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Cochin: General Information

Cochin Travel & Tourism Overview

Area: 94.88 km²
Location: South West coast of India
Language: Malayalam and English
Best Time to Visit: October to March

From backwaters to beaches, Kochi is plethora of scenic beauty and dramatic landscapes. Charismatic Kochi has been drawing merchants and tourists it to its shores for over 600 years. Beckoned by breathtaking backwaters, Kochi is a prime tourist destination in Kerala. Kochi, better known as Cochin is Kerala’s most metropolitan city. Step into Kochi and take a stroll down history where every waft one encounters smells the beckoned past by, its culture and heritage.

Known as the “Gateway of Kerala,” Kochi is an enchanting city that had an electric influence of the Arabs, British, Chinese and Portuguese. Nowhere else in India, one could find such intriguing mix of culture and architecture. Here tourists can see 400 years old fishing nets from China, Portuguese houses, ancient mosques and crumbling remains of the British Raj.

The scenic location of Kochi’s natural harbor, surrounded by palm groves, green field, inland lakes and backwaters, has enchanted visitors from across the globe for centuries. Kochi is a commercial and historical hub. Fort Cochin and Mattancherry are small historical towns in Kochi where tourist can see the influences of the Portuguese, Dutch and British structures. Kochi is home to the oldest European-built church in India, St Francis Church. However, it was once the burial site of Vasco de Gama, who died in Kochi in 1524.

One can even see the influence Jewish culture in Kochi. Visit the quirky Jewish town where a synagogue stands tall, surrounded by a flea market selling everything from antiques to spices. If tourists are on a tour to Kochi then they should pay a visit to the privately owned museums. Step into Kerala Folklore Theater and Museum and catch the glimpses of treasure troves that Kochi exudes through its numerous art and dance forms.

Leaving the shores of Kochi without seeing beautiful Kathakali is a sin. It is a beautiful dance form in which dancers are decked up in colorful costumes tells the enchanting stories of the land with nothing but their expressions and postures. Tourists can spend a day at leisure on the beaches of Kochi or can even indulge in some adventure activities out there. If looking for an ideal destination in India where one can unwind, relax and tranquilize then the beaches of Kochi is the place to be.

Tourists should explore the wealth of traditional Kerala culture on a short tour to Kochi. Great food, fantastic shopping and backwater sailing, going to Kochi is an amazing delight. Soothing massages, picnic on the beaches and treasure troves of the temple, one can encounter all this only in Kochi.

Tourist spots in Cochin: Chinese Fishing Nets, Hill Palace Museum, Dutch palace, Chendamangalam Palace Fort, Pallipuram Fort, Vypin Island, International Pepper Exchange.

Interesting Facts

  • Kochi is also known as the “Queen of Arabian Sea.”
  • Since the 14th century, the state is well connected with major countries located in Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Rim. It has been an important trading center for high-quality pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. Formerly, Kochi was known as the ‘Mini England’, ‘Homely Holland’ and Little Lisbon’.
  • Ninety percent of all of the pepper that India produces is traded through the International Pepper Exchange in Kochi.
  • There is a tiny Jewish city in Kochi   
  • Vembanad Lake in Kochi is the longest lake and the largest wetland system in India.
  • Pallipuram Fort in Kochi is the old fort that is built by European in India.
  • On an average 132 rainy seasons are recorded in Kochi per year.

Things to do in Kochi:

  • Indulge in water sports activities at Cherai and the Fort Cochin beaches.
  • Go for a boating on Kochi backwaters
  • Get an Ayurveda massage at the Kerala Ayurveda Centre
  •  Visit India’s first eco-village – Kumbalangi Integrated Tourism Village. Try a unique way of fishing with huge Chinese fish nets. Outside of China, these fishing nets are only found in Kochi. Historians believe that the fishing nets were gifted by Chinese Emperor Kubalagi to the then Kochi King in the 14th century.  
  • Explore the heritage of Kochi by walking on the cobbled streets of Fort Kochi.
  • Catch the glimpses of Kochi’s colonial charm of the Jewish street. As the name suggests, the area was home to many families of the Jewish community. Although most Jews have shifted back to Israel, you cannot miss the distinct Jewish flavor in this part of Kochi. There are quite a few cafes on this street where you can pick up a book and get lost in time.
  • Enjoy a heritage walk at Mattancherry Palace. The palace also houses some rare artifacts. You can reach the palace by taking a boat ride from the town of Ernakulam.
  • Visit Cochin Cultural Centre, Kerala Kathakali Center or Greenix Village to see an electrifying Kathakali performance.
  • Visit the Mattancherry’s Palace Museum, which houses things like murals, art and royal paraphernalia of the Rajas of Kochi.
  • If a tourist is a history buff or wants to ignite your kids’ imaginations, then they should attend the light and music show at the Kerala history museum, Edapally.
  • Go for a day trip to the Kodanadu Elephant Centre, which is around 45 km from Kochi. In the central tourist can observe how elephants get trained. Here, one gets an opportunity to observe elephant in their natural environment.
  • Pay a visit to India’s First Marina, The Kochi International Marina. It is located on the east coast of Bolgatty Island, adjoining the Bolgatty Palace.

ClimateWinter (October to February): 17°C – 33°C
Summer (March to September): 20°C – 37°C

ShoppingIt’s impossible to get a sense of city without exploring its local market and cafes. From Kochi, tourist can purchase many commodities like metal ware, wood carvings, spices, tea, coffee and articles made of coconut shells, bamboo cane, or rattan. Prominent places from where tourist can do shopping area:

Marine Drive

Things to Purchase: Perfume, watches, Bags, Suitcases, Music Cassettes and CD’S

Penta Menaka complex

Things to Purchase: Duty Free shops that sell electronics

MG Road

Things to Purchase: textiles, readymade garments, jewelry, toys, home furnishing, handicrafts, decorative items

Address: MG Road, Kochi

Bazaar Road

Things to Purchase: Spices, Pulses

Address: Bazaar Road, Mattancherry, Kochi


Things to Purchase: Spices, Electronics, Leather Goods, Apparel

Address: Broadway market, Kochi

Jew Town

Things to Purchase: Curios and antiques

Address: Jew Town, Kochi

Oberon Mall

Things to Purchase: Branded Apparel

Address:Edapally, Ernakulam, Kochi

Where to StayKochi welcomes every tourist with open arms. It has a lot to offer and draws visitors from countries across the globe. Kochi is the place to find perfect harmony among all the elements of nature. It is the finest place to spend some time and nap in some of India’s finest home stays and heritage accommodations. There are some heritage hotels and resorts in Kochi which are operated by Kerala tourism. These hotels extend the warmth and excitement of traditional hospitality of Kochi. Treat your senses to the mesmerizing splendour of Kerala by staying at the following places:

  • Casino Hotel – A CGH Earth Group
  • Crowne Plaza Kochi
  • Diana Heights – Airport Hotel
  • Dream Cochin
  • Le Meridien Kochi
  • Saj Earth Resort – Airport Hotel
  • The Taj Gateway Hotel Marine Drive Ernakulam
  • Trident, Kochi
  • Vivanta By Taj Malabar
  • The Grand Hotel
  • Bruton Boatyard

How to Reach

By Roadways: Air Conditioned bus/Volvo services are available from the major cities such as such, as Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, and Trivandrum.

By Airways: The Cochin International Airport is well-connected with all the major cities across India and the world. From the airport, the main city center is about 29 kilometres away.

By Railways: Two major railway stations in Kerala are Ernakulam Town Station and Ernakulam Junction Station.

By Waterways: A regular yacht service from sea port areas like Goa, Mumbai, Lakshadweep, Colombo and Male is available. The interconnecting scenic backwaters provide regular boat services from places like Kottayam, Kumarakom, and Alleppey to Kochi.