Beach | City | Hill Station | Lake & Backwaters | Wildlife
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.
Lake & Backwaters
Boat cruise is the best mode in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary to watch the wildlife from a close distance. Boating in Thekkady is arranged by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) in the Periyar Lake and is one of the most popular things to do here as part of Kerala Tour Packages. The lake was formed by Mullaperiyar Dam constructed in 1895. The land surrounding the lake is commonly frequented by wildlife.
Elephants are the most common wildlife you can see on the shores of the reservoir. Apart from Elephants, the sight of Wild Boar and Sambar Deer is also possible. The upper deck in the boat is best for wildlife viewing. The tickets for boating is issued at Thekkady Boating Point which is 4.5 Km from Kumily Bus Stand. The boats are mostly crowded and better to come early and allocate good amount of buffer time for boating. Early morning .....
Elephant rides are famous in Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. The elephant rides through the spice gardens are arranged by Elephant Junction. This park is situated 4 Km away from Kumily Bus Stand. It offers a rare opportunity to experience the safari on an Elephant through a Spice Plantation where the gentle breeze refresh ones, with the spice scented air.
Elephant Junction is a place where one can actually interact with the elephants getting indulged into activities such as bathing elephant, elephant ride and enjoying getting around with playful elephants. Elephant safaris are equipped with a howdah on the back of the elephant on which two tourists sit, with an umbrella over the riders head. Elephant trainers will be at side, walking along with the elephant.
30 minutes elephant safari: Rs.350 per person
60 minutes elephant safari: Rs.750 per person
90 minutes elephant safari: Rs. 1500 per person
Elephant Safari Timings: 6 AM to 5 PM.
At a distance of 7.5 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, St. George Ferona Church situated in Edappally is one of the oldest churches in India. This Roman Catholic Church was built in 594 AD in the land donated by the Raja of Edappally. In 1080, a new church was built adjacent to the old church. The deity is popularly known for his powers to get rid of snakes.
A grand 9 day festival is celebrated here in the month of April / May every year. The church is also popular amongst the non-Christians, who also come here for veneration. At the time of St. George Ferona Church festival, numerous vendors gather to sell wares of different kinds, made mainly out of mud. This festival begins on the 23rd of April in the presence of huge crowd of devotees.
Museum & Gallery
At a distance of 9.5 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, Museum of Kerala History is situated in Edappally. The museum was built and maintained by Madhavan Nayar Foundation. A statue of Parasurama greets the visitors at the entrance of the Museum.
The Museum also has a Gallery of Paintings and Sculptures with a unique collection of over 200 paintings. The gallery displays the works of some of the greatest exponents of Indian art including Raja Ravi Varma, Mammiyoor Krishhan Kutty Nair, Jamini Roy, Manu Parekh and M F Hussain.
A one hour light & sound show is presented with life-size sculptures of 87 personalities who shaped the history and culture of Kerala in the last 2000 years. Light & sound show timings: 10AM, 11 AM, 12PM, 2 PM, 3 PM & 4 PM.
Museum Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM. Closed on Mondays & public holidays.
At a distance of 4 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is situated behind the High Court, in center of kochi City.
This mangrove forest is home to many exotic and rare varieties of migratory birds. It is a mangrove area consisting of a shallow lake in the middle, with its edges covered with thick vegetation. This water body is connected with famous Kochi backwaters (Vembanad Lake) via a canal. In the heart of this lake, there is a small island with mangrove growth. The Bird Sanctuary plays a significant role in balancing the ecology of Kochi. This Sanctuary is surrounded by the backwaters of Vembanad Lake. The sanctuary houses 41species of birds representing 25 families. The most common bird species found at Mangalavanam are Little Cormorant and Black-crowned Night Heron. Highest crowd of birds is found in the months of May and July.
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
Nature & Scenic
At a distance of 3 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, the Marine Drive is one the most beautiful spots in Kochi City.
The Marine Drive stretches from the Jankar Jetty in the north to the Ernakulam Boat Jetty in the south. It is built facing the backwaters, and is a popular hangout for the locals. It is an important shopping centre in Kochi. The place offers wonderful views of sunset over the sea mouth. The gentle breeze from the Vembanad Lake has made Marine Drive an important tourist spot in Kochi. The 140 meter walkway passes through bridges, the Rainbow bridge and the Chinese Fishing Net Bridge. Country boats and motor boats are available at both the ends of walkway for rides in the backwaters.
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