Cochin Places of Interest
 

Bolghatty Palace, Bolghatty Island :

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This Dutch palace is situated on Bolghatty island which is just a short boat ride away from the mainland. The palace has been converted to a hotel run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC). The island has a tiny golf course and the panoramic views of the port and the harbour, makes it an attractive picnic spot. Frequent boat service is available from the mainland.

Cherai Beach :

This lovely beach ideal for swimming is located on the north end of Vypeen island, one of the many small islands just off the mainland. The beach is lined by gorgeous coconut groves and paddy fields. Vypeen can be reached by land or by boat.

Chinese Fishing Nets, Fort Kochi :

The chinese fishing nets (Cheenavala) are distinctly unique to Cochin. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. Oddly, these nets are found only in Kochi, outside China! Many fishermen earn their livelihood by fishing using these massive nets. A whole stretch of the coast along Fort Kochi and Vypeen are dotted with these nets.

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Dharmanath Jain Temple, Mattancherry :

The Dharmanath Jain temple at Mattancherry is over 100 years old and will soon attain the status of a Thirath, one of the holy places for the Jain community.

Dutch Cemetery, Fort Cochin :

The tomb stones here are the most authentic record of the hundreds of Europeans who left their homeland on a mission to expand their colonial empires and changed the course of history of this land. The cemetery was consecrated in 1724 and is today managed by the Church of South India.

Dutch Palace, Mattancherry :

The Dutch Palace was originally built by the Portuguese. Later, in 17th century, the Dutch modified it and presented it to the Raja of Kochi. Coronation of many Rajas of Kochi were held here. The palace has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana. The palace is located in Mattancherry.

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Ernakulam Shiva Temple :

The Shiva temple is located in the heart of Cochin near the Durbar Hall grounds. Facing the historical Rajendra maidan, on Park Avenue, is this famous temple, considered to be amongst the most ancient in central Kerala. Though no historical records exists to indicate a precise date, an incription found above the main entrance in Vattezhuthu, an antiquated sctipt, Suggests that the sanctum sanctorum was built in the year 1614. The deity is popularly referred to as Ernakulathapan.

Fort Kochi Beach :

A stroll along the beach, particularly at sunset with the chinese fishing nets and sailing ships in the background, is a memorable experience. Many European style bungalows can be seen along the shoreline. The coastal stretch has loads of small stalls, which make on demand mouth-watering traditional cuisines using freshly caught fish.

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Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha :

This is the only gurdwara in Kerala, since Cochin has the highest number of Sikhs in the state. The gurdwara is located close to the south end of MG Road. The first gurdwara in Cochin was built in 1955. The gurdwara was relocated in 1975 and the original foundation stone was moved as well. Unlike most gurudwaras this one has only one entrance due to space limitations.

Hill Palace, Tripunithura :

Built in the 19th century by the Raja of Kochi, this palace served as the seat of the Raja of the Kochi province. The palace has been converted into a museum displaying a fine collection of articles showing the wealth and splendour of the Rajas of Kochi, including the throne and the crown. The musuem also houses a large collection of archaeological findings. Hill Palace is located 16km east of Cochin in Tripunithura, a satellite town of Cochin. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays. Entrey fees : Rs. 20 for adult, Rs. 10 for Children. Ph : 0484-2781113.

Indo-Portuguese Museum, Fort Cochin :

Located within the compund of the beautiful 1506 Biship’s Hosue, the museum established in a seperate building showcases artefacts like statues and coins left back by the portuguese.

Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kaloor :

The Nehru stadium in Kaloor, has a seating capacity of 60,000 in multiple tiers. It is the fourth largest stadium in India and the largest in Kerala. The ground is lit by a set of unique convex pylon floodlights that arch over the ground. The stadium is home to both the Kerala Ranji cricket team as well as FC Kochi football team.

Jewish Synagogue and Jew Town, Mattancherry :

The synagogue, built in 1568, is magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. It is located near the Dutch Palace in Mattancherry.

Kalli Kota, Tripunithura :

 As the name suggests, this beautiful, imposing building - a legacy of the Dutch rule - served as an entertainment auditorium to the erstwile royalty featuring dance, drama, and plays. Today it functions largely as a marriage hall. Situated near Poornathreyesa temple.

Kerala Lalitha Kala Akademi Art Centre, Ernakulam :

Located on DH Road, this hall, now opened up as an art centre, had been the durbar of the Raja of Coachin. Open 11 am. to 7 pm. Ph : 0484-2367748.

Light House, Vypin :

The light house at Ochanthuruth in Vypin is open from 3 pm to 5 pm, on all days.

Madhavan Nair Foundation, Edappally :

Just 8 km from Ernakulam town at Edappally. Showcases the historic events and arts of Kerala. A statue of Parasurama, the sage who is said to have created Kerala, greets the visitor. This is a monument to the history of Kerala and homage to its makers. Light ‘n’ sound shows are regularly organised with commentaries in English and Malayalam. There is also a gallery for paintings and sculptures, displaying over 200 original works by contemporary Indian artists. Open : 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. closed on Mondays and public holidays. Entry fees : Rs. 50 for adult, Rs. 25 for Childrens. Ph : 0484-2558296.

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Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary :

Mangalavanam is a protected bird sanctuary situated right in the heart of Kochi city. It is the home of many exotic and rare varieties of migratory and resident birds. Mangalavanam is located right next to the High Court of Kerala.

Marine Drive :

A stroll along the long tree-lined coastal pathway that lines the backwater is well worth the time spent, especially late afternoon or dusk. The bustling backwaters, dotted with fishing boats, speedboats, ships, tankers and passenger boats, can be observed from this walkway that lines the coast.

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Mount Carmel Church, Varapuzha :

This 1642 church is the second Indian vicariath established by Holy See after Goa. The Portugese church bells are of great interest.

Museum of Kerala History, Kalamassery :

The museum has on display spectacular audio-visual exhibits depicting the history and culture of Kerala along with many life size statues of many famous personalities and several paintings depicting Kerala history. Open 10 am to 4 pm. Closed on Mondays and public holidays. Ph : 0484-2558296

Pallipuram Fort :

It is the oldest surviving European fort in India, built by the Portuguese in 1503. The structure’s walls have round 10 cannon emplacements. Its situated in Pallipuram on Vypeen island. Open on Thursdays.

Parade Ground, Fort Cochin :

Covering more than four acres, this larges open ground was used by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British for conducting military drills and parades during the colonial years. The defence establishments of these powers were housed in some of the elegant buildings surrounding the ground. Located adjacent to St.Francis church, the ground today service largely as a recreation and sporting turf.

Parikshith Thampuran Museum :

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This Rajas of Cochin used to conduct their durbars in this impressive building located within the Durbar Hall grounds. It was later converted to a museum which has a treasure trove of archaeological findings and relics including old coins, sculptures, oil paintings and murals. The building has been taken over by the Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy and now houses the Gallery of Contemporary Art. All the exhibits of the museum have been moved to the Hill Palace museum.

Santa Cruz Basilica, Fort Kochi :

The original church, situated in Fort Kochi, was built by the Portuguese in 1505 and named as a cathedral in 1558. The British colonists destroyed the cathedral in 1795. The current structure was built in 1905 and raised to the status of a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984.

Sree Poornathreyesa Temple, Tripunithura :

10 km Southeast of Ernakulam. The deity here is Maha Vishnu and it is one among three Vishnu Temples in Kerala. The Tripunithura Poornathrayeesa Temple is famous for its yearly festivals. The main one being the Vrishchikoltsawam, which is conducted every year in the month of Nov.- Dec. The other cultural festival includes the Athachamayam which is held during the harvest festival of Onam and is celebrated with procession of float, Tableau and dances like Pulikkali.

Sree Rajarajeswarai Temple, Chottanikkara Temple :

15 kms east of Cochin, this 10th century temple, one of the most renowned in Kerala, is dedicated to Bhagawati - the mother Goddess. The deity is worshipped in three different forms - as Saraswati in the morning, draped in white; as Bhadrakali at noon, draped in crimson; and as Durga in the evening, decked in blue. The annual temple festival is held in Nov-Dec, while the colourful Athachamayam, a cultural extravaganza, is celebrated over year during the festival of Onam. On the fourth day of the Vrishchikoltsawam festival, apart from the usual procession of decorated elephants, a golden pot is kept on a raised platform and offerings made here are believed to bring in a better future. Ph : 0484-271132.

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St. Francis Church, Fort Kochi :

It is the oldest church built by Europeans in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that, his burial spot inside the church has been clearly marked out.

Subhash Bose Park, Ernakulam :

This sprawling park is an ideal place for an evening stroll, a family outing, or to take your children out for some fun and frolic. The park adjoins the Vembanad lake offering fantastic views of the Cochin harbour. A small aquarium is an added attraction. Entry free.

Thrikkakara Temple :

The Thrikkakara temple, located 10 kms north-east of Kochi, is considered to be the seat of famous 10 days Onam celebrations in Kerala. Thrikkakara is considered to be capital of the good asura (demon) King Mahabali, whose rule was prematurely stopped by Lord Vishnu in the diguise as a Brahmin boy, when the Hindu gods became jealous of the growing power of the generous and kind-hearted king. The Vishnu temple here is the only one of its kind to have Vamana (one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu) as the deity. The annual festival is held in the month of Chingam (Aug-Sep).

Veega Land :

Veega Land is South India’s largest amusement park situated 14kms from Cochin. The park includes a range of attractions including mini castles, water theme park, ferris wheel, rides, slides, shows and fountains. Kids and adults alike can enjoy the fun and activities. Entry fees:Rs.345 for audlt, Rs. 250 for childrens. Veega land, Pallikara, Kumarapuram P.O, Cochin - 683 565, Kerala, Ph : 0484-268400, Fax :2682908,Email: reception1@veegaland.com.

VOC Gate, Fort Cochin :

Facing parade ground is the large wooden gate with the intials ‘VOC’ carved onto it representing the monogram of the once mighty Dutch East India Company. The incription also indicates that it was built in the year 1740.

Willingdon Island :

This man-made island was created in 1933 by sand dredged while deepening the backwaters for the Cochin Port, under the direction of Sir Robert Bristow. A while back the Airport, Sea port and the railway terminus (Cochin Harbour Terminus) were situated on this island. Today, it is the home of the Cochin Port and the headquarters of the Sourthern Naval Command.

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