Also known as:
Ernakulam - Commercial Capital of
more than 500 years
Cochin, the commercial capital of Kerala, served by an
international airport, fine communication facilities, excellent
accommodation, modern amenities and a lot of attractive tourist places
gives a breathtaking experience for its visitors and settlers. The
district took its form on 1st April 1958, by carving out the areas of
erstwhile Travancore, Kochi & Malabar kingdoms. The word Ernakulam was
derived from a Tamil word 'Erayanarkulam' which means Lord Shiva's
The commercial capital of Kerala and the most cosmopolitan of Kerala’s
cities, Cochin is a fascinating blend of cultures. From time
immemorial, it has been the favorite destination of globe-trotters and
explorers. Blessed by one of the finest natural harbors in the world,
Cochin has been eulogised as the Queen of the Arabian Sea.
In and around Cochin are several cities of monumental value, but step
into Fort Cochin, and you are in a totally different world. The
Chinese fishing nets, the Jewish Synagogue, the Dutch palace, the
Portuguese and British Architecture, all finely blend with the rich
heritage of the land, intricately woven folklore and fact. With an
international airport, an international sea port and a busy network of
road and rail transport, the city is well connected to the rest of the
world. You can either board a bus or hire a three-wheeled auto
rickshaw. If you prefer the ferry, the trip begins either from the
Main Boat Jetty or the Terminus Jetty near Willington Island.
Santa Cruz Basalica
The Portuguese built basalica’s 500th anniversary was very recently.
With gracious interiors, Gothic façade with soaring and glaring
spires, the basalica is charming. The Dutch catch of Koch in 1663
resulted in booming of warehouses in places of worships. The
irresistible beauty might have persuaded the Dutch to spare it. The
stained-glass and the life-like caryatids watching over the quaint
confessional boxes will ever-green the mind once seen.
St Francis Church
Built in timber by Portugues in 1503, it was overlaid with stone
masonry later. Vasco da Gama was cremated here in 1524. His remains
were later removed to Lisbon. His tomb still exists.Now taken care by
Church of South India.
The gravestones were tossed into the walls of the church in 1886. The
‘Doop Book’, that is, old baptism and the marriage register, from 1751
to 1804 kept in the vestry are the delights of history-seekers.
Parallel to the beach, the Dutch Cemetry is the peace-home of soldiers
and trade adventurists who died between 17th and 18th century.Now it
is getting renowated(the real face is changing)
Flowerpot-laden window sills, bronze stucco walls and peeling pastel –
these all are the symbols of colonial style buildings. See them in
Princess street – a back street.Now filled with antique
shops,homestays and hotels,with out disturbing the orginality. Fort
Kochi really revels in moody pastimes.
A little walkway is Vasco da Gama Square, a narrow promenode running
along the beach. Huge cantilevered Chinese Fishing Nets, just before
the beach, call the visitors. The system works this way – a
bamboo-and-teak contraption with net-spread hanging get pulled down to
the water and hauled with the catch. This catching process is usually
in the morning and early evening.Watch sunset from the edge of the
The Fort Kochi beach is clean and small.But not for sunbath. At
one-end there is a pretty light-house. Recline on the white sands with
the local crowd when the eyes will sharp on Lakhadweep-bound ships.
Ferry to little away sporadic Cherai beach. The receptive white sand
there will force to recline, sleep, dance or to football. And swim and
sniff. If lucky, dolphins will greet.
Mattanchery Palace (Dutch Palace)
The Portuguese built, in 1557, Palace was presented to Raja Veera
Kerala Varma of Kochi. In 1663 the Palace was renovated by the Dutch.
On display are Dutch maps of Kochi, royal planquins, coronation robes
of erstwhile Maharajas of Kochi, beautiful murals and
Indira Gandhi Boat Race
Conducted in August-September during Onam. Scores of sleek snake-boats
with over 100 oarsmen in each vie with to touch the finishing point
first. The furious and sporadic paddling will turn the Marine Drive
water front into frothing melee in tune with the Onam revelry.
Thousands of spectators standing ashore encourage the oarsmen with
The outside world knows this island for its famed Bolgatty Palace.
This, built by Dutch in 1744, was later taken over by British. Today
it is a prestigious hotel managed by Kerala Tourism Development
Corporation. It has honeymoon cottages.
This Island was artificially created with dredged silts. It has
uninhabited satellite small Islands carpeted by variety grasses.
Willingdon Island is an ideal spot to view the sea and mainland across
and to imbibe fresh sea-breeze.
Kumbalangi is a fishing tiny island with Chinese Fishing Nets around,
near Palluruthy Island, close to Kochi. Kumbalangi has been declared
as an Integrated Tourism Village. It has many attractive features.
The Bishop’s House
Built in 1506, stands on small hillock, was the residence of
Portuguese Governor. The façade with big Gothic arches, it has a
circular garden path stretching to main entrance. The house was later
taken over by the 27th Bishop of the Diocese of Kochi, Dom Jos Gromes
Ferreira. He had a vast jurisdiction over India, Malaya, Burmah and
Impromptu competitions and the white paper buntings adorned everywhere
– streets, homes, shopts etc. – in the last 10 days of the year.
St George’s Forane Church at Edapally
One of the oldest Churches in India, built in 595 AD. The mother
tongue of Jesus: - soft syllables of Aramaic – is heard here during
Holly Mass even today in the form of a single elision of sacred song.
As evidence of non-European origin of its iconography, the church has
four-armed pectoral cross, the pediment and slatted louvers. Here the
main Feast lasting 10 days starts from April 25.
Kerala History Museum at Edapally
The human evolution from the Neolithic period to the modern era is
neatly showcased. The display is enriched with replicas, sound and
light. Visiting time is 10 am to 5 pm. Monday closed.
Kalady is a spiritual sanctuary. On the banks of Periyar, the 2nd
largest river in Kerala. The distance from Ernakulam is 47 km. The
founder of Advaita school of philosophy, Adi Sankara, was born here in
8th century. The hill where St Thomas the Apostle paused to pray on
his way to Mylapore is in the sacred circuit of Kalady. There is a
eight-storeyed tower, called Keerthimandapam, at the shrine. A huge
image of the Sankaracharya is located at the end of a winding
staircase inside. This modern mural is a feature itself.
Elephant Kraal at Kodanadu
The Kraal means training camp. The word is in Afrikaans. The training
is a long and tedious process. It may take one to two years. The
mahouts too get training here. Every year half a million put their
feet in Kodanadu to see the intricacies of elephant training. Kodanadu
is 30 km from Kalady.
St Thomas Mount, Malayattoor
Just 10 km from Kalady. A sacred Shrine since 52 AD when St Thomas the
Apostle made his presence here. The shrine is on a hilltop and the
hilltop is called Kurissumudi. Several thousands of devotees climb the
hill with a big Cross on the back during Puthunjaya Festival on the
1st Sunday after Easter as a custom. The Vatican has designated this
Church an International Shrine in par with the churches like Lady of
Lourdes in France.
12 km away at Thripunithura. The palace is now a museum, the largest
archaeological museum in Kerala. Different types of sculptures,
collection of rare coins, old weapons, manuscripts in ancient lipis
and collections from the Kochi Royal family exhibited here.
from major cities
How to reach there
Ernakulam Airport is well connected
with Delhi, Mumbai, Madras, Goa, Bangalore & Trivandrum.
Ernakulam Railway Station is well
connected with all major destinations of India.
Ernakulam is well connected by road
to all major cities of Kerala.
Abad Plaza, Ernakulam
Chef Master, Ernakulam
Hotels in Cochin
The Brunton Boatyard
Gokulam Park Inn
hh - heritage hotel ;
ph - palace hotel ; bh - boutique hotel ; gh - guest house ; hs -