Beach | City | Lake & Backwaters
At a distance of 1.5 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, Ernakulam Shiva Temple is one of the ancient Temples in Central Kerala. It is located close to the shores of Vembanad Lake Backwaters.
Lord Shiva also known as Ernakulathappan is the presiding deity of this temple. It was built during the Maharaja rule. The deity faces westward and enjoys the beauty of the sea. The annual festival usually falls during January or February and is spread over 8 days.
The uthsavom starts with Kodiyettam on the first day evening. On the seventh day there is Pakalpooram, when the deity is being taken out in procession with caparisoned elephants with Panchavadyam and finally terminating at Durbar Hall Ground after the famous Pandimelam and colorful fire works. On the final day around evening the deity is taken for the Arattu (holy bath) in the nearby temple tank. After that starts the Arattu procession with the accompaniment of Panchavadyam.
At a distance of 10 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, Cochin Jewish Synagogue is the oldest synagogue the Commonwealth of Nations. Located in Jew Town in Mattancherry area of Kochi city, it is also known as Paradesi Synagogue and Mattancherry Synagogue.
It is constructed in 1568 by Cochin Jewish community who mainly migrated from Middle East and Europe. The synagogue was built on a land gifted to the Malabari Yehuden community (Cochin Jews) by Kochi Rajas. It was rebuilt and renovated by the Dutch after the 1662 war, which partially destroyed it. This synagogue has Scrolls of Law, a number of gold crowns that were received as gifts, beautiful chandeliers, a brass railed pulpit, a clock tower and refines Chinese tiles hand painted in blue, are also kept displayed.
Mattancherry Bus Terminus is the nearest bus stand.
Timings: 10 AM to 12 PM & 3 PM to 5 PM. Closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays.
Historical & Heritage | Museum & Gallery
At a distance of 10 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, Dutch Palace, also known as Mattancherry Palace is located in Mattancherry near Jewish Synagogue.
Built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of kochi in 1555 AD, it took on its present popular name 'Dutch Palace' after 1663, when the Dutch carried out some extensions and renovations in the palace. Today, it is a portrait gallery of the Cochin Rajas and notable for some of the best mythological murals in India. The entrance to the Palace compound is through two arches which are typically Portuguese in character. The Palace with two floors built around a central courtyard follows the traditional Kerala style of architecture known as Nalukettus. From the outside, the palace looks European in character .The palace also houses Pazhayannur Bhagavati Temple, Lord Krishna Temple and Lord Siva Temple.
Timings: 10 AM - 5 PM. Closed on Fridays & National Holidays. .....
Museum & Gallery
At a distance of 12 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, The Indo-Portuguese Museum situated in Fort Kochi is an important center to understand the Indo-Portuguese Christian Art heritage.
The museum was established by Dr. Joseph Kureethra, Bishop of Kochi. It is divided into five main sections according to the nature of items displayed in each section, Altar, Treasure, Procession, Civil Life and Cathedral.
The museum currently houses a piece of the altar made in teak wood from the Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypeen, a chasuble from Bishop's House, Fort Kochi, Processional cross, which is a combination of silver and wood from Santa Cruz Cathedral, Fort Kochi, Indo-Portuguese Monstrance from The Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypeen. Among the displayed items, the Coat of Arms of the Franciscans needs special mention.
Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM. Closed on Mondays and Public Holidays.
At a distance of 13 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, the Santa Cruz Basilica is situated in Fort Kochi.
This church was built by the Portuguese and elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul 1V in 1558. Later the British demolished the structure and Bishop Dom Gomez Vereira commissioned a new building in 1887. Consecrated in 1905, Santa Cruz was proclaimed a Basilica by the Pope John Paul II in 1984. It is one of the 8 basilicas in India and one of the oldest churches in India.
The Church has two lofty spires and a remarkably bright, white-washed exterior and a pastel-colored interior. The interiors of the church are mostly Gothic. The columns decorated with frescoes and murals, the seven large canvas paintings on the passion and death on the Cross, especially the painting of the Last Supper, modeled on the famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci and the beautiful stained glass windows add to the artistic grandeur of the place.
At a distance of 13 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, Chinese fishing nets is a popular tourist attraction located in Fort Kochi. These are locally known as Cheenavala. The nets are located on Fort Kochi Beach.
The nets were introduced in Fort Kochi by the Chinese explorer, Zheng He. The Chinese fishing nets in Kochi Harbor were set up between 1350 and 1450 AD. The Kochi beaches are beautifully lined with Chinese nets. The nets are fixed land installations, which are used for a very unique and unusual method of fishing. Operated from the shore, these nets are set up on bamboo and teak poles and held horizontally by huge mechanisms, which lower them into the sea. They look somewhat like hammocks and are counter-weighed by large stones tied to ropes. The entire structure of the Chinese fishing nets is 10 meter in height, spreads 20 meter over the water body and is operated by a team of six fishermen.
The fishing nets are very close to Fort Kochi Bus Terminus .....
At a distance of 10 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, Fort Kochi Beach, also known as Kochi Beach is one of the finest beaches in Kerala. It is also called as Mahatma Gandhi Beach.
The main attraction of Fort Kochi Beach is the historic Fort that is the best example of Indo - European architecture. The raw and unused stretch of beach is a loner's delight, where one could swim and play. If you are lucky, you also get sight of a dolphin.
The beach is the venue for Kochi Carnival held on the New Year eve which is a colorful festival not to be missed. The Chinese Fishing Nets are located on this beach. St.Francis Church, one of the oldest churches in India is less than 1 Km from the Beach.
Nearest bus stand is Fort Kochi Bus Terminus.
At a distance of 23 Kms from Alappuzha Railway Station, Arthunkal Church, also known as St. Andrew's Forane Church is one of the oldest churches in Kerala. It is situated on the shores of Arabian Sea
Dedicated to St.Sebastian, this church comes under the Latin order. The Arthunkal Feast is celebrated for 11days. The highlights of the concluding day of the festival include a special ritual in which the devotees crawl on their knees all the way from the nearby beach to the church.
The near by Arthunkal beach (0.5 KM) is a nice place to watch the Sunset. The beach has no commercial activity.
Arthunkal is close to NH47 (near Tiruvizha Railway Station - about 5 Kms) between Alappuzha and Kochi and the highway is connected by frequent buses. Private/Public vehicles are available from the highway to reach the Arthunkal Church.
At a distance of 16 Kms from Alappuzha Railway Station, Mararikulam Beach is a cute little known beach situated in Mararikulam village. It is one of the most scenic beaches in Kerala. This white sand beach is filled with several coconut trees providing unique appearance to the beach. This is one of the popular tourist places to visit near Alappuzha & Kochi.
The beach is about 3 Kms from NH47 junction (called Mararikulam-Kalithattu Junction) before Kanjikkunzhi, between Alappuzha and kochi. The NH47 Junction is connected by frequent buses travelling between Alappuzha and Kochi.
There are several home stay options just on the shores of the beach. This beach is safe for swimming.
Lake & Backwaters
Alappuzha is a magnificent destination in Kerala with mix of Backwaters and Beach. Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey is situated on the shores of Arabian Sea close to the banks of Vembanad Lake. Alappuzha or Alleppey is among the most famous destination of backwaters in Kerala and also one of the top tourist places in Kerala.
Along with Kumarakom, Alappuzha is among the most famous destination of backwaters in kerala. A houseboat cruise in these backwaters is a delightful experience. It connects Kumarakom and Cochin to the North and Kollam to the South. The never-ending panorama of lush green paddy fields, towering coconut trees, shimmering water and long canals around Alappuzha make it a delightful destination.
It is popularly known as the 'Venice of the East'. Alleppey is also known for the annual Nehru Trophy Boat .....
At a distance of 2 Kms from Alappuzha Railway Station, Alappuzha beach is a lovely white sand beach on Arabian Sea. It is one of the top places to visit in Alleppey and among the most visited Kerala Beaches while holidaying in Kerala.
The beach is lined with dense palm groves at one end. The bridge on the beach is close to 150 years old. With Arabian Sea on west and several lakes (including Vembanad Lake), lagoons and several freshwater rivers, Alappuzha is a place with breathtaking natural beauty.
The children park at northern end of the beach is a good place to hang out for kids. There are no water sports facilities at the beach. The beach has considerably less commercial activity.
At a distance of 4 Kms from Alappuzha Railway Station, Mullakkal Raja Rajeswari Temple is very famous shrine in Alappuzha dedicated to Goddess Durga.
It is believed that Goddess Raja Rajeshwari appeared at this site to take care of a Jasmine flower (Mullakkal means 'Jasmine Flower' in Malayalam). The temple celebrates two annual festivals - the Navratri festival (October/November) and the Thaipooyakavadi festival (November/December). The last two days are the most auspicious days. Colorful processions participated by nine elephants are held in the evening. It is witnessed by thousands of devotees. Also several cultural programs including Ottanthullal & Kathakali are staged in the temple.
The Thaipooyakavadi celebrated for 41 days in November/December. The whole town will be full of lights and decoration and the last ten days are celebrated with glory.
At a distance of 14 Kms from Alappuzha Railway Station, Sri Krishna Temple located in Ambalapuzha is an ancient temple built in 8th century AD. It is one of the popular places of pilgrimage in Kerala and also one of top tourist places in Kerala.
Built in typical Kerala style of temple architecture, this temple is famous for Pala Payasam (sweet pudding made of rice and milk) served to the devotees. During the raids of Tipu Sultan in 1789, the idol of Sri Krishna from the Guruvayoor Temple was brought to the Ambalappuzha Temple for safe keeping. The idol here is found with a Whip in the right hand and a Shankhu in the left. It is believed that Kunjan Nambiar was the artist who gave birth to the unique art form of this temple.
Amabalapuzha Temple Festival, known as the Champakkulam Moolam Water Festival is celebrated in remembrance of the installation of the idol of Lord Krishna in the temple.
Lake & Backwaters | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 13 Kms from Alappuzha Railway Station, Champakulam is a beautiful village on the banks of Pampa River in Alappuzha district, with green paddy fields, coconut groves and water fowl. It is part of Kuttanad region, the rice bowl of Kerala.
Champakulam Moolam Boat Race is the oldest snake boat races in Kerala. The race is held in Pampa River on the moolam day of the Malayalam month Midhunam (June/July), the day of the installation of the deity at the Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple.
Champakulam Church is one of the oldest churches in India, built in 427 AD. This church has seen many changes and undergone several enhancements. There are many inscriptions around the church describing its history. The annual festival is celebrated on October 3rd.
At a distance of 29 Kms from Kottayam, 35 Kms from Alappuzha & 33 kms from Pathanamthitta, Sri Vallabha Temple is located near Thiruvalla town (4 Kms) in Pathanamthitta district.
This ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is one among the 108 Diva Kshetrams in India. This temple is built in typical Kerala style of temple architecture with fine carvings and murals. The inner sanctum of the temple houses a 6 feet tall idol of Maha Vishnu. The flag staff of the temple is made out of granite and it is about 50 feet tall. A 3 feet idol of Garuda (the eagle vehicle of Lord Vishnu) is installed on top of the flagstaff.
This temple is famous for the traditional Kathakali performances almost every night and it is perhaps the only temple in Kerala where Kathakali is regularly performed as a ritual offering to a deity, after the evening Pooja
The annual festival of the temple is celebrated in Feb / Mar and the Utharaseeveli festival is celebrated for one day on Mar / Apr.
Historical & Heritage
At a distance of 49 Kms from Alappuzha, Krishnapuram Palace situated on NH47 between Alappuzha and Kollam is a wonderful palace built by Kayamkulam Kings.
The palace was occupied by Marthanda Varma, the Maharaja of Travancore from Kayamkulam kings in 18th century. The origin and age of the palace are unknown. The Palace is a rare specimen of the Kerala style of architecture, with gabled roofs, narrow corridors and dormer windows.
Currently the palace houses an archaeological museum, with many wonderful exhibits of the region. The most fascinating exhibit being the 49 Sq. Meter Gajendra Moksham, the largest mural painting discovered in Kerala. The mural was placed at the entrance of this palace near the pond to help the kings to worship the deity after their bath. Other attractions of the palace include the garden with a variety of flora, Buddha mandapam, rare antique bronze sculptures and paintings.
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