

Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands is the 'Neelakurinji'. This flower, which bathes the hills in blue once every twelve years, will bloom next in 2006 AD. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2695 m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking.

Tiger, Sambhar, Bison, Spotted Deer, Leopard, Malabar Flying Squirrel, Stripe-necked Mongoose and so on can also be spotted in the forest. Kumily, an important spice trade centre, lies in the periphery of the sanctuary.

Shopping in Kochi (Cochin)

For Handicrafts
Kerala State Handicrafts Development showroom- Kairali, M.G. Road.
State Handicraft Society Emporium - Surabhi, M.G. Road.
Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan, the showroom of Khadi Village Industries at Pallimukku, M.G. Road.
Fairs & Festivals of Kochi (Cochin)


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ArrowSuggested Tour Packages
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Suggested Tour Packages
Kerala at its Best - IVP-042
Duration: 08 Nights / 09 Days Tour
Place Covered: Cochin – Munnar - Thekkady - Kumarokom - Kovalam - Kanyakumari - Kovalam
Amazing Kerala - IVP-043
Duration: 08 Nights / 09 Days Tour
Place Covered: Trivandrum - Kovalam - Kanyakumari - Kollam - Houseboat - Periyar - Cochin
Honeymoon Vacation Package - IVP-008
Duration: 09 Nights / 10 Days Tour
Place Covered: Bombay - Cochin - Periyar - Kumarakom - Houseboat - Marari - Cochin



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