About Kochi

Situated on the south-west coast of India, Kochi or Cochin is a bustling commercial port city with a trading history that dates back to at least 600 years. Called as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, the city is the financial, commercial and industrial capital of Kerala. The city is marked by influences of Arabs, Dutch, Phoenicians, Portuguese, Chinese and the British city as well as that of the Indian rule of Chera Dynasty followed by rule of the Feudal Lords. A gaggle of islands inter-connected by ferries, this cosmopolitan town has upmarket stores, art galleries and some of the finest heritage accommodations. In a true vintage-meets-future fashion, pubs, restaurants, shopping hubs and futuristic stores crowd Ernakulum, Jew Town and Fort Kochi while palaces, beaches, temples and heritage sites marking their presence too.

Place to must visit in Kochi


Places to Visit in Kochi

Travellers are preffering these places in Kochi

Experience Time: 3-4 hrs

Distance: 2 kms

Willingdon Island

In the heart of Kochi has grown an island showcasing the indelible prowess and the intellectual level of human mind. The Willingdon Island is one of the largest human-made islands in India which is named after Lord Willingdon, the British Viceroy of India. This beautiful island provides various links between Kochi port and other national and international ports. Furthermore, the island is a home to some of the lavish hotels and commercial and industrial buildings of the district. The artificial islands also serve as the headquarter for the southern naval command of India. The mesmerising backwaters of Kerala surround this miracle of man's mind. Created by Sir Robert Bristow, a visionary harbour engineer, the island is significant as it is the habitat for the Port of Kochi, the Kochi Naval Base of the Indian Navy and Central Institute of Fisheries Technology. Apart from the commercial purposes, the island has become a weekend getaway spot. Away from the bustling city life, one finds shear peace and belongingness at this 82 years old island. One must visit this place to experience serenity and rare natural beauty.

Experience Time:

Distance: 4 kms

Chinese Fishing Nets

Bearing witness to the entry of Chinese into Kerala long ago, legends tell that these nets were a gift of the famous Chinese King, Kublai Khan. Fishermen even today use these elaborate conventional fishing nets, making it the only other destination other than China to have and use these fishing nets.

Experience Time: 3-4 hrs

Distance: 4 kms

Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi is a seaside town in the south-western part of Main Kochi which is known for its old-world colonial charm. The place still holds on to every single cultural change it has gone through over the centuries. We can see remnants of British rule all over the country. But tourists flock hear all around the year to have a glimpse of how Portuguese or Dutch colonialism affected parts of our country. The quaint city is dotted with similar structures and has an overall ambience that keeps reminding you of the colonial powers that once ruled over the place. The fort region of Kochi has seen the rise and fall of some European powers, mainly the Portuguese and the Chinese before that and the Dutch after, before it went under the nation-wide British rule in the 18th century. Fort Kochi is dotted with European structures, churches and other architectural buildings which take you right back to a different era back in time. It has that effect on the travellers, where they get absorbed by the serene surroundings and unique architectures. Unlike most forts of middle and northern India, Fort Kochi is not about historical fortifications, canons and ruins of old palatial buildings. Till date, it has the vibe of an ancient colonial city with its toy-town like streets, colourful and charming buildings and a picturesque view out at the beach - much like the small towns of southern Europe.

Experience Time: 2-3 hours

Distance: 1 kms

Marine Drive, Kochi

Overlooking the serene backwaters of Kerala is Marine Drive, which is one of the most popular hangouts in the city of Kochi. It is a picturesque promenade with a walkway of about three kilometres and is an amazing place to spend some time leisurely, either in the company of loved ones or even some alone time. The walkway of Marine Drive is filled with people during the evening who visit the place to have the view of the sun setting over the calm sea. Unsurprisingly, this is quite a popular destination for morning and evening walks as well. Owing to its popularity among both locals and tourists, a number of shopping centres, malls and eateries find a place here. The Marine drive in Kochi is one of the best places to spend quality time in the city and provides an amazing view of the sea. Many important structures and landmarks are lined along the boulevard of Marine Drive, which itself stretches from Jankar Jetty in the north to the Ernakulam Boat Jetty in the south. Important landmarks nearby include The Marine Walkway, The Rainbow Bridge, The House boat Bridge, The China Net Bridge and GCDA Shopping Complex, so if you are looking to discover the very essence of what Kochi is all about, Marine Drive is just the place for you. The backdrop of this place is the backwaters, with ships anchored at the harbour and that interests the tourists even more. The best thing about Marine Drive is that it is well maintained and cleaned properly and also has sitting arrangements for the visitors. The construction of the Rainbow Bridge and the Chinese Fishing Net Bridge has enhanced the beauty of the Marine Drive even more. There is also a Children's park built near the Marine Drive, which is especially delightful for your little ones.

Experience Time: 2-3 days

Distance: 2 kms

Bolgatty Palace

Nestled in the charming beauty of Kochi, the Bolgatty Palace is situated on an island that is best known by the name of the palace itself. It is one of the oldest existing Dutch palaces that is situated outside Holland and is an exquisite example of the Kochi style of architecture. It was built in 1744 by Dutch traders and was later extended and gardens were landscaped around it. Green gardens, azure skies and the virgin charms of Kerela are aplenty at the Bolgatty Palace. Owing to its picturesque surroundings and rich history, the building has also served as the Governor's palace for the commander of Dutch Malabar and was the home of the British. Today, it has reestablished itself as a luxury hotel and is a favourite among couples. True to its name, the Bolgatty Palace is palatial in every sense of the word. The edifice is surrounded by carefully manicured gardens that make for a delightful spot for an evening walk. Inside, the palace is divided into three distinct sections, the Main Block, the Marina Block and the Mansion Block. The most popular section of the Bolgatty Palace is the Marina Block which overlooks Kochi's International Marina. Interestingly, this is the first full-fledged marina of international standards in India. Four luxury rooms are fitted with plush amenities which warrant a comfortable stay. In addition to this, you can also enjoy provisions such as Lake Front Cottage, swimming pool, in-house restaurants and conference hall. Visit Bolgatty Palace for a luxurious stay that will rejuvenate your mind, body and soul.

Experience Time: 1-2 hrs

Distance: 3 kms

Mattancherry Palace

Popularly known as the Dutch Palace, the Mattancherry Palace is a Portuguese palace in Mattancherry, Kochi, in the state of Kerala. The edifice of the Mattancherry Palace perfectly reflects the beauty of the contents that lie inside. Standing against the backdrop of the scintillating backwaters of Kerala, the double-storied palace rises in deep contrast against the sublime blue sky. In addition to being an important historical monument, Mattancherry Palace also doubles up as a museum with a fascinating display of paraphernalia belonging to the royals of Kochi. Visit this destination to learn about the fascinating history of Kerala through the medium of irreplaceable artefacts and embellishments. The grandeur of Mattancherry Palace lies in its simplicity and it is built in the typical Kerala style mansions reserved for the nobility. The four separate wings of the Mattancherry Palace surround a central courtyard which has a temple as well. It features murals depicting portraits and exhibits of the Rajas of Kochi. They have been painted in warm colours using the tempera technique and consists of a portrait gallery of the Cochin Rajas and beautiful mythological murals.

Experience Time:

Distance: 30 kms

Jewish Synagogue

Amongst the 7 synagogues located in his area, this Jewish synagogue is the only one which is in operation today. It was built in 1568 and is also called the Cochin Jewish Synagogue or Mattencherry Synagogue. Cameras and handbags are not allowed inside.

Experience Time:

Distance: 53 kms

Sunset Cruise

The Sunset Cruise on the Arabian waters is an amazing 2 hour journey beginning from Marine Drive in Kochi during the time of sunset. The cruise covers Fort Kochi, Chinese fishing nets, Mattancherry, Bolgatty Island, Willingdon Island and the Cochin shipyard.

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Veeranpuzha lake and Backwaters

Veeranpuzha is a beautiful lake in Kochi along with a series of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Malabar coast, which form beautiful backwaters.

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Distance: 4 kms

Vasco da Gama Square

Many stalls serving various edibles such as coconuts, nuts, sea-food, ice-creams and local fares scatter the narrow esplanade along the Kochi beach which is the Vasco da Gama Square. One can even watch local fisherman fishing along the shoreline.

Experience Time: 1-2 hours

Distance: 2 kms

Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

The Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary sprawling over 2.74 hectares is situated in the heart of the lively city of Kochi. Comprising of 18-acres of Mangroves which are filled with a densely populated species of trees and plants, the sanctuary remains at a cool temperature. One of the major attractions is the beautiful watch tower which overlooks the sanctuary thereby giving a superb view to the tourists. The Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department also conducts a free nature camp at the sanctuary which is attended by tourists from different parts of the world. The sanctuary is home to a large variety of migratory birds and is like heaven on earth for all the bird watchers and nature lovers. According to a survey which was conducted in 2006, it is home to as many as 194 birds belonging to 32 different species. In the middle of the sanctuary, there is a shallow tidal lake present which is surrounded by thick mangrove vegetation and is connected to the backwaters of Kochi via a canal. Back in 2004, Mangalavanam was declared as a protected area because of being home to the breeding birds and unique mangrove vegetation. The sanctuary is also known as the green lung of Ernakulum due to it being a posh wetland comprising of rare species. Administered and controlled by the Assistant Conservator of Forest and Wildlife Warden Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary of Nature Study Center Kalady, the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is a wonderful place to visit with your friends and family. One is likely to feel relaxed around all the greenery in addition to explore numerous new species of plants and animals which you never even knew existed. It is a perfect getaway away from the busy life of the city paving the way for the exciting adventure.

Experience Time:

Distance: 4 kms

Kerala Kathakali Centre

This centre at Fort Cochin has seen many a dance performances! The amount of effort put in by the dancers is commendable. It is usually rife with locals and foreign tourists who come to enjoy the dance show. It also has morning meditation shows which one can take part in.

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Distance: 1 kms

M G Road

MG Road is a perfect place for shopaholics. The shopping centre of the city throbs with stores containing an assortment of handicrafts made from coir, wood, shells, brass, ivory and sandalwood, edibles and spices, clothes and jewelries.

Experience Time: 2-3 hrs

Distance: 9 kms

Hill Palace

Located at Tripunithura, The Hill Palace is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. It was built in the year 1865 and was once the Imperial Administrative offices and official residence of the Maharaja of Cochin. Just as the name suggests, the massive palace is located on a hill and has a beautiful garden. Built in 1865, the Palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style, spreading across in 54 acres. The complex has an archaeological museum, a heritage museum, a deer park, a pre-historic park and a children's park. The huge white coloured buildings are neat, clean and well maintained. The terraced lawn, ponds and fountain are perfect for outdoor photography. The palace is also famous for being the backdrop of various movies. The most popular amongst them is the Malayalam movie Manichitrathazhu. The enormous palace complex is famous for being a full-fledged ethnoarchaeological museum and the first ever heritage museum of the state. Upon visiting, one can see the oil paintings, murals, sculptures, swords, crowns, coins, manuscripts and various other belongings of the Kochi royal family. Apart from that, antique ceramics from the Far East, Kudakkallu (tombstone), Thoppikkallu (hood stone), laterite memorials, contemporary art and wooden memorials from ancient civilisations like the Indus Valley and Harada are also kept for display here. The main highlight among the above is the Gold crown which is embedded with precious stones. The rooms in here are also huge, declaring the lavish lifestyle of former kings and his household.

Experience Time: Around 1 to 2 hours

Distance: 3 kms

Jew Town

Jew Town is one of the oldest parts of the region. It was here that the Jews first settled in India in around 700 BC. This part is famous for its architecturally solid synagogues that continue to stand till today.

Experience Time: 3-4 hrs

Distance: 28 kms

Kalady

In God's own land, the birthplace of one of the greatest Indian philosopher lies. Kalady is a famous pilgrim centre which became infamous as Adi Sankaracharya’s birthplace. Located near Cochin in Kerala, Kalady is dedicated to Sankaracharya and his memory. Kalady is a place that celebrates knowledge and culture. It gives utmost importance to its history and has established itself as one of the most important destinations for pilgrims. There are two major shrines located in Kalady, dedicated to the memory of Adi Sankaracharya. The only son of Sivaguru and Aryamba, Sankaracharya is said to have completed the study of Vedas at the age of 16 itself. He also evolved the philosophy of Advaita, one of the two principals of the Vedantic school asserting the sole existence of Brahma. Out of the two shrines at Kalady, one is devoted to him as Dakshinamoorthi, while the other is dedicated to Goddess Sharada and is looked after by the Sringeri Mutt, which is believed to be situated exactly at the same place where Adi Sankaracharya's house once stood. Kalady is also surrounded by a lot of important temples like Manickamangalam temple, Sri Krishna Temple, Sri Adi Sankara Keerthi Mandapam to name a few. These are a bonus to pilgrims as they get the best religious experience out of Kalady. Kalady also has a lot of Ghats. With river bodies flowing through it and pilgrims around, it is a place to attain peace and forge it. The air of Kalady is filled with culture, history, religion, and spirituality making it a perfect pilgrimage.

Experience Time: 1 to 2 hours

Distance: 4 kms

Princess Street

Princess Street is famous for its quaint old world charm and bizarreness of European homes built in the Dutch, British, French, and Portuguese style. Most of these homes allow visitors to see the interiors as well.

Experience Time:

Distance: 4 kms

Kochi Books

This is one place you have to visit if you love to read books. This is the one stop shop for all types of books that you might want to purchase.

Experience Time: 1-2 hrs

Distance: 4 kms

Santa Cruz Basilica

The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is located at Fort Kochi and is one of the eight Basilicas in India. It is one of the finest and most impressive churches in India and is visited by tourists all year round. Made by the Portuguese; Santa Cruz Basilica is considered as one of the heritage edifices of Kerala. Recently in 2004, this cathedral completed its five centuries of existence. Hence, the Cathedral not only happens to be one of the oldest churches in Kochi but also in the whole of India. Located near St. Francis Church, this beautiful Cathedral serves as the cathedral church of the Diocese of Kochi. It is a Roman Catholic Cathedral located at K.B. Jacob Road in Fort Kochi. This holy place is a centre of great historical significance and exhibits marvellous artistic splendour. Showcasing the colours of medieval times, this place was elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. The Cathedral has a white-washed exterior and a pastel-coloured interior. It is adorned with paintings and murals of Gothic style. The columns are decorated with frescoes, and there are seven large canvas paintings along with the beautiful stained glass windows. The ceiling holds some beautifully painted images depicting the images of Via Crucis of Christ. This Cathedral holds a special significance for the Christians residing in the city of Kochi as it celebrates the dawn of their religion in the land of India.

Experience Time: 1-2 hours

Distance: 22 kms

Cherai Beach

Cherai Beach, which is one of the best-voted beaches of the state, is situated at a distance of 30 km from Kochi city. Its strategic location on the northern end of the Vypeen Island in Kochi makes it a perfect mixture of the sea as well as the backwaters. The surrounding greenery and the seashells present in different shapes makes the beach more beautiful than it already is. One can smell the coconut groves, and the Chinese fishing nets present on the waterfront add a different charm to the place altogether. This beautiful beach sure is one of the must-visit spots for the visitors. Its coastline alone runs for about 15 km and plays a distinguishing factor from all the other beaches. One can go swimming as well as sunbathing in the water here which are some of the popular activities undertaken by the visitors and make it tempting to get away from the city life. There are many tourists as well as locals who enjoy the sandy shores of the Cherai beach. Also known as the 'Princess of the Arabian Sea' it is a perfect spot for relaxation having a picturesque view and beachfront combined. One can also witness high mask lamps with beautiful lights which illuminate the way and makes the walkway edges worth visiting and an absolute pleasure to be at during the night. There is a park for the kids as well alongside the beach where kids can play and spend a lovely time with their families and friends. Visitors can hire speedboats as well as water-scooters on rent which double the fun. One can also find accommodation easily since there are a number of hotels and resorts around the area on reasonable cost.

Experience Time:

Distance: 5 kms

Folklore Museum

This is a one of a kind Museum which portrays a variety of gallery art, sales, live dance forms which vary from ritualistic to martial arts, and souvenirs. Some of the pieces at this gallery are priceless. One can also sell his/her fine arts and antiques here which might be put up on display later.

Experience Time: 2 to 3 hours

Distance: 3 kms

Greenix Village

Situated 8 km off Ernakulam is the Greenix village where various art forms of Kerala are practiced and developed. Every evening witnesses a mixed performance of Kathakali- the dance drama form of Kerala, Kalaripayattu- an aesthetic martial art form, audio-visual history at the in-house museum and Indian classical music in this cultural centre. Yoga trainings are conducted every morning. The premises also house an art gallery, restaurant, a curio shop, book shop and rooms for researchers and trainees.

Experience Time: 1-2 hrs

Distance: 5 kms

St Francis Church

St. Francis Church in Kochi, which finely exhibits Portuguese architecture, is believed to be one of a kind amongst all the European churches which were constructed in India. It was constructed in the 15th century by the Portuguese traders. With such historical importance, the church has now become one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city making it a perfect getaway for the ones seeking solitude and inner peace as it gives a sense of belongingness. Being situated away from the hustle and bustle, this tourist attraction is likely to be one of the best places to be at in Kochi. The church when constructed initially was a small wooden structure. However, the Portuguese viceroy, Dom Francisco Almedia brought in the idea of renovating the church. As a result of this, it was reconstructed into a stony structure in 1516. St. Francis Church is famous for its simplicity housing a collection of wooden as well as cloth fans inside which function using ropes. The fans, along with the glass windows present in the entrance hall, compliment the ancient interiors of the church. There is an exquisite porch which is located at a height and is undoubtedly going to draw your attention along with the choir area and the bell tower.

Experience Time: Around 1 to 2 hours

Distance: 0 kms

Parikshith Thampuran Museum

Architecturally a Kerala style mansion, the Parikshith Thampuran Museum is located inside the Durbar Hall. The museum features old coins, sculptures, oil paintings, Mughal paintings and Royal artifacts belonging to the 19th century.

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Distance: 4 kms

Pierce Leslie Bungalow

Pierce Leslie Bungalow is a colonial mansion established as offices of Pierce Leslie and Co. Established in the year 1862; the coffee merchants drew inspiration from Portuguese and Dutch architecture. The building is famous for its wood paneled roof of the ground floor, arched doorways, carved doors and sprawling rooms. The cascading balcony and waterproof verandahs complete the European touch.

Experience Time: Around 1 to 2 hours

Distance: 9 kms

Thirikkakara Vamanamoorthy Temple

Containing lithic records of historical significance, Thirikkakara Vamanamoorthy Temple hosts the spectacular secular Onam feast every year in the Malayalee month of Chingam which falls typically between August and September. This temple is also called Thirikkakara temple because of its location in the village Thirikkara.

Experience Time: 1-2 hrs

Distance: 25 kms

Pallipuram Fort

The Pallippuram Fort is located in Pallippuram, on the northern extremity of the Vypeen Island in the Ernakulam district of Kerala in southern India. The mighty fort was built by the Portuguese in the year 1503 and is the oldest European Fort that exists in the country to date. Today, it stands majestically as the oldest surviving European monument in India amidst the lush greenery and the glistening skies, unharmed by the pollution and destruction that is characteristic of the modern day cities. As if the abundant beauty of south India was not enough, the Pallippuram Fort adds grace and charm to the region. A visit to this fort is indeed a must to explore and understand the rich history of our country and to be better acquainted with it. The architecture of the Pallippuram Fort never fails to strike the visitor. The fascinating monument is complete with a hexagonal outpost, and the lowest floor is raised to a height of five feet. The fort is hexagonal, a form which is popularly known as ayikkotta or alikotta in southern India. The fort is made out of mortar, wood and laterite. There is an open space inside the fort which allows secure passage to the cellar. According to local legends, this cellar is a tunnel which leads to the Cheraman Masjid in Kodungallur. The Pallippuram Fort was captured by the Dutch in the year 1661, following which it was sold off to the Kingdom of Travancore in 1789. As of now, it is a protected monument of the Kerala State Department of Archaeology.

Experience Time:

Distance: 65 kms

Santhanagopala-Krishnaswamy Temple

Santhanagopala-Krishnaswamy Temple is an ancient temple with the inscriptions found here that dates the founding of the temple to 947 AD. Thus this beautiful temple is regarded as one of the oldest temples found in all India.

Experience Time: About 2 hours

Distance: 4 kms

Bishop's House

This Indo-Portuguese museum built in the year 1506 houses a collection of valuable artifacts from various churches under the Cochin diocese. The building was once the residence of the Portuguese Governor. Now it is famous for its house-facade made up of large Gothic arches with a circular path that ends at the main entrance.

Experience Time: 2-3 Hrs

Distance: 7 kms

Lulu Mall

Lulu Mall is the largest mall in India regarding total retail space of 1.7 million square feet. Situated in Edapally, Kochi, the mall sprawls over an extensive area of 17 acres with 215 outlets of restaurants, multiplex, food courts, entertainment zones, bowling alley, money exchange centres, arcade games and 5D cinema. With a parking space that can accommodate 3500 vehicles, the mall houses an ice skating rink of 5000 sq.ft. which is the largest in south India. Lulu mall has the largest central atrium with a translucent glass roof. Lulu mall was a maiden retail venture of Lulu group in India. The mall is a retail hallmark at the junction of two national highways NH 66 and NH 554. It is a leading tourist attraction in Kochi. Apart from this, the mall created an Asia Book of Records in an attempt to pledge solidarity to Indian Soldiers. 5509 employees lit Deepavali lamps in the mall premises to deliver the message "Lulu salutes our soldiers".

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Distance: 14 kms

Wonderla Amusement Park

An amusement park filled with breathtaking charm, Wonderla has everything one can need to celebrate with vivacity. With over 50 exhilarating rides, the theme park has all the facilities to provide for an exciting experience for every visitor irrespective of their age and gender. It offers the thrill of both land-based and water-based rides.

Experience Time: 1-2 Hrs

Distance: 5 kms

Ernakulam Mahadev Temple

The Ernakulam Shiva temple is one of the major temples in Kerala. It is also called as Ernankulathapan temple, located in the heart of the city of Kochi. The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the presiding deity who is in the form of Gourisankara and is considered a rare one as the deity faces the Arabian sea towards west. The main sanctum is home to a Lingam that's considered to be Swayambhoo. There are sanctums on either side of the Lingam. The temple festival (Uthsavom) of Shiva is celebrated with great pomp every year in the month of Makaram (January - February). Various programmes like Kathakali, classical dances and music with colourful fireworks and procession are held with thousands of people to witness. The Pakalpooram and Arattu processions are the major highlights of the festival. The temple belonged to the Chera dynasty and was mentioned in the Sangam literature. The Cheras were ardent followers of Lord Shiva hence the temple was named Rishnagakulam (based on a legend). As their rule ended, the place was taken over by few Nair nobles and was renamed as Ernakulam. It is now managed by the Cochin Devasom Board.

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