Cochin Area Guide
The area around Cochin is often called the Great Cochin area and combines the commercial city of Ernakulam with the tourism magnet of Fort Cochin. Traditionally, visitors to Kerala would start in Trivandum in the South with its beaches along the Kovalam strip. Today, most visitors now start their journey at Cochin airport and then spring off from their towards the backwaters or the hill stations. There is a lot to see and do around the Cochin area and it really represents an opportunity to see the modern and traditional Kerala living cheek by jowl.
A place which redefines beauty flanked by the charm of nature and glittering reflection of the sea, this is what defines the promising and flourishing trade nexus of Kerala Cochin. "If China is where you make your money, then Cochin is surely the place to spend it." Nicolas Conti, the legendary Italian traveler said this, keeping in view the trade spiral of Cochin.
Situated in the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula with a lovely seaside complementing by Arabian Sea on the western end, its more of a happening place. With cultural richness and ethos, it displays how life and nature complements to each other.
Cochin is such a splendid place that whoever once lands here gets deep rooted to the place its culture, traditions and warmth of the people. Displaying the glories embedded to its rich diversity the place also makes one desperate to know more and more about it.
Fort Kochi , Eranakulam and Mattanchery all adjoins Cochin, all great tourist spots of Kerala. The city is so tempting that travelers from all round the globe visit here through out the season in huge numbers to explore the beauties of the place with geographical change.
Cochin also called as Kochi is a mirror of Kerala with incredible sceneries and rich natural resource. Its an ideal place to look for, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime' the places offers a good reason to visit.
If we look into the history of Cochin we can see that many foreign countries have left their traces on the city. Starting form the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese all have left incredible marks on the history and development of Cochin.
With the change slowly Cochin has emerged one of the most enterprising city on the west coast of India. Cochin is also easily connected with all other major cities by either rail, road or air.
The moderate climate and pleasant surrounding adds to the cities vigour and glory, all this and many more facts and secrets are still treasured under the deep historic saga of this fascinating place. So all travel enthusiast get ready to explore this splendid creation of god in the Gods own country.
About Ernakulam District
Area: 2408 sq. km
Altitude: Sea level
Coastline of Arabian Sea on the west, Kottayam and Alappuzha districts on the south, Idukki district on the east and Thrissur on the north.
Financial and commercial capital. Doused in modernity. Trend-setter. Kerala’s High Court located alone Marine Drive. Prestigious High Court Building. The biggest ever built by Kerala PWD.
Queen of Arabian Sea. Absorbs any custom or culture. Boat cruise from Ernakulam to Perumbalam discovers Kochi.
(1) Santa Cruz Basilica. 500 years old Portuguese built Basilica.
(2) St Francis Church .Over 500 years old Portuguese church.
(3) Dutch Cemetery. A peace home of soldiers and trade adventurers who died between 17th and 18th century, lies parallel to the Princess Street.
(4) Princess Street . A heritage street with colonial style buildings.
(5) Kochi Waterfront. A beautiful location for sighting huge cantilevered Chinese Fishing Nets. From here one can ferry to the sporadic Cherai beach which is only few kilometres north of Kochi).
(6) Jews Street. Once Jews enclave, presently there is only one or two Jew families as rest of them left to Israel. Here in Market Road, spice shops and curio souks which were ardently promoted by the Jews are still thriving.
(7) Mattanchery Palace or Dutch Palace. This Palace of 1557 is a heritage structure with historical preservations in it.
(8) Bolgatty Island. Famed Bolgatty Palace built by Dutch in 1744 is located here. It is a heritage structure. It houses a prestigious 5-star deluxe hotel with honeymoon cottages run by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation.
(9) Bishop’s House. This 1506 Portuguese built heritage structure was once the residence of Portuguese Governor. Later it was taken over by the 27th Bishop of the Diocese of Kochi, Dom Jos Grome Ferreirand and it self-acquired the name Bishop’s House.
(10) St Francis Church at North end of Kochi. Main Feast on February 2.
(11) Water Front. Vadsco da Gama Square. Runs along the Beach.
(12) Willingdon Island. Ideal to view sea and mainland.
(13) Kochi Harbour Boat Trips. KTDC conducts. Various cruises.
(14) Cochin Carnival. 10 days impromptu competitions and celebrations. In December.
Sree Cochin Swetambar Murtipujak Jain Temple: At Gujarat Road in Kochi.
Perumbalam: Near Kochi. Beautiful island. 50 sq. km. Famous backwaters on Vembanad Lake.
Palluruthy: Near Kochi.
(1) Sri Bhuvaneswara Mahakshetram. 10 day festival in February/March.
(2) Dhanwanthari Temple. 3 days festival in April/May.
(3) A S Pankajaskshan (Astrologer).
Subhas Chandra Bose Park: Faces Backwater. Ideal to relax.
Kumbalangi: Near Palluruthy. Integrated Tourism Village.
Panangad: Near Kochi. Shantitheeram Holistic Centre.
Ernakulam: East side of Kochi is Ernakulam.
(1) Ernakulam is commercial and shopping hub of Kerala. All sorts of items, hotels, restaurants, new generation boutiques, handicraft shops, garment and fabric shops of international repute are abound in Ernakulam.
(3) Panjajanyam Ayurvedic Treatment and Research Centre.
(4) Paramara Bhagawathy Temple. Opposite Town Hall. Festival in February/March.
(5) Sree Narayaneshwaram Temple at Ponnurinni Vytila Road. 7 days festival in February/March.
(6) Dr K Divakaran, Tammanam (Astrologer).
(7) Jothisha Kesari Vasudevan Pillai MA, LLB (Astrologer).
(8) Jyotisha Ratna Eraaja Uthamarajan (R U Rajan) (Astrologer).
(9) M K Baburaj, M G Road (Astrologer).
(10) Sreyasan Shanti, South Amballoor (Astrologer).
Marine Drive: The waterfront. Venue of famous Indira Gandhi Boat Race during Onam festival in September/October.
Paramana Bhawawathy Temple: Opposite Town Hall.
Vypeen Island: Close to Ernakulam, Vypeen is like a hand stretched out to the water. 24 km long and 2.5 km wide, sea and backwaters on either side, Vypeen is mostly densely populated place in the world.
Cherai: Few kms north of Cherai. Beautiful Beach.
Edapally: 5 km from Ernakulam.
(1) St George Forane Church. 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. 10 days main Feast starts on April 25.
(2) Anchumana Temple at Padivattom.
(2) Kerala History Museum. The human evolution from the Neolithic period to modern era is neatly showcased. The display is enriched with replicas, sound and light. Visiting time is 10 am to 5 pm. Monday closed.
(3) Punarnava Ayurveda Hospital
(4) Triveni Nursing Home (Ayurveda).
Aluva: 20 km from Ernakulam.
(1) Shiva Temple. On the banks of Periyar. Famous Shivarathri Mahotsavam in February/March.
(2) Vasudevapuram Sree Mahavishnu Temple at Aduvassery.
(3) St Dominic Church.
(4) KAPL Amrutam Ayurveda Hospital
(5) Kerala Ayurveda Health Spa.
(6) Kandamkulathy Ayurveda Hospital.
(7) A N Ramakrishnan Shanti (Astrologer)
(8) Mahadeva Aiyer (Astrologer)
North Paravur: 17 km north of Ernakulam.
(1) Veluthattu Vadakkan Chowva Bhagawathy Temple at Kedamangalam. Festival 9 April.
(2) Jacobite Syrian Church.
(3) K Vishnu Namboodiri (Astrologer).
(4) P V Chandrasekharan (Astrologer).
(5) Vezhamparambu Mana.
Chennamangalam: Near Paravoor. Sankaradi Murali (Astrologer)
Tripunithura: 12 km from Ernakulam city.
(1) Hill Palace. Hill Palace is a high valued heritage structure once owned by Kochi Royal family. It now houses Kerala’s largest archaeological museum.
(2) G Bhaskaran Nair (Astrologer).
(3) Kumar (astrologer)
Kuthattukulam: 15 km from Piravom. Sreedhareeyam Ayurveda Gaveshana Kendram.
Pallikkara: 10 km from Ernakulam city. Wonderla Amusement Park. Offers a good pack of fun, thrill and excitement with largest number of rides, rhythmic musical fountains, gravity defying space voyages, electrifying slides, enthralling splashes, India’s largest pool unleashing gigantic waves and many more.
Nedumbassery: 10 km from Aluva. On the way to Kalady. Cochin International Airport. Merryland Panchakarma Institute.
Kalady: 37 km north of Ernakulam city on the banks of Periyar River.
(1) Adi Shankara Shrine. Adi Sankara, the founder of Advaita School of Philosophy was born here.
(2) Kerala Ayurveda Chikilsalayam
Malayatoor: 10 km north of Kalady. St Thomas Mount or St Thomas Shrine. St Thomas was present here in 52 AD. Several thousands of devotees climb the hill with big Cross on the back during Puthunjaya Festival on the first Sunday after Easter.
Mallusseri: Distanced from Ernakulam. Payyapilly Ayurvedic Centre.
Perumbavoor: Few km from Kalady.
(1) C V Vasudevan Namboodiri (Astrologer).
(2) Parathuvaylil Ayurveda Hospital.
(3) Dhanwanthari Ayurveda Kendra.
Kothamangalam: Away from Perumbavoor. K K Ravindran (Astrologer).
Bhoothathankettu Dam: 8 km from Kothamangalam. Colourful picnic spot.
Kodanad: 30 km from Kalady.
(1) Elephant Kraal. Elephants are trained. Mahouts too get training. Minimum half a million per year visits the place to witness the intricacies of the elephant training.
Thattekad: 74 km from Kochi. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary or Thattekad Bird Sanctuary More than 600 species of birds. Such a beautiful jungle is not seen anywhere in world.
Kanjiramattom: Several kilometres from Kochi. Kodikuthu Chandanakudam (Mosque festival).