Cochin is the perfect place to be if you look to spend time on a breathtaking location, which is vibrant and serene at the same time. Cochin is now called as Kochi and it is Kerala’s commercial capital. Kochi is not only scenic but it has a rich cultural heritage, which is evident from the historic palaces and museums. Importance of Kochi can be gauged by the fact that it is considered the Gateway to Kerala. Here are the top 10 places to visit in Cochin.
1. Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi is a small town in Kochi. Fort Kochi has a rich cultural heritage and the buildings here reflect the past of the town. Fort Kochi was granted by the king of Kochi to the Portuguese in the year 1503 as a mark of gratitude for the help received while fighting Saamoothiri, Kozhikode. Influences of Portuguese, Dutch and the British style of architecture can be seen in the constructions in Fort Kochi. Some of the important places in Fort Kochi include Fort Emmanuel, Thakur House, David Hall, St. Francis Church and Vasco-da Gama square.
2. Dutch Palace
Popularly called Mattancherry Palace, the two-storied Dutch Palace reflects the traditional architectural style of Kerala. Though constructed by Portuguese in the year 1557 and presented to Veera Kerala Varma, the king of Kochi, further renovations by the kings of Kerala renders it a Hindu architectural style. While the doors, windows and walls resemble European architecture, the palace looks predominantly Indian style. The mural paintings depict Hindu mythologies like Ramayana and Mahabharata. The gallery places on view the attires, weapons, turbans used by the royal family.
3. Marine Drive
Marine Drive is a popular promenade. Stretching from Jankar Jetty to Ernakulam Boat Jetty, Marine Drive is visited in great numbers by people in the evenings. The scenic hangout offers stunning view of sunrise and sunset. Some of the attractions here include Rainbow Bridge, China Net Bridge and International Tourism Boat Jetty Complex.
4. Jew Town
Jew Town is an area close to the palace of Kochi king and it was allocated to Jews when they took refuge in the Kochi King in the year 1524. Jew Town is famous for antique shops, which sell wooden furniture, jewelry, wooden pillars, crockery, lamps, vintage photographs, handicrafts, paintings and many more. If you love antique, you will find this a paradise.
5. Hill Palace Of Tripunithura
Hill Palace of Tripunithura was constructed in the year 1865. The palace has a stunning garden that spreads across 52 acres. Plants and trees are found in thousands and the garden has plenty of plants of medicinal importance. The palace was converted into museum and this is the largest ever-archaeological museum in Kerala. Mural paintings, chariots, sculpture, swords are in display and you can find household items used by the people of the past on display. The garden houses children’s park and deer park. The building is cool though neither fan nor air conditioners are found.
6. Cherai Beach
Cherai beach is located near Vypeen Island and it ranks amongst the best beaches in the whole of Kerala. This is a great place for swimming as it is clean and shallow. Famously called the ‘Princess of the Arabian Sea’, the beach has a stunning landscape. The backwaters of the beach are scenic. The dense coconut trees and Chinese fishing nets are enchanting.
7. Willingdon Island
The man-made Willingdon Island connects Kochi with seaports the world over. The island named in memory of Lord Willingdon was created in the year 1936. It houses Port of Cochin, Customs offices and few other offices and business centers. Some of the best hotels in the city are found here.
8. Bolgatty Palace
Bolgatty palace is situated on Bolgatty Islands in Kochi. The specialty of this palace is that among the existing palaces constructed by Dutch this is the oldest. It was built in the year 1744. The palace with its lush garden is breathtaking. The palace is not converted into heritage hotel. The two-storied palace is beautifully decorated. You can find an Ayurvedic center here. The famous dance form Kathakali is performed here every day.
9. Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple
This is the most famous temple in the state of Kerala. It is situated on outskirts of Kochi. The two main deities here are Rajarajeswari and Badrakali. People believe that these Goddesses are very powerful. It is located in a serene atmosphere. Whatever your belief might be, you could still visit the place, which is one of the most important tourist destinations and offers you tranquil moments.
10. Kerala Kathakali Centre
You need to visit this place if you want to taste the essence of the culture of the people of Kerala. The Kerala founded in the year 1990 with a view to bring to the fore Kerala’s classical arts. Kathakali Centre encourages fresh talents and makes the training rigorous and more disciplined. The centre offers various performances such as Kathakali, Classical music and dance, Kalaripayattu, the famous martial art form and so on. Take some time to visit the place and watch the performance. You are sure to be blown away by their performances. The costume and makeup need special mention.
Known as the Queen of the Arabian sea, Kochi offers stunning views. The city boasts of a glorious past rich in cultural heritage. You could have a relaxed holiday and have your body and mind rejuvenated.
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