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Cochin

11:17 pm Written by

A cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas, Cochin or Kochi is perhaps the second best poet on the Western Ghats. Known as ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, it reflects the best of all that Kerala has to offer. A rich past and a vibrant present, Kochi gained the status of the business hub of the region long back. Comprising of mainland of Ernakulam, the islands of Willington, Bolgatty and Gundu in the harbor, Fort Cochin and Mattancherry on the southern peninsula, and Vypeen Island north of Fort Cochin, all the parts of Kochi are well-linked by ferries.

Being a seaport, many foreigners came to the place and one can clearly see the influence of Chinese, Jews, Arabs and Europeans in its culture and lifestyles of the natives. It boasts of the oldest church in India, the famous old-traditioned Chinese fishing nets, 500-year-old Portuguese houses, old tiled houses built in the Chinese pagoda style, synagogues, a Jewish community whose roots go back to the Diaspora and mosques. The harbor is still hale and hearty and the main exports of the region are pepper, seafood, rubber and coir. However, it attracts tourists because of its serene backwaters, beautiful lagoons fringed by swaying coconut palms and picturesque islands. The older parts of Fort Cochin and Mattanchery look more like a fusion of medieval Portugal, Holland and an English country village into one and are situated on the tropical Malabar Coast. Today, Cochin is one of India’s largest ports and a major naval base.


Location:In Kerala, India.

Significance: Famous Sea Port & Spice Capital of India.

STD Code: 0484

Best Season: December – February

Language: Malyalam and Englis


Climate:

As Kochi is on the seashore, it has a moderately warm tropical climate with heavy annual rainfall of about 310 cm. In summers the temperature rises to a maximum of 35 ºC, while in winters, it is around 25 ºC.

 

 Accessibility

Air

Kochi is connected by excellent air network to all major cities in India.

 Rail

Kochi has three main railway stations, namely, Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town and Harbour Terminus on Willingdon Island.

Road

Kochi (Cochin), an important commercial centre of the South India is very well serviced by a network of national and state highways, connecting it to all major centres of the area.

Local Transport

Taxis, city buses and autorickshaws.

 Ferries

Ferry service is available for travel between the island towns.

 

Tourist attractions

 Bolghatty Palace

The palace forms one of the most visited and popular tourist attractions in Kochi.This Dutch palace is situated on the Bolghatty Island. On your tour to Kochi you can enjoy a stay at this palace, which has now been converted into a luxury hotel. The island has a fine golf course and the panoramic view makes it an attractive picnic spot. Frequent boat service is available from the mainland.

 Chinese Fishing Nets

The Chinese fishing nets found here are the only ones of its kind in India. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here.

 Dutch Palace

This palace was originally built by the Portuguese. In the 17th century, the Dutch modified it and presented to the Raja of Kochi. Coronation of many Rajas of Kochi was held here. The Dutch palace has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting the scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana.

 Hill Palace

Raja of Kochi built the Hill Palace in the 19th century. It was from here that the Kochi province was ruled. Now this palace has been converted into a museum displaying a fine collection of articles used by the Rajas of Kochi apart from many archaeological findings.

 Jewish Synagogue

The Jewish Synagogue was built in the year 1568. Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers magnificently decorate the synagogue. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. This palace is located near the Dutch Palace.

 Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

This bird sanctuary is situated right in the heart of Kochi city. It is the home of many exotic and rare varieties of migratory birds.

 Museum of Kerala History

The museum has on display life size statues of many famous personalities and several paintings depicting Kerala History.

  St. Francis Church

It is the oldest church built by European in India. It is said that the Portuguese trader, Vasco da Gama was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that the exact place where he was buried has been marked out inside the church.


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