Kochi, formerly known as Cochin is located along the Arabian Sea, on the southwest coast of India. It is one of the seven taluks of Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala. The islands of Fort Kochi, Willingdon, Vypin, Vallarapadom, and Bolgatty, along with mainland Ernakulam, make the modern city of Kochi. The city has also emerged as a tourist hub of south India and is commonly referred to as the “Gateway of Kerala”. Attracting tourists from around the world- Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Bolgatty, and the Backwaters are the main highlights of the city.
Traveling to Kochi
We can reach Kochi by air, rail, and road. The International airport of Kochi is in Nedumbasserry which is 35 Km away from Kochi. It connects Kochi to the major cities in India and also to many International cities, including Gulf countries and Singapore. We have two main railheads, Ernakulam Junction (4 Km) and Ernakulam Town (6 Km). Bus services in Kochi; KSRTC [Kerala State Road Transport Corportion] connects Kochi with all major cities in Kerala and with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Deluxe Volvo buses are available in plenty at any time to Chennai, Bangalore, and other cities in Tamilnadu.
Kochi Metro Rail Limited ( KMRL)
Kochi Metro is a metro rail system serving the city of Kochi. Now it has become the fastest way to reach the passenger’s preferred destination and it has helped a lot in reducing the traffic thereby controlling the pollution. Overall there are 22 stations connected by Kochi Metro from Aluva to Petta.
Places to visit in Kochi
Dutch palace/ Mattancherry Palace:
The Dutch palace is situated in Mattancherry, a small town in Kochi. For the same reason, it is also known by the name Mattancherry palace. The Palace is built by the Portuguese and was gifted by them to the King of Cochin around 1555. Later the Dutch came and carried out some extensions and renovations to the palace, thereafter it is called as Dutch Palace. The Palace is built in the traditional architectural style of Kerala with a courtyard in the middle. The glory of the Palace lies in the brilliant colorful murals. The camera is permitted without flash, however, in mural painting rooms camera is not allowed.
Visiting Time: 9:00 Hrs -4.30Hrs- Friday holiday.
Entrance Fee: Rs.5 for Indian & Foreigner
The Synagogue is also situated in Mattancherry. It is also known by the name Pardesi Synagogue and Mattancherry Synagogue. The Synagogue was originally built in 1568. The synagogue was built by Spanish-speaking Jews and this contributed to its informal name Pardesi Synagogue or Foreign Synagogue.
Visiting Time : 10:00 AM to 01:00 PM -03:00 PM to 05:00 PM. Friday afternoon and Saturday holiday
Entrance Fee : Rs. 10 for Indians & Foreigner
St. Francis Church:
St. Francis church located in Fort Cochin was built in 1503. It was believed to be India’s oldest European-built church. The church was constructed by the Portuguese. The great Vasco da Gama died in Kochi in 1524 during his third visit to India and was buried here in St. Francis church. Fourteen years later, his mortal remains were taken to Portugal.
Visiting Time : 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM -Sunday up to 01 PM visitors are not allowed.
Chinese Fishing nets:
At the entrance to the harbour, these nets are a fascinating sight. It is a mechanical method of catching fish by local fishermen in Fort Kochi. It was first brought to Kerala by the Chinese traders from Kublai Khan's court. Now, it is one of the major attractions in Kochi.
Museums in Kochi:
Kerala Folklore Museum:
The museum is located in a place called Thevara. It is the architectural museum of Kerala. The guest can watch a live performance of various art forms and cultural activities.
Visiting Time : 09:30 Hrs- 18:00 Hrs (Video Camera, Still Camera, Mobile camera Rs.100/professional photography requires additional permission and the fees for the same will be subjected to the purpose) open on all days except Good Friday, Onam & Christmas days.
Entrance Fee : per person Rs 100 for Indians, Rs 200 for foreigners
Hill Palace Museum:
The palace was built by the Maharaja of Cochin in 1865 and today it is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. The museum contains a large collection of Ornament of the Cochin royal family, Paintings, Sculptures, Weapons, and coins. The main attraction of the museum is the Horse cart gallery and weapon gallery. It is situated 12 Km away from the city on Ernakulam- Chotanikkara route.
Visiting Time: 9.00 AM to 4.30 PM Entrance Fee : Rs 30 for Indians & foreigners.
Holiday : Monday holiday, (camera /mobile / eatables /drinks are not allowed inside the museum). The locker facility is available free of cost.
Museum of Kerala History:
The museum is situated in a place called Edappally which is 10 Km from Cochin city towards Aluva. It is the oldest art and history museum in Kochi. The entire history of Kerala is displayed here. It mainly depicts the specimens of Indian contemporary art, ranging over the last 200 years.
Visiting Time : 10 AM to 5 PM
Holiday : Monday holiday
Entrance Fee : Rs 150 for Adults, Rs 50 for children
The Indo-Portuguese Museum :
The Indo-Portuguese Museum in Kochi is indeed one of those symbols in the records of Kochi, bearing the rich heritage of Indo-Portuguese culture and artistic influence.
Visiting Time : 9.30 AM to 5 PM- Monday Holiday
Holiday : Monday holiday
Entrance Fee : Rs. 25 per head
Famous Devotional places in Kochi:
Ernakulam Shiva temple: (Open 4:00 am - 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm.)
Ernakulam Shiva temple is also known by the name Ernakulathappan temple. It is one of the major temples of Kerala. It is situated at the heart of the city. The temple is dedicated to Lord shiva. According to the Hindu faith and tradition, the temple is considered as the city temple which protects the city. The annual festival (Ulsavam) usually comes in January / February. The ulsavam starts with kodiyettam( hosting of temple flag) on the first day evening. During the festival days, special poojas will be conducted. On the seventh day (Last day) there is Pakalpooram when the deity is being taken out in procession with caparisoned elephants with Panchavadyam and finally ends at Durbar Hall Ground after the famous Pandimelam and colorful fireworks.
Chottanikkara Bhagavathy temple: (Open 4:00 am- 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm)
Chottanikkara Temple is a famous temple for the mother goddess. The divine mother Rajarajeswari (Adiparasakthi) is worshipped here in three forms Saraswathy Devi in the morning, Lakshmi Devi in the noon, Durga Devi in the evening along with lord Mahavishnu on the same pedestal. Makam thozhal is the most famous festival of the temple which falls in February/ March. It is located 17 Km away from the main city.
National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom, Vallarpadam:
People from all parts of Kerala and outside, irrespective of caste go to church to seek the blessing of Mary, the mother of Jesus, popularly known as “Vallarpadathamma”
St George’s Forane Church :
St. George's Miraculous Syro Malabar Catholic Forane Church, also known as Edappally Mar Gee Varghese Sahada Palli or Edappally Palli is a Catholic church situated in Edappally which is 10 kms away from City. A statue of St. George mounted on his horse, spearing the dragon, is also seen here. The church festival is celebrated in the month of April-May. Thousands of devotees participate in the festival.
St Antony’s church
It is a miracle church dedicated to St Antony. Tuesday is the novena day in St. Antony’s Shrine, Kaloor. It is a very special day of devotion to St. Antony when a large number of devotees come and offer their prayers and attend holy mass. People believe in St Antony’s healing powers and they offer special prayers on Tuesday.
St. Joseph Church (Known as St Jude Church), Thevara
Thursdays are dedicated to St.Jude, Holy Mass & Novena are celebrated throughout the day seeking favors and blessing of St. Jude. Hundreds flew into the church on this day, special prayers and adoration ceremonies are conducted because St. Jude, through the most sacred heart of Jesus comes to the aid of the miserable with speedy and necessary help, especially in the most desperate cases. Feast of St Jude starts with 9-day Novena prayers starting from January 1st, with the main festival day commencing on 14th January Sunday.
Kanjiramattom is 30 km away from Kochi. It is believed that the mosque was erected over the mortal remains of a Muslim saint, Sheikh Parid. Another great Muslim saint, Baver is supposed to have prayed here and attained salvation.
Day Excursion from Kochi:
Kumbalangi Village: 20 km from Cochin city
Kumbalanghi is a lush green village in Cochin. It is declared as the first model fisheries and tourism village in India which has its tradition and culture. Most of the villagers are engaged in agriculture and fishing. The visitors can enjoy the activities such as Coir yam processing, Copra processing, Crab Farming, Chinese net operation, Net making, Weaving Coconut Leaves, Country Boating, Casting of nets, Grouping of fish, etc.
Athirapally & Vazhachal Waterfalls: 97 Km from Cochin City
Athirappally and Vazhachal Waterfalls are in Thrissur district. Athirappally waterfalls are the largest waterfalls in Kerala. These two waterfalls are located only five kilometers away from each other. This twin waterfall is a major tourist attraction and a major spot point for movie shooting. The best time to visit the waterfalls is between August to February.
Visiting Time: 08: AM – 06:00 PM
Entry Fee: Indians Rs 30/- Adult, Children Rs 2/-( Upto 13 Years) Foreigner: Rs 100/-
Thattekad Wildlife Sanctuary: 80 km
Thattekad wildlife sanctuary is also known by the name Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. It is situated in the place called kothamangalam and is the first bird sanctuary in Kerala. Around 284 species of birds are recorded in the sanctuary.
Guruvayoor temple along with elephant captivity camp: 110 Km from Cochin city
The Guruvayoor temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is one of the most important and popular pilgrimage destinations in Kerala and the entire country, attracting thousands of pilgrims from all over India. Non-Hindus are not allowed in the temple. We need to follow a dress code inside the temple. For men, only dhotis are allowed and presently the dress code for women has been relaxed with shalwar kameez (churidar pyjamas) being allowed. The elephant camp is situated 3 Km away from the temple which is known as Punnathurkotta. The elephants are brought here as ritual offerings made by the devotees of Lord Krishna. Here the elephants are trained to serve Lord Krishna as well as participate in festivals that occur throughout the year.
Guruvayoor temple Opening time : 3:00 AM to 1.30 PM -4.30 Pm to 09:15 PM
Elephant camp time : 08:00 Am to 5.30 Pm
Holiday : No holiday. Opens every day
Kodanad/ Kaprikkad: 65 Km from Cochin City
Kodanad is located on the southern bank of the Periyar River. It was moved to Abhayaranyam near Kaprikkad and is one of the largest elephant training and rescue centers in Kerala.
Pallipuram Fort :
Pallipuram Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1503. It is one of the oldest existing European monuments in India. The Dutch captured the fort in 1661 and sold it to the state of Travancore in 1789. This fort is situated in the northern extremity of the Vypin Island at Pallipuram. Near this fort Munambam fishing harbor also can be seen.
Paravur Jewish synagogue: 32 Km from Cochin City
The building is located in the former Jewish Street of the Paravur region. This synagogue must have been the place of worship for the Jews that settled very close to the Parur market. Though the users of the synagogue have all but faded away, both the market and the synagogue still exist. The Parur market opening to the river Periyar still functions twice a week, a boat jetty has been constructed there, and the Jew street still goes by that name, though one of its two pillars at the entrance has been knocked down. The balcony of the synagogue is supported by decorated pillars and gilded beams. The decorations on the ceiling and the door carvings are similar to those of the Chendamangalam synagogue. With the opening of the Parur visitor center, the synagogue will be within walking distance there.
Visiting hours : 10:00hrs -17:00 hrs except for Mondays
Entrance fees : Rs. 150 per pax
Chendamangalam Jewish Synagogue (Jewish lifestyle museum): 33 Km
The Jewish Synagogue at Chendamangalam, constructed around the 17th century is of a traditional style, with a separate entrance for women. The land for it was provided by the family of Paliam, the traditional ministers of Kochi, who owned the village of Chendamangalam during that period.
The Department of Archeology had scientifically conserved the Synagogue using traditional materials, which were otherwise in a dilapidated state. A tomb inscription believed to belong to one of the early members of the Synagogue is found in front of it. Many other tomb inscriptions have also been collected from the same site. On the East side of the Synagogue, there is a cemetery about 400 meters long belonging to this Synagogue. The Department, in collaboration with the Jews abroad, has arranged a display inside the Synagogue, which is titled - The Jewish Synagogues in Kerala.
Visiting hours : 10:00-17:00 hrs except for Mondays
Entrance fees : Rs. 05 per pax
Wonderla Water Theme Park:
The park is situated in Pallikkara, Kakkanad which is 20 Km away from the city Centre. It is an ideal spot for family and friends to enjoy the fun water rides here. It is promoted by Kochouseph Chittilappilly and his son Arun Chittilappilly and this was set up in the year 2000.
Visiting Time : Weekdays 11:00 Hrs- 18:00 Hrs, Weekends/ Season 11:00 Hrs-19:00 Hrs
Popular Events and festivals held in Kochi
Onam Festival at Sree Vamana Murthy Temple, Thrikkakara:
This temple is one of the very few temples dedicated to Lord Vamana, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. This is the original temple related to the legend behind the Onam festival. For the same reason, the Onam celebration is celebrated here in a grand style. Onam Celebration is supposed to be held here on 08th September this year. There will be elephant percussion and procession. Vehicle movement will be restricted during the festival and guests need to walk for a certain distance. For guests interested in experiencing Onam Festival, this is a must-visit.
Athachamayam marks the beginning of the ten-day Onam festival in Kerala. It is an occasion to witness almost all the folk art forms of Kerala. Conducted every year on the Atham star of the Malayalam month Chingam. This year which will be on 30th August 2022, the event held at the Royal historical town of Tripunithura (which is located 17kms away from Ernakulam) is a celebration of a legendary victory of the Kochi King. It is a cultural gala conducted annually on the Atham asterism of the Malayalam month Chingam at Thripunithura near Kochi. The procession includes caparisoned elephants, folk art forms, and floats.
Fort Kochi is the center of the Cochin Carnival. This colorful fiesta attracts the largest number of visitors on New Year's Day (1st January) . On this day a grand procession is taken out. Elephants in ornamental trappings are the chief attraction of this splendid parade. One can also witness the performances of talented folk artists in this magnificent pageant. The music created by the harmonious blending of five instruments called Panchavadyam is continuously played. The elaborate displays mounted on platforms are simply spectacular. People in fancy dresses are also to be seen in this charming rally.
Kochi Muziris Biennale is the largest art exhibition in India. It is an international exhibition where in artists from all over the country and across the globe fly to Kochi to showcase their artistic works. It is conducted by the Kochi Biennale foundation with support from the Kerala Government. The Kochi Biennale will be held on Kochi Muziris and the surrounding islands.
This would be a great addition for the guests coming to Kochi during this time. This year it will commence on 12 -12-2022 and end on 10-04-2023
Upcoming Industry Event
Kerala Travel Mart 2022
KTM 2022, will be conducted by the KTM Society in Partnership with the Dept. Of Tourism, Govt. of Kerala from 05th to 8th May 2022.
At KTM 2022, apart from Ayurveda Centres, Hotels, Resorts, Homestays, Houseboats & Tour Operators of Kerala we also bring you Farmstays, Monsoon Tours, Medical Tourism (Speciality Hospitals), Wedding & Honeymoon holidays, MICE destinations, and many more. Around 1000 Buyers from India & International are expected to participate in KTM 2022 which will showcase Kerala through 300 stalls.
If you are interested to participate in KTM 2022, Please complete the Buyers’ Pre-registration form on their website immediately https://keralatravelmart.org/BuyersRegister Once this completed form has been approved by a Committee and depending on your profile, you may be offered the status of Hosted Buyer.
Additional activities can be provided at Kochi:
Kathakali Dance & Kalaripayattu Show:
Kathakali Dance is a traditional dance form of Kerala. Kathakali is a combination of dance, music, acting, and dramatizes stories that are mostly taken from Indian Epics. The dancers use a specific type of symbolic makeup to portray various roles which are character types. Kalaripayattu is considered to be the oldest form of martial arts. Kalaripayattu means battlefield practices or training that takes place in an arena. Basis of all martial art forms like Karate, Kungfu was originally developed from Kalaripayattu. (Timings - 04.00 Pm to 05.00 Pm Kalaripayattu show and 05.00 pm to 07.00 pm Kathakali dance show).
Greenix Cultural Centre:
Greenix Village is a cultural art center promoting Kerala's varied art forms under a single roof. The center is situated in Fort Cochin. They showcase their activities on daily basis. Now they are upgraded with a lot of new activities.
- Kalaripayattu show
- Kathakali show
Harbour Cruise / Sunset Cruise:
The guest can enjoy 02 Hours cruise in the water around the Cochin harbor and can watch the sunset over the city. Since Cochin is regarded as the perfect retreat because of its lagoons, Chinese fishing nets, and Coconut plantation, a sunset cruise is the best way for enjoying the beauty that surrounds the coast of Cochin. As per the guest’s interest, we can provide a harbor cruise in the morning as well in the evening.
Cooking Class in Kochi:
Guests can experience a live cooking session where-in they would learn to cook various Kerala dishes from a Kerala cuisine expert. The class is arranged by various authorized centers in Kochi.
Cooking class shall be arranged along with either lunch or dinner.
Hotels in and around Kochi :
Hotels near Kochi Airport:
- SAJ Earth Resort (5 Star) - www.sajhotels.com
- Courtyard by Marriott Hotel (5 Star) – www.marriott.com
- Port Muziris, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel - Koc
- Hotel Airlink Castle (5 Star) - www.airlinkcastle.com
- Diana Heights (5 Star) - www.dianaheights.com
- Flora Airport Hotel (4 Star) - www.florahotelsindia.com
- Golf View Hotels & Suites (3 Star) – www.golfviewhotelsuites.com
- Lotus 8 Hotel – (3 Star) - www.lotus8hotels.com
Hotels in Kochi city
- Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty – kochibolgatty.grand.hyatt.com
- Kochi Marriott Hotel – www.marriott.com
- The Gateway Hotel- www.thegatewayhotels.com
- Olive Downtown - www.olivehotels.com
- Radisson Blu Kochi – Kochi
- Le Meridien Kochi - www.lemeridienkohichi.com
- Crowne Plaza Kochi - www.crowneplaza.com/kochi
- Holiday Inn, Cochin - www.holidayinn.com/cochin
- Le Maritime, Kochi - www.lemaritimekochi.com
- Vivanta By Taj Malabar – www.tajhotels.com
- Casino Hotel - www.cghearth.com
- Trident Cochin - www.tridenthotels.com
- Ramada Resort Kochi - www.ramadacochin.com
- Bolgatty Palace & Island Resort – www.ktdc.com
- Keys Hotel, Kochi - www.keyshotels.com
- PGS Vedanta Cochin - www.pgsvedanta.com
- Hotel Presidency – www.presidencyhotel.com
- Avenue Regent -www.avenuehotels.in
- Gokulam Park Kochi - www.sarovarhotels.com/kochi-hotels/the-gokulam-park
- The Avenue Centre Hotel -www.avenue hotels.in
- Starlit Suites - www.starlitsuites.com
- Travancore Court - www.travancorecourt.com
- Dunes Hotel - www.duneshotels.com
- Abad Plaza - www.abadhotels.com
- Abad Atrium - www.abadhotels.com
- Grand Hotel – www.grandhotelkerala.com
- Tribute Royal Hotel - www.tributeroyale.com
- Monsoon Empress - www.monsoonempress.com
- Coral Isle Hotel - www.coralisle.com
- Hotel Yuvarani Residency
- Abad Metro - www.abadhotels.com
- Niko Hotels - www.niko-inn.com
- Hotel Millennium Continental- : www.millenniumcontinental.com
- Hotel Cochin Palace - www.cochin palace.in
- P J Princess Regency -www.pjprincess.com
- Harbour View Residency - www.harbourviewresidency.com
- Abad Metro - www.abadhotels.com
- Brunton Boatyard -www.cghearth.com
- Malabar House - www.malabarhouse.com
- Beach Gate Bungalow - www.cghearth.com
- Eighth Bastion - www.cghearth.com
- Fragrant Nature Kochi -www.fragrantnature.com
- Old Harbour Hotel - www.oldharbourhotel.com
- Xandari Harbour, Fort Kochi - www.xandari.com
- Ginger House Museum www.museumhotel.in
- Forte Kochi - www.thepaul.in
- Mandalay Hall - www.mandalayhall.com/.
- Waterfront Granary - www.thewaterfrontgranary.com
- Poovath Heritage Hotel www.poovath.com
- Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel www.oldlighthousehotel.com
- Koder House www.koderhouse.com
- Le Colonial www.neemranahotels.com
- Trinity - Malabar Escapes www.malabarhouse.com
- Tea Bungalow - www.teabungalow.in
- Arches Hotel www.hotelarches.com
- Tissas Inn www.tissasinn.com
- Fort House Hotel www.forthousecochin.com
- Killians Boutique Hotel www.hotelkillians.com
- Old Courtyard - www.oldcourtyard.com
- Tower House www.neemranahotels.com
- Abad Pepper Route (Bed & Breakfast) www.abadhotels.com
- The Dutch Bungalow -www.abadhotels.com
- The Francis Residence – www.francisresidence.com
- Chiramel Homestay - www.chiramelhomestay.com
- Waltons Home Stay www.waltonshomestay.com
Hotel in Fort Kochi:
BEST RESTAURANTS IN KOCHI
Sky Grill Lounge Bar & Restaurant
Location : Crowne Plaza Kochi, Kundanoor Junction, Maradu, Marad, Kochi
Cuisine : Indian, Asian, Grill, Barbecue, Vegan options, Vegetarian friendly
Fort House Restaurant
Location : 2/6A, Calvathy Road, Fort Kochi, Kochi
Cuisine : Chinese, Grill, Seafood, Kerala
Location : Cochin Club, Opposite Parade Ground, St. Francis Church Road, Fort Kochi,
Cuisine : Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Asian
The Rice Boat
Location : Vivanta by Taj – Malabar, Willingdon Island, Kochi
Cuisine : Seafood, Kerala
Location : 1/293 Lilly Street, Fort Kochi
Cuisine : North Indian
Location : Holiday Inn, 33/1739 A, NH Bypass Road, Vennala, Kochi
Cuisine : Italian, Chinese, North Indian, Kerala
BEST HOSPITALS IN KOCHI
Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre ( AIMS)
Amrita Lane, AIMS Ponekkara Post, Edapally, India, Kochi
Phone : 0484 2801234
NH 47 Bypass, Maradu, Nettor, Kochi,
Kuttisahib Road, Near Kothad Bridge South Chittoor P.O, Cheranelloor, Kochi,
Phone: 0484 66 99 999
S.A Road, Vyttila, Ernakulam.
Phone: 0484 4091111
Polakulath Narayanan Renai Medicity Multi Super Speciality Hospital
Mamangalam, Palarivattom, Kochi
Phone: 0484 2880000/ 4330000
Medical Trust Hospital
Medical Trust Junction, M G Road, Pallimukku Ernakulam,
Phone: 0484 2358001
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