Kochi has been ranked the sixth best Tourist destination in India according to a survey conducted by the Nielsen Company on behalf of the Outlook Traveller magazine.
Kochi also has unique distinction of one of the Indian cities among the emerging 440 global cities that will contribute 50% of the world GDP by the year 2025,according to McKinsey Global Institute.
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Kochi is a great place to be, a delight for Leisure tourists, cultural tourists, food loving tourists - a heaven for foodies. In Cochin, restuarants provide delicious food, Beach side vendors cook freshly caught seafood, and street cafes serve delicious South Indian dishes like spicy coconut prawns, fish cooked in banana leaves, roasted crab, baked mussels and chili-infused fish curries.
Day 1: Kochi City Cultural Tour
Morning - 10:00 AM
Fort Cochin Heritage Area Tour, World's oldest Churches, Synagogues
On the very first day of your Kochi visit, you can proceed to the Heritage Fort Cochin area & see the oldest Church in India, St Francis and see the well preserved Tomb and gravestone of Vasca da Gama, as well as you can see the old Dutch Tombstones revealing stories from the Dutch occupation.
Photography is allowed inside the church and you can take your own soveneirs of this Historic Place.
More about St Francis Church
St Francis church is the First European church built in India, It was first build in wood, later rebuilt in stone by 1516AD and dedicated to St Anthony. Later on Dutch converted it into a Protestant Church, Presently it is taken over by Church of South India.
Here in this church, Vasco De Gama, the first Eurpean Navigator from Portugal to India was laid to rest in 1524AD, later on his remains were taken to Portugal in 1538AD.
You can spend approx 1 hours admiring the Church and adjoining waterfront promenade Near By.
Enroute to Beach, Do not forget to sit on the Lonely bench on an extended platform towards the sea, Once you are at the beach, here you can see the Chinese fishing nets ( which are non-functional) and have photo session with the same. You can shop of fresh sea food , followed by visit to the busy Cochin port and boat-studded harbor.
Enjoy Great Sea Food, Toddy, Vegetable Thalis at beach
While on Kochi Beach, Enjoy the Indian snacks, curried spices, flavorful fruits and fresh seafood, Taste a variety of Indian cuisines with a dozen food tastings, Sample tasty treats and traditional dishes from street stalls and a toddy bar
Try south indian specialties like masala dosa (fermented pancake) or thengapal (curry in coconut milk), and sample a vegetarian thali platter of typical dishes served in small bowls. Your guide explains everything and makes recommendations, depending on your tastes. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll find plenty of Indian treats along the way.
Your final stop is in a Toddy bar, a typical watering hole frequented by fishermen. Usually, you’ll only find the local men sidling up at the bar (it isn’t the custom for women to drink here). However, it's perfectly acceptable for male and female travelers to join in, so raise a glass with the locals and your small group.
Enjoy your toddy (local palm wine) with delicious seafood including crabs, mussels, clams, sardines, mackerel and more — all served up in various forms of curry.
Afternoon - 01:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Mattancherry Meander - Jew Town Visit ( India's First synagogue)
Next, head for the east coast to see India's oldest synagogues in Jew Town. It is a small synagogue, photography is strictly prohibited inside. It is a functioning Synagogue and was built in year 1568, later on clock tower was added in year 1758.
Once you enter inside the Paradesi Synagogue, The first Left room is full of painitings showing the history of Jews in India, king of Jews and about the esteblishment of the centre.
The floor of the synagogue is made up of hand-painted blue willow patterned floor tiles. These ceramic tiles were brought from Canton, China in the 18th century by Ezekiel Rahabi, a renowned Jewish businessman. Each tile is different from one another in its design.
There is a pulpit with brass rails is built in the center of the room. The teak Ark houses four scrolls of Torah (the first five books of Old Testament) and they are encased in silver and gold. Two gold crowns presented to the Jewish Community by the Kings of Kochi and Travancore are also kept here.
Another valuable possession of the synagogue is the copper plates belonging to the 4th century with inscriptions in Malayalam. The inscriptions describe the privileges granted to the community by the erstwhile Cochin king. It is written in kannadiyezhuthu script or mirror image writing.
An oriental rug gifted to the Jews by the last Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie is also kept in the synagogue.
Shopping at Jewish Market
Then buy soveneirs from shops lining old Jew Town Road, selling relics like colored glass lamps and Kerala souvenirs. You can buy some best Silk clothes from the kashmir vendors in the shops next to the Synagogue.
Shopping in Jewish Town is a great adventure and fun as you can buy the best quality soveniers from various emporiums in the jewish center, You can buy ancient indian art, Jewish Art, Candle stands, Silk, also there are some cafes in the Jewish Centre, where you can try israeli dishes.
Please ensure that you bargain as you may get the deal at 60-70% discount, Do not hesitate to Bargain in Jewish Town.
Dutch Palace Visit
Next door, visit the Dutch Palace, with its racy mythological murals, hushed courtyard temple and ceremonial chambers.
Dutch Palace was built by Portuguese and Dutch gave the final touches Dutch and renovation work.The palace looks very simple from outside but inside is totally royal.The palace is a two-storeyed structure, built in traditional Kerala naalukettu (quadrangular) model.
The Dutch palace has a fascinating collection of mural paintings and anitque royal regalia including furniture and weapons.
Built by Portuguese In 1555 and presented it to King Veera Kerala Varma for establishing trading relations, The palace was used by the rulers of Kochi as their Royal House and important ceremonies related to the coronation were conducted there.
At the entry, you see two large palanquins, Today's generation get amazed to see such a transport.
The ceilings of various halls are decorated with wood carved floral designs including the design of an inverted lotus. Even brass cups are used to embellish the ceiling of the dining hall.
The walls of the palace interiors have intricate mythological mural paintings in rich warm colours. The breathtakingly beautiful mural paintings in the Royal Bed Chamber depict the entire story of Ramayana.
The murals that adorn the staircase walls are of Hindu gods and goddesses while the Royal Ladies room on the ground floor has paintings depicting the story of Kumarasambhavam by the great writer Kalidasa. There are five other panels in the room depicting Krishna Leela and Shiv Leela.
Other things on display in Dutch palace
The coronation hall houses life-size statues of the Kochi kings, in their coronation robes, who ruled from the year 1864. These portraits were made by local artists. Some of the robes and headgear shown in the portraits have been kept on display.
Apart from these, there are exhibits of Dutch maps of old Kochi, royal palanquins with floral designs, silver sequined gowns, royal umbrellas make of silk and brass, the ceremonial royal sword and other royal paraphernalia on display in different rooms of the palace. The weapons displayed include sheathed swords, daggers, spears and so on.
Day 2: Athirappilly Falls Tour Excursion
Day-2, we offer you a choice of Backwater Cruise or visit to Magestic Athirapilly Falls.
Athirappilly Falls Tour
Located just at 60 kms from Kochi, lies the place of magestic beauty of epic proportions - The Athirappilly Falls. This place is recently known for Bahubali movie shooting place, as well as Shahrukh khan starrer Ra one as well as Madra cafe. The Falls are Located on the west-flowing Chalakudy River near the Vazhachal Forest Division and the Sholayar ranges, this 24-metre (80 ft) waterfall is in close proximity to the road and is locally called “Charpa Falls”.
Viewing the Athirappilly Falls
There is Entrace Fee of Rs 30 for visiting Athirappilly Falls, There is a walk of approx 500 meters to reach the river bed. There is a top view of the falls from the sides, You will enjoy the wide flowing river, its clean waters and various rocks amidst the river, there are lots of monkeys around, so please be aware, as they may snatch your belongings.
The real feel of the Athirappilly Falls can not be enjoyed from the top, there is another passage to go to the bottom of the falls ( which closes at 05:00 PM).
we suggest you to take this route to visit the bottom of the falls, it is about 600 meters trek to the bottom, it is steep but worth the salt. Once you reach the bottom, instantly you admire the might Athirappilly, the thunder of the falling waters, the clouds of the mist, and magical environments. Looking at the mightly falls from below sets the rush of blood and instictively you want to near to the fall only to heighten your joys.
The misty coulds of vapours are so thick at the botrom that your camera will capture a faded image..
It is worth to trek to the bottom of the falls to enjoy it fully, once you are there, you lose the track of time, hours pass by as seconds, you are finally reminded by guards that it is a time to go.
Athirappilly Falls is the largest waterfall in Kerala and is nicknamed "The Niagara of India".At Athirappilly Falls, the water surges around big rocks and cascades down in three separate plumes. Below the falls, the river remains turbulent for about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) until it reaches Kannamkuzhi. Then it calms and flows smoothly until reaching the dam at Thumburmuzhi.
Day - 3 - Back water Tour in House Boat - Alappuzha with Night Stay
On day 3, we proceed to Alleppey for one day and night stay on Kerala Traditional House boat in Alleppey ( Alappuzha) with Night Stay
We start from Hotel at 09:00 AM after breakfast towards Alappuzha, which is 1.5 hours away. Along the way we see paddy fields and water ways. Our Destination is Alappuzha and objective is to enjoy the Day and night cruise on the Kerala Back waters.
Reach Alleppey and Step aboard in a luxury House Boat to enjoy the cruise. Alappuzha is also known as the Venice of the east, and we will cruise the Back waters to Lake Vembanad or the island villages of Kottayam.
Important Details of Kerala Back water Cruise
Back water cruise typically starts at 12:15 PM, and you are welcomed with a fresh juise on board. The Crew consists of 4 staff ( Pilot/Captain, Cook, Navigator and Helper), You will enjoy the 5 star hospitality in next 12 hours.
Details of House Boat for backwaters - in Kerala
A typical House boat consists of 2 or 3 air conditioned rooms with double bed, TV and Fridge, and Attached Bathroom with shower. There is a sitting area and open Deck just behind the pilot seat, followed by a kitchen in the back. There is ample space for a 4 or 8 member family to enjoy the tour.
Suggestion :- Book the Upper desk to fully enjoy the scenic route and privacy
Kerala back water Tour Itinerary
Tour Starts at 12:30 PM and boat cruises the back waters for approx one hour,
At 01:00 PM - Boat anchors for the lunch. Crew serves the best dishes including fish fry(Pearlspot fish). We had Rice, Dal, Aviyal, Thoran, Bitroot-curd Pachedi, Fish fry. and drinks ( soft drinks and Juices), You can carry your own alcoholic drinks.
At 2:30 PM cruise starts again and you cross the biggest lake, you will see lots of boats enroute, making the whole passage looks magical, on both sides of the canal, ususal village life of kerala goes on, you will see village people doing their daily chores.
At 04:00 PM, the boat anchors on an island, you have time now to get down the boat and play around with Kids. There is water on 3 sides and one side green paddy fields. You can have your drinks now and some snacks are served. Enjoy the beautiful sun-set with your drinks.
As sun sets, it is time for putting on mosquito repellents and switch on the All-out Mosquito repellents, so that you can sit longer at the deck.
At 07:00 PM, delicious dinner is serverd and you can enjoy the calmness of the environment and water waves as well as rocking boat.
You can be on deck as long as you want, but usually it is approx 9:30 PM is time to retire to your air condioned bed room.
Next Morning Freshly prepared breakfast is served and time to return back to base.
At 08:00 AM, it is time for return Journey It takes approx 1 hour to return to base.
At 09:00 AM, Driver is available at Jetty to take you back to thh Kochi Hotel
Other ACTIVITIES during back water cruise
Canoeing to the see the Village life
Get off the main house boat in the evening and Glide through the smaller back waters and see the centuries’ old traditions of Alleppey village life in this one hour wooden canoe excursion through backwater canals.
Watching the staff demonstrate traditional net fishing is a lovely experience. Trying your hand using a bamboo fishing rod during the evening halt only adds to the entertainment.
Tired of chess or backgammon? Try your hand at the Indian board game carom-our staff will teach you how!
A home theatre music system allows guests to enjoy a music-filled experience.
Guests are encouraged to partake in a sinuous walk through the village. Visits include famous temples, churches, and other historical places during the course of the cruise.
Day 4 : Kochi site seeing ( Optional Muslim Tour)
World's 2nd Oldest Mosque tour, India's First Mosque.
This mosque stands proud with two other landmarks of Kodungallur, also known as Muziris. The first is the Saint Thomas Church, also said to be among the first in India built by the Apostle himself around 52 AD. He had arrived here in India and the church has some holy relics from the olden days.
Proceed on the tour of the Cheraman Juma Masjid, Location On the Paravur - Kodungalloor Road, The Cheraman Masjid is the first mosque in India.
Since ancient times, trade relations between Arabia and India were active. Even before Islam had been established in Arabia, Arab traders visited the Malabar region, which was a major link, between the ports of India and Southeast Asia. With the advent of Islam, the Arab merchants became carriers of the new religion and they propagated it wherever they went. Cheraman Perumal, the Chera king, went to Arabia where he met the Prophet and embraced Islam and changed his name to Tajuddin.From there he had sent letters with Malik Ibn Dinar to his relatives in Kerala, asking them to be courteous to the latter.
In the 7th Century, a group of Arabs led by Malik Bin Deenar and Malik bin Habib arrived in north Kerala and constructed a Masjid at Kodungalloor, naming it after their contemporary Cheraman Perumal.
The mosque has an ancient oil lamp which always burns and which is believed to be more than a thousand years old. People of all religions bring oil for the lamp as offering. Like most mosques in Kerala, this mosque allows entry for Non-Muslims.The then president of India Abdul Kalam is among the notable visitors to this mosque.
It is also testimony to two facts. One, Islam came to India long before the Mughals came in from the northwest. Two, the entry of Islam was smooth and Muslims enjoyed the full patronage of the locals irrespective of their religions - a facet that is still visible and cherished here.
In fact, in a manifestation of India's cultural syncretism, many non-Muslims are its devotees and hold "Vidhyarambham", or the commencement of education ceremony for their children at this mosque. During Ramadan, iftaar offerings are often made by the non-Muslim communities in the area. There are several legends surrounding the Cheraman Jum'ah mosque.
History of Kochi
Kochi - the name
Like most cities in India, Kochi has a very long and illustrious history. But, the origin of the name is still shrouded in mystery. Many theories exist, but none are strong enough to be conclusive. Some historians believe that Kochi is a modified form of the word 'Cochazhi' which in Malayalam means 'small sea'. Others are of the opinion that 'Kochi' was named so by the Chinese. According to them, traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan, gave Kochi the name of their homeland. The peculiar Chinese fishing nets found here, the only place outside China where it has been spotted, can possibly be attributed to the heavy Chinese influence the city has had in the past. Still another theory is that Kochi is derived from the word 'Kaci' meaning 'harbour'.
Cochin/Kochi (Airport Code: COK) has a world-class modern international airport, located 30kms north-east of the city, with regular flights to major cities in India.
Cochin is also connected to Singapore, Colombo and all major cities in the middle-east (Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Jeddah, Muscat, and Riyadh) by direct international flights. Airlines operating from Cochin include Air Deccan, Air India, Air India Express, Air Sahara, Emirates, Go Air, Gulf Air, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Kuwait Airways, Mahan Air, Oman Air, Saudi Arabian Airlines, SilkAir, SriLankan Airlines, Air Asia and Qatar Airways, making it the fifth busiest airport in India. The International and Domestic terminals are located right next to each other.
The airport buildings have been built in traditional Kerala architectural style. It is the first Indian airport to be built using private investment. Cochin airport is expanding at a very fast pace. For regular flight arrivals and departures, follow the links below. The airport is also used extensively by cargo and chartered aircrafts. Prepaid taxis are available from the airport and can be booked from within the arrival hall.
Kochi (and Ernakulam) are connected to the rest of India by an extensive network of rails.There are three main railway stations in Cochin: Ernakulam Junction (main station), Ernakulam Town and Cochin Harbour Terminus. Many important trains start from here and many others from/to the south of kerala stop at these stations.
An extensive network of national/state highways and local roads link Kochi to rest of the country. Three important National Highways(NH) pass through/start from Kochi, apart from many state roads. NH 47 from Kanyakumari to Salem pass right through the heart of Kochi while NH 17 to Mumbai and NH 49 to Madurai (in Tamil Nadu) starts from Kochi. Private and public transport services are available to/from all major cities of South India from here. Long distance coach tickets to Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), Bangalore, Coimbatore, etc. can be purchased from private coach operators operating from Jos Junction in the heart of the city.
KSRTC enquiry: +91 484 2352033/2372033 - for state and inter-state public buses.
Kochi has a magnificent all weather natural port that is used regulary by large cargo ships. Regular boat service to places like Kottayam, Kumarakom and Alleppey are available through the scenic backwaters of Kerala. The outlying islands that make up Cochin, like Vypeen, Mattancherry, Bolghatty, etc are connected to the mainland by regular public and private boats plying from the main boat jetty off Park Avenue and from the boat jetty near the High Court. Many cruises ships also currently berth and the Ernakulam Wharf, which is part of the Cochin Port located on Willingdon island.
Getting around Cochin is quite straightforward. Cheap and affordable private buses (bright red) will take you to most parts of the city, but they may not necessarily stop near a location of interest. Tickets must be bought on board. Short distances can be covered in an autorickshaw. Taxis or prebooked taxis are generally recommended for longer trips.
Best Time to Visit: October to April
Kochi is a clean, green port city in Kerala, which stands dotted with a number of sites and monuments of historical significance. At the same time, it is also emerging as an important bustling trading centre. Keeping in mind the sound infrastructure this region provides tourists; you can plan a visit to Kochi absolutely anytime of the year. However, the peak season to travel Kochi is between October to April, when hot and dry climate prevails.
The daytime temperature would average around 32 degrees Celsius, whereas, the night's would be around 20 degrees Celsius. As Cochin is situated 10 degrees to the north of Equator, it experiences hot and humid climate throughout the year. The period between June and September invariably experiences heavy monsoon showers because of the southwest monsoon. The northwest monsoon causes drizzle during October to December. Thus, the best time to visit Kochi automatically between October to April.
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