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Kochi and Ernakulam

Kochi or the erstwhile Cochin is a melting pot of culture from as far as Arabia, China, Portugal, the Netherlands and Britain. A bustling port city enriched with multi ethnic inhabitants and culture, is made up of small islands connected by the backwaters and canals, and a central commercial town with an old Portuguese fort standing tall over the Arabian sea.
Kochi is also the quintessential Kerela with swaying palm trees, shimmering backwaters, boats in the canals and lagoons, picturesque sunset in the Arabian Sea, tinge of green everywhere and it is more. It is also a typical port city that has welcomed traders, merchant, people and cultures for more than 600 years. The Dutch, Portuguese, English, and Chinese – everyone has left their marks which are now richly embedded in the social fabric of the city. Fort Cochin and Mattancherry have a interesting mix of old houses built in the medieval styles of European colonical powers from Portugal, Holland, and England, each of whom ruled Cochin for a period. Ernakulam is the modern face of Kochi. A walk through the streets will be the best way to experience the fusion of cultures. Kochi consists of the southern peninsula of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry, the mainland city of Ernakulam, and the islands of Willingdon, Bolgatty ,Gundu and Vypeen Island. All are linked by ferries. There is a bridge from Ernakulam to Willingdon Island, and another from Willingdon Island to the Fort Cochin/Mattancherry peninsula.
While there are bright neon lights and tall towers in the commercial part of the town, there are islands of isolated villages approachable only by boats or ferries. While there is the hustle and bustle of the port activities and cacophonous fish markets, there are also pockets of silent beaches where people can watch the sun go down in the sea. While there is an ancient fort built by Portuguese which stand tall as the mark of first colonial structure in India, there is a Jew town and a synagogue, which is the oldest in all of commonwealth nations. The famous Chinese fishing nets along the sea shore of Fort Kochi are built by the Chinese traders who came here in search of the spice route. It is still being used to catch fishes during the high tide although the quality and quantum of fishes is going down every year, as the fishermen rue.
Jew Town
 The old world charm of the small by-lanes dotted with spice shops and bright colored walls with Hebrew inscriptions is like a walk through the time. There are plenty of antique and embroidered textiles shops to buy a souvenir from these lanes. Especially the beautifully carved spice box is a gem of  craftmanship.  The Jews came and settled here as far back as 700 BC and built possibly the oldest Synagogue in all of Asia.
Mattancherry Palace
The red roofed palace popularly known as the ‘Dutch Palace’ was actually built by the Portuguese ( and renovated by the later Dutch rulers) in 1557 for Raja Virakeral Varma, the King of Cochin, where the royal family held their coronations. The palace has 300 square metres of some of the most impressive murals in India, depicting scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Krishna’s pastimes, and Puranas. There is a Museum here with weapons, coronation robes, furniture and paintings of the Cochin Rajas.
Chinese Fishing Nets
Chinese Fishing Nets or Cheenavaala are huge cantilever fishing nets dotting the coastline from Fort Kochi to Vypeen. It is the only place outside China where it is found and is believed to be brought by the traders from China plying on the Silk and Spice routes. The silhouette of the fishing line along the beach against the setting sun is the identity of Kochi.
Jewish Synagogue
Jewish “Pardesi” Synagogue and Jew Town in Mattancherry. The narrow by lanes of Jew town is a walk down the history. Dotted with many antique shops and craft shops selling embroidered clothes and colourful walls , the lanes snake up to the Synagogue , the oldest Jewish synagogue in the Commonwealth . The Jews supposed to have arrived in the early 600 fleeing from Nebuchadnezar’s rule. They settled in Kerala in the trading of spices, but with the arrival of Portuguese in early 1600 in Goa, persecution of the Jews started, the Raja of Kochi gave the Kerala Jews protected them and the community thrived. At the end of the 2nd World war and creation of Israel most of the them migrated.
Palliport (Pallipuram) Fort
Palliport (Pallipuram) Fort, situated in Pallipuram on Vypeen island, is the oldest surviving European fort in India, built by the Portuguese in 1503.
St Francis Church
St Francis Church was built by the Portuguese in 1505, destroyed by British in 1795, and re built in 1905. It is the oldest church in India. Vasco da Gama, the first European to reach India by sailing around Africa, died in 1524 in Kochi. He was buried under the floor of the church, but his remains were transferred to Lisbon fourteen years later. His tombstone is still embedded in the floor.
Fort Kochi beach
ort Kochi beach. A stroll along the beach in the evening with cool breeze from the sea, crashing waves near the feet and setting sun in the background is a serene experience. The local seafood cuisine is on sale along shore in the make shift stalls which are as savoury as it can get. In the morning, the bustling fish market is the place to find the freshest of the fish.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
KOCHI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 9 Km 00H 15m
Cochin Harbour Terminus
Ernakulam Junction (South)
Ernakulam Town
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
27 Km 00H 31m
51 Km 00H 57m
52 Km 00H 55m
62 Km 01H 02m
63 Km 01H 08m
127 Km 02H 16m
172 Km 05H 12m
179 Km 02H 48m
221 Km 03H 25m
27 Km 00H 31m
Lying along the coastal area of the Arabian sea on the Vypin island 35 KM from Cochi, Cherai is one of the most scenic beaches in Kerela. It is a unique place, where one can experience the backwaters and the blue ocean separated only by a few hundred meters.
51 Km 00H 57m
Vembanad lake is the one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia and is the focal point of famous backwaters of Kerela.
52 Km 00H 55m
62 Km 01H 02m
The water locked Alappuzha, formerly known as Alleppey is part of the famous backwater country - a captivating natural scenery of interconnecting, labyrinthine canals, lagoons, lakes and endlessly beautiful Arabian sea shoreline.
63 Km 01H 08m
The picturesque village of Kumarakom is a cluster of tiny islands on the backwaters of Vembanad Lake. The lake also houses the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary which is an important biodiversity zone.
127 Km 02H 16m
Stunning green hills of rolling tea plantations surround breathtaking Munnar. The town provides a completely relaxing and therapeutic experience for jaded city dwellers - misty mornings, sweet scented air, whispering breezes and a chance to walk in the clouds.
172 Km 05H 12m
Periyar Tiger Reserve is a magical natural paradise; a beautiful reservoir surrounded by the green undulating hills of the western Ghats and an immensely peaceful forest. It is probably the best place to observe the Asiatic elephants in their natural habitat and also prides itself with a large variety of flora, fauna and tribal culture.
179 Km 02H 48m
196 Km 02H 46m
211 Km 03H 13m
221 Km 03H 25m
Famous for its sun kissed pristine beaches, Kovlam in the local language means "fringed with coconut palms" and the beautiful beaches do justice to its name.
541 Km 08H 11m
Bangalore is the IT hub of India and the capital of the state of Karnataka. In Old days Bangalore used to be referred to as the garden city of India in reference to the numerous well maintained gardens and green space within the city. Wodeyers were the rulers of Karnataka, Mysore used to be the prime city and capital of the erstwhile Mysore state, and Bangalore came into prominence during the British rule. At present it has evolved as large cosmopolitan city.
677 Km 10H 27m
Seasons
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Best Seasons
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Weather
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 22 °C 38 °C
Winter 17 °C 30 °C
December to February is best because of moderate and pleasant climate with temperature between 17°C to 30°C. Kochi, a coastal area, has humid weather during summers (March to May) with maximum temperature nearly 38°C. June to September is Monsoon season with heavy rains.
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Commanding magnificent view of the surrounding Himalayan peaks of Nanda Devi, Trishul, Ketu and Kamet , on the edge of the Nanada Devi national park, Auli is fast emerging as an important ski resort in India.

Nestled amidst the wooded slopes, surrounded by green meadows in the Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh, lies Baspa Valley also known as Sangla valley.

Binsar is a beautiful hill destination inside a forest reserve and bird sanctuary with magnificent 360 degree view of Kumaon Himalayan peaks.

Far from the maddening crowds is Caukori, an isolated small village in the Kumaon mountains offering panoramic view of snow capped Himalayan peaks painted with magical sunrise and sunsets .

Madikeri - a picturesque hill station of misty mornings and dotted with coffee and exotic spice plantations, lies in the Western Ghats of south-western Karnataka. It is the headquarter of the famous Kodagu or Coorg district of Karntaka state. Flavoured with the aroma of fresh coffee, cardamom, black pepper and Coorg honey, Madikeri offers an enchanting experience.

Dalhousie is one of the most picturesque hill stations, located in the Chamba Valley between the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges of the Himalayas. Named after a British Governor General, it retains a mix of natural beauty and colonial charm.

Darjeeling, the “Queen of the hills” embodies the romantic nostalgia of “The Raj” or the era of British rule in India. Darjeeling, famous for its lush tea gardens, is blessed with a stunning view of Mount Kanchenjunga, the world's third highest peak.

Dharamsala has an aura about it. The town has lived up to its name, which means “The pilgrims’ rest house”; it is today the sacred seat of the Dalai Lama and his exiled government of Tibet. The backdrop of the Himalayas and the old world charm of the town adds to the magnetic attraction of the unique experience that is Dharamsala.

One of the most scenic hill stations of India. Gulmarg offers excellent powder run skiing opportunities of international standards.

The beautiful hill town of Kausani is a picturesque hill station famous for its scenic splendour and its spectacular 300 km wide panoramic view of the Himalayas.

Lachen 110 km from Gangtok, Lachen is a scenic Himalayan village of migrant Buddhist Bhutia yak herders called Lachenpas. The hospitable Lachenpas greet or bid visitors farewell with the traditional 'khada' scarf. Blankets made from sheep wool or chuktuk, carved woodwork, furniture, signs, symbols and blankets are the handicrafts of Lachen. Chuktuk is the local term used for sheep wool blankets. Since a sizeable population in the area rear sheep and yak, the wool from these animals is used for r

On the banks of the Beas river, surrounded by the majestic Pir Panjal, Parvati, and Bara Bhangal mountain ranges, lies Manali - one of the most popular hill resorts in India. Manali is also the gateway to the exotic Lahaul and Spiti valleys.

Mukteshwar is a quaint and peaceful hill town in Kumaon - Uttarakhand surrounded by thick coniferous forest; it offers 180 degree panoramic views of the mighty Himalayan peaks Neelkanth, Trishul, Nandaghunti, Nanda Devi, Panchchuli. Famous hunter Jim Corbett mentioned Mukteshwar in his 1944 AD classic book ‘The Man Eaters Of Kumaon’.

Stunning green hills of rolling tea plantations surround breathtaking Munnar. The town provides a completely relaxing and therapeutic experience for jaded city dwellers - misty mornings, sweet scented air, whispering breezes and a chance to walk in the clouds.

Mussoorie is a popular hill station in the Garhwal Himalayas. Due to its panoramic views and its proximity to Delhi, Mussoorie has been a favourite weekend destination for visitors from the nearby plains since the time of the Raj.

The beautiful small township of Pelling lies 115 km from the state capital Gangtok. Known for its grand views of Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain, which rises to 9390m. Pelling is perched at an altitude of 2400m, and is a traveller’s delight due to its strategic location in the eastern Himalayas.

A long time ago Kumaoni queen Padmini was smitten with the scenic vista of this hill town leading to her king Sukhdev naming the area queen’s meadow or Ranikhet. Ranikhet still retains the unspoilt charm and sylvan surrounding that provides panoramic views to the Himalayan peaks.

A beautiful hill city tucked in the lap of Himalayas, Shimla retains much of its old world charm and nostalgic influence of the British Raj when it was the designated “summer capital” of India.

Srinagar, the exotic summer capital of Kashmir is an enigma shrouded in a veil of mystery, a fusion of beauty, culture and history that mesmerises, enthrals and still sows a seed of doubt in the mind of the departing traveller that a single visit is not enough to touch its heart.

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