When you travel to Cochin you cannot help notice the beautiful blending of the colonial past and the diversity of modern India. Cochin, the commercial capital of India is a beautiful maritime city describes as the "Queen of the Arabian Sea".
Mattancherry has a curious mixture of people. Though predominantly Muslim there are also Jews who have a pocket called the "Jew Town". They had made Cochin their home after running away from Persia in the 16th century. The Paradeshi Synagogue was built in 1568 and it remains one of oldest synagogues in the world, with exquisite hand-painted, blue-and-white Chinese porcelain tiles and Belgian hanging lamps.
Excursions from Cochin can be made to Thripunithura, which houses the collections of the Cochin and Travancore royal families. Edapally has the Museum of Kerala History. In Parur, you will find a synagogue, a Syrian Orthodox Church, a Krishna Temple, and a temple of goddess Mookambika.
The picture of Cochin is not complete without the mention of the Chinese fishing nets. The Chinese fishing nets are the most efficient means of backwater fishing, quite common in Fort Cochin. So also the boat cruise from Ernakulam to Mattanchery, Vypeen and Bolghatty Island. Backwater tourism in Kerala is refreshing and Cochin is the ideal place to embark on this enchanting tour.
The major festivals in Cochin are the festival of Ernakulathappan, the deity of Shiva temple is an annual festival lasting for eight days. The Valanjambalam Devi Temple located in the heart of Ernakulam celebrates an annual festival for two days known as Thalapoli Utsavam. Decorated elephants accompanied by temple musical ensembles known, as Ezhunnallippu is an important event of these festivals.
How to Reach Kochi
Kochi (formerly called as Cochin) is a port city of the southern state of Kerala. Kochi is located on the west coast of India by the Arabian Sea. The city is about 206 km north of Thiruvananthapuram the state's capital. Kochi is easily accessible by air, rail and road.
The city has an international airport; it is known as the Cochin International Airport. The airport is located in Nedumbassery about 38 km from Kochi main city.
About 9 domestic and 17 international airlines connect with this airport. Bus and taxi services are easily available to travel from the airport.
The city also has a second airport which is a Defence Airbase and is not open to the public. Find Flights to Kochi
Kochi has two major railway stations; they are the Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town. The Southern Railway Zone of the Indian Railways caters to the city of Kochi. The railways stations at Aluva, Thripunithura, Kalamassery, Kumbalam, Nettoor and Aroor serve the city outskirts and surrounding metropolitan area. Kochi is well linked with major cities and states of India.
Kochi is well connected by road to adjoining cities and states via several state and national highways. Kochi is well link with the National Highway number 47, 17, 49, 47A and 47C. The city is also well connected with several state highways. Buses and taxis services are available daily in Kochi.
Taxis can be hired from taxi stands located all over the city. Major taxi stands are located outside the city railway stations. Other options are auto-rickshaws and private rent-a-cars and bikes. The city has private bus operators and the state public transport KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation). Find Flights to Kochi
Bus Stations in Kochi
The city has primarily four major bus stations:
- Kaloor Bus station - used by private long-distance buses and local buses.
- KSRTC Central Bus Station - used by KSRTC inter-state/inter-city buses.
- KSRTC Jetty Station - Used by KSRTC city and short distance services.
- Fort Kochi Bus Terminus - used by both private and KSRTC City services
Distance to Kochi
- From Kottayam - 64 km
- From Thrissur - 83 km
- From Kozhikode - 181 km
- From Coimbatore - 192 km
- From Madurai - 267 km
- From Kollam - 136 km
- From Thiruvananthapuram - 206 km
- St. Francis Church
- Dutch Palace
- Pareekshith Thampuran Museum
- Pallipuram Fort
- Santa Cruz Basilica
- Bolgatty Island
- Gundu Island
- Aranmula Temple
- Chendamangalam Fort
- Indo Portuguese Museum
- Maritime Museum Kochi
Shopping in Kochi
Shopping in Cochin can be interesting if you wish to take back home handicrafts, spices and nuts with a touch of Kerala.
Cochin is famous for its handicrafts, which include a range of items made from coir, wood, bamboo, shells, brass, ivory and sandalwood.
For handicrafts, you should visit shopping centers like:
- Kairali, the Kerala State Handicrafts Development Showroom
- Surabhi, the State Handicraft Society Emporium and
- Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan, the showroom of Khadi Village Industries.
Last Updated on : 12 August 2013