|Destinations - Kochi
Kochi - Cochin, popularly known as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea” is situated in the South Western Coast of the Indian Subcontinent. It is a vibrant city and is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala. The city is bordered by the Western Ghats in the East and the Arabian Sea in the West. It is a small town situated in the Ernakulam district of Kerala. The large number of tourist attractions in Cochin and its backwaters makes this place a unique experience to the tourist who visit the city.
A blending of several small villages on the southwestern coast created the current incarnation of Kochi (or Cochin), where sunset strolls, sampling fresh fish from seaside vendors and boat rides through the islands just offshore top visitors' to-do lists. Art centers showcase the traditional dance, Kathakali. European influences are seen in the 16th-century Portuguese-built churches and forts, while the mark of early Chinese traders is visible in the unusual fishing nets dotting the shoreline.
Kochi's tourist attractions :
- St. Francis Church: Built in 1503, this Anglican Church is an exemplary evidence of the European colonial struggle in India. The church contains the tombstone of Vasco-da-Gama and it has been the architectural model of numerous churches in India.
- Dutch Palace: This palace is a unique blend of the oriental and the occidental architectural patterns. It is famous for the mural paintings in it. There are three temples inside the palace, each devoted to lord Krishna, Lord Shiva and Pazhayannur Bhagavati- the protective deity of the Royal family of Kochi.
- Bolghatty Palace: This palace in the scenic island was established by the Dutch in 1744. Presently, the palace has been transformed into Kerala Tourism Development Corporation hotel.
- Santa Cruz Basilica: Established in 1558, this church in Kochi is famous for the beautiful paintings on the ceiling.
- Pareekshith Thampuran Museum: Previously called Durbar Hall, this museum houses collections of old coins, paintings and sculptures.
- Hill Palace Museum: It was actually the residence of the Kochi Royal family. It is surrounded by 52 acres of terraced land with a Deer Park. It is the first heritage museum in Kerala.
- Cherai Beach: Beaches abound in Kochi. But the beauty of Cherai Beach surpasses all with its swimming facility and coconut groves. Occasional sights of dolphins is also an added attraction.
- Jewish Synagogue: Built in 1568, it is the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth countries. Known for mid 18th century hand printed, willow pattern floor tiles from Canton in China, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, a dock tower, ancient scripts on copper plates etc, the Synagogue is a place worth seeing in Cochin.
- Willingdon Island: Named after Lord Willingdon, the British viceroy to India, this man-made island is surrounded by beautiful backwaters. The Willingdon Island is the site of the city's best hotels, customs and trading centers, the port trust and also the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command.
- Vypeen Island : There is a magnificent lighthouse at Ochanthuruth, which remains open from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm daily.