Introduction :- Kochi, or more familiarly, Cochin is a city of many parts. Around for a long, long time, Kochi played a pivotal role in the development of shipping and trade in the region. Kochi's prime location on the west coast, its fine bay and protected harbour made it popular with seafarers and merchant ships who made frequent stops to stock up on spices, coffee and wood enroute to the rich markets of Europe and West Asia. And so down the ages, Kochi prospered as a busy port city and commercial centre. Its seafront is still extremely relevant to Cochin and to India: it houses a Naval Base and one of India’s busiest ports. It’s twin city, Ernakulum, is an important railhead and industrial centre.
Cochin's history is a bright tapestry - many coloured threads woven through centuries together present the fabric of the present. Its involvement with the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British are evident in the architecture of city buildings, the old durbar hall is the spice in the dish! Modern day Kochi may be a busy port and shipping centre but it has many attractions for ordinary tourists.
Places To Visit
Bolghatty Palace :- This palace built by the Dutch is situated on the Bolghatty island. At present it is being used as a hotel. The island has a fine golf course and the panoramic view makes it an attractive picnic spot. Frequent boat service is available from the mainland.
Chinese Fishing Nets :- The Chinese fishing nets found here are the only ones of its kind in India. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here.
Dutch Palace :- The Dutch Palace was originally built by the Portugese. Later, in 17th century, the Dutch modified it and presented to the Raja of Kochi. Coronation of many Rajas of Kochi were held here. The palace has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting the scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana.
Fort Kochi beach :- A stroll along the beach, particularly at sunset with the Chinese fishing nets and sailing ships in the background, is a fine experience. Many European style bungalows can be seen along the shoreline.
Hill Palace :- Built in the 19th century by Raja of Kochi, the Kochi province was ruled from here. The palace has been converted into a museum displaying a fine collection of articles used by the Rajas of Kochi apart from many archaeological findings.
Jewish Synagogue :- The synagogue, magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers, was built in 1568. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. It is located near the Dutch Palace.
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary :- Believe it or not this bird sanctuary is situated right in the heart of Kochi city. It is the home of many exotic and rare varieties of migratory birds.
Museum of Kerala History :- The museum has on display life size statues of many famous personalities and several paintings depicting Kerala History.
Palliport (Pallipuram) Fort :- It is the oldest European fort built in India.
Parikshith Thampuram Museum :- The museum is situated near the famous Siva Temple, Ernakulam. It houses a treasure of archaeological findings and relics including old coins, sculptures, oil paintings and murals.
St. Francis Church :-
It is the oldest church built by European in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portugese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that the exact place where he was buried has been marked out inside the church.
How to Reach kochi :- There are Indian Airlines and Jet Airways direct services to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Goa, Bangalore, and Thiruvananthapuram from kochi.
kochi is connected by rail to most of the important cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai.