Kochi is fondly called as the 'Queen of Arabian Sea' and is also the industrial and business capital of Kerala. A trip to the beautiful state must include Kochi, for some of the captivating attractions it has to offer.
Geographically, Kochi is located conveniently and travellers can easily reach the place from any part of Kerala. A visit to the city brings you closer to the culture, nature and aesthetic beauty of coastal Kerala. Let's have a glimpse at some of the best places to visit in Kochi.
Fort Kochi is one of the most popular tourist hubs of the city. From palaces to churches and other tourist attractions, Fort Kochi has a number of places to capture a traveller's attention. Here are some places you should be missing in Fort Kochi.
Photo Courtesy: Prasanth Gulfu
The port city of Kochi is known for Cherai Beach, another popular tourist attraction of the city. Being the longest beach in Kochi, Cherai Beach is popular among tourists, who visit the beach for its splendid views of sunrise and sunsets. The beach also has a line-up of stalls and restaurants that offer refreshments and delicious sea food.
Photo Courtesy: Yesudeep Mangalapilly
Chinese Fishing Nets
Another attraction of Kochi that is not to be missed are the Chinese fishing nets . which were brought to India by the Chinese traveller Zheng He. Since its instalment in the 14th century, the nets continue to be in use to the present day. The beaches of Fort Kochi and Vypin Island are lined with these nets and presents a beautiful sight!
Photo Courtesy: Tim Moffatt
St. Francis Church
Visit the St. Francis Church in Kochi to have a look at the cultural history of the city. This is also the church where the famous Portuguese navigator Vasco Da Gama was laid to rest.
Photo Courtesy: Jonathan Freundlich
The Mattanchery Palace or the Dutch Palace is a delight for all art lovers. The palace was built by the Portuguese for Veera Kerala Varma who was then the ruler of Kochi. Tourists gather here to experience the rich blend of cultures that made Kochi their home during the medieval period.
Photo Courtesy: Mark Hills
Marine Drive was built tracing the design of the same in Mumbai. You can have a complete view of Kochi backwaters from the Marine Drive. Apart from the travellers, the locals also find this as an ideal hangout spot during evenings and the weekends. Restaurants and malls along the drive also grab the attention of foodies and shopaholics.
Photo Courtesy: Dhruvaraj S
Here's another reason why Kochi is a mixture of cultures. The area of Jewish settlement in Kochi, Jew Town was set up for the Jewish families who came to Kochi in 700 BC for trading purposes. The town has the famous Dutch Palace and the ancient Jewish Synagogue among the other structures that sport a strong Jewish influence.
Photo Courtesy: Wouter Hagens
The Bolghatty Palace is one of the famous attractions in Kochi. The structure was built by the Dutch and was initially the residence of the commander of Dutch Malabar. Later in 1909 the palace was rented out to the British. It is after Indian Independence that the state government declared the palace as a property of the state. Read more about the palace here.
Photo Courtesy: Renikk
The Ernakulathappan Temple is a popular temple in Kochi that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Travellers can enjoy the rich Kerala architecture and enjoy Ernakulathappan Utsavam that takes place annually during the months of January-February. This festival that starts with Kodiyettam (hosting of temple flag) lasts for eight days.
Photo Courtesy: Aruna
The list of places to be visited in the port city of Kochi is not over. Here are a few more other attractions that you can explore while you're here!
Photo Courtesy: Jorge Royan
Hotels and Restaurants
Kochi is not only known for the tourist attractions that boast of its varied culture and rich history, but also a large number of food joints and hotels where travellers can stay and dine according to their preferences. For Kochi hotels, click here.
Photo Courtesy: b+c+c+f
How to Reach Kochi
Kochi can be easily accessed from all parts of Kerala.
By Road: The National Highways that connect Kochi to the rest of the country are NH-47. NH-17(renumbered as NH-66) and NH-85. The state highways and city roads connect Kochi to other parts of Kerala.
By Rail: The two railway stations in Kochi that connect the city to the rest of the country are 'Ernakulam Town' and 'Ernakulam Junction'. Taxis are available from the railway stations to the nearby places.
By Air: The Cochin International Airport, located in Nedumbassery, is just 25 km away from the main city of Kochi. Taxis and cabs can be taken from the airport during any time of the day to nearby locations.
Photo Courtesy: Bino Bose