Cochin - Queen of Arabian Sea

Kochi is located on the coast of the Arabian Sea with Kottayam and Alappuzha districts on the south, Idukki on the east and Thrissur on the North. The commercial capital and the most cosmopolitan city of Kerala, Kochi, in Kochi, is also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. With one of the finest natural harbors in the world, this was once a major centre of commerce and trade with the British, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, and Dutch etc.

Cochin - Kerala Commercial Capital

Cochin, the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala, has one of the finest natural harbour in the world. Ancient mariners from Arabia, China, Holland, Britain and Portugal have all left their mark on this beautiful island city. The most cosmopolitan of the state's cities, Cochin has been long eulogized in tourist literature as the 'Queen of the Arabian Sea'. The beauty of the place is stunningly different and has long-standing maritime importance. Cochin is Kerala's major port, which is strategically located on the East-West trade route. Boasting of one of the finest natural harbours in the world, the city forms the hub around which the city revolves. Most of the city's commercial centres and shops are located in the town called Ernakulam, which also lends its name to the district. The Backwaters extend east and south of the harbour and contain tiny islands formed naturally over a long time by alluvial deposits from the rivers that empty into them.

Kochi General Information

  • Area: 95 sq km.
  • Population: 1.35 million
  • Location: 9° 58"N, 76° 17"E
  • Altitude:–Sea Level
  • Temperature: 20°C-35°C (68°F-95°F)
  • Summer: March - May (hot and humid)
  • Mild winter: October – February (cool, dry with occasional rain)
  • Monsoon season: June – September (heavy rains)
  • Rainfall; 350cm annually
  • Language: State language: Malayalam, English

How to get there

Kochi is well connected by air, rail, road and waterways to all major cities within and outside Kerala.

By Air
Cochin/ Kochi (Airport Code: COK) has a domestic airport with flights to Agatti, Bangalore, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Goa, Madras and Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum - the capital of Kerala). The new Cochin International Airport is at Nedumbassery beside National Highway No. 47(Kochi-Coimbatore-Chennai), 30 km from Ernakulam downtown & 40 km from Willingdon Island.

By Rail
Kochi and Ernakulum are connected to the rest of India by an extensive network of rails. There are three important railway stations here namely Cochin Harbour Terminus, Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town. Many important trains start from here and many others pass through these stations.

By Road
Three important National Highways (NH) pass through/start from Kochi, apart from many state roads. NH 47 from Kanyakumari to Salem passes right through the heart of Kochi while NH 17 to Mumbai and NH 49 to Madurai (in Tamil Nadu) start from Kochi. Private and public transport services are available to/from all major cities of South India from here.

Distances from Cochin

Coimbatore 193 Kms / 121miles 4 Hrs
Guruvayur 88 Kms / 55 miles 2 Hrs
Kaladi 40 Kms / 25 miles 1 Hrs
Kottayam 67 Kms / 42 miles 1 ½ Hrs
Kumarakom 90 Kms / 56 miles 2 Hrs
Mallapuram 170 Kms / 106 miles 4 Hrs
Mararikulam 63 Kms / 39 miles 1 ½ Hrs
Mettupalayam 230 Kms / 144 miles 5 Hrs
Mudumalai 354 Kms / 221 miles 8 Hrs
Munnar 127 Kms / 79 miles 2 ½ Hrs
Ooty 281 Kms / 176 miles 6 Hrs
Periyar 185 Kms / 116 miles 4 Hrs
Quilon 147 Kms / 92 miles 3 Hrs
Thettakkad 60 Kms / 38 miles 1 ½ Hrs
Trichur 74 Kms / 46 miles 1 ½ Hrs
Trivandrum 220 Kms / 138 miles 5 Hrs

Bolghatty Place

This Dutch palace is situated on the Bolghatty Island. At present it is being used as hotel. The island has a fine golf course and the panoramic view makes it an attractive picnic spot. Frequent boat service is available from the mainland.

Chinese Fishing Nets

The Chinese fishing nets found here are the only ones of its kind in India. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here.

Dutch Palace

The Dutch Palace was originally built by the Portuguese. Later, in 17th century, the Dutch modified it and presented to the Raja of Kochi. Coronation of many Rajas of Kochi was held here. The place has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting the scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana.

Fort Kochi beach

A stroll along the beach, particularly at sunset with the Chinese fishing nets and sailing ships in the background, is a fine experience. Many European style bungalows can be seen along the shoreline.

Hill Palace

Built in the 19th century by Raja of Kochi, the Kochi province was ruled from here. The palace has been converted into a museum displaying a fine collection of articles used by the Rajas of Kochi apart from many archaeological findings.

Jewish Synagogue

The synagogue, magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers, was built in 1568. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. It is located near the Dutch Palace.

Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

Believe it or not this bird sanctuary is situated right in the heart of Kochi city. It is the home of many exotic and rare varieties of migratory birds.

Museum of Kerala History

Located at Edappally, 10 km, from Ernakulam city, it is the only one of its kind in Kerala.The museum has on display life size statues of many famous personalities and several paintings depicting Kerala History. The history of Kerala is exhibited and narrated with the help of light and sound.

Palliport (Pallipuram) Fort

It is the oldest European fort built in India. Built by the Portuguese in 1503, it is one of the oldest existing European monuments in India.

Parikshith Thampuram Museum

The museum is situated near the famous Siva Temple, Ernakulam. It houses a treasure of archaeological findings and relics including old coins, sculptures, oil paintings and murals.

St. Francis Church

It is the oldest church built by European in India.On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portugese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that the exact place where he was buried has been marked out inside the church

Miscellaneous

The backwaters separating Ernakulam from Fort Kochi and Mattanchery are dotted with many small and big islands. A ride through the backwaters is an unforgettable experience. The Cochin Shipyard, Cochin Refineries, Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore, Hindustan Machine Tools, Indian Rare Earths, etc and other large and medium scale industries make Kochi a very important industrial area. Theses India Foundation arranges daily Kathakali performance. Kathakali is a fascinating traditional Kerala dance form.

Fort Cochin

The St. Francis Church is located in Fort Cochin, which was built in 1510 AD, by five Portuguese priests who arrived with Albuquerque. The church, the burial site for Vasco da Gama in 1524 AD is said to be the oldest European church built in India.

Jew Town

The area around the Synagogue is a centre of spice trade and curio shops

Kodanad

45 kms from Cochin, it is one of the largest elephant capturing camps and training centres in India. It is on the southern banks of Periyar River amidst the beautiful high ranges near Perumbadoor. Even though elephant capture was banned in 1977, the training centre continues to function.

Thommankuthu Waterfalls

Located 20 kms from Thodupuzha, Thommankuthu is a small and beautiful, wild waterfall. Thommankuthu attracts thousands of tourists every year. The wild beauty of the scenic waterfall will steal the heart of any traveller.

Festivals

Cochin Carnival

Cochin Carnival is a merry making feast observed during the last week of every year in Fort Cochin in Kerala. The carnival dates back to the Portuguese New Year revelry held here during the colonial days.

Indira Gandhi Boat Race

Indira Gandhi Boat Race is a grand feast on the rolling backwaters of Cochin. Conducted in the last week of December, it is a fitting finale to the Tourism Fair.

Shopping

The items is of immense beauty for the simple reason that Keralities are gifted artisans. Among Kochi's best buy are metalware, camel-bone carvings, wood carvings, articles made of coconut shels, baboo cane, embroidered screwpine mats; grass mats; and several other types of handicrafts. Kochi also has several antique dealers. Jewellery, readymade garments, and ethnic hand-woven textiles follow closely.