Cochin( now referred to as Kochi) is located on the west coast of India in the naturally beautiful state of Kerala. The city which is part of Ernakulam district is bounded by the Arabian Sea in the west and the Western Ghats on the east and is often referred to as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea”. Kochi is considered as the industrial and commercial capital of Kerala( the political capital being Thiruvananthapuram) and is one of the principal seaports of India. Kochi has been an important trading port since the ancient ages. European traders were lured to this port as it offered them the lucrative opportunity to trade in Indian spices, which was much in demand in Europe during the medieval period. Kochi was occupied by the Portuguese in 1503 and it became the first European Colonial settlement in India. The city was subsequently occupied by the Dutch and British until India gained independence in 1947.
Muziris (present-day Kodungalloor on the mouth of the Periyar River), 40 km north of Kochi, was the center of trade with ancient Rome in the products like pepper and pearls, fine silks, cotton, muslin, honey, betel, tortoise shell, cinnamon leaf, black pepper, ginger grass and indigo.
The formation of Kochi harbor has an interesting story. The harbor was formed in 14th century when a great flood in the Periyar river led to an outlet in the sea. The floods had meanwhile silted up the mouth of the Muziris harbor and this rich ancient port was rendered useless. This natural event forced the rich and powerful merchants of Muziris to shift to Kochi.
For centuries, Kochi was the battleground of European powers for the control of the lucrative spices trade. The Portuguese were the first to arrive in Kochi and a couple of years later, the legendary traveler Vasco da Gama himself landed in Kochi. The Portuguese erected a fort for the protection of their factory which was named as Fort Manuel, after the King of Portugal. This was the first fortress constructed by the Europeans in India. Then came the Dutch and finally it was the British who gained control of Kochi until India gained independence in 1947.
Fort Kochi, with its European heritage is the most prominent tourist spot in Cochin and many important monuments related to the city’s history are located in Fort Kochi. These include:
Some of the places which are worth visiting and are close to Kochi are:
Thripunithura, 12 kms from Kochi has a Hill Palace Museum housing the collections of the Kochi and Travancore royal families.
Edapally, 10 km north of Ernakulam, has the Museum of Kerala History. This museum has a large collection of articles and is worth a visit.
Parur, 35 km north of Kochi, is truly a secular place which best represents the cultural and religious mosaic of this region. There is a synagogue, Brahmin Temple, a Syrian Orthodox Church, a Krishna Temple, and a temple of goddess Mookambic.
The deity of Shiva temple situated at the heart of Kochi is popularly known as Ernakulathappan. The annual festival is an eight-day event, and on all these days, Seeveli procession with nine tuskers and Panchavadyam are held. On the seventh evening, Pakalpooram is conducted and various dance forms like Kathakali, Ottanthullal and music concerts are held by renowned artists.
The Valanjambalam Devi Temple located in the heart of Ernakulam celebrates an annual festival for two days known as Thalapoli Utsavam. The procession with five decorated elephants accompanied by temple musical ensembles known as Ezhunnallippu takes place on both days.
Kochi has a tropical climate and moderate weather conditions exist throughout the year though the summer months (March-May) can be quite hot. It rains heavily in Kochi during monsoon season (June-August) which keeps tourists away during this period. The best time to visit Kochi is during the winter season (Nov-Feb) when the temperature is moderate and there is hardly any rain.
The Cochin International Airport is located around 30 kms north of the city and it handles both domestic and international flights. The city is connected with the major towns of India by direct flights and it is also served by flights from many Middle-east and South East Asian countries.
Kochi is well connected by rail network to rest of India. The city is served by three railway stations namely, Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town and Cochin Harbour Terminus from where many of the long distance trains originate. Indian Railways operates the rail network in India.
Kochi can be reached from other important towns by road and the approximate distances are 565 km from Bangalore, 222 km from Coimbatore, 848 km from Goa, 694 km from Chennai, 470 km from Mysore, and 312 km form Ooty. Taxis can be hired for traveling to other parts of Kerala and also for visiting the highly popular places like Munnar and Periyar which are not served by the railways.
State Transport buses are available to other cities of the state but the journey can be tiring and time consuming. Most often the sign boards on the buses are in local language so it can be difficult sometimes to make out which route the bus is going.
Many of the cities of Kerala are located along the famous Backwater Stretch extending from Kollam to Alleppy and then from Alleppy to Kochi. It is unique experience to undertake this inter-city travel on a boat passing through the beautiful backwaters. Regular ferry service is available on this route at an affordable rate.
The area of Fort Kochi can easily be done on foot while a Taxi/Auto is required to explore other parts of Kochi
Taxis can easily by hired for traveling to the major tourist locations of Kochi. The rates vary depending on the season in which you are visiting but it is better to enquire about the rates from more than one tourist operator.
Unfortunately there is no metro or tram system in the city. Local buses are available but make sure that you get in the right bus which can be tricky at times mainly because of the language barrier. If you feel lost in the city, seek advice from the local people as majority of them can speak some level of English.
Kochi has a range of accommodation options: from the expensive resorts to the budget hotels. Kerala Tourism Development Corporation has numerous guesthouses and hotels across Kerala, which are comfortable and well maintained. The peak tourist season in Kerala is from November to February, when the rates shoot up and most of the hotels are full, so it is advised to have prior booking during this period. Cochin and its surroundings can also be enjoyed during the monsoon (June-August) provided you don’t mind getting drenched and there is a bonus, as the houseboats and hotels are all available at dirt cheap rates.
|Baby's Home stay||S.Thamaraparambu 1/1581A||Guesthouse||94|
|Birds Lagoon||Thattekkad P.O, Palamattom Kothamangalam||Hotel||-|
|Bounty Yatra||No. 1/1367, Rids Dale Lane Njaliparambu jn Fort Cochin||Guesthouse||88|
|Cochinn||14a Kairali St Ashoka Road, Kaloor||Hostel||85|
|Costa Gama Home Stay @ Fort Kochi||1/1613 A, Thamaraparambu Road, Fort Cochin, Kerala||Hostel||81|
|Hotel Hill Palace||Refinery Road, Irimpanam Jn.,||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Mother Tree||H;No 1/937, K.L,Bernard Master Road||Guesthouse||86|
|Kerala Village Homestay||2/850-B, Puthenparambil Near Govt. H.S.S. Bus Stop||HOSTEL||-|
|Anns Home Stay||Kootumkal H, Kurumannu||Apartment||-|
|Orion Holidays||926 B, K.L. Bernad Master Road Njaliparambu Junction, Fort kochin||Guesthouse||-|
|Padikkal Recidency||1/1206A, Njaliparambu JN., K.B.Jacob Road||Guesthouse||81|
|Prem's Homestay||h/no 1/894, Njaliparambu Junction, K.b.jacob Road Fort Cochin,Cochin-1||Guesthouse||87|
|Rain Tree Lodge||1/618 Petercelle Street, Fort Cochin Kerala||Hostel||-|
|Sajhome||Federal Bank ATM Building, Fortkochi Kunnumpuram||Hotel||-|
|Tag und Nacht||11/590C,Opp Naval Maritime Museum Mackenzie Garden||Guesthouse||85|
|Thomasinn||Kochuparambil, Shenoy Cross Road Kaloor||Hostel||92|
|Time Square Hotel||Club Road||Hotel||88|
|Woods Manor||Woodland's Jn M.G Road Ernakulam||Hotel||-|
|Casa De Forte||Jubilee Junction, Veli, Fort Kochi||Hotel||-|
|Abad Airport Hotel||Opp. Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Abad Metro||Rajaji Road, (Off.M G Road)||Hotel||-|
|Abad Harmonia||Chowra P O, Trivandum||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Abad Atrium||M G Road, Cochin,||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Abad Plaza||M G Road, Cochin||Hotel||-|
|Tantraa Homestay||Bishop garden lane no 1 Pattalam||Hostel||86|
|Kuzhupilly Beach House||IX /UA /204A Kuzhupilly beach road, Ayyampilly po||Apartment||90|
|Rossitta Wood Castle||Rose Street Fort Kochi||Hotel||81|
|Hotel Yuvarani Residency||Jos Junction M.G Road,||Hotel||-|
|Thani Illam Homestay||Thottuva Koovappady Perumbavoor||Hostel||-|
|The International Hotel||P.B. No. 3563, M.G. Road, Ernakulam||Hotel||-|
|Cherai Beach Resort||Vypin Island||Guesthouse||-|
|Nyle Plaza||NH Bypass Vyttila||Hotel||-|
|Sealine Beach Resort||Beach Road Cherai||Hotel||-|
|Vedic Village Resorts||V.P. Island, Kottapuram P.O. Kodungalloor, Thrissur Dist.||Guesthouse||-|
|West Wind Homez||Kumbalangi||Guesthouse||-|
|Good Karma Inn||Rids Dale branch road, njali parambu junction fort kochi||Hostel||85|
|Adams Wood House||behind saga, andy achari road west panayappilly, cochin - 2.||Guesthouse||82|
|Adams Wood House - B & B Homestay||West Panayappilly||Guesthouse||-|
|cheraihotel||Smj Building North paravur||Hotel||-|
|Puthumana Homestay||Puthumana House, Mahathma Gandhi Road, Edavanakad P.O, Ernakulam Dist||Apartment||-|
|THE MERCY||M.G Road, Ravipuram||Hotel||-|
|Taj Mahal Homestay||Bernard Master Lane Fort Cochin||Hostel||67|
|Bastian Homestay||I/1276E, K.B. Jacob Road Chirattapalam, Cochin 1||GUESTHOUSE||86|
|LEELU HOME STAY||Cheerans Ebenezer, 1/629 Quiros street, Fort Cochin||Guesthouse||-|
|Swapna Koodaram ~ Kerala Village Homestay||2 / 850 - B, Puthenparambil, Near Govt. School Bus||Guesthouse||-|
|Palm Grove||Kottarathil , Market Road , Edappally,||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Kovil Home Stay||X/1646, Amaravathy,Near Amman Kovil Temple Fort Kochi, Kerala, India||Hotel||-|
|Jose Farms Homestay||38/733, Gandhi Nagar, Kadavanthra Cochin-20.||GUESTHOUSE||84|
|Shravanam Greens Resort||Kedamangalam Ezhikkara North Paravur Ernakulam, Kerala||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Four Seasons||princess street behind post office||HOTEL||-|
|Maison Casero Home stay||H.NO. 1/1974 Kottavalappu||Guesthouse||-|
|Deshadan Plaza||MAIN AVENUE ,NEAR PASSPORT OFF PANAMPILLY NAGAR COCHIN-36, KERALA STATE||Hotel||-|
|Anns Residency||1/307 A Opp Indo Portuguese Museum, Post Office Road||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Soma Birds Lagoon||Thattekad P.O,Palamattom,Kothamangalam||HOTEL||-|
|PJ Princess Regency||7/52-D, AVT Road, Puduvypin Vypeen Islands||Hotel||-|
|Honolulu Homestay||H.no 1/1596, south thamaraparambu fort Cochin, Ernakulam, Kochi||Guesthouse||90|
|Cochin Casa Mia Homestay||Casamia Pattalam Road Cochin 1, Fort Cochin||GUESTHOUSE||88|
|Taj Home Stay||Quirose street, opp. the post office Fort kochi||Guesthouse||89|
|Bright Heritage||1/508,A1, Tower Road Fort Cochin Kerala, 682 533, India||Guesthouse||-|
|Sajhome-Fortkochi Cochin-Kerala-India||Federal Bank ATM Building Near Kunnumpuram Junction Fort kochi Kochi-1 Kerala||Guesthouse||92|
|Nathans Holiday Home||11/637A Meckenzie Garden, Fort Cochin||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|SAJ Earth Resort||cochin International airport Nedumbassery cochin||Hotel||-|
|Sonnetta Residency||1/387,Princess Street Fort Kochi||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Gramam||Neduveli House North Kumbalangi||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Elim Homestay||Chirattapalam, Near Bus Stop. Fort Cochin Ernakulam, Kerala||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Little Flower Home Stay||Opp: Fort Kochi Police Quarters Rids Dale Lane, Adjacant to K.B. Jacob Road, Fort||GUESTHOUSE||81|
|Hill Palace Hotel||Off: 1st Floor, Thaliyachira Bldgs Seaport-Airport Road||Hotel||-|
|St Michael's Inn||1/1255A Chirattappalam Cross R||Hostel||-|
|Aroma Home Stay||1/1469(1), Opp. Street Antony's Chappel, Near Pattala||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Gramam Homestay||Kumbalangi Road||Hostel||-|
|Christ Ville||KL Bernard Master Road Njaliparambu Ernakulam District||Guesthouse||-|
Cyber cafes are available in most parts of the cities. STD/ISD booths for making domestic and international calls can easily be found in all corners of Kochi.
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