This article is all about Kochi, history of Kochi, Tourism in Kochi, Budget Hotels in Kochi, Homestays in Kochi, Resorts in Kochi, cheap flights to Kochi etc.
Kochi- The Gateway to Kerala Tourism
Kochi, The Queen of Arabian Sea is also the prime destinations to start the tour to explore Kerala. Apart from its tourist aspects, Kochi is also the industrial and financial capital of Kerala. This beautiful city was situated in the coast of Arabian Sea and thus emerged the name; The Queen of Arabian Sea. It is the perfect place to start tourism in God’s Own Country since it is lavishly connected with 3- Dimensional network of International Airports, Ports and the extended land ways. And due to the same reasons Kochi is again known as the Gateway to Kerala. The sight seeing in this great town is really an extravaganza which includes the beaches, parks, palaces, churches etc. To visit Kochi is a real exhibitionism.
General Information About Kochi
The city is located 9 deg 58 min North Latitudes and 76 deg 17 min East Longitudes and has an area about 95 sq.km. According to 2001 Census the population of Kochi was about 1.35 million and is lying same as the sea level. Time Zone is Indian Standard Time (IST) - UTC +5:30. Kochi is having an annual rainfall of about 350cm and the monsoon starts in the months between June and September. It is having a tropical climate with 20°C-35°C temperature. The summer is in the months of March-May and has a winter during October to February. The language spoken is Malayalam and English is also widely understood. Hindi and Tamil can also be used.
Nearest Airport: Kochi International Airport
Nearest Railway Station: Eranakulam Railway Station
Telephone code: +91 484
Airport code: IATA: COK, ICAO: VOCC
Emergency Numbers: Police: 100, Fire: 101, Ambulance: 102
Currency: Indian Rupees.
History of Kochi
Kochi was one of the major spice trading center in Arabian Sea from the ancient time itself. Due to the same reason, many foreigners came to Kochi for trade and establishing their markets. This gradually developed to a form which forced to the annexation of the place. Kochi marked the period of foreign rule in Kerala as well as India. It was Portuguese who firstly started territories in Kerala followed by the Dutch and the Britishers. It was said that the Kochi was derived from an ancient name known as ‘Cozhachi’. Kochi was also ruled by Kerala kings with capital at Thrippunithara. Sir Robert Bristow was considered as the founder of modern Kochi. In post independent periods after the formation of Kerala, The Corporation of Kochi was formed in 1967.
Tourism in Kochi
Kochi is an ideal tourist destination in Kerala. The Queen of Arabian Sea has prepared her royal splendor to welcome the tourists coming here. Some of the tourist destinations in Kochi are listed below
Chinese Fishing Nets: The first and foremost picture that comes in our mind about Kochi is nothing other than its Chinese Fishing Nets. These are locally known as ‘Cheenavala’. These monstrous fishing nets amidst of the blue sea and the pure sky are a sensation to watch. There is also a saying that the traders from the court of Kublai Khan (A famous Chinese ruler) has established these nets and hence got the name as Chinese fishing nets.
Bolghatty Palace or Bolghatty Island : This is also a must visit place in Kochi. The palace was built by the Dutchs in the backwaters of Kochi. A small boat drive through the backwaters of Kochi leads to Bolghatty palace situated in the Bolghatty Island. But nowadays the palace was changed to a hotel under Kerala Tourism Development Corporation ( KTDC). But the historical remains of the palace is still protected there.
Fort Kochi Beach and Marine drive: It is the home beach of Kochi. Usually this beach is an adobe of tourists who comes to enjoy the games of sea waves and watching the sunset. The tourism department of Kochi is also offering some adventure sports like water skiing etc. The developments are still going on. The European bungalows is also a prime attraction near Fort Kochi. Marine drive is a perfect evening spending destination in Kochi. The beautiful garden and decorated seats in the coast of marines of Kochi provides an excellent feeling. It is also a popular film shooting destination.
Churches in Fort Kochi: Kochi is also famous for its churches. Among these churches the most popular one is St. Francis Church which was the oldest church in India built by the Europeans. The burials of the famous Portuguese traveler, Vasco De Gama was in this Church. But after times his remains were taken back to Portugal. The next church is Santa Cruz Basilica which was built by the Portuguese in 1505. The Jewish Synagogue in Kochi was another attraction here. It was built in 1568. This Synagogue has its historical importance.
Cherai Beach and Willingdon Island : Cherai beach is an exotic destination for tourism in Kochi. The beach is also in favour of adventure sports like water skiing. The beach is located on the north end of Vypeen Island. The beach also reveals the panoramic view of coconut grooves and paddy fields. Willigdon Island is also an attraction in Kochi. This island is a man made feature developed in 1933.
Dutch Palace or Mattancheri Palace: Even though the name of this palace was the Dutch Palace, The Palace was originally built by the Portuguese in late 17 th Century. It was the Dutch who modified this monument and got its name as Dutch palace. The Palace was hand over to the Rajas by the Dutches. The palace is well known for its architecture and mural paintings which depicts the thread from Ramayana and Mahabharatha.
The Hill Palace of Thrippunithara : Palace of Thrippunithara is hotspot for the tourists to find out the ancient Kerala styles and architectures. The palace was built by the kings of Kochi in the 18th century. It has now been protected as an archeological museum under the tourism department of Kerala.
Other Attractions in Kochi
1. Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in kaloor
2. Pallippuram Fort
3. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
4. Parikshith Thampuran Museum
Theme Parks in Kochi
Kochi is a best place for the children to spend their holidays. This is because of the presence of attracting water theme parks of Kochi. These parks are also good family parks to be visited. The main water theme parks near Kochi are listed below.
1. Veegaland Amusement Park
2. Silverstorm Water Theme Park
3. Scary Horror House
4. Mirror Maze
Shopping in Kochi
Kochi is one of the main centers of shopping in Kerala. The craft shops of Kochi are well known for its excellent collections. Many shopping malls are also available in Kochi which is built in western style. These malls are having branded stores, hypermarkets, cinema halls, game zones, restaurants etc. There are also shops for clothes, electronics, books/stationary, spa, beauty saloon etc. These malls are also known for its marvelous interior designing. Some of the popular malls in Kochi are
1. Oberon Mall, near Padivattom signal church- NH Bypass Road, Kochi
2. Bay Pride Mall, located near Marine Drive
3. Grande Gold Souk, near Vyittila Junction
Budget Hotels in Kochi
Some of the Indian Style Budget Hotels available in Kochi are
1. Arya Nivas- Opposite to South bus stand
2. Bimbis Foodcourt- Jos Junction, MG Road
3. Hotel Thali- Opposite to Little Flower Church, kadavathara
4. Hotel Unnikrishnan- Pallimukku
5. Mughal Restaurant- Near South railway Station
There are also some Arabian Hotels from where we get some Arabian Shawarma and other Arabian dishes. The hotels are
1. Street Menu- Near MG Road, Pathma Junction
2. Royal Food Court- Near North Railway Station
Other Hotels in Kochi
1. Hotel Banana leaf, MG Road
2. Delhi Durbar, Pallimukku
3. Fort House restaurant
4. Hotal Grand Pavilion, Jewel junction, MG road
5. Kadaloram, Abad Plaza
6. Hotel Exellency, Nettipadom
7. Hotel Park view Residency, Canon shed Road
8. Casino Hotel
9. Taj Malabar hotel
Homestays in Kochi
There are excellent available in Kochi which you can leave with your family as a paying guest. Many tourists coming in Kochi prefer for Homestays as it is a real chance to enjoy the hospitality and the warmth of Kerala tradition. Some of the Homestays available in Kochi are:
1. Riverside heritage Homestay, Ph: 9388558830
2. Tag und Nacht Homestays, Beach road, Ph: +91-9846012604
3. Dream Catcher Home Stay, Near thamaraparambu, Ph: 0484 2217550 / 9746017881
4. Green House Home Stay, Njaliparambu, Ph: +91-9895262296
5. San Mike Tours Homestay, Fort Kochi, Ph: +91- 484-2215385, 6571203
Resorts in Kochi
1. Ramada Resort Kochi, Kumbalam Ferry Rd, Edakochi, Ph: +91-484-3011100
2. Bolgatty Palace, High Court Jetty, Ph: +91-484-2750500/2750600
DJ Parties and Night Pubs in Kochi
1. Tandav Discos
2. Glow and Cocktales- Ph:-+91-484-409-0000, Atlantis Junction-MG Road
3. Opium the Club- Ph:- +91-9388256882, Palarivattom Jn
4. Loungevity- Hotel Avanue, MG Road
5. Couchyn- The grand hotel, Wood land Junction, MG Road
6. AVA lounge- Dreams Hotel, SA road
7. Champs Sports Lounge- Gokulam park, Kaloor
Cheap Flights to Kochi
The tourists who wish to do tourism in Kochi can land on Kochi International Airport. The Airport is located 29 kms away from the heart of the city. The General Telephone number of the Airport is +91-484-305-3000 and the number enquiry for Flight status and Airline desk transfer are: +91-484-261-0115/261-1322/261-0033. There are always flights to all countries of Asia, Europe and America. Some of the cheap Airways are:
1. Jet Airways
2. Kingfisher Airlines
3. Spice Jet
4. Air India
5. Paramount Airlines
6. Indigo Airlines
Tourist Information Centers in Kochi
1. Tourist Reception office in Marine Drive (Ph:+91-484-2353534) from where KTDC city tours starts/ends.
2. Railway Tourist Office at Ernakulam South Railway Station (Ph:- +91-484-2378723)
3. Airport Tourist Counter in Arrival hall of both terminals (Ph: +91-484-2611308/2611309)
4. City Tourist Information Center at Old Collectorate in Park Avenue (Ph:-+91-484-2381743).
5. Central Toll Free Number +91-800-425-4747
Best Time to Visit Kochi
Kochi can be visited in any months. The visitors can decide according to their preferences. The actual tourist season in kochi is generally from August to February. But for those who loves to do Ayurveda and some rejuvenation practices can visit here during monsoon that is in the months of June, July and August. The tourists are advised to avoid the months of March, April and May since Kochi is having Summer at that time and is too hot nowadays.