Area: 309.22 km2
altitude :8 meters
Climate : Summer Max 35 deg Min 22 deg
Winter Max 32 deg Min 20 deg
Rainfall : 254 cm (June to October)
State : Kerala
Languages: Malayalam, English
STD Code : (91) - 484
Best time to Visit : November to March
History of Cochin
Cochin or Kochi is the commercial capital and one of the most modernised cities of Kerala. The place offers umpteen tourist magnets with one of its parts displaying a completely laid back lifestyle with its frozen in time colonial structures, serene beaches and tranquil backwaters while the other part absorbed in modernity with its contemporary structures and ultramodern shopping complexes. Cochin is basically an aggregation of islands and narrow peninsulas with Ernakulam being its main land and the hub of all commercial activity.
Sightseeing in CochinHill Palace Museum
Around 10 AM, pick up from the venue hotel Le Meridien and drive to Thripunithura to visit the Hill Palace Museum with an English Speaking Guide.Thripunithura Hill Palace, the largest archaeological museum in Kerala and the erstwhile official residence of the Kochi Royal Family, was built in 1865. The palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style of Kerala and is surrounded by 52 acres of terraced land with ponds, fountains and lawns. A full fledged ethno archaeological museum and Kerala's first ever Heritage museum are the main attractions here.Bolgatty Palace
Situated on the Bolgatty island, just a short boat ride away from Kochi, the ancient Bolgatty Palace was built in 1744 by a Dutch trader. Now turned into a heritage hotel, the palace is situated amidst lush greenery and a variety of trees and flowering plants and is one of the oldest Dutch palaces outside Holland. The Bolgatty palace was leased to the British at the beginning of the twentieth century and remained their property until 1947 when the British raj in India came to an end.Mattancherry Palace
Originally constructed by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to the ruler of Cochin king Veera Kerala Verma, the opulent palace was renovated by the Dutch in 1663 and thus acquired the name Dutch palace. Amongst the remarkable features of the palace are the intricate carvings and beautiful murals on its walls which depict scenes from the Hindu epics.Jewish Synagogue
One of the oldest synagogues in the world, the Jewish synagogue was constructed way back in the year 1568. The huge structure consists of beautiful hand painted tiles brought in from China.St. Francis Church
The St. Francis Church is another ancient structure constructed in 1503 by the Portuguese. The wooden construction was renovated during the 16th century and converted into a more firm stone structure. The place once housed the grave of the great explorer Bascom Da Gama until his remains were dug out and taken back to Portugal.Chinese Fishing Nets
The exotic fishing nets lined across the sea front use an indigenous system of catching fish. Introduced by traders from the court of Kublai Khan, these nets are believed to be seen only here outside China.Athirampally and Vazhachal
Later, drive to Athirampally to view the Waterfalls. This scintillating waterfall in thick green forest is a part of the Chalakudy river stream. It is near to the entrance of the Sholayar range is a place of great scenic beauty. Here, the water plunges from a height of nearly 80 feet before joining the Chalakudi river.Also visit the Vazhachal waterfalls. Vazhachal is just a drive from Athirampally, this picturesque spot is adjacent to dense green forest. The Vazhachal waterfall is a scenic and popular waterfall on the edge of the Sholayar forest range in Kerala. The Vazhachal is part of the Chalakkudy River. Its cool, misty waters cascading down with the backdrop of thick green forest and rocky terrain are a scintillating experience for visitors.Around 3 PM, drive back to the conference venue.Veegaland
Veegaland, an amusement park designed by the V-guard group is one of the most popular destinations for kids and elders alike in and outside Kerala. Spread in verdant green hills, the park is so exciting that a day is less to enjoy it. It has water theme rides, haunted houses, fast rides and the like.Santa Cruz Basilica, Fort Kochi
The original church, situated in Fort Kochi, was built by the Portuguese in 1505 and named as a cathedral in 1558. The British colonists destroyed the cathedral in 1795. The current structure was built in 1905 and raised to the status of a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984.
Once in Kerala, do not miss out on a fun filled backwater cruise. Sobriquet as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Cochin is one of the most enchanting backwater destinations in Kerala. As you move along in a houseboat, you will discover exotic locations as never seen before, silvery beaches, swaying palm trees and people engaged in daily activities such as fishing and coir making.
Shopping at Cochin will introduce you to a lot of interesting stuff that you may not find out in some of the other areas of the country such as camel bone carvings, metal articles, pine mats etc. The major shopping area is around the M. G. Road where most of the tourists gather in the evening. The GCDA shopping complex is another area where you can shop for gold/silver jewellery and antique.
How To Reach Cochin
By Air : Cochin International Airport is located just 25 km north-east of the city centre at Nedumbassery. International destinations connected with Cochin include Abu Dhabi, Doha, Kuwait, Singapore, Muscat, Sharjah and Bahrain. Indian Airlines and other private airline operators provide regular services to Cochin from major Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai etc. Indian Airlines operates a daily flight from Delhi (Dep. 8:00) to Cochin (Arr. 12:50).
By Rail : Cochin has three railway stations at Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town and Willingdon Island. Trains from the northern cities of the country including Delhi stop at the junction, which is also where the computerised reservation office is located.
By Road : State and national highways connect Cochin with other cities in Kerala and rest of the country. State transport buses operate regular services between Cochin and neighbouring cities, which is also a great way to observe the natural beauty of the area.