Ernakulam " The Queen of Arabian Sea "
Ernakulam, also referred to as Cochin, is called the Queen of the Arabian Sea. The commercial hub of Kerala, it is a fast growing city abuzz with industries, shopping malls, cinema houses, hotels and restaurants. Known for its Chinese fishing nets, churches, synagogues and the spectacular backwaters, Cochin is a developed city that has preserved its natural beauty. The town has three main parts- Fort Cochin, Willingdon Island and Ernakulam. Fort Cochin (Fort Kochi) occupies the Southern cape on the seaward side of the Bay. Willingdon Island is a man-made island which was created from the sand dug out from deepening the port. Across the causeway from Willingdon Island is Ernakulam. The Bolghatty Island, a long narrow peninsula, is situated at the opposite side of Ernakulam jetty. The Vypeen Island is situated beyond Bolghatty Island. Ernakulam (or Cochin) is located on the coast of the Arabian Sea with Allapuzha on the South, Idukki on the East and Thrissur on the North. The commercial capital and of Kerala, Ernakulam, is one of the finest natural harbours in the world which is a major centre of trade and commerce.
Known as the Ernakulathappan Temple, the God of this temple is named after the city (Ernakulam). The deity Shiva, faces the west towards the sea which is a rarity. The idols of Lord Shiva and Parvathi found in the temple are believed to be self created. The Arattu procession where the deity is taken for a ritual bath in the temple pond marks the end of the eight day festival during the months of January and February.
Hill Palace Museum, Tripunithura
The palace on a hill-top was built in 1865 and was the residence of the Raja of Cochin. The largest archeological museum of Kerala it is set up in 52 acres of land and has 49 buildings. Exhibits displayed in its 18 galleries include the royal throne and other antique furniture, precious jewellery used by the kings and queens, royal chariots, palanquins, royal clothes, earthen, brass and bronze vessels, gold coins, and swords and spears.
Museum of Kerala History
10 kms from the city this museum at Edappally was the brainchild of industrialist and philanthropist, R Madhavan Nair. The sculptures in the museum depict the history of Kerala through the Neolithic Age to the Modern age. The one hour light and sound show depicts Kerala’s journey through the past to the present day. There is a gallery of contemporary and miniature paintings holding over 200 pieces of art.
St Francis Church
It is India’s first European church built in 1503 by a group of Portuguese. The Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama was buried here in 1524. 14 years later his remains were taken back to Lisbon, however, his tombstone remains intact. Regular services are conducted on all days of the week in English and Malayalam at the church.
Fort Kochi Beach
The Fort Kochi beach with its Chinese fishing nets and wonderful sunsets is a place you must visit when you are in Kochi. A colourful carnival on the New Years Eve attracts a number of tourists to the beach. You can even get roadside restaurateurs to cook these catches for you the way you like! Take a stroll along the lovely beach or race with the crabs; watch the waves and feel totally at bliss.
Named after the viceroy of India, Lord Willingdon, this 775 acre island was created from the soil dredged up while deepening Kochi’s Harbour in 1928. This engineering feat was led by Sir Robert Bristow. The island lies between mainland Ernakulam and Mattancherry. The island houses the Cochin Port Trust and the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command. Luxury hotels such as the Taj Malabar, the Trident Hilton and Casino Hotel are also built on the island.
- Area: 94.88 km2
- Clothing : Warm Clothes and Rain Gear
- Temperature : Min. 0 c – Max. 35 c
Thekkady does not have an airport of its own and the Madurai airport located at a distance of 136 kilometres from Thekkady is the nearest domestic airport. From Madurai, you can hire a cab to get to Thekkady. The nearest international airport is the Cochin International Airport, which is 190 kilometres away. This airport is well-connected with all major cities in India and abroad. The best way to get to Thekkady from Cochin is by hiring a cab.
By Rail/ Train
The nearest railway station to Thekkady is in Kottayam, located 114 kilometres away. The railway station in Kottayam is well-connected to major cities across India.You can hire a cab from Kottayam to get to Thekkady, or even board a government or private run bus.