11 Most Surreal Places to Visit in Kochi You Shouldn’t Miss
Kochi, formerly known as Cochin, is a vibrant cosmopolitan and a prime tourist destination in India. Kochi is Situated on the coasts of Kerala, this bustling port-side city is the financial capital of the state. Also famously known as the Queen of Arabian Sea, the city boasts of picturesque backwaters made up of lagoons and lakes, including Lake Vembanad, the longest lake in India. In a history steeped in tradition with a perfect mix if Portuguese, Dutch, British and Indian culture; Kochi houses a number of beautiful churches, forts, museums and many other tourist places to visit in Kochi.
A list of the best Tourist attractions of Kochi:
1. St. Francis Church:
St. Francis Church is known as one of the oldest European churches in India, it was built in 1503 by Portuguese traders. It is a famous landmark and holds regular worship services on Sundays. It also has a large cemetery as well a war memorial in honour of the soldiers of World War-I. The church is especially famous as the burial place of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. Although his remains were later moved to Lisbon, his tombstone is still present within the church.
2. Indo-Portuguese Museum:
This museum is located in Fort Kochi, within the compound of the Bishop’s House. It was built with the main aim to exhibit the rise and fall of the Portuguese civilization in Kochi. Through its extensive and beautiful collections, divided into 5 categories: Altar, Treasure, Procession, Civil Life and Cathedral, the museum showcases the artistic and architectural influence of the Portuguese on the overall culture of Kochi.
3. Mattancherry Palace:
An example of ancient Portuguese architecture, this palace built by them in 1545 and presented to the king of Kochi, Veera Kerala Varma. On its courtyards stand temples of Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva as well as a shrine to the guardian deity of the royal family. The palace is also called as the ‘Dutch Palace’ owing to the major renovations in structure carried out by the Dutch in later periods. Presently, the palace houses a museum displaying murals, life sized portraits of Kochi kings and various other impressive artefacts.
4. Marine Drive:
This is a scenic front built along the backwaters of Kochi, and in contrast to its name, is off limits to all vehicles. The entire stretch is made up of a long walkway and the Rainbow Bridge and the Chinese Fishing Net Bridge. It is lined with a number of shopping centres and food joints, making it a very popular retreat to catch the sunset with friends.
5. Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica:
It is one of only eight basilicas in India. It was built in 1505 by Francesco de Almeida, the first Portuguese viceroy. The grandiose of the basilica lies in its majestic structure which is a combination of European and Gothic style of architecture.
6. Kathakali Centre:
It is a theatre for performing arts established in 1994. The centre provides training in the art form of Kathakali, a classical Indian dance-drama. It also organizes regular performance of Kathakali, classical dance, martial arts and traditional music.
7. Jewish Synagogue:
Popularly known as the Paradesi Synagogue, this has been declared as the oldest Synagogue amongst all the Commonwealth Nations. It is a cultural heritage site and the only active and functioning Synagogue in all of Kochi.
8. Willingdon Island:
Named after Lord Willingdon, an erstwhile Viceroy of India, Willingdon Island is the largest manmade island in India. It houses the Port of Kochi as well as the Indian Navy’s Kochi naval base. The island is the centre of activity with its huge array of offices, organizations, hotels and shops. It is connected to the mainland by road as well as railway.
Located 50kms away from the main city of Kochi, Bhoothathankettu is a dam site and a very popular picnic place. It is situated inside a forest and has boating facilities and a children’s park. The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary also lies in close vicinity of the dam.
It is a small village situated near Kochi. It is famous for being the birth place of renowned Indian Philosopher, Sri Adi Sankaracharya. There are temples dedicated to Sankaracharya, Lord Krishna and Goddess Sharda, making it a popular pilgrim centre.
11. Chottanikkara Temple:
Located about 15kms outside Kochi city, the Chottanikkara Temple is a famous and ancient tourist place of worship. It has two main temples, the Chottanikkara temple housing Goddess Bhagwathy; and the Keezhkavu temple housing Goddess Bhadrakali, along with a number of smaller temples. The temples attract a vast number of devotees and are a well-loved tourist destination.
The city of Kochi is blessed with the rare combination of modern infrastructure as well as a rich colonial heritage. The city has deep roots in history which is evident in all of its grand old buildings. From its churches to its temples, from its forests to its backwaters, Kochi seems to have something for everyone, making it a true vacation paradise. Do you want to visit these places in Kochi, Kerala? Contact us here to book your Kerala tour package at best prices.