A comprehensive travel guide to The Queen of the Arabian Sea: Kochi

About Kochi

Kochi, formerly known as “Cochin,” is a city located in the Indian state of Kerala. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India and the top choice for both domestic and international travellers to Kerala. In 2017, the city welcomed more than 23 million domestic visitors, according to Kerala’s tourism department. The department asserts that Kochi city’s metro appeal, MICE tourism, LuLu Mall, Wonderla water theme park, and LuLu Mall were the main drivers of attracting more domestic tourists.

The city, which is often referred to as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, has one of the best natural harbours in the world and was the centre of the global spice trade for many years. Old Kochi, currently known as West Kochi, includes Willingdon Island, Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, and other islands. The word Kochazhi, which in Malayalam means “small lagoon,” is how the city got its name.

Kochi, the largest city in Kerala, is a popular tourist destination with lovely harbours and vibrant, multicultural city life. In addition to obtaining a glimpse of the vibrant trading culture from the colonial British era, you may learn more about Kochi’s past as an export and import hub from the places you visit there. Pallipuram Fort, which is encircled by stunningly blue waters on one side and the wonderful, lush western ghats on the other, must be visited.

Kochi Marine Drive is another place that’s great for strolls in the evening. You will discover more about the locals’ way of life in addition to having some authentic fast food. The Hill Palace Museum strikes the perfect tone for vintage charm. The galleries will allow you to browse and take in some historical artefacts. Overall, Kochi is accessible to all types of tourists and offers a range of places to explore.

The Backwaters

The Malabar Shoreline, or Arabian Sea coast, of Kerala state, is paralleled by a network of saltwater lakes and lagoons known as the Backwaters of Kochi. Locals call the serene backwaters of Cochin’s Kochi Azhi to Munambam Azhi “Veeranpuzha.” It is the northern extension of Vembanad Lake. Vembanad Lake is the largest lake in Kerala and the longest lake in all of India (also known as Vembanad Kayal or Vembanad Kol). It is one of India’s largest lakes.

Marine Drive

Marine Drive in Kochi is a nice promenade. It is a favourite gathering spot for the residents and was built with the backwaters in mind. Marine Drive is another commercially active region in Kochi. It is an important centre for shopping in Kochi and is home to several shopping centres. The two contemporary bridges that are a part of the promenade are the Rainbow Bridge and the Chinese Fishing Net Bridge. The Marine Drive is a well-liked tourist destination in Kochi because of the romantic wind from Vembanad Lake, the view of the setting and rising sun above the sea mouth, and other elements. At night, the walkway is thronged with hundreds of residents and tourists.

Kerala Kathakali Centre

The Kerala Kathakali Centre was founded in 1990 with the goals of promoting Kerala’s traditional art form, spotting up-and-coming performers, and offering dedicated, rigorous instruction to present performers. This appealing dance form is done with grace and authority and is a product of the five components of Kathakali: literature, art, music, dance, and acting. Visit this site in Kochi if you wish to learn the dance style directly from the experts. Additionally, you have access to the daily performances that are presented here by talented individuals who are experts in their fields of art.

Jewish Synagogue

The Jewish Synagogue, also known as the Paradesi Synagogue, is a well-liked tourist attraction in Kochi since it is the oldest continuously operational synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations. This place offers visitors a look into Kochi’s past through the display of scrolls of the law, numerous gold crowns that were gifts, a pulpit with brass rails, a chandelier made of Belgian glass, a hand-knotted Oriental rug, and many other rare artefacts. It is required that visitors enter the building barefoot. “Jew Town,” a refuge for antique collectors, is a little alley that runs between the Synagogue and the Mattancherry Palace. Little historical artefacts made of wood and metal are just ready to be purchased by a curious tourist.

Dutch Palace

The Portuguese palace in Kochi, also known as the Dutch Palace, is one of the top places to visit because of its historical value. This quadrangular palace was built in the traditional Kerala Nalukettu style, and its courtyard is home to the Pazhayannur Bhagavati, the god of the Kochi royal line. The flooring in the palace is breathtaking because it looks like polished black marble but was made in the conventional Keralan way using egg white, lime, charcoal, and burned coconut shells to give a durable gloss. The Palace’s distinctiveness comes from the numerous murals that are painted in a tempura-style palette of warm, rich colours.

St. Francis Church

Vasco da Gama’s burial is located at St. Francis Church in Ernakulam, which is not only a highly well-liked Christian holy place but also has great historical value. It is an architectural marvel that the Portuguese built in a regal style, fusing Portuguese and Dutch elements. Visitors are constantly amazed by the pulpit, confession box, baptismal platform, and gabled timber-framed roof. It provides many tales about the spiritual outlook of the ancient world.

Santa Cruz Basilica

According to legend, this is one of Kerala’s eight basilicas. It is one of Kochi’s most visited tourist attractions since it is a historical structure from Kerala that was constructed in the Gothic style with exquisite architecture. After being built by the Portuguese, the cathedral was improved by the Pope and an Indian diocese was established. The main altar of the church was created by renowned Italian painter Antonio Moscheni, S.J. Beautiful stained glass art enhances the beauty of the Last Supper painting. The church’s whitish exterior is embellished with two large spires.

Bolgatty Palace

Any list of Kochi’s must-visit sites should include the Bolgatty Palace and Island resort. This unique palace was built in 1744 by the Dutch and is the only one of its kind outside of Holland. There are four lavish rooms. The palace has been renovated into an opulent hotel that pampers guests with the highest levels of comfort and splendour. Bolgatty Palace has developed a reputation as the honeymooner’s dream due to its spectacular location across the island, surrounded by a canopy of greenery and offering a breathtaking perspective of the countryside. A large number of visitors can be accommodated in the resort’s event centre for ceremonies such as weddings and congresses.

Willingdon Island

By surrounding an existing tiny island with dredged earth, Kochi was able to create the largest man-made island in India, which bears the name of the Viceroy of India, Lord Willingdon. Among the prestigious offices that the island is proud to house are the Navy, Customs, Port Trust, and fisheries department. Because it links Kochi to significant seaports across the world, this island is a preferred site for businesses and financial organisations. Any of the luxurious resorts or hotels on the island provide guests with a clear view of the Arabian Sea and its seductive beauty.

Fort Kochi

One of Kochi’s most well-liked tourist spots is a little fishing village that was later transformed into the first European township in India because of its vibrancy. The weather is generally pleasant throughout the year, with the exception of the summer, making it ideal to traverse the area on a motorcycle to see its rich history and natural beauty. The vivid hues of crimson and vermilion at sunset make the Fort Kochi coastline especially stunning. The Dutch cottages and separate farms all serve as relics of a bygone past because the earliest houses in this area were built by British traders. It is simple to schedule two days in Fort Kochi to thoroughly explore the area.

Indo-Portuguese Museum

The Indo-Portuguese Museum was established by the late Bishop of Kochi, Dr. Joseph Kureethra, to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Portuguese in India. The Altar, Treasure, Procession, Civil Life, and Cathedral are the museum’s five main galleries, which feature a variety of artefacts and relics from that era. Contributions to this collection came from a variety of Keralan churches. You could decide to go on a guided tour of the museum to gain a better understanding of history.

Chinese fishing nets

Chinese fishing nets, often referred to as Cheena wala, are frequently seen in Kochi. These are mechanical systems used to move fixed lift nets that span over 20 metres out from the shore and are fixed in place. Chinese traders introduced this unique style of fishing in the 14th century by extending its applicability to “Ko-chi,” which translates to “China-like.” Chinese fishing net shadows can be seen in the distance when the skyline is illuminated by a sunset over the ocean, rivers, or backwaters.

Kerala Folklore Museum

At the Kerala Folklore Museum, folk, tribal, and traditional art, as well as anthropology, architecture, history, and cultural heritage, are all featured. The museum, which aims to preserve Keralan culture, heritage, and folk art education, is supported by Mrs and Mr. George Thaliath. It houses numerous priceless masterpieces, including the watercolour on paper by Sri Guruvayurappan, the oil painting depicting the union of Lord Brahma and Goddess Saraswathi, and the Kindi, a type of pitcher typically found in old homes. It is a repository for the lost pride of the southern region of India. For around eight years, 62 artisans worked diligently on wood to construct this temple. A must-visit location in Kochi for visitors, students, and academics.

Ernakulathappan Temple

Located in the heart of Ernakulam, this ancient Shiva temple, also known as the Ernakulathappan Temple, is regarded by fervent Shiva devotees as one of Kerala’s most significant temples. It is one of the seven royal temples of the Maharaja of Kochi and is located on the grounds of the Durbar Hall. The Gowrishankara avatar of Lord Shiva, who is present here, is looking westward toward the Arabian Sea. Within the temple’s grounds, which cover an acre of sacred land, lies the original lingam that Arjuna of Mahabharata fame worshipped. The significant annual event is held throughout the Malayalam month of Makaram together with other festivals and celebrations.


Vypeen, one of the numerous little islands that make up the city, is recognised as one of Kochi’s most attractive tourist attractions. With a 25 km2 area, it is one of Kochi’s most densely populated and quickly growing areas. The intriguing route that leads to the island itself includes a series of bridges known as the Goshree Bridges, which provide a beautiful panorama against the azure waters. The Portuguese Azhikotta fort, one of the first European Forts in India and the lighthouse at Ochanthuruthu in Vypeen, which offers breathtaking sea views from its vantage point, are just a couple of the tourist attractions that can be found on the island.

Pallipuram Fort

The Pallipuram fort, which the Portuguese constructed in 1503, has undergone a series of graceful transformations over the years to become one of Kochi’s most popular tourist destinations. One of the earliest still-standing examples of a European masterpiece in India, it preserves both the antiquities and the roots of early European culture. The monument includes a hexagonal outpost made of wood, masonry, and laterite. The fort’s open space is thought to act as a safe entry to the basement. The stunning architectural wonders of the fort never cease to astound visitors. The history and traditions of this fort are extensive. In contrast to other forts, the archaeological agency takes exceptional care of this one.

LuLu Mall

One of the largest malls in India, the Lulu Shopping Mall, extends an invitation to the realm of joy. With 225 outlets, a 2,500-seat food court, the presence of top 100 brands, and 11 fine-dining restaurants, this is surely a place to indulge. The mall is a well-liked weekend destination for people of all ages because of its 12-lane bowling alley, nine-screen Cineplex, amusement rides, and largest ice rink. It is situated on the grounds of the Hotel Marriott and offers comfort and luxury to both domestic and international guests.


The Wonderla amusement park, one of Kochi’s largest, has a wide range of thrilling attractions to keep visitors entertained, including water slides, landslides, 3D rides, and many more. If you’re travelling with children or have a spirit of adventure, you should visit this location in Kochi. Caterpillar Village, the Adventures of Chikku, Dashin Cars, Fire Brigade, Sky Wheel, Windmill, and Wonder Splash are a few of its popular attractions. On the weekends, locals have a blast with their friends and loved ones. The Wonderla Pass gives you access to special discounted packages with more fun.

Museum of Kerala History

One of Kerala’s oldest art and history museums, the Museum of Kerala History is situated in Edapally, Kochi, and was created by Mr. Madhavan Nayar, a philanthropist and businessman. The three sections of the museum are the doll museum, the Kerala history museum, and the gallery of modern art. The statue of Parasurama has been erected in a strategic location outside the hall as a mark of reverence for the saint who is believed to have constructed Kerala from the vast ocean. Around 150 dolls from various Indian ethnic groups are displayed in the doll museum, showcasing the diversity of the nation’s cultures. The modern art gallery contains more than 230 works of art by eminent creators like Raja Ravi Verma, M.F. Hussain, and Ram Kinker Baij.

Hill Palace Museum of Thrippunithara

Kochi’s top archaeological museum, The Hill Palace Museum of Thrippunithara, was built with a lovely façade in the regional Keralan style and is one of the city’s most well-liked tourist attractions. The complex currently consists of 49 structures dispersed across 54 acres of land and includes an archaeological museum, deer park, medicinal plant garden, pre-historic park, and children’s park. The museum showcases decorations, weapons, manuscripts, and other royal family heirlooms, along with a few items from the Paliam Devaswom.

Veeranpuzha Beach

Veeranpuzha Beach is the most visited tourist attraction in Cochin because of its beautiful golden sand and azure ocean. The vegetation and shrubs that line the shore provide a contrast to the sandy, hot beach. You can interact directly with the fishermen working along the shore for a few hours at the beach, whether they are fishing, managing their most recent catches, or preparing for the next catch. Be ready to take your camera when the stunning and dramatic sunset occurs so you may capture some breathtaking moments. The stunning sunset view with the shadows of Chinese fishing nets in the distance is the main attraction for tourists at this site.


India’s Kochi city’s Mangalavanam, a 2.74-hectare area, is a fragile ecological area. Additionally, it contains a tiny tidal lake that is connected to Kochi backwaters by a canal. It may be found behind the building that houses the Kerala High Court. Numerous species of mangroves grow there, and a variety of migratory birds use it as a breeding ground. Due to Managalavanam’s significance in reducing air pollution in the city, it is frequently referred to as the “green lung of Kochi.” The area is home to several migratory and resident bird species.

Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum, located in INS Dronacharya, is one of Kochi’s must-see attractions. The museum pays tribute to the dedication, bravery, and selfless devotion provided by the brave gentlemen of the Indian navy. The Kochi Maritime Museum, which is housed at INS Dronacharya, features exhibits on the development, evolution, and history of the Indian Navy. In addition to showcasing the accomplishments of the Indian fleet, the Maritime Museum in Cochin also displays some fundamental sailing methods. When the Indian Navy did not yet exist, kings used a well-trained and equipped armed force to guard the Indian coastline, which was used by ancient and mediaeval seafarers.The Maritime Museum, located in INS Dronacharya, is one of Kochi’s must-see attractions. The museum pays tribute to the dedication, bravery, and selfless devotion provided by the brave gentlemen of the Indian navy. The Kochi Maritime Museum, which is housed at INS Dronacharya, features exhibits on the development, evolution, and history of the Indian Navy. In addition to showcasing the accomplishments of the Indian fleet, the Maritime Museum in Cochin also displays some fundamental sailing methods. When the Indian Navy did not yet exist, kings used a well-trained and equipped armed force to guard the Indian coastline, which was used by ancient and mediaeval seafarers.

Subhash Park

Subhash Park is a nice park located in the heart of Ernakulam, next to the boat port and across from Maharaja’s College. The backwaters of Vembanad Lake and Cochin Harbor may be seen from this public park, which the city of Cochin maintains. As soon as you reach the park, you’ll see a direct entry that leads to the melodic walkway and marine drive. One can enjoy boating at the kid’s park, which was created to instruct children about traffic laws.


One of the city’s oldest shopping areas is Broadway. When compared to other city retail districts, the prices are far lower and more affordable here. There are no vehicles allowed on the main shopping street. Almost anything may be found at Broadway, including old copper pots, the newest styles in jewellery and clothing, books, colognes, and spices. A Jew from Cochin even runs one of the best furniture stores in the area. On Broadway, there are a lot of roadside shops selling watches, jewellery, leather items, stationery, gadgets, and umbrellas. At Kochi’s Spice Market on Broadway Street, there is a wholesale store where one may buy premium spices and condiments.

Jew Town

There is a tiny street called “Jew Town” that runs between Mattancherry Palace and the Pardesi Synagogue. It is well-known due to the numerous antique shops that line its flanks. The colonial buildings that line the street add to its old-world beauty. If you walk around Jew Town, you can almost smell the history. The variety and uniqueness of the objects in the curio and antique stores that line the Boulevard can mesmerise visitors. Everything that could appeal to tourists and be considered an antique is available at Jew Town’s antique shops. There, one may find anything from jewellery to tableware to handcrafted furniture like wooden elephants, mirrors, wall hangings, and paintings, as well as curios, statuettes, metal and wooden figures, and jewellery.

Jain Temple

The Jain Temple, which is dedicated to Shri Dharmanath, the 15th Jain Tirthankar, is another destination of worship in Mattancherry. The temple complex, which was constructed in 1960, is dispersed over a sizable area and has a variety of buildings constructed for use as places of worship and donation collection points. The temple was built with inspiration from the Gujarati Jain temples.

Sri Guru Singh Sabha

The Sri Guru Singh Sabha, which is approximately 3 kilometres from Kochi, is the only gurudwara in Kerala. As its name suggests, the gurudwara in Kerala was founded in 1955 and acts as a “gateway to Guru” for the local Sikh community. While the initial gurudwara was constructed close to the Cochin Shipyard, the current one was established in 1975. The gurudwara is constructed in the Mughal architectural style, which incorporates aspects of Hindu and Muslim design. People from all walks of life visit Durbar Hall to pray. The prayers are held at this location. Include a trip to a gurudwara on your itinerary if you want to get the full sense of Sikh hospitality and culture.


When is the best time to visit Kochi?

The ideal months to visit Kochi are from October to February, when the weather is pleasant and temperate enough to enjoy and explore the charming vacation destination.

What outdoor activities are available in Kochi?

Snorkelling in Thiruvankulam is recommended. Thiruvankulam, a well-liked tourist spot in Kochi, provides a wide range of exciting water activities. Get up close to Kerala’s amazing marine life while learning about the interesting underwater environment. For anyone who appreciates adventure, snorkelling is a must-do activity that provides a much-needed adrenaline boost for those looking to try something new. To keep the memory alive forever, you can decide to make videos of yourself in an underwater setting.
With your friends, you can go karting in the Grand Mall. Choose a few laps, then accelerate around the quick tracks. You can indulge in this and other pleasurable outdoor activities to give your body that much-needed adrenaline boost.
While taking in the breathtaking views of the Chinese fishing nets lining the Kochi coast, visitors can spend some time fishing from boats. The neighbourhood fisherman will provide you with fishing tips and details on the various local fish breeds. Here, you can buy locally caught fresh fish or prepare and eat your own catch while seeing a breathtaking sunset.


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