Kochi or Cochin, is a charming tourist destination, located in Ernakulam
district of Kerala. The city referred to as the 'Queen of the Arabian Sea'
is one of the major ports of India. Kochi, the Gateway to Kerala, is popular
for its picturesque tourist spots. The city once inhabited by the Arabs,
British, Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese houses several historical marks. Over
the years Kochi has developed as a commercial and industrial centre of
Kerala, but it still retains its old world charm. The forts, palaces and
churches of the city tales of its rich culture. The people of Kochi called
as Kochite, are very simple and they lead a traditional life.
Climate of Kochi
Cochin is a coastal city, just 10 degrees north of the equator. The climate
of the city is moderately hot and humid round the year. The south-west
monsoon causes heavy showers with thunder and lightning in June-September.
During the summers the temperature hits a maximum of 36.2°C and minimum
21.4°C, while the winter temperature varies between 28°C and 21°C.
The ideal time ot visit the port city is October to March.
Major Attractions of Kochi
Fort Kochi :
This historical town has Jewish and Dutch
settlements. Fort Kochi is famous for it St. Francis Church and serene
beaches. Built in 1510 A.D, St. Francis Church is said to be the oldest
European church built in India. The church is the burial site for Vasco Da
Gama, who died in 1524 A.D.
Chinese Fishing Nets :
The Chinese fishing nets or
'Cheena Vala' are set up here on Teak wood and bamboo poles between
1350-1450 A.D,. The nets were erected by traders from the court of Kublai
Khan. These large nets are used by fishermen to catch fish attracted by the
lights suspended above the nets.
Bolghatty Palace :
The palace built by the Dutch in 1744
A.D, is situated on the Bolghatty Island. The beautiful island located close
to the Ernakulam city, has a fine golf course and a KTDC hotel. The
two-storeyed palace contains nicely decorated bed chambers and a huge lounge
where historical portraits are displayed.
Santa Cruz Basilica :
The Santa Cruz Basilica is located
near to the St. Francis Church. The Roman Catholic Church, was built by the
Portuguese. Pope Paul IV, elevated the church to a Cathedral, in the
year1558. The church had suffered severe damage during the British rule, but
it still has an interesting collection of paintings and a well-decorated
Gundu Island :
The island is the smallest
island in Kochi. It houses the magnificent Pallipuram Fort, built in 16 th
century, which is open only on Thursdays.
Palace (Mattancherry Palace) :
The oriental style palace, was originally
built by the Portuguese in 1557. Later the Dutch modified the palace in the
17th century and presented it to the Raja of Kochi. The double-storeyed
palace building surrounds a central courtyard has a Hindu temple, dedicated
to the royal deity, Palayannur Bhagavati. On either side of palace two more
temples are situated, which are dedicated to Lord Krishna and Lord Siva. The
rooms of the palace depict the scenes from the Mahabharatha Ramayana and
The Hill Palace Museum :
Built in 1865 by the King of
Kochi, the museum is located 10 Kms away from Kochi. It was the official
residence of the Kochi Royal family. The Hill Palace Museum is the largest
archaeological museum in Kerala. The museum houses the belongings of the
Rajas of Kochi and varied species of flora. The museum is open everyday
between 9:00 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm, except Mondays.
The must buy items of Kochi are metalware, camel-bone carvings, wood
carvings, items made of coconut shells, bamboo cane, Jewellery, readymade
garments, and ethnic hand-woven textiles, grass mats and several other types
of handicrafts. M.G. Road is the major shopping centre of Kochi, which is
situated in the heart of the city.
How To Reach
Cochin International Airport is the major airport
situated at a distance of 20 Kms from the city centre. The Airlines operate
domestic and international flights from Kochi to major cities.
The city has three main railhead such as Ernakulam
Junction, Ernakulam Town and Cochin Harbour Terminus on Willingdon Island.
The trains from major cities of the country are available to Kochi.
The highways and good roads connect Kochi with
rest of the country. The government and private buses run to Kochi, from
Kochi is dotted with several hotels, which offer plenty of accommodation
choices. Some of the famous hotels are Le Meridien Resort, Taj Malabar, Taj
Residency, The Trident and The Malabar House Fort Cochin.