KOCHI / COCHIN: Gateway to Kerala

Best places to visit in KOCHI / COCHIN, sightseeing & tourist attractions in KOCHI / COCHIN 

Kochi (formerly Cochin), the Commercial Capital of Kerala, distils the tourist attractions of the State into a concentrated package. Wedged between the Arabian Sea and the famous Backwaters, it is the Cultural Storehouse of Traditional Arts like the Kathakkali Dance form.

Chinese fishing nets, a Dutch palace, the oldest Synagogue in the sub continent, soaring Basilicas… makes it brim with rich legacy. The story of Kochi flavored with pirates, conquerors and settlers is as old as trade itself. Spice traders – Arabs and Jews – came here in the 1st Century. From times immemorial, it has attracted the Chinese, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British and has assimilated a little of their ways of life. Today it’s the tourists who flock to the Gateway to God’s Own Country.


Map of Kochi


Whats Famous Here? Sightseeing & Tourist Attractions in KOCHI / COCHIN 

Martial Arts Demonstration: The ancient Martial Arts of kalriyappat is still ‘alive and kicking’ (pun intended) at Nettoor about 10 km southeast of Ernakulam. Demonstrations are given on stages at the Center each day between 6 and 7 pm (3 and 7 pm Sundays).


Katikali Dance Performance: Performances are given at the Kathakali Center, Fort Kochi. Watching Performers putting on their elaborate makeup and costume is part of the show. Katikali dance performances are also held in the private homes of the Dance Gurus and at many of the five star hotels as a part of their entertainment program.


Chinese Fishing Nets & Waterfront Promenade (Fort Cochin): Enormous spider-like fishing nets, introduced to the region by traders from the court of Kubla Khan, line the bustling waterfront promenade (also known as Vasco de Gama Square) at the mouth of the Bay that opens out into the sea. In fact you can buy freshly caught fish from here and have it prepared to your taste at the ‘You Buy, We Fry’ roadside stall.

The fishing nets during Sunset are a sight for spectacular photographs.

There are a number of restaurants where one can relax and watch big ships, ferry boats and fishing vessels cruise by.

There are more nets against the backdrop of a whitewashed church on Vypeen Island which is a short (and amazingly cheap) ferry ride across the Bay.


What to see ? Tour package of KOCHI / COCHIN sightseeing spots 

Kochi is comprised of three main parts: Kochi or Cochin on the seaward side of the Bay, Willington Island and bustling Ernakulam on the mainland. In addition there are two smaller islands: Bolghatty which is opposite to the main Ernakulum jetty and Vypeen facing the Chinese fishing nets of the Cochin Fort.

Most of the tourist attractions are around Fort Cochin.


St. Francis Church (Fort Cochin): Built in AD 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan Friars, this is the oldest Church in the sub continent. A tombstone marks the spot where Vasco da Gama was first buried before his body was taken to Lisbon.

The Church, originally Roman Catholic and later converted to Anglican under British rule, is now run by the Churches of South India.


Santa Cruz Basilica (Fort Cochin): This monumental church with steeples surging heavenwards was built in AD 1558. Check out the colorful Indo-Romano-Rococo paintings on the ceiling inside.

Other Attractions at Fort Cochin: The area, rich with the residual legacy of its Colonial Heritage of the Portuguese, Dutch and British – deserves to be explored as a pedestrian.

These include the Bishop’s House with large Gothic arches, Fort Immanuel – much of which is now in ruin, Koder House – a red tribute of Indo-European architecture, Vasco House – believed to residence of Vasco de Gama, the wooden VOC Gate embossed with the monogram of the Dutch East India Company overlooking the Parade Grounds, the Dutch Cemetery and the Lofer’s Corner which, as the name suggests, is the hangout of the local youth of the area.


Mattancherry or Dutch Palace (Kochi/Muttancherry): Now a museum with palanquins, costumes, portraits of the Royal Family of Cochin! The walls are decorated with murals of Hindu Deities as also paintings of Krishna, Lord Vishnu and Shiva in dramatic poses. Photography is not allowed.

The palace was originally built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin Raja in 1557. In 1663, however, the Dutch enlarged it and renamed it as the Dutch Palace.

Antique and Spice Market at Jewtown & Synagogue (Kochi/ Muttancherry): Standing at the heart of this charming settlement of narrow cobbled stoned streets, is the oldest Jewish Synagogue within the Commonwealth. Sadly the numbers of the White Jews who once peopled this town here have dwindled to a handful and most of their homes have been converted to one of the finest antique markets in India. A few of their warehouses, pungent with the rich aroma of pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and spices still survive.


Bolghatty Palace: Built by the Dutch in 1744, the palace is now run as a hotel by the Kerala State Tourism Development Corporation. The only way of reaching it is by ferry and visitors are welcome to relax on its lawns or in its Snacks Bar / Restaurant.


Parishat Thamburan Museum (Ernakulam): Ancient coins, bronzes, copies of murals and megalithic relics of Kerala are housed in this modern building.


Travel to Kochi 

Local Languages: Malayalam and English

Best Time to Visit: October to March

How to Reach:


The Kochi International Airport is located at at Nedumbassery, 20 km from the City.


The City has two Stations: Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town. Mainline trains do not go to Kochi proper.


Regular buses ply for Kochi, one can take private or state operated buses from Alappuzha, Kollam, Kottayam, Kanyakumari  and many other nearby states and cities.



Excursions from Kochi: Places You Should Not Miss in KOCHI / COCHIN  

Museum of Kerala History (8 km from Ernakulam): The Museum is a rich treasure house of traditional and contemporary art and is the setting of a Sound and Light show in English and Malayam.


The Hill Palace Museum, Thirpunithura (10 Km from Kochi): The Official Residence of the erstwhile Royal Family of Kochi, the Palace Complex consists of 49 buildings built in the traditional architectural style of Kerala. The museum comprises of 13 galleries.


Hotels in Kochi:

From private luxury Hotels to state tourism lodges, Kochi has accommodation to meet the needs of almost every budget.


Kochi Travel Packages:

Customize your travel. Write your requirements we will revert with a quote as soon as possible.


Flights to Kochi : You can take flights to Kochi. The Kochi International Airport is located at at Nedumbassery, 20 km from the City.


Trains to Kochi (link trains to Kochi)

You can also take trains to Kochi the city has two Stations: Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town. Mainline trains do not go to Kochi proper. 

Buses to Kochi: Regular buses ply for Kochi, one can take private or state operated buses from Alappuzha, Kollam, Kottayam, Kanyakumari  and many other nearby states and cities. 

Car Hire in Kochi : To experience Kochi at your own pace you can take a car hire. Hire a cab and get enchanted by the captivating locations of Kochi. You can also hire a cab for excursions from Kochi.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *