Kochi is an irresistible tourist destination and is a must see at least once in your lifetime. This splendid city is a major port city of India and boasts of the mighty Arabian Sea as its water body. Kochi, erstwhile Cochin, comes under the Ernakulum district of Kerala. The name ‘Kochi’ owes its origin to the Malayalam word ‘kochu azhi’ that refers to a ‘small lagoon’; a very apt name for this port city. The city has been mentioned widely in the writings of ancient travelers since it has always been a favorite place of destination worldwide. In fact, many Portuguese are now well settled in Kochi and call it their home. Even now the city plays a major role in attracting tourists from all over the world. Kochi has a rich mix of both modern and ancient to suit the tastes and requirements of different people. This harmonious amalgamation of Western influence and Indian culture has given Kochi its unique identity.
Something for Everyone - Tourist places in and around Kochi
Nobody goes disappointed from Kochi because the city has so much to offer in terms of tourist places including historical places, centers of religious activities, museums, children’s park and of course malls for shopping. Nature lovers don’t have to be disappointed. There are sanctuaries and wildlife parks where you can check out the local flora and fauna. A visit to the Athirapally Falls will show you nature in all its glory. The serene backwaters of Kochi, which lie parallel to Arabian Sea, are ideal for spending a lazy afternoon with your loved ones. The backwaters in Kochi are an extension of the Vembanad Lake that is the largest lake of Kerala. Marine Drive is a promenade area for couples who wish to spend a romantic evening strolling beside the Arabian Sea. It is a very popular place for hanging out among couples and families alike.
The soft breeze coming from the sea and the company of your loved ones will lift your mood like nothing else and if hunger pangs strike then simply hop into the neighboring Bay Pride Mall. The Mall also offers the only Fish Spa in Kochi so you might as well get a pedicure! If you wish to explore the historical past of the city then proceed to Fort Kochi. This is located in the Matancherry peninsula of Kerala and offers a splendid sightseeing experience. Fort Kochi’s main attractions are the famous Matancherry Palace and Santa Cruz Basilica. Fishing enthusiast will be able to spot the cantilevered Chinese Fishing Nets in the area.
A walk around the place will bring you face-to-face with the cultural heritage of Kochi. And don’t forget to get an Ayurvedic massage while in Fort Kochi.
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One thing that will take any tourist by surprise is the number of eateries that operate in the city. The restaurants and hotels cater to the palate of every one. You can come from any part of the world, yet you can enjoy your country’s local cuisine in Kochi. However, it would be a shame not to try out Kerala’s local Cuisine. The vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian delicacies prepared by the local cooks are mouth-watering indeed. While you are in Kochi don’t forget to sample the wholesome preparation of fish that is prepared by wrapping it in banana leaf.
Rich Cultural History
Kochi has something to offer to everyone. However, it a history buff’s paradise because of its affluent historical past. The city came into prominence in 14th century, and since then many travelers have mentioned this port town in their historical manuals. It was an important town for trading food ingredients especially spices and herbs. Jewish, Chinese, Portuguese, Greeks, Arabs and Roman traders came to the city to buy spices and sell their ware as well. As a result, practices from different cultures are now wholly integrated into the lives of the local population. It is indeed quite a treat to watch the blend of supreme cultures from all over the world.
Kochi is well connected with the rest of the country and the world by air, road and rail. You will have to get your tickets booked in advance since Kochi is a favorite destination among tourists all year through.
The pleasant climate of Kochi all the year around makes it favorable to travel to the city anytime. However, summer is at its peak in May, and the heavy monsoon showers in the month of August and September can dampen your spirits.
Hence, the best time to visit Kerala is between January and April and between October and December. Accommodation is not a problem in Kochi and travelers can choose hotels and inns that suit their budget. Home stays are also quite popular in Kochi, and they offer a deep insight into the lives of the local population.