The district consists of the mainland Ernakulam, the Islands of
Willington, Bolgatty and Gundu, Fort Cochin,
Mattancherry and Vypeen Island- all linked by ferry and some by bridges. Almost
all historical sites are in Fort Kochi or Mattancherry. The golden beaches, coconut palm corridors, backwaters, historical monuments at Cherai; the
palace and the lush green golf course at Bolgatty; the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets all leave a lasting impression
on visitor's minds. Kochi also has numerous monuments and locations that speak of the land's early connections with
Europe. One of the most important tourist spot is the Jewish Synagogue at Mattancherry. Carvings of Old Commandments
and Chinese codes can be seen in the synagogue constructed in 1568. Visit to some of the palaces that were once abode
of the royalties of the Kochi province would give more than a taste of life and architecture of that age. The collections
at the many museums and galleries at Kochi are definitely any collectors delight. It also has many famous distinctively
constructed churches and a few known temples. Cochin Carnival [December 2nd Sunday to the New Year Day] and Aluva
Shivarathri festival celebrated here attract tourists from all around the world. The lighthouse and Palliport Fort
at the Vypeen Islands; the artificially constructed Willington Island are other attractions. A relatively new
attraction that Kochi now boasts of is Veegaland, the grand amusement park set in the gorgeously idyllic environs, at
Pallikkara. One of the most amusing and unique experiences that Kochi offers is a visit to the Elephant training centre
::::::::::: Places to see in and around :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace)
The palace built by the Portuguese as a gift to the king of Cochin, is a wonderful
treat for travelers with historic interest. The Portuguese designed oriental style double storied quadrangular monument
of 1555 A.D, later the abode of the royal Cochin rulers-this is a perfect place to appreciate cultural influences
on architecture .
This is at present the well preserved monument
that was constructed by the Jews in late 16th century, raided by the Portuguese and later rebuilt by the Dutch. The synagogue still preserves
some ancient religious scriptures. It is so famous a tourist attraction that the surrounding area is known as Jew town. Many antiques are
available on sale here and it is also a center for spice trade.
The synagogue is open Sunday to Friday, from 10am to noon and from 3 to 5pm.IST
This elegant palace is situated away from the hustle of the city, on the Bolghatty
Island. The palace that was once used by the Dutch is now well furnished and maintained as a hotel. The
island also has a park and golf course. The serene atmosphere and the splendid view from there make it a
perfect getaway. Frequent boat service is available from the mainland.
Fort Kochi beach
This is the cultural center at Kochi,here one can find many monuments that
stand out as instances that speak about Kerala's history and also of foreign influences on the architecture
of the land. Along the beach, one can find the famous fishing nets lined up. These nets are replica of
those used during the times of Chinese ruler Kublai Khan. Kochi is the only place in India that you can
Hill Palace Museum, Thripunithura
The first on the list for those interested in history and archeology,
this is now the largest archaeological museum in Kerala and is the official residence of the Kochi royal
family. The complex is a reflection of traditional architectural style of Kerala. Full-fledged
ethno-archaeological articles and artifacts belonging to the Kochi royal family are all a luxury that the
visitors to the place get to relish. In addition there are numerous species of flora including rare medicinal
plants around the area, a deer park and provisions for horse riding.
Pareekshith Thampuran Museum
A collectors' heaven, this former Durbar Hall, is a traditional Kerala-style
building houses, 19th century oil paintings can be appreciated here along with the fabulous collection of
Kochi royal family, ranging from old coins, sculptures and Mughal paintings.
One of the priciest historical assets, this
church built in 1503 by Portuguese friars is also where Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama's original headstone
still remains. One would also get to see giant rattan fans (punkas) being manually worked by punka-wallas pulling
on ropes (during Sunday services).
Palliport (Pallipuram) Fort
This magnificent monument is a must see on any visitor's list. It is the oldest
European fort built in India.
Cherai Beach (42 kms away from Kochi)
It is a lovely beach bordering Vypeen Island, with a typical village, paddy fields
and coconut groves nearby. It is an ideal spot for swimming and occasionally you could spot a few dolphins.
Bhoothathankettu - 50 km north east of Ernakulam town
Bhoothathankettu is an extremely beautiful location in Kochi that would make an
ideal picnic spot. It is a scenic dam along side a vast expanse of thriving forest area. The location also provides
irresistible trekking opportunities. There are also boating facilities at the dam site. The famous Bird Sanctuary
established at Thatteckaud, in memory of the renowned ornithologist- Salim Ali, is also near by.
Two of the main irrigation projects of Ernakulam district - the Periyar Valley
Irrigation Project and the Idamalayar Irrigation Project - are also located nearby.
A place that has perhaps weaved together the best of the natural and artificial,
this is artificial island named after Lord Willingdon, and a British viceroy to India is surrounded by beautiful,
calm and serene backwaters. This sweet getaway was created from the soil obtained while deepening the docks at
the Kochi harbor. This small piece of land is the headquarters of the Southern naval command and also an
important trade center. Cruises along the gorgeous backwaters that surround the island are a luxury anyone
would love to indulge in.
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary and the Museum of Kerala History are other
famous attractions in Kochi. This Industrial center is also home for the 2nd largest shipyard in India, and
also has plants of Cochin Refineries, Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore, Hindustan Machine Tools, Indian
Rare Earths etc
Air: Kochi has its own international airport.
Rail: There are three railway stations in Kochi.
Road: Kochi is also easily accessible by road.