Popularly known as Gateway to Kerala, Kochi is one of the most loved towns in Kerala that offer tourists a heady mix of all things cultural, cosmopolitan and some of the most spectacular sunsets at a beach. The town was initially known as Cochin in its colonial days and adorns the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula.
The town has been ruled and developed by a string of colonials including Portuguese, Chinese, Dutch, British, Arabs and today it reflects in the interesting culture and charm the town holds for the locals as well as tourists.
The town has a number of remarkable attraction spots such as Cherai Beach, Dutch Palace, Mattancherry, St. Francis Church, Vasco House, and Santa Cruz Basilica to name a few. The town boasts of numerous stories related to the origin of its name, ranging from a word from Malyalam meaning 'small sea' to crediting Chinese ruler Kublai Khan for naming the town.
The quick pace of the town combined with relaxed ambience at the beaches makes for an interesting sight. The cuisine and architecture reflects various influences from earlier colonial rulers. Kochi also happens to be the only place outside China that uses giant fishing nets commercially, a typical technique that is otherwise used in China. The town is also home to a world class port for trading purposes.
Apart from visiting the attraction sights, some of the must-do activities include watching the Kathakali dance performance and a boat ride. Another reason why it's an absolute favourite with most tourists is because of its proximity to a number of other tourist destinations such as Alleppey, Munnar, Lakshadweep, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Kodanad among others.
What to shop
Kochi is a great place to shop textiles if you have the knack and knowledge for it. Silk, cotton and every pretty textile you can think of, can be bought here at a rather good price.
Other great options to buy are:
Antiques & artifacts
Wooden painted flowers and articles
Chips & Snacks (Different fruits & flavours)
Best time to visit
The summers can get pretty humid here, and so the best time to visit Kochi remains October-April.
Best accommodation places
Houseboats are an interesting option for those who want to experience something new. For the typical hotels and guesthouses, some of your best bets are:
- The Malabar hotel
- Brunton boatyard
- Tea bungalow
- Dream catcher home stay
How to reach
Kochi is well connected to other cities via roads, railway network as well as flight. The nearest airport is Nedumbassery International airport which is only 20 km away. Railways remains the best way however to reach Kochi with three railway stations which are Harbour Terminus (Also called Willingdon Island, Ernakulam town and Ernakulam Junction).