Cochin Travel Tourism


Area : 87.341 sq.kms.
Altitude : Sea level
Population : Approx 1 million
Best times to visit : Between November and February.

Location

Latitude, 9 degree 15 E, The City lies between Tripunithura, the seat of the erstwhile royality to its southeast and the Eloor-Kalamassery industrial belt to is north. To the west lies the Arabian sea.

Cochin Fishing Nets
Chinese Fishing Nets, Cochin

Being a commercial capital of Kerala, Cochin is referred as the 'Queen of the Arabian Sea'. Cochin proudly boasts a rich cultural heritage, but is one of the most fast paced and modern cities in India. It is also one of the finest natural harbours of the world and a major Indian port. This place is basically a collection of islands and narrow peninsulas and can be divided into Ernakulam, Willingdon Island, Mattancherry and Fort Kochi. An international airport and seaport, connect Cochin to the rest of the world. The city also has an outstanding network of road, rail, backwater, and a modern communication system.

Cochin was once an insignificant fishing village. When the backwaters of the Arabian Sea and the streams descending from the Ghats caused the separation of this village from the mainland and landlocked the harbour, it became one of the safest ports on India's southwestern coast. The port assumed a new strategic importance and began to enjoy commercial prosperity.

Places of Interest

Fort Kochi

The Chinese fishing nets These huge cantilevered fishing nets along the backwaters are the legacy of the traders from the court of Kublai Khan. Built of teakwood and bamboo poles, they are fascinating to see. Adjacent to the fishing nets is the Vasco Da Gama Square, a narrow walkway with little stalls that serve fresh seafood and tender coconuts.

St. Francis Church, Kochi
St. Francis Church, Kochi
St. Francis Church

This Protestant church was originally built by the Portuguese in 1510 A.D. It is considered to be India's oldest European church. Today it is governed by the Church of South India (CSI). Vasco Da Gama was buried here before his remains were taken back to Portugal 14 years later.

Vasco House

Located on Rose Street, Vasco House is one of the oldest Portuguese houses in Fort Kochi and is believed to have been the residence of Vasco Da Gama. Vasco House sports the typical European glass paned windows and verandahs, characteristic of the times.

VOC Gate

A large wooden gate with the initials VOC engraved on it, the VOC Gate is a little way off from Vasco House, facing the Parade Ground. The initials correspond to the monogram of the once powerful Dutch East India Company, which had its office here for almost 150 years.

Santa Cruz Cathedral

Built by the Portuguese in around the 16th century, this Roman Catholic church is famous for the beautiful paintings on its ceiling. It was demolished by the British when they took over Cochin in 1795. Until a new building was commissioned in 1887, there was no church on the site for almost a 100 years. The Santa Cruz church was declared a Basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984.

Cherai Beach, Cochin
Cherai Beach, Cochin
Cherai Beach

The lovely Cherai beach, situated in Vypeen, is just a 15 minute ferry ride from Fort-Kochi. Besides the sea, sand and the sun, a typical Kerala village with paddy fields and coconut groves nearby completes the idyllic picture that the beach paints.

Language

Malayalam, the youngest in he Dravidian family, is the official language of the State of Kerala. English is widely used in business circles.

Religion

Hindus account for the largest community followed by Christians and Muslims. Cochin has also a small population of Jains, Jews and Sikhs.

Climate

The warm tropical climate recommends light cotton clothes, waterproofing is essential during monsoons.

How To Reach

By Road

Cochin is well linked on the National and State Highway Network to most parts of Southern India.

By Air

Indian Airlines and Jet Airways have convenient connections to Cochin from Delhi, Mumbai as well as other important South Indian cities. Cochin is now also an International gateway served by a few International Airlines.

By Rail

Cochin is well connected by rail most major cities of India.