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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.