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Cochin (Kochi) Travel Guide

This seaside city of Kerala, with a hustling commercial port has been luring visitors and traders for more than 600 years. It is famous as an economic capital of Kerala and is also defined as the "Queen of Arabian Sea". It offers perfect settings to start your journey to the profound charms as well as diversity of Kerala.

History:

Cochin, according to ancient evidences and myths, was the hub of the Indian spice trading and even was immigrated by British, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese and Dutch for trading purposes. In 1341, the city got importance as a port, when Kodungallur port was cleaned out by massive deluging of Periyar River. After the penetration of Portuguese through the Indian Ocean, this city began prospering. Vasco da Gama established the first factory in this port city, while the Portuguese Viceroy, Afonso de Albuquerque built the first European fort in India. The British settled in Kochi in 1635; however they were forced to leave Kochi in 1963 by Dutch.

Later under Dutch rule it was developed as a significant trade center. In 1776, the Haidar Ali the prince of Mysore captured the city under his control. However, it was handed over to the British in 1791 by Tipu Sultan.

Again in 1841, the Anglo-Dutch Treaty made this city came under the administration of the British. The forts constructed across the city were destroyed by Sir Robert Bistrow and was developed into the main Indian harbor.

The Willingdon Island that at the present, is famous for housing Cochin Port, Naval Airport and Sothern Naval Command headquarters, was formed by the British. Later after Indian's freedom in 1947, it became the leading princely state to connect the Indian Union gladly.


Climate Conditions in Cochin:

October to March is the best time period to visit this city.

Summer Temperature: 24C to 37C

Winter Temperature: 17C to 33C

During Monsoon it gets covered with lush green. Though hampering outdoor activities in heavy rainfall, the city provides a visitor with magnificent picturesque views.


Getting around Cochin:

By Air: Cochin houses a world-class international airport that connects this city with major destinations of the world. This airport, situated 30 kms north-east from the city also features regular flights to major Indian cities. The major airlines operated from this airport include Air India, Air Deccan, Air Sahara, Air India Express, Go Air, Emirates, Indian Airlines, Gulf Air, Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways, Mahan Air, Kuwait Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Oman Air, SriLankan Airlines, SilkAir, Qatar Airways and Air Asia.

By Rail: Cochin is also well connected through a massive network of Indian rails. Ernakulam Junction Station is meant for long distance trains that are operated to and from Kerala while Ernakulam Town Station provides intercity rail facilities.

By Boat and Ships: One can reach there by the means of water transport running from Mumbai, Goa, Lakshadweep, Male and Colombo. The international cruises get operated to this seaside city from the Europe and US at its Wellingdon-Island Cruise Berth. Many other local houseboats and cruises are also easily accessible.

Other local means to get around Cochin :

  • Bus
  • Taxi
  • Auto
  • Private car

Major Attractions::

  • Willington Island
  • Fort Cochin
  • St. Francis Church, Fort Cochin
  • Dutch Palace, Mattancherry
  • Fort Kochi Beach
  • Kathakali Centres
  • Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
  • Bolghatty Palace
  • Marine Drive
  • Cherai Beach
  • Hill Palace
  • Museum of Kerala History

Shopping Alternatives in Cochin: For shopaholics this city provides amazing alternatives. The Jew Town, M.G. Road market and government shops also called Kairali are famous for their local handicraft items and textile products.

Food: This city is called the heaven for seafood lovers. The local hotels and restaurants serve various dishes including fish fry (fish molly), dosas, calamari, tapioca fry, appams and curries representing South Indian flimsiness.


Famous Resorts and Staying Points:

  • 5 Star Hotels: Le Meridien Cochin, Casino Cochin, Taj Residency Cochin
  • 5 Star Deluxe Hotels: Taj Malabar Cochin
  • 4 Star Hotels: Quality Inn Cochin, Best Western Cochin, The Renaissance Cochin
  • Heritage Hotels: Fort Heritage Cochin, The Malabar House Residency Hotel, Hotel Bolgatty Cochin
  • 3 Star Hotels: Abad Atrium Cochin, Abad Airport Cochin, Abad Plaza Cochin, Abad Fort Cochin, The Brunton Boatyard Hote, Hotel Abad Metro Cochin, The Trident Hotel, The Metropolitan Hotel, Towers Cochin Hotel, The Woods Manor Hotel, Hotel Gokulam Park Cochin and Riviera Suites Cochin.

Celebrations and Activities in Cochin:

  • Onam
  • Attachamayam
  • Cochin Carnival
  • Jewish Festivals
  • Indira Gandhi Boat Race
  • Malayatoor Perunal

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