(Cochin) travel information, Kerala
Surrounded by the
Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west, Kochi, formerly
known as Cochin, is an important and beautiful port city of Kerala. It
is located in the district of Ernakulam, about 220 km north of the state
capital Thiruvananthapuram. The city has an estimated population of 600,000,
with an extended metropolitan population of about 1.5 million. It boasts
of a world-class port, which connects it to many important cities over
the world. Etymologically, many theories exist pertaining how Kochi derived
One says the city's
modern name is derived from the Malayalam words, Koch Azhi, meaning 'small
lagoon'. Whereas, as per some old manuscripts, the traders who came here
from the court of Chinese ruler, Khubilai Khan, during ancient times,
gave Cochin the name of their homeland. However, one thing constant about
the city is that its strategic location has always made it stand out as
a significant commercial and industrial hub of Kerala. During the 14th
century, Kochi gained a reputation of being an important spice-trading
Places to visit:
A leisurely walk through the city is the best way to discover historic
for Kochi. An obscure fishing village that became the first European township
in India, Kochi has an eventful and colorful history. The town was shaped
by the cultural influences, the Dutch and later the British. The results
of these cultural influences are seen in the many examples of indo European
architecture that still exist here.
These huge cantilevered fishing nets are the legacy of one of the first
visitors to the Malabar Coast. Erected here between 1350 and 1450 ad by
Traders from the court of kublai khan, these nets are set up on teak wood
and bamboo poles. The best place to watch the nets being lowered into
the sea and catch being brought in is the Vasco Da Gama square, a narrow
promenade that runs along the beach.
St. Francis church:
Built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan Friars, this is India's oldest
European Church. This was initially built of timber and later reconstructed
in stone masonry. It was restored in 1779 by the Protestant Dutch, converted
To an Anglican church by the British in 1795 and is at present governed
by the church of south India. Vasco Da Gama was buried here in 1524 before
his Remains were moved to Lisbon, Portugal.
Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma
of Kochi, the palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. On display here
are beautiful murals depicting scenes from the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata,
and some of the Puranic Hindu legends. The palace also houses Dutch maps
of old Kochi, royal palanquins, coronation robes of former maharajas of
Constructed in 1568, this is the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth.
Destroyed in a shelling during the Portuguese raid in 1662, it was rebuilt
two years later by the Dutch.
This island is famous for its palace of the same name.. The Bolghatty
palace was built in 1744 the Dutch and later taken over by the British.
Today it is a hotel run by the Kerala tourism, with a small golf course
and special honeymoon cottages.
Named after Lord Willingdon, a former British viceroy of India, this man-made
island is surrounded by beautiful backwaters. The island is the site of
the city's best hotels and trading centers, the port trust and the headquarters
of the southern naval command.
How to Reach
International Airport at Nedumbassery (20 kms from town)
Ernakulam (Cochin) is a major railhead of the Southern Railway. Main Station:
Ernakulam (Cochin) junction. Other station: Ernakulam (Cochin) town, Kochi
An excellent road network links to all major towns and cities in India.
Tourist Destination in Kerala
Kerala in Details