About Kochi

Ideal Trip Duration: 2-3 Days

Base Station: Kochi

Nearest City to Kochi: Kochi

Best Time to Visit Kochi: August & November to March

Peak Season: August & December to January

State: Kerala | District: Ernakulam

Kochi Weather: Maximum: 35°C
Minimum: 20°C

At a distance of 190 km from Coimbatore, 204 km from Trivandrum, 426 km from Mangalore and 516 km from Bangalore, Kochi, also known as Cochin is a port city in Ernakulam district of Kerala. Also referred to as 'The Queen of the Arabian Sea', Kochi is the financial capital of Kerala. Kochi is one of the prime tourist places to visit in Kerala.

The city derives its name from the Malayalam word Kochazhi meaning small lagoon. Kochi is one of the finest natural harbors in the world. The city has 3 parts - Fort Kochi, Willington Island and Ernakulam. Vasco da Gama, whose arrival in Kerala about 500 years ago opened up a new era of trade between India and Europe. Kochi & Ernakulam are twin cities which are separated by Kayal backwaters. It is one of the major places in the development of Tourism in Kerala.

Till early 16th century, kochi was a small fishing village that became the first European township in India. The town was shaped by the Portuguese, the Dutch and later the British. Kochi was an important spice trading center on the Arabian Sea coast since the 14th century. Occupied by the Portuguese in 1503 and it remained the capital of Portuguese India until 1530, when they opted for Goa as their capital. In 1635, the British settled in Kochi; however, the Dutch forced them out in 1663. Under the Dutch rule, Kochi developed as an important trade center. Kochi came under the administration of the British and developed into a major Indian harbor in 1814.

The tourism in Kochi is admired for its scenic beauty, traditional architecture and cultural diversity. This city is home to the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth as well as numerous old churches and temples. Attracting tourists from all around the world, Fort Kochi, Bolghatty Palace and the backwaters are major highlights of the city. Marine Drive, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, St. George Ferona Church - Edappally, Cochin Jewish Synagogue, Matancherry Palace, Chinese Fishing Nets and Fort Kochi Beach are the other attractions in Kochi.

Kochi is easily accessible by air, rail and road. The city has an international airport located in Nedumbassery about 38 km from Kochi. It connects Kochi to all major cities in India as well as international destinations. Kochi has two major railway stations; Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town. It is well linked with major cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Madurai, Delhi, etc.

Kochi is well connected by bus from Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pondicherry, Trivandrum and Tirupathi. The city has four major bus stations. Kaloor Bus station - used by private long-distance buses and local buses, KSRTC Central Bus Station - used by Kerala RTC inter-state/inter-city buses, KSRTC Jetty Station - Used by KSRTC city and short distance services and Fort Kochi Bus Terminus - used by both private and KSRTC City services.

The best time to visit Kochi is in the month of August and November-March. It usually takes at least two full days to explore the important places in Kochi.

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Other Info
Internet Availability: Very Good
STD Code: 0484
Languages Spoken: Malayalam, Hindi & English
Major Festivals: Onam festival / Athachamayam (Aug/Sep),
Cochin Carnival (Dec),
Indira Gandhi Boat Race (Dec)
Notes/Tips:
None

How to Reach Kochi

By Air

Nearest Airport: Kochi - Cochin International Airport (27 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Ernakulam Jn (South) Railway Station (0 Kms)
Ernakulam Town Railway Station (3.5 Kms)
Cochin Harbour Terminus (8.5 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: KSRTC Central Bus Station (1.5 Kms)

Top 10 Places to Visit in Kochi

Pilgrimage

#1 of 39 Places to Visit in Kochi

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.

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Beach

#2 of 39 Places to Visit in Kochi

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.

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Miscellaneous

#3 of 39 Places to Visit in Kochi

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 .....

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Nature

#4 of 39 Places to Visit in Kochi

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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Wildlife

#5 of 39 Places to Visit in Kochi

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

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Pilgrimage

#6 of 39 Places to Visit in Kochi

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.

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Backwaters

#7 of 39 Places to Visit in Kochi

At a distance of 16 km from Kottayam, 56 km from Kochi, 36 km from Alleppey, 135 km from Munnar & 164 km from Trivandrum, Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake in Kerala. Also known as the Queen of Vembanad, Kumarakom is the most famous Kerala backwaters destination for traditional houseboat ride and it is among the most visited Tourist places in kerala state. This is also one of the ideal weekend getaways from Kochi & Trivandrum.

The name Kumarakom was derived from the deity of an old temple Kumaran. Arundhati Roy, author of the 1997 Booker Prize-winning The God of Small Things, was raised in the nearby Aymanam village. In order to protect the ecology of the place, the Kerala government has declared Kumarakom as a special tourism zone. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, .....

Distance (From Kochi): 56 Kms
Trip Duration (From Kochi - Including Travel): Full Day
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Heritage | Pilgrimage

#8 of 39 Places to Visit in Kochi

At a distance of 13 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, St.Francis Church is the first European Church built in India. It is located on Parade Road in Fort kochi, less than 1 Km from Kochi Beach.

The Church was originally named as Santo Antonio, the patron Saint of Portugal. The history of this Church reflects the colonial struggle of European powers in India, from the 15th to 20th Centuries. The Portuguese Vasco da Gama was the first European to discover the sea route to India. In 1503 Alphonso Alburquerque was given permission by the Rajah of Cochin to build a fort. The original structure was built in wood, which was later rebuilt in stone. Vasco Da Gama has died in Kochi in 1524 and was originally buried in this church cemetery. After 14 years, his remains were moved to Lisbon in Portugal. The gravestone of Vasco Da Gama can still be seen here.

The Church became a protected monument in April 1923.

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Pilgrimage

#9 of 39 Places to Visit in Kochi

At a distance of 20 km from Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, Aluva Shiva Temple is the most famous Shiva temple in Kochi situated on the banks of Periyar River in Aluva.

The temple stands distinct as the Sivalinga or the idol of Lord Siva is not enshrined on any Pagoda. It stands alone on the vast sand banks of the river Periyar. During the monsoon season, the whole region gets flooded and the idol gets submerged in water. Shivarathri is the main festival of the temple carried out every year in the Malayalam month of Karkidakam (February-March). The devotees stay awake the whole night in prayer. A dip in the river after observing the rituals of Shivarathri is considered very sacred.

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Heritage

#10 of 39 Places to Visit in Kochi

At a distance of 38 km from Kochi & 36 Kms from Thrissur, Kodungallur, also known as Cranganore is a historical town located in Thrissur district on NH17 between Kochi and Kozhikode. This is one of the popular tourist places to visit near Kochi and also an ideal getaway from Kochi for a short trip.

Kodungallur was the capital of Cheraman Perumal, the last Chera Ruler in the 7th century AD. Kodungallur is home for several important historical monuments:

- Bhagawati Temple is one of the oldest temples in Kerala with history of above 2000 years and was mentioned in the epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha
- Thomas the Apostle of Jesus is believed to have landed in Kodungallur with his followers in the year 52 AD. This place has become the earliest Syrian Christian centre of Malabar. Monuments built in the memory of Thomas still exist here, including St. Thomas Church.
- Cheraman Juma Masjid is the first mosque built in India in .....

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