September 30, 2015

"A smart city, mix of ancient culture and modern setup in the lap of beautiful nature." - Quote about Kochi (Cochin) in "God's own country - Kerala" - By Sachin Kumar Gupta.

We were planning for a trip to God's own country - Kerala, since long and finally we were there on our way with Ashish, Smriti and Meenal. We arrived at Cochin airport in the afternoon and were welcomed by clear sky and hot sun. We were really blessed to have a good driver, who was also an excellent guide. While on our way from Kochi to Taj-Kumarakom, we went for Kochi sightseeing as planned.

If you are looking for information about where to go and what to see in Kochi, here are a few well-known tourist destinations and some not-so-popular but beautiful places in the list. I have traversed and map them from airport to cover in minimum time. Skip the place(s) as per your choice.

Bolgatty Palace is a former palace built by the Dutch in India, located on the island popularly known as Bolghatty Island in Kochi. It is one of the oldest existing Dutch palaces outside Holland.

Cochin Marine Drive: Marine Drive is a beautiful waterfront promenade in Kochi. Pedestrians can stroll along the Marine Drive. It is a popular hangout for the local people as well as the tourists. Short boat trip in the evening would definitely be a lovely experience. It is built facing the backwaters. It is the most visited attraction in Cochin.

Rainbow Bridge and The Chinese Fishing Net Bridge: These fishing nets are fixed land installations, which are used for a very unique and unusual method of fishing. We found these across Kochi backwaters.

Willington Island: Willingdon Island is a man-made island which we covered by car only. There are beautiful walkways and jetty’s on this island. This Island contains the modern port serving Cochin city.

Paradesi Synagogue/Jewish Synagogue: It is the oldest existing synagogue located in the old part of Mattenchery Town in Kochi, also known as Jew Town. It lists at the topmost slot in the itinerary of the tourists visiting Kochi city. Many Jewish festivals are celebrated here throughout the year.

MattanCherry Palace or Dutch Palace: The Mattancherry Palace is a Portuguese palace popularly known as the Dutch Palace. It is quite near to Jew town. It has a huge collection of Kerala Temple murals, portraits and exhibits of the Rajas of Kochi. Sad part...we couldn't capture these lovely pieces of art as photography is not allowed.

Beach: Fort Kochi beach and Cherai beach are famous beaches here.

Fort Kochi is at a beautiful location in the city of Kochi, Kerala. This is famous for Chinese fishing nets, picturesque beaches and architectural style of the buildings. We couldn't visit this, as we had to reach our destination Taj Kumarakom.

Hill Palace Museum: Hill palace museum is the Kerala’s first heritage museum and is also the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. It is situated near Tripunithura, Kochi.

Churches: Cochin city has a number of Beautiful Churches which you would be seeing on the way. e.g. Santa Cruz Basillica Cathedral, St Francis Church, St. Mary's Church etc.

Shopping at LuLu Mall (Optional), if you have time and money. :)

Sep - April is the best time to visit Kochi (Cochin). Cochin Carnival: A massive procession of caparisoned elephants, games and partying happens during last week of December. Fort Kochi is decked up like a bride during this time. You can find easy marking of all these places and ask locals for the nearby routes. 
Overall we enjoyed lush mangroves, coconut tress reflected in the translucent waters of backwaters, ancient churches, cathedrals and palaces on sightseeing tours of Cochin. After that we visited below places on subsequent days: Kumarakom at Vembanad Lake side

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