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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What are the popular tourist attractions in Kochi?

Mercy Jacob DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

‘Queen of Arabian Sea’, Kochi has ever since been one of the finest harbours that have been explored my mariners from all over the world. Kochi today is one of the major tourist destinations in the divinely gorgeous state of Kerala. The city includes Ernakulam city, Kumbalangi, old parts of Kochi and outlying islands. Initially the city was encompassed a group of islands which comprise Willingdon Island, Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, etc. Let’s look at the popular tourist attractions in the city:

  • Fort Kochi Beach

    Fort Kochi is a historical part of the city that is situated on the Mattancherry peninsula. It is home to many famous tourist attractions in the city including the Mattancherry Palace and the Santa Cruz Basilica. The beach in Fort Kochi is something that you must visit once in Kochi. One notable thing in the here is the huge Chinese fishing nets, called Cheenavala by the locals. It is something that is absolutely unique to the city. A legend has it that the famous ruler of China, Kublai Khan was the one who introduced these fishing nets in here. And it’s funny how these are found only in Kochi other than in China! A whole stretch of the coast along Fort Kochi and Vypeen are dotted with these nets. You will not see such a thing in anywhere else in India, so, you cannot really afford to miss this once in Kochi.
    Moreover, a stroll in the evening on the sandy beach of Fort Kochi is just a splendid experience. You can spot many European style bungalows on the shoreline and also the coastal stretch is dotted with little food stalls, where they cook you on demand traditional style food with freshly caught fishes from the sea.

  • St. Francis Church

    It is the oldest church built by Europeans in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the renowned Portuguese explorer, reached India from Europe by sea and fell ill. He took his last breath in Kochi and was subsequently buried in this church. Even though his remains were taken back to Portugal later on, his burial spot inside the church is still clearly marked out.

    Timings: 7am to 7pm

  • Jewish Synagogue

    Built in 1568 AD, this fabulous Jewish Synagogue or the Paradesi Synagogue is the oldest synagogues among the Commonwealth of Nations, located in Kochi. The Malabar Yehudan people or Cochin Jewish community in the Kingdom of Cochin, has built this marvel of a synagogue that speaks volume about the Jewish influence India had in the 15th century.
    The architecture of this Jewish Synagogue in Kochi is another thing that makes it stand out. It is wrapped with painted Chinese tiles of which none resembles the other. In the mid-18th century, the huge clock tower that you can see today was attached to the main building of the synagogue. The interior is adorned with Belgian chandeliers and exquisite lightings.  
    The synagogue has sustained some old copper plates that have souvenirs and records of the privileges bestowed upon the Rajahs of Kochi along with rolls of the
    Old Testament. You will also see beautifully carved silver and golden crowns here.
    This place is a heaven for people interested in history and even if you are not this place will not fail in getting your appreciation anyway.

    Timings: Sunday to Friday, open for all visitors from 10am to 5pm. Saturday only open to Jews.

  • Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica

    This 500 year old church in Kochi is one of the eight Basilicas in the country. It is the oldest church in India and one of the significant heritage edifices in Kerala. It is built in gothic style with artistic and architectural brilliance.
    Pope John Paul IV has endowed the Santa Cruz Basilica in Kochi the status of being a cathedral. This chronicled church was built by the Portuguese, who invaded India in the 15th century. Later when the Dutch conquerors started demolishing all the catholic churches in Kochi, this one was fortunately spared by them. This fascinating church has been preserved over the years and is today a monument that has witnessed centuries of history of the state.

    Timings: 7am to 8pm daily.

  • Bolghatty Palace, Bolghatty Island

    The Bolghatty Palace is the oldest existing palace built by the Dutch rulers in India, during the pre-British era. It is located in the Bolghatty Island of Kochi, Kerala. This gorgeous mansion was built back in 1744 by the Dutch traders initially as a villa that was later turned into a palace. Today the palace has been converted to a hotel run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC). It is a reputed heritage hotel with a brilliant garden encircling it. The splendid backwaters of Kochi set the picturesque background scenery of the palace. It is a two-storey building that has gorgeously decorated bedchambers and a huge lounge, in which historical portraits have been displayed.

  • Backwaters of Kochi

    A long succession of brackish lagoons and placid lakes lying parallel to the Malabar Coast includes the backwaters of Kochi. The stretch from Kochi Azhi to Munambam Azhi which is better known as Veeranpuzha is the backwaters surrounding the city. The Vembanad Lake, the longest lake in India and the largest in Kerala falls on the northern extension of the backwaters. These backwaters of Kochi are very popular among tourists. If you happen to visit Kochi, few serene moments in the backwaters will give you a lifetime memory.  

  • Marine Drive

    Marine Drive is a strikingly charming promenade in Kochi. Constructed facing the splendorous backwaters, it is a place equally popular among tourists and the locals in the city. There are many shopping malls in the area and most of the shopping activity in the city takes place here. Also two bridges in the area namely the Rainbow Bridge and the Chinese Fishing Net Bridge. You can spot the sunrise and sunset over the sea mouth from the bridges here and witness the glory of nature. The gentle breeze from the Vembanad Lake and the beautiful walkway makes it one of the best places for evening stroll in the city.    

You will not be short of places to visit once you are in Kochi. Other fascinating places that you can visit in the city include Mattancherry Palace, the Gundu Island, Chendamangalam Fort, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium etc.  

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