Kochi, erstwhile known as Cochin, is a very popular city of Kerala state of India. The city is also dubbed as ‘Queen of Arabian Sea’ and is also proud to be known as the world’s finest natural harbor. For many centuries, the city was also known as the world spice trade center. Present day Kochi comprises of old parts of Kochi, outlying islands, Ernakulam city, and Kumbalangi. Kochi is one of the major travel destinations in Kerala. The name Kochi is derived from ‘Kochazhi’, a Malayalam word which means small lagoon. Mentioned here are important attractions in and around Kochi that make Kochi a worth visiting place.
Attractions in Kochi:-
- Backwaters: The beautiful backwaters of Kochi, commonly known as Veeranpuzha are stretched from Munambam Azhi to Kochi Azhi. The backwaters are the extension of the Vembanad Lake, the lake which is Kerala’s largest lake and also amongst the lakes in India.
- Fort Kochi: This attraction reflects the historical culture of the city. The attractions like the Mattancherry Palace, the Santa Cruz Basilica, and cantilevered Chinese fishing nets make this place very popular amidst the travelers coming from far flung regions.
- Hill Palace: This largest archaeological museum was built in the year 1865 and was the administrative office of the Rajas of Kochi. The complex is spread over an area of 54 acres and consists of about 49 buildings that are known for the traditional style of architecture. Tourists can visit a prehistoric park, a Heritage Museum, archaeological Museum, children’s park, a deer park, etc.
- Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium: Built in the year 1996, has the capacity to accommodate about 60,000 spectators. The stadium is also popular as the Kaloor International Stadium. Initially the stadium was constructed for football matches, but today, the stadium is the venue of national and international football and cricket matches. Apart from this, events like exhibitions, political rallies, cinema events, etc. are also organized.
- Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica: In the 1558, it was elevated by Pope Paul to a Cathedral. Thereafter in the year, the structure was destroyed by the British and later Bishop Dom Gomez Vereira constructed a new building in the year 1887. In the year 1984, the Pope John Paul II announced the Santa Cruz as a Basilica. This is one of the must visit attractions of Kochi.
Attractions around Kochi:-
- Kalady: The birthplace of Sri Adi Sankara is taken as one of the popular pilgrim centers in Kochi. The place is worth visiting and the visitors can feel the calmness in the environ.
- Cherai Beach: At a distance of about 30 km from Kochi is this 15 km long beautiful beach. The travelers interested in sunbath and swimming visit this shallow beach.
- Kadamattom Orthodox Church: with proximity to Kochi, this church is one of the most popular in India. Built in the 10th century, the church is a true masterpiece reflecting the amazing Indo-Persian style of architecture.
- Bhoothathankettu: Bhoothathankettu is one of the most-visiting sites. This dam is located in the village of Pindimana at a distance of 50 km from Kochi. The dam is also connected to the Salim Ali/Thattekad Bird Sanctuary which is praised for providing natural shelter to various species of animals and birds. You may also visit Idamalayam reservoir. This is located at a distance of 12 km.
- Athirappilly Falls: Beautiful Athirappilly Falls is located in Thrissur district that is about 60 km from Kochi. The 145 km long Chalakudy River starts the Anamudi Mountains and thereafter flows through the Vazhachal Forest proceeding towards the Arabian Sea.
Contributed by:- Neelam Talreja