Kochi or Cochin has been an important port city of India, since the medieval period. Fondly known as the queen of the Arabian Sea, this city linked India to the countries of the Middle East, Europe, and Asia for trade and commerce purposes in the bygone era. Over the years, Kochi has successfully preserved its rich heritage and political/historical significance alive in the form of its architecture, ancient temples, art, festivals, beaches, customs, and delectable cuisine.
Located in the Ernakulam district of Kerala, Kochi had been ruled by Portuguese, Dutch, and Britishers. Because of being a port city, it fostered spice trade through sea routes with other countries. Besides getting down the colonial lanes, you may also indulge in some exhilarating adventurous activities such as knee boarding, banana boat ride, kayaking, scuba diving, speed boat ride, and skiing in Kochi. Scroll till the end to find out what all Kochi has in store to amaze you!
History of Kochi
The recorded history of Kochi dates back to the 11th century when it was ruled by the Kulasekhara Perumal. The Cochin Royal family succeeded the Kulasekhara empire in 1102. The downfall of the Cochin royal family led to the emergence of the Kingdom of Kochi in the 14th century. Amidst all the political unrest, Kochi was hit by a natural disaster, which made the city enjoy the status of the politically important port city of medieval and modern India. Cochin owes it all to the flood in the Periyar river in 1341, which led to the creation of a natural harbor. Gradually this natural harbor flourished as a port and fostered trade activities via sea route to other countries. Foreign invasions in Kochi began in 1500A.D. with the arrival of the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch and the Britishers.
The Nalukettu and European style of architecture inspired the creation of Mattancherry Palace; a museum that displays the vintage artifacts belonging to the rulers of Kochi. According to the historians, the palace was built by the Portuguese, who gifted it to the king of Cochin in 1555. Later, when the Dutch captured Kochi, they initiated renovations at the palace, and since then, it is also known as the Dutch Palace.
2. Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi is a town that has kept its colonial past alive in its structures that can be seen across the town. Charming houses and buildings have been built in European style that emit the vibes of the bygone era.
3. Santa Cruz Basilica
Fort Kochi town is home to one of the eight basilicas in India. This Basilica was built by the first Portuguese viceroy, Francesco de Almeida. When Dutch arrived in the city, they destroyed all the structures except the cathedral but when the Britishers arrived in 1775 they ruined it too, only a granite pillar was left that has been preserved to date and has been kept on the premises of the cathedral. The wooden panels, exquisite paintings, stained glass windows, augment the divine vibes at the cathedral.
4. Willingdon Island
Named after a British viceroy of India, Lord Willingdon, the Willingdon island is a popular man-made island in India.Located between Kochi port and Ernakulam Jetty, the basic structure of the island got completed during the second world war. The island later became the military base for Britishers and after India’s independence, it was developed as the transport hub.
5. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
Spread in 2.74 hectares, the sanctuary is home to numerous species of migratory birds and plants. As per the surveys conducted by the concerned government authorities, as many as 194 birds have been identified at the sanctuary. Due to its rich biodiversity, the sanctuary is visited by bird lovers, nature photographers, and botanists from across the world.
How to Reach Kochi
The coastal city Kochi is the hub of seaways transportation through the Arabian Sea, a tourist attraction, a naval base, and a melting pot of art and coastal cuisine. Kochi is a perfect family vacation destination that has something for everyone. To arrive at Kochi you have to cover a distance of approximately 2700km via NH 44, 1300km via NH 66, 2300km via NH 16, and 550km via NH 44 from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru, respectively.
Cochin International Airport serves the people of Kochi with their air travel needs. Flights by all renowned airlines like Vistara, GoAir, AirAsia, IndiGo, and SpiceJet arrive and take off from here on a regular basis. After deboarding the flight, you can hire a taxi or get on the local bus to reach your desired destination in the city. Here, we have listed some non-stop flights to Kochi along with an estimate of base airfare.
Delhi - Board IndiGo flight from IGI Airport. The airfare starts from INR 3,700
Mumbai - Board SpiceJet or AirAsia flight from Mumbai. The airfare starts from INR 2,400
Kolkata - Board IndiGo flight from Kolkata. The airfare starts from INR 5,000
Bengaluru - Board GoAir flight from Bengaluru. The airfare starts from INR 1,600
Here is a list of Indian cities from where flights are available to Kochi
Ernakulam Junction and Cochin Harbor Terminus are the two major railway stations in Kochi. Trains from across the country arrive here, hence you may plan a rail journey without worrying about train availability. From the railway station, you may travel further into the city via local transport which includes cabs, buses, and autos.
Delhi - Board NDLS TVC SF SPL from New Delhi and deboard at Ernakulam Town
Mumbai - Board LTT TVC SPL from Lokmanyatilak Terminus and deboard at Ernakulam Jn
Kolkata - Board HWH ERS SPL from Howrah Junction and deboard at Ernakulam Jn
Bengaluru - Board SBCCAPE FEST SPL from KSR Bengaluru and deboard at Ernakulam Town
Coimbatore - Board MAS ALLP EXP from Coimbatore Jn and deboard at Ernakulam Jn
Traveling by road is a convenient and economical option in case you are planning to arrive in Kochi by road because the city is connected via highly motorable national/state highways. You can drive to Kochi in your car or may travel via inter-state tourist buses that run regularly from nearby cities.
Coimbatore - 190km via NH 544
Mysuru - 345km via Avinashi-Tiruppur-Kochi Highway
Mangalore - 418km via NH 66
Madurai - 272km via NH 85
Ooty - 275km via Coimbatore-Ooty-Gundlupet Highway
Thiruvananthapuram - 200km via NH 66
Frequently Asked Questions about Kochi
Q. Where is Kochi located? A. Kochi, also known as Cochin, is a city located in the state of Kerala in southwestern India.
Q. What are some of the tourist attractions in Kochi? A. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in the city include the Fort Kochi area, the Jewish Synagogue, the Dutch Palace, St. Francis Church, and the Chinese Fishing Nets.