Browse through some of the top places of interest in Ernakulam...
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary | Jewish Quarter in Fort Cochin
Santa Cruz Basalica : The Portuguese built basilica's 500th anniversary was very recently. With gracious interiors, Gothic façade with soaring and glaring spires, the basilica is charming. The Dutch catch of Koch in 1663 resulted in booming of warehouses in places of worships. The irresistible beauty might have persuaded the Dutch to spare it. The stained-glass and the life-like caryatids watching over the quaint confessional boxes will ever-green the mind once seen.
St Francis Church: Built in timber by Portuguese in 1503, it was overlaid with stone masonry later. Vasco da Gama was cremated here in 1524. His remains were later removed to Lisbon. His tomb still exists.Now taken care by Church of South India.
The gravestones were tossed into the walls of the church in 1886. The ‘Doop Book’, that is, old baptism and the marriage register, from 1751 to 1804 kept in the vestry are the delights of history-seekers.
Dutch Cemetery: Parallel to the beach, the Dutch Cemetery is the peace-home of soldiers and trade adventurers who died between 17th and 18th century. Now it is getting renovated(the real face is changing)
Princess Street : Flowerpot-laden window sills, bronze stucco walls and peeling pastel – these all are the symbols of colonial style buildings. See them in Princess street – a back street.Now filled with antique shops, homestays and hotels,with out disturbing the originality. Fort Kochi really revels in moody pastimes.
Waterfront: A little walkway is Vasco da Gama Square, a narrow promenade running along the beach. Huge cantilevered Chinese Fishing Nets, just before the beach, call the visitors. The system works this way – a bamboo-and-teak contraption with net-spread hanging get pulled down to the water and hauled with the catch. This catching process is usually in the morning and early evening.Watch sunset from the edge of the pathways.
The Fort Kochi beach is clean and small.But not for sunbath. At one-end there is a pretty light-house. Recline on the white sands with the local crowd when the eyes will sharp on Lakhadweep-bound ships.
Ferry to little away sporadic Cherai beach. The receptive white sand there will force to recline, sleep, dance or to football. And swim and sniff. If lucky, dolphins will greet.
Mattanchery Palace(Dutch Palace): The Portuguese built, in 1557, Palace was presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi. In 1663 the Palace was renovated by the Dutch. On display are Dutch maps of Kochi, royal planquins, coronation robes of erstwhile Maharajas of Kochi, beautiful murals and period-furniture....Click here to see more about Mattancherry Palace
Marine Drive : One side of the Marine Drive is backwater while the opposite side is 70-ft Road, city’s widest road. At the place of ruined old jetty there is Marine Drive Promenade. Sit here and watch the backwaters and the Fort Kochi beyond. The world’s highly densely populated Vypeen Island is in clear view from here.
Thanthoni Aqua Farm :Thanthoni Aqua Farm launched in Thanthoni island of Kochi recently is a new edition of tourism attraction in Kerala. The Farm is in two-acre Island with natural beauty retained in tact. The place is amazingly nice to unwind, to fish and to imbibe cool breeze let loose liberally.
A visitor can relax while watching fish creates magic in the waters or can sit patiently with rod in hand, waiting for the bait. The trained men of the owner of the Farm C J Antony (contact number 9388861758) will ferry the visitors to the Farm. The ferrying boat love-named Island Express resembles a train with coal fired engine. The 65-seater train-boat is fitted with tinted glass windows to have AC chair car effect or more. Alighting from it is to see the wonders in the farm – an exciting aqua museum with many kinds of ornamental and edible fish, a small natural aquarium where many ornamental fish can be spotted, and a large fresh water pond for fishing excitement. After a round, rest in the chairs placed under the shades of umbrellas and log for fishing with fishing rods. The backwaters bordering the island are dotted with nets at different points for catching the crabs. Pull the net when the crab is trapped to the full of amusement.
For kids’ benefit a small pool is getting ready with ornamental fish. The kids can see the fish in close proximity in their natural habitat.
Subash Chandra Bose Park: Beat place to relax in the evenings.See lot of couples, school children around,sit under the tree shades or benches facing the backwater and watch sunset
Jew Street : Buy cloths and hard wares from whole sale shops and road vendors for a cheaper price.Near Broadway,parallel to marine drive.
Indira Gandi Boat Race : Conducted in August-September during Onam. Scores of sleek snake-boats with over 100 oarsmen in each vie with to touch the finishing point first. The furious and sporadic paddling will turn the Marine Drive water front into frothing melee in tune with the Onam revelry. Thousands of spectators standing ashore encourage the oarsmen with cheers.
Bolgatty Island: The outside world knows this island for its famed Bolgatty Palace. This, built by Dutch in 1744, was later taken over by British. Today it is a prestigious hotel managed by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. It has honeymoon cottages.
Willingdon Island : This Island was artificially created with dredged silts. It has uninhabited satellite small Islands carpeted by variety grasses. Willingdon Island is an ideal spot to view the sea and mainland across and to imbibe fresh sea-breeze.
Kumbalangi : Kumbalangi is a fishing tiny island with Chinese Fishing Nets around, near Palluruthy Island, close to Kochi. Kumbalangi has been declared as an Integrated Tourism Village. It has many attractive features....Click here to see more about Kumbalangi
The Bishop’s House: Built in 1506, stands on small hillock, was the residence of Portuguese Governor. The façade with big Gothic arches, it has a circular garden path stretching to main entrance. The house was later taken over by the 27th Bishop of the Diocese of Kochi, Dom Jos Gromes Ferreira. He had a vast jurisdiction over India, Malaya, Burma and Ceylon.
Cochin Carnival : Impromptu competitions and the white paper buntings adorned everywhere – streets, homes, shops etc. – in the last 10 days of the year....Click here to see more about Cochin Carnival
Vypin Island: Vypin is like a hand stretched out to the water. 24 km long and 2.5 km wide, with sea and backwater on either side, Vypin is mostly densely populated. The light-house at Ochanthuruth is a vantage point to enjoy a panoramic view of Kochi. The entry time to light-house is 3-5 pm. Extreme north lies Pallipuram Fort built by Portuguese in 1503.Now there is roadway straight to Eranakulam(reaches near.High Court)....Click here to see more
St George’s Forane Church at Edapally: One of the oldest Churches in India, built in 595 AD. The mother tongue of Jesus: - soft syllables of Aramaic – is heard here during Holly Mass even today in the form of a single elision of sacred song. As evidence of non-European origin of its iconography, the church has four-armed pectoral cross, the pediment and slatted louvres. Here the main Feast lasting 10 days starts from April 25.
Kerala History Museum at Edapally: The human evolution from the Neolithic period to the modern era is neatly showcased. The display is enriched with replicas, sound and light. Visiting time is 10 am to 5 pm. Monday closed.
Hill Palace: 12 km away at Thripunithura. The palace is now a museum, the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. Different types of sculptures, collection of rare coins, old weapons, manuscripts in ancient lipis or script and collections from the Kochi Royal family exhibited here.....Click here to see more
Veegaland Amusement Park: At Pallikkara. A state of the art amusement park with most modern water sports facilities. Largest number of rides, rhythmic musical fountains gravity defying space voyages, electrifying slides, enthralling splashes, and India’s largest pool unleashing gigantic waves – all this makes merry. A real pack for fun, thrill and excitement.
Kalady : Kalady is a spiritual sanctuary. On the banks of Periyar, the 2nd largest river in Kerala. The distance from Ernakulam is 47 km. The founder of Advaita school of philosophy, Adi Sankara, was born here in 8th century. The hill where St Thomas the Apostle paused to pray on his way to Mylapore is in the sacred circuit of Kalady. There is an eight-storey tower, called Keerthimandapam, at the shrine. A huge image of the Sankaracharya is located at the end of a winding staircase inside. This modern mural is a feature itself.....Click here to see more
St Thomas Mount, Malayattoor: Just 10 km from Kalady. A sacred Shrine since 52 AD when St Thomas the Apostle made his presence here. The shrine is on a hilltop and the hilltop is called Kurissumudi. Several thousands of devotees climb the hill with a big Cross on the back during Puthunjaya Festival on the 1st Sunday after Easter as a custom. The Vatican has designated this Church an International Shrine in par with the churches like Lady of Lourdes in France.
Elephant Kraal at Kodanadu : The Kraal means training camp. The word is in Afrikaans. The training is a long and tedious process. It may take one to two years. The mahouts too get training here. Every year half a million put their feet in Kodanadu to see the intricacies of elephant training. Kodanadu is 30 km from Kalady.
Boothathankettu Dam : The Dam is located at 7/8 km from, Kothamangalam. The Dam is a wonderful picnic spot. There is well-maintained Children’s Park here. The Reservoir and Park are big attractions.
Edamalayar Lower Dam : This Dam is located 12 km ahead of Boothathankett Dam on same route. The picturesque surroundings are great attraction here. The people from far and near throng here to enjoy the nature’s benevolence.
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