Cochin is a booming business
metropolis, a fascinating mixture of the old and the new, is having the finest
natural harbours in the world. Cochin underlined by the sobriquet ‘Queen of the
Arabian Sea’, was once a major centre for commerce and trade. At Cochin, the
blue water of the Arabian Sea merges with Kerala’s Emerald Backwaters. Even
today, Cochin continues the tradition of welcoming visitors with its customary
warmth and hospitality…
Places of interest
This long narrow palm-fringed island, easily accessible from the mainland,
is where the Bolgatty Palace is situated amidst 15 acres of lush green lawns.
Built by the Dutch in 1744, it became the seat of the British Resident later. In
1976 the palace was converted into a hotel under the Kerala Tourism Development
Corporation. The Cochin Golf Club's course is on the palace grounds.
Art Complex -
Madhavan Nayar Foundation, Edappally: This Art Complex is 10 kms north of
Ernakulam en route to Alwaye. The centre also exhibits certain larger-than-life
mural reproductions of ancient Indian Art. The complex consists of two units:
the Gallery of Paintings and Sculptures which presents over 200 original
paintings by contemporary Indian artists, some of them internationally
acclaimed, and works of reputed Indian sculptors. The other unit, the Centre for
Visual Arts is reserved for authentic reproductions of selected world masters
from Leonardo da Vinci to those of the present century.
Chinese Fishing Nets,
Fort Cochin: These fixed, cantilevered fishing nets, at the entrance of the harbour and along the backwaters, were introduced by traders from the court of
Kublai Khan. Records show that they were first erected between AD 1350 and 1450.
The best place to watch these nets is from Vasco da Gama square, a narrow
promenade that lies parallel to the beach.
The beach is located 25 kms from Ernakulam in a typical village ambience is
this lovely unspoilt stretch of sand, ideal for swimming. But if the sea and
sand still do not whet your appetite, there are many numbers of food outlets and
ice-cream parlours to do so. At Cherai, life guards are always on the look out
for the over adventurous. Dolphins are also commonly seen in the waters.
Ernakulam Siva Temple, Ernakulam:
The temple is facing the historical Rajendra maidan is this famous temple,
considered to be amongst the most ancient in central Kerala. Though no
historical records exist to indicate a precise date, an inscription found above
the main entrance in Vattezhuthu, an antiquated script, suggests that the
sanctum was built in the year 1614. The deity is popularly referred to as
Ernakulathappan. The temple's 8-day annual festival is celebrated in the month
of Jan-Feb with colourful rituals and exciting cultural events. The bathing of
the idol, on the eighth day, is particularly significant here. The ceremony of
Ashta Bandham Kalasam, where the deity is anointed in a herbal paste, is
performed once in 12 years.
Dutch Cemetery, Fort Cochin:
Consecrated in 1724, here's an authentic reminder of the many men and women
from Europe who came down all the way to play out their roles in the colonial
17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Dutch Palace, Mattancherry:
The Palace, originally built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin
raja Veera Kerala Varma in 1555, acquired its present name after 1663 when the
Dutch carried out some extensive repairs. The Cochin rajas held their coronation
ceremoniesin the Central Hall of this double-storey quadrangular building. Rooms
adjacent contain breathtaking 17th-century murals depicting scenes from the
Puranas and the great epics - the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
Fort Cochin Beach:
The Beach is an ideal place for an evening stroll and to watch a spectacular
sunset. Bathing and swimming are not recommended here. The colourful carnival at
New Year's Eve is a feature of this beach.
Kalli Kota, Tripunithura:
As the name suggests, this beautiful, imposing building - a legacy of the Dutch
rule - served as an entertainment auditorium to the erstwhile royalty featuring
dance, drama, and plays. Today it functions largely as a marriage hall. Kalli
Kota is situated near Poornathreyesa temple.
Vamanamoorthy Temple, Thrikkakara:
The Temple is set in a land of great mythological significance, this ancient
temple, dedicated to Vamana - the fifth avatara of Lord Vishnu - is venerated by
the Vaishnavaites as one among the 108 holy places in India. The temple holds a
large number of lithic records, some of great historical significance. The
annual festival is held in the month of Chingam(Aug-Sept).
Sree Poornathreyesa Temple, Tripunithura: The legend says that Arjuna,
the great archer and warrior, had established this sanctum. Formerly belonging
to the Cochin royalty, this temple has Maha Vishnu as its presiding deity. The
annual temple festival is held in Nov-Dec, while the colourful Athachamayam, a
cultural extravaganza, is celebrated every year during the festival of Onam.
Mangalavanam (Mangrove Forest), Ernakulam:
This small protected area, a haven for birds, is located on Dr. Salim Ali
Road, adjacent to the High Court of Kerala. Best time to visit is in the mid of
January to early March.
Kerala Lalitha Kala Akademi Art Centre,Ernakulam:
The Art Centre is located on DH Road, this hall, now opened up as an art
centre, had been the durbar of the raja of Cochin.
One side of the Marine Drive is backwater while the opposite side is 70-ft
Road, city’s widest road. At the place of ruined old jetty there is Marine Drive
Promenade. Sit here and watch the backwaters and the Fort Kochi beyond. The
world’s highly densely populated Vypeen Island is in clear view from here.
Pallipuram Fort, Vypin: It is situated at the far end of Vypin Island. The
structure's walls have around 20 cannon emplacements. Small and hexagonal, it
was built in 1503, claiming to be the oldest European fort in India.
Sree Rajarajeswari Temple, Chottanikara:
The Temple is located 15 kms from Ernakulam, this 10th century temple,
one of the most renowned in Kerala, is an important pilgrim centre. The goddess
here is worshipped in her three forms, one after another, as the day progresses
- as Saraswathy in the morning, as Bhadrakali at noon, and as Durga in the
evening. The temple's annual festival is held in Feb-Mar for nine days with 'Makam
Thozal' considered the most important day. The Navaratri celebrations are also
St. Francis church, fort Cochin:
St. Francis Church was originally named as Santo Antonio. It is the first church
to have been built in the new European influenced style and tradition. The
original wooden building of 1510 was soon replaced by the present building
around 1546. Vasco da Gama died here in 1524 and was originally buried in the
church, fourteen years later his body was removed back to Lisbon, the capital of
Portugal. The church has an impressive facade. The church, originally a Catholic
Church was taken over by the Dutch after they captured Kochi in 1663 and
converted into a Protestant Dutch. The British converted it into an Anglican
Church after they took power in 1795, and in 1949 the congregation joined the
Church of South India.
Santa Cruz Basilica, Fort Cochin: The church was totally demolished by the
British who took over Cochin in 1795. Originally built by the Portuguese, this
church was elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. Later Bishop Dom
Gomez Ferreira commissioned a new building in 1887. Santa Cruz was finally
proclaimed a Basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984. The basilica, situated close
to the St. Francis Church, has some beautiful paintings.