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The Gokulam Park, Kochi

Getting there


Local information

Kochi, originally built by the Portuguese, is a natural harbour with lagoons and canals and fishing hamlets. An excursion on the breathtaking backwaters is especially enchanting. One of the three biggest ports on the West Coast, it is also an industrially developed area. The coir industry is of special importance.

 

After the Kodugallur port was destroyed, the forces of nature created the harbour at the nearby city - Kochi. Kochi then started to grow and soon developed into a major trading centre dealing in pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, etc. which were and still are famous for their quality.

 

The Chinese, Arabs, British, Dutch and Portuguese helped Kochi to emerge as a bustling centre of commercial activity, connecting the mainland to the rest of the world. Kochi owes a lot to famous travellers, scholars and traders such as Fa Hien, Vasco da Gama, Sir Robert Bristow for its present eminence.

 

Local information

Kochi, originally built by the Portuguese, is a natural harbour with lagoons and canals and fishing hamlets. An excursion on the breathtaking backwaters is especially enchanting. One of the three biggest ports on the West Coast, it is also an industrially developed area. The coir industry is of special importance.

 

After the Kodugallur port was destroyed, the forces of nature created the harbour at the nearby city - Kochi.  Kochi then started to grow and soon developed into a major trading centre dealing in pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, etc. which were and still are famous for their quality.

 

The Chinese, Arabs, British, Dutch and Portuguese helped Kochi to emerge as a bustling centre of commercial activity, connecting the mainland to the rest of the world. Kochi owes a lot to famous travellers, scholars and traders such as Fa Hien, Vasco da Gama, Sir Robert Bristow for its present eminence.

 

Getting there

By Air
Kochi connects with regular flights to Mumbai, Delhi, Goa, Chennai, Trivandrum, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Kochi now also has an International Airport.

 

By Rail
Kochi has three important railheads, namely, Harbour Terminus on Willingdon Island, Ernakulam town and Ernakulam Junction. Ernakulam Junction is well connected to all cities in India. There are frequent rail services between Harbour Terminus to Junction.

 

By Road
Kochi is very well serviced by a network of National and State Highways connecting it to all major centres of southern India. It is 230 km from Trivandrum, 295 km from Ooty and 200 km from Periyar.

 

Places of interest
Chinese Fishing Nets, Fort Kochi
- The Chinese fishing nets (Cheenavala) are distinctly unique to Cochin. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. Oddly, these nets are found only in Kochi, outside China!

 

Fort Kochi Beach - A stroll along the beach, particularly at sunset with the Chinese fishing nets and sailing ships in the background, is a memorable experience. Many European style bungalows can be seen along the shoreline. The coastal stretch has loads of small stalls, which make on demand mouth-watering traditional cuisines using freshly caught fish.

 

St. Francis Church, Fort Kochi - It is the oldest church built by Europeans in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi and was buried here. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal, but his burial spot inside the church has been clearly marked out.

 

Vasco House, Fort Kochi - Vasco house, located on Rose Street, is believed to be one of the oldest Portuguese houses in India. Vasco da Gama is believed to have lived here.

 

Santa Cruz Basilica, Fort Kochi - The original church, situated in Fort Kochi, was built by the Portuguese in 1505 and named as a cathedral in 1558. The British  colonists destroyed the cathedral in 1795. The current structure was built in 1905 and raised to the status of a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984.

 

Jewish Synagogue and Jew Town, Mattancherry - The synagogue, built in 1568, is magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here.

 

Dutch Palace (Mattancherry Palace), Mattancherry - The Dutch Palace was originally built by the Portuguese. Later, in 17th century, the Dutch modified it and presented it to the Raja of Kochi. The palace has a fine collection of murals.

 

Bolghatty Palace, Bolghatty Island - This Dutch palace, just a short boat ride away from the mainland, has been converted to a hotel run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC).

 

Hill Palace, Tripunithura - Built in the 19th century, this palace served as the seat of the Raja of the Kochi province. The palace has been converted into a museum.

 

Palliport (Pallipuram) Fort - It is the oldest surviving European fort in India, built by the Portuguese in 1503.

 

Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary - A protected bird sanctuary situated right in the heart of Kochi city, this is home to many exotic and rare varieties of migratory and resident birds.

 

Museum of Kerala History, Kalamassery - The museum has on display spectacular audio-visual exhibits depicting the history and culture of Kerala, life size statues of many famous personalities and several paintings depicting Kerala history.

 

Parikshith Thampuran Museum - This Rajas of Cochin used to conduct their durbars in this impressive building which has been converted to a museum. The building also houses the Gallery of Contemporary Art.

 

Cherai Beach - Ideal for swimming, this beach is one of the many small islands just off the mainland, lined by gorgeous coconut groves and paddy fields.

 

Veega Land - Veega Land is South India's largest amusement park situated 14kms from Cochin.

 

Marine Drive - A stroll along the long tree-lined coastal pathway that lines the backwater is well worth the time spent, especially late afternoon or dusk.

 

Willingdon Island - This man-made island was created in 1933 and today, is the home of the Cochin Port and the headquarters of the Sourthern Naval Command.