Travel guide for Kochi
Kochi is the commercial capital of Kerala, a beautiful city bordering with nice backwaters and beach. Kochi port and Willington Island was built by the British engineer Robert Bristow. Kochi also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, was an important spice trading center on the west coast of India from the 14th century onward, and maintained a trade network with Arab merchants from the pre-Islamic era.
Kochi city is 33 kilometers away from Kochi international airport, so most of our guests either start or end their tour at Kochi. If you wish visiting Kerala- just plan one full day at Kochi as you can enjoy the beauty of Kochi to the full extend.
www.Cutekerala.com has an exclusive Kochi photo gallery.
In this travel guide; we are listing the top tourist attractions at Kochi:-
Mattancherry Dutch Palace
Mattancherry Palace is located at a distance of 12 km from Ernakulam. Mattancherry palace museum was established in 1985 and is one of the oldest examples of the Portuguese architecture with oriental influence and is unique from the historical and architectural point of view. The palace was built around 1545 AD by the Portuguese and presented to Veera Kerala Varma the Raja of Kochi in order to pacify him and to compensate for having plundered a temple in the vicinity of the place. The Dutch carried out some extensions and renovations in the palace in 1663 hence the palace is also known as "Dutch palace“, Then Hyder Ali and the British East India Company all made renovations.
The upper story of the palace where the present museum is housed consists of an enthronement hall, bed room, ladies room, dining hall and other rooms. The Mattanchery palace represents the blending of the European and indigenous styles of architecture. The palace is a quadrangular structure built in Nālukettu style. The glory of the palace lies in its mural paintings covering an area with three phases. The themes depict scenes from Ramayana and ancient legends connected with Hindu deities.
The Mattanchery Place Museum exhibits many antiquities such as portraits of the Cochin Kings, palanquins, royal dresses, weapons, three royal umbrellas, canopy, swords, stamps and coins etc. The life-size portraits of the kings of Cochin from 1864 onwards are displayed in a long hall originally served as enthronement hall. The weapons on display are sheathed swords, daggers and axes besides ceremonial spears decorated with feathers.
Timings of visit: 10.00 am - 5.00 pm except Fridays
Mattancherry Synagogue and Jew Town at Kochi
Jews constructed the Paradesi Synagogue adjacent to Mattancherry on land given to them by the Raja of Kochi. The Mattanchery Synagogue has the Scrolls of the Law, several gold crowns received as gifts, many Belgian glass chandeliers, and a brass-railed pulpit. It houses the 10th-century inscribed copper plates in Tamil by the ruler of the Malabar Coast. The floor of the Jewish synagogue is composed of hundreds of unique Chinese hand-painted porcelain tiles of 18th-century. A hand-knotted oriental rug was a gift from Haile Selassie, the last Ethiopian emperor. The synagogue has an 18th-century clock tower, which, along with other parts of the complex, was restored recently.
A tablet in synagogue Kochi was installed on the outer wall of the Mattanchery synagogue. Its Hebrew inscription states that the structure was built in 5105 of Hebrew calendar and says "an abode for the spirit of God".
Most of the areas around Jew Street at Kochi are converted to commercial uses. This street leading to the Synagogue is a perfect place to shop for antiques and furniture. This small street is with lot of shops selling artifacts, dresses, spices, jewelries, and handicraft stores. You can also find hotels, restaurants lodging nearby.
Fort Kochi and Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel
Fort Kochi is most visited cities in India and the tourist nerve-center of Kerala. Vasco Da Gama square has the most prominent hotels such as the Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel which is classified as a Heritage Hotel by the Ministry of Tourism. British harbour engineer Robert Bristow was brought to Kochi in 1920 under the direction of Lord Willingdon. He transformed Kochi to one of the beautiful harbours in India. His house built in 1927 was converted to the present day Bristow hotel located on the Fort Kochi Beach.
Around Vasco Da Gama square are various traders, selling the daily catch, trinkets and souvenirs and anything else a tourist might want.
Chinese Fishing Nets
The Chinese fishing nets brought by Chinese to India and in use for more than last 500 years. These nets are for an unusual form of fishing and very hard work for the fishermen is involved. You can see fishermen using it to catch the fish; even you can give some tips to them and try it yourself. But you will be struck by the grandeur of these Chinese fishing nets.
The intricate architecture of Chinese nets is quite amazing. Shore operated lift nets are fixed land installations set up on bamboo and teak poles. Large stones are suspended from ropes of different length as counterweights at the other end. As the net is raised, some of the rocks come one by one to rest on a platform thereby keeping everything in balance.
Chinese fishing Nets are the trade mark of Cochin which you can see this mainly at Fort Kochi and is an exciting experience for foreigners. It harbors the beauty of the Fort Cochin Beach. You can see the Arabian Sea and enjoy the refreshing breeze in the beach.
Indo-Portuguese Museum at is very popular and is visited by most tourists who come to Fort Kochi. The museum with a good collection of artifacts and mural paintings is a memorial of the Indo-Portuguese Christian Art heritage. This Museum which is provides lot of information about origin of Kochi. After visiting Indo-Portuguese Museum you will enrich you with historical information.
The museum was established by the efforts of one of the Bishop of Kochi to protect and showcase the rich cultural heritage and Portuguese influence. This museum now displays the Portuguese influences on Fort Kochi and the surrounding areas. This museum has five main sections: Altar, Treasure, Procession, Civil Life and Cathedral. This museum is located inside the Bishops house at Fort Kochi and is an interesting place when you are walking around Fort Kochi.
Marine Drive- Kochi
Marine drive walkway is the walking trail which start from the Subhash Park and ends at Gosree Bridges (three bridges connecting the three islands of Kochi). This pathway is the icon of Ernakulam and from here you can see many important points of Kochi such as Willington Island, Kochi Shipyard, Bolgatty Island, Cochin Port, Vallarpadam container terminal, estuary of Fort Kochi, and Vypin Island. The residents of Ernakulam usually spend their weekend evenings at this pathway to refresh themselves. As you walk through this way, we are very sure that you will enjoy the refreshing sea breeze along with thousands of other guest here.
The major activity here is boating through Kochi Lake. The cost for sharing boat is 100 Indian rupees for one hour. You can rent private for 2000 Indian rupees for 1 hour. These boats pass beside the walkways and shipyard and Cochin port and near to the Fort Kochi tip and though Bolgatty palace and back to the yard. You can take nice panoramic images for Kochi in your trip. Just get a boat and enjoy the beauty of Kochi with refreshing sea breeze.
Bolgatty Palace was built by Dutch traders in 1744 at island of Bolgatty which is very near to Marine drive Ernakulum and it is the oldest of its kind that exists outside Holland. This building was the Governor's palace for the commander of Dutch Malabar, and later in 1909 was leased to the British.
This beautiful Bolgatty Palace is the exclusive mansion with four palatial rooms, provides the guests with world class amenities and wonderful holidaying options. This is a government-run resort is extremely beautiful. It has all the facilities for children. From Bolgatty Palace you can see panoramic view of Cochin Port and backwaters. You can watch the Bolgatty palace from outside while you are enjoying the backwater boating at Kochi Lake.
Wonderla Amusement Park Kochi
This amazingly large and superbly maintained water park will fill your mind with amusement. This is one of the best and hygienic theme parks in India with adherence to all safety standards. Wonderla has all major adventure rides as well as the water rides at the same place. If you are visiting Kochi with your family and kids, Wonderla is the best place to spend a day.
Cherai beach is very clean and quiet and good for surfing and it is very safe for families. This wonderful beach located 25 kilometers away from Kochi. Cherai beach is an ideal location to enjoy the sun set and sea breeze.
Hill Palace Museum at Thripunithura
Thripunithura is one of the oldest towns in Kerala. Thripunithura Hill Palace was the administrative offices for the kings of Kochi, which built in 1865 and later converted to a museum (the largest archaeological museum in Kerala). The Palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style, spreading across in 54 acres and is perfect place for a historic journey.
The place around is perfect for a photo shoot and there are plenty of photo-perfect spots. Hill Palace is very famous and familiar to everyone from the superhit Malayalam movie Manichitrathazhu. It is worthy to see the museum when you visit Kochi.
Kerala Folklore Museum
Kerala Folklore Museum is a good private museum basically an antiquarian storehouse located in Kochi. There are around 4000 artifacts from tiny to large size on display which reveals rich Indian heritage. Kerala Folklore Museum is a great place to spend an hour to learning about local folklores and culture.
Beautiful building that presents typical examples of the architecture of the region. The statues and overwhelming collection ornaments displayed at Kerala Folklore Museum are incredible.
Kumbalangi is a small island located western part of Kochi. Kumbalangi is a wonderful of its unique coastal features.
Kodanadu is river bank village located 42 kilometers away from Kochi international airport. Kodanad elephant sanctuary is the biggest elephant training center in Kerala.
Vypin is a wonderful island in the west coast of Ernakulam district. Gosree bridges are connecting Vypin island to Kochi city.
Thattekad & Bhoothathankettu
Thattekkad is located 12 Kilometers away from Kothamangalam. It is the first bird Sanctuary in Kerala which named after the famous ornithologist Salim Ali.
Kochi port and Willington Island was built by the British engineer Robert Bristow. Old Kochi airport is located in this Island which is used for military purpose.
Inchathotty Suspension Bridge
Inchathotty is the largest suspension bridge in Kerala which built across Periyar River, located near Thattekad bird sanctuary. Inchathotty Bridge has cables suspended between towers and the load-bearing portion is hung below suspension cables on vertical suspenders. How to reach Inchathotty: Inchathotty is approximately 75 Kilometers away from Ernakulam. This bridge is 3.5 Kilometers away from the Neriamangalam town which is on the National Highway (NH 49) between Kothamangalam and Munnar.
Kandamakudy is a small island located north western part of the Ernakulam district. Kadamakudy become a favorite tourist destination because of it amazing beautiful nature.
Chendamangalam & Kottayil Kovilakam
Chendamangalam and Kottayil Kovilakam are located in the northern part of Ernakulam district.
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is located near marine drive walkway at the heart of Ernakulum town. It is the habitat of many migratory birds.
Other 6 Major Tourist Places in the Ernakulam District are listed below
- Paniyeli Poru Eco Tourism Center
- Vallarpadam Church
- Ezhattumugham Nature Village
- Pallippuram Fort
- Areekkal Waterfalls
- Paliam Dutch Palace at North Paravur
Hotel Booking at Kochi
Marine Drive Walkways
Backwaters of Kochi
St. Francis Church
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica
Hill Palace Museum at Thripunithura
Wonderla Amusement Park
Chinese Fishing Nets
Kerala Folklore Museum
Amenities and Activities