Kochi, generally referred as the Gateway to Kerala, is one of its most admired cities. Situated on the West Coast of India, the city is surrounded by the Western Ghats in the East and the Arabian Sea in the west. Kochi (formerly Cochin) has been rated within the top three tourist destinations in India by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 Greatest Places of a Lifetime'. Over the years, this city has emerged as the industrial and commercial capital of Kerala with a world class international port and well connected railway and road network.
Places to Visit
Old Dutch Palace
Located on Bolgatty Island, this Old Dutch palace is a boat ride away from the mainland. There are boat rides available at regular intervals all day long. This structure was a royal place in the past which has been transformed into a good high quality hotel with a tiny golf course which is now run by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC). The panoramic views of the port and the harbor make it a popular picnic spot also.
Greenix Village, a cultural art centre aspires to promote various art forms of Kerala under one roof. Come here to enjoy a daily showcase of Kathakali, a dance form and Kalaripayattu, a martial art form and mother of modern Karate. An audio-visual history at the in-house museum and Indian classical music. It also offers yoga training, curio shop, book store and pleasant staying facilities for those who are interested in researching and wants to experience the culture and tradition of Kerala.
A beautiful structure, the Jewish Synagogue built in 1568 uses splendid Chinese tiles, inspiring Belgian chandeliers and other impressive furnishings. It attracts numerous the giant scrolls of the Old Testament that can be found here resting upon the exquisite decorations in the synagogue.
The Mattancherry Palace
The Mattancherry Palace, was built by the Portuguese and then taken over by Dutch in the 17th century. It was later given as a present it to the Raja of Kochi. The main attraction here are the outstanding collection of mural paintings found inside. These murals beautifully depict scenes from the Hindu epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Paliam Palace is a popular tourist place in Chendamangalam, which served as home to the Paliath Achans or prime ministers to the Maharajas of Kochi. Representing the architectural splendors of those times, the Paliam Palace showcases some of the most historic documents and relics.
The Parishath Thampuran Museum
This museum occupies the very room where the Kochi kings held their courts. It is built with traditional Kerala architecture techniques and holds vast collections of oil paintings, sculptures, old coins, exhibits from the Kochi Royal Family and Mughal Dynasty.
By Air : A number of domestic and international flights operate from the Kochi International Airport located at Nedumbassery.
By Rail : Kochi has three important railheads, namely, Harbour Terminus on Willingdon Island, Ernakulam Town and Ernakulam Junction. Ernakulum Junction is where trains from most major cities of India arrive.
By Road : Kochi is well connected by bus services. KSRTC connects Kochi with all major cities in Kerala and with many cities in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Deluxe buses are available in plenty at any time to Chennai, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
Kochi experiences a hot and humid climate throughout the year. The best time to visit is between October and March.