Home to one of the world’s finest harbours, Kochi (formerly Cochin), is known as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea.” A global spice trading centre for centuries, this former gateway to South India is now the business capital of Kerala. Migrating people and expanding business transformed this city into a cultural melting pot.
Best time to visit : October to March.
Places to visit/Recreation: Kochi has numerous tourist attractions ranging from palaces to churches to museums to islands. The Mattancherry Palace or the Dutch Palace was built by the Portuguese and presented to the King of Cochin and through murals depicts Hindu temple art, portraits, and exhibits of Kings of Cochin. The Jewish or the Paradesi Synagogue is also situated in Mattancherry and is close to the Mattancherry Palace. The oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations, it is located in Jew Town. Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is a church that was later upgraded to a cathedral, a must-see for visitors in Cochin. Bolgatty Palace, one of the oldest existing Dutch palaces outside Holland, it has been presently converted to a luxury resort. Wellingdon Island: A link to the other seaports of the world, this artificial island was created from the sand obtained by deepening the Cochin port. The St. Francis Church, believed to be the oldest European-built church in India, is another attraction. The Hill Palace Museum, Chinese fishing nets, Museum of Kerala, St. Francis Assisi Church, Pallipuram Fort, Parikshit Thampuran Museum, Kanjiramattom Mosque, Bastion Bungalow are other tourist attractions. A short drive out of Kochi can lead to Athirappilly falls, Cherai Beach, Kalady, Bhoothathankettu, Chottanikkara Temple, Kadamattom Church, Paliam Palace at Chendamangalam, and Malayattoor. Kerala has no dearth of tourist spots and another exotic place is just a few more kilometres away.
Places to stay: Stay options at Kochi range the entire gamut and include 7-star hotels to 3-star hotels to hotels which offer tiny rooms with basic amenities.
Nearest airport: Cochin (Both national and international flights)
Near railway station: Kochi – connected to most major cities.
Road accessibility: Easily accessible by road.