Cochin - City Guide - Kerala
Cochin is the foremost tourist destination in God's Own Country. With the electrifying influence of the Arabs, British, Chinese and Portuguese, Cochin arose as the most happening metropolitan city in Kerala. In short, Cochin beckons the heritage and culture of Kerala. Every nook and corner of Cochin reflects the harmonious amalgamation of Western influence and Indian culture.
Cochin, which is nicknamed as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, is one of the finest natural harbours of the world. Cochin is an enchanting place to visit with picturesque sceneries of palm groves, green field, inland lakes, and backwaters surrounding it. As per the overall tourist footfall in Kerala, Cochin ranks first. Also, it stands at the sixth position among the best tourist destinations in India.
Cochin has been the chief centre of the world spice trade for many centuries. The unique attractions in Cochin, such as the age-old Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry Dutch Palace, stunning beaches, exotic islands, etc have enchanted visitors from across the globe for centuries.
Popular As: ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’.
Prominent Places to Visit:
Marine Drive: Marine Drive is the most popular promenade in Cochin which is a favourite hangout among the local people in Cochin.
Fort Kochi: Fort Kochi is famous as the commercial capital of Kerala. It was a small fishing village in pre-colonial Kerala, but now it is one of the top tourist spots in Cochin with a lot of attractions like Bastion Bungalow Vasco Da Gama square Pierce Leslie Bungalow, Bishop's house, Fort Immanuel Thakur House David Hall Parade Ground, Chinese Fishing nets, etc.
Mattancherry Dutch Palace: Built by the Portuguese, the Mattancherry Dutch Palace is renowned for its style and architecture that resembles traditional Kerala style architecture. Beautiful murals depicting Hindu temple art and the portraits of the Kings of Kochi are the main exhibits of this palace.
Jewish Synagogue (Pardesi Synagogue): It is said to be one of the oldest active synagogues in the Commonwealth of Nations and is built in the year 1568 by the Cochin Jewish group or Malabar Yehuda people.
Hill Palace Museum: It is said to be the largest archaeological museum as well as the first heritage museum in Kerala which is dedicated to the Maharaja of Kochi.
Santa Cruz Basilica: It is counted as one of the eight Basilicas in Kerala which is of religious, architectural and historical significance.
St. Francis Church: Built by the Europeans, St. Francis Church is regarded as the oldest church in India. The stunning design of the Church and the extraordinary interiors and the exteriors reflect an old-world charm.
Cherai Beach: Cherai Beach is one of the most tranquil and pristine beaches in Cochin which is adorned with lush green swaying coconut plantations.
Bolghatty Palace: Bolghatty Palace in Cochin is one of the oldest existing palaces in the world which was built by the Dutch outside Holland.
Willingdon Island: Bounded by the beautiful backwaters of Kerala, Willington Island is a gorgeous as well as the largest artificial man-made island in India.
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary: Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is well known for housing vast mangrove forests as well as providing a nesting ground for many exotic migratory birds.
Ernakulam Mahadeva Temple: The major significance of Ernakulam Mahadeva Temple is that it is the only pilgrimage in South India where the idol of the deity is facing towards the west.
Lulu Shopping Mall, Edappally: Lulu Mall in Edappally, Cochin is a one-stop place for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Kodanand Elephant Training Centre: It is said to be the largest elephant training centres for captured elephants that are trained by specially skilled mahouts at the training centre.
Folklore Museum: Folklore Museum is a popular attraction in Cochin and the valuable artefacts of this museum give an insight into the history of Kerala.
Kerala Kathakali Centre: It is one of the prominent places in Cochin where you can watch Kerala's traditional art form Kathakali and also the traditional martial art form Kalaripayattu.
Indo-Portuguese Museum: This museum in Cochin shows a beautiful mix of Indian and Portuguese culture and architecture.
Wonder la Amusement Park: It is one of the popular theme parks in Kerala with thrilling and fun-filled rides, ideal for a family outing.
Best Time To Visit:
Cochin can be visited throughout the year. But October to February is the best time to visit Cochin.
March to June is the summer season in Cochin during which the temperature rises up to 37 degree Celsius. Due to the dry and humid weather, it is not the ideal time to visit Cochin. October to February marks the winter season in Cochin with temperature ranging between 17 degree Celsius to 33 degree Celsius. The weather is pleasant and so soothing for sightseeing. Hence, the winter season is regarded as the ideal time to visit Cochin. Monsoon season begins in July and continues till September in Cochin. The monsoon showers enhance the beauty of the place and the rain-washed glory of the place is worth admiring.
Things to Do:
- Elephant Safari.
- Ayurvedic Massage.
- Watch the beautiful sight of Chinese fishing nets.
- Boat ride.
- Bird watching.
- Watch Kathakali dance performance.
- Lulu Mall in Edappally, Cochin is a one-stop place for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
- ABAD Nucleus Mall, Centre Square Mall, Bay Pride Mall are the other famous malls in Cochin.
- The small shops at Marine Drive is a good option for shopping at a cheap price.
- The Jew Town is a great place to shop for some admirable antique pieces.
- You can purchase aromatic spices from the Cochin Spice Market.
- Buy delicious crispy banana chips from Malabar Chips, Banana Chips, and Groves Snacks.
- Please ensure you carry some sort of identity proof with you.
- While visiting the temples, make sure to follow the dress codes.
- Sunscreen, cotton clothes, sunglasses and hats are a must.
- Don't forget to carry Umbrella, especially during monsoon season.
By Air : Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport to Cochin which is located at a distance of 37.3 Km.
By Train : Ernakulam South Railway Station and Ernakulam Junction Railway Station are the nearest railway stations to Cochin which are situated at a distance of 7 Km respectively.
By Road : Many State transport buses and private buses are easily available from major cities of the country to Cochin.