Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tourist Places in Kochi-Cochin Tour Ernakulam Kerala-Attraction in Cochin - Kochi Places of Interest

Cochin or Kochi is commonly referred as Queen of Arabian Sea.
Kochi is the commercial hub of Kerala, and one of the fastest growing second-tier metros in India.
A growing center of shipping industries (Cochin Port Trust), international trade, tourism and information technology.
The successive waves of migration over the course of several centuries, the population of Cochin  is a mix of people from all parts of Kerala and most of India.

Here is a list of interesting places in Kochi and Ernakulam districts.The information given below may not be complete and accurate. 

Chinese Fishing Nets and Vasco da Gama Square
Chinese Fishing Nets are one of the main attraction of Cochin. These Fishing Nets are huge cantilevered fishing nets ,erected here between 1350 and 1450 AD by traders from the court of Kublai Khan, these nets are set up on teak wood and bamboo poles. From Vasco da Gama square you can watch these nets and the square is a narrow promenade that lies parallel to the beach.

Dutch Palace, Mattancherry
History says the Dutch Palace, Mattancherry was built by the Portuguese in 1557 as a gift to the Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Cochin. Dutch were not the original builders of the Mattancherry Palace. The Dutch renovated the palace in 1663. On display here are beautiful murals depicting scenes from the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata and some of the Puranic legends.

St. Francis Church, Fort Cochin
St. Francis Church, Fort Cochin was built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan Friars, it is the India's oldest European church.Fort Cochin is believed to be the oldest European Settlement in India. It was restored in 1779 by the protestant Dutch, converted to an Anglican Church by the British in 1795.
The church is presently used by the church of South India (CSI). Vasco da Gama's remains were buried here in 1524, and later moved to Lisbon, Portugal but his tombstone still remains.St. Francis Church is the principal landmark in Fort Kochi

ST. George Forane Church, Edappally
Edapally ST. George Forane Church is a historically important pilgrim centre.This Roman Catholic church was built way back in AD 593 in a plot of land donated by the Raja of Edappally.
Edappally church is considered to be one of the oldest in Kerala after the seven churches were founded by St. Thomas.
History records says that a session of the Synod of Diamper (Udayamperoor), 1599, was held here. The Annually held nine-day feast of ST. George Forane Church in April/May is a very famous event.

Marine Drive Kochi
Marine Drive is a long curving road along the seacoast of Kochi City which gives a breathtaking view of the backwaters and the Kochi harbor .Marine drive is also called as Shanmugham Road.The Marine Drive Walkway paved with black-dotted, red-carpet ultra tiles along the edge of the backwaters is very popular with both locals and tourists. There are two beautiful bridges along the walkway. At the other end of the walkway, a number of country boats and motor boats are parked which are available for rides in the backwaters.

Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry
The Jewish Synagogue of Mattancherry was buit in 1568 and is the oldest synagogue in India.This is believed to be the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth. The Synagogue was partially destroyed in the war of 1662 and was rebuilt by the Dutch. The Great Scrolls of the Old Testament, copper plates on which the grants of privilege made by the Cochin rulers were recorded, gold and silver crowns gifted by various patrons to the synagogue, exquisite Chinese hand-painted willow patterned floor tiles, and the synagogue's elaborate lighting are of interest.The Synagogue is closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays.

Pierce Leslie Bungalow:
This is a wonderful mansion which was the office of Pierce Leslie & Co., coffee merchants, founded in 1862 a representative of the Fort Kochi colonial bungalow.Pierce Leslie Bungalow reflects Portuguese, Dutch and local influences.

Santa Cruz Basilica
History says Santa Cruz Basilica is originally built by the Portuguese in 1558.The beautiful paintings on the ceiling are very famous. Santa Cruz church was elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558.
The church was totally demolished by the British who took over Cochin in 1795. Later Bishop Dom Gomez Ferreira commissioned a new building in 1887. Santa Cruz was finally proclaimed a Basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984. The basilica is situated close to the St. Francis Church.

Sree Rajarajeswari Temple, Chottanikara
Sree Rajarajeswari Temple, Chottanikara is located 15 kms from Ernakulam is an important pilgrim centre.This is a 10th century temple, The Chottanikara temple is one of the most renowned temple in Kerala. The goddess here is worshipped in her three forms, one after another, as the day progresses - as Saraswathy in the morning, as Bhadrakali at noon, and as Durga in the evening.
The 'Makam Thozhal' the most important day of temple's annual festival is held in Feb-Mar for nine days.

Vallarpadam Church
The Basilica of Our Lady of Vallarpadam which was already a national pilgrim centre, was raised to the status of a Basilica on the basis of a request submitted by Archbishop Daniel Acharuparampil of Varappuzha in December 2003.The Vallarpadam church was bestowed a special status by Pope Leo XIII in 1888. In 1951, it was declared a pilgrim centre.

Old Harbour House:
This elegant old bungalow built in 1808 is in the possession of Carrit Moran & Co., renowned tea brokers.

Loafer’s Corner-Princess Street:
Princess Street is one of the earliest streets to be constructed in Fort Kochi.
Princess Street has alot of European style residences still retains its old charm. The best view of this quaint street can be had from Loafer’s Corner, Loafer’s Corner is the traditional meeting place and hangout of the jovial funloving people of the area gives the best view of the Princess Street.

Vasco House:
Vasco House is believed to have been the residence of Vasco da Gama.This is one of the oldest Portuguese residences in Fort Kochi.

VOC Gate:
The large wooden gate facing the Parade Ground, with the monogram (VOC) of the once mighty Dutch East India Company carved on it, was built in 1740.

Cherai Beach:
Located 25 kms from Ernakulam in a typical village ambience with a lovely beach bordering Vypeen island is ideal for swimming. Dolphins are occasionally seen here.Cherai village has paddy fields and coconut groves nearby is an added attraction of this beach.

Bolghatty Island:
Bolghatty Island is a beautiful island near the Ernakulam, Bolghatty is famous for the Bolghatty Palace built by the Dutch in 1744.Bolghatty Palace once the residence of the British resident of Cochin today a hotel run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), with a small golf course and special honeymoon cottages.Bolgatty Palace is situated amidst 15 acres of lush green lawns.
This Bolghatty Island is a long narrow palm-fringed island, easily accessible from the mainland.

Willingdon Island:
Willingdon Island is named after Lord Willingdon, a former British Viceroy of India.This man-made island made by the dumping of the materials that were dug out while Cochin Port was being deepened is surrounded by the kochi backwaters.
The island is the site of the Cochin Port Trust and the headquarters of the southern naval command.There are many Luxury hotels and trade centers are situated in Willington Island.
Willington Island is connected to the mainland Ernakulam by road-cum-railway Venduruthy Bridge.

Mangalavanam is known for its small bird sanctuary and mangroves. Mangalavanam is a popular among bird sanctuary frequented by tourists, bird lovers, ornithologists as well as locals. Mangalavanam is located in the heart of the Eranakulam city of Cochin, adjoining the backwaters and the Arabian Sea.

Fort Immanuel
The Fort Immnual built in 1503 was symbolic of the strategic alliance between the Maharaja of Cochin and the Ruler of Portugal.
Even though the Dutch, and later the British, had destroyed most of the fort walls and its bastions the remains can bee seen along the beach.

The Hill Palace Museum, Thripunithura
The Hill Palace Museum, Thripunithura is around 10 kms from Kochi.The Hill Palace, is the official residence of the erstwhile Kochi royal family, was built in 1865.
The palace complex consists of 49 buildings with traditional architectural style of Kerala surrounded by 52 acres of terraced land with a deer park and facilities for horse riding.

Parikshith Thampuran Museum:
An archeological museum situated adjacent to the Shiva temple in Durbar Hall Road, Ernakulam.This museum houses a collection of coins, bronzes, copies of murals and megalithic relics of Kerala.Pre-historic monuments, Old coins in a numismatic gallery, Scriptures in stone and Plaster of Paris, Copies of mural paintings and the collection from the Cochin royal family.

Vamanamoorthy Temple:
Vamanamoorthy Temple is in Thrikakkara near Ernakulam. Inscriptions from the 10th to the 13th century are found in this temple.

Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary - Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
Thattekkad Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is one of the most important bird sanctuaries in Kerala.
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located in the Kothamangalam Taluk of Ernakulam district on the northern bank of the Periyar river. Dr. Salim Ali described Thattekad as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India, comparable only with the eastern Himalayas.

Vypin-Vypeen Island
Vypin, also spelled Vypeen is an island near Ernakulam.The island which is about 27 km long was formed in the year 1341 after a heavy flood. It is known to be the island having highest density of population in the world. It is connected to Kochi by a bridge from Kalamuku (built by Goshree Islands Development Authority). There are regular boat services from Fort Kochi to Vypin Island.There is a magnificent lighthouse at Ochanthuruth.

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