Sights of Cochin - Kochi

Sights of Cochin - Kochi

Cochin (Kochi) is a cosmopolitan city in Kerala with a bustling commercial port.

- Hill Palace Museum - The erstwhile Cochin Raja's palace, now converted to a museum along with a small zoo, is 12 Km south-east of Ernakulam at Tripunithura. Has paintings and epigraphy from the collections of the Travancore & Cochin royal families.

- Museum of Kerala History - at Edappally, 10km. north of the city

- Pareekshith Thampuran Museum contains oil paintings, old coins, sculptures and Mughal paintings, and models of interesting temples and traditional Kerala buildings.

- Fort Kochi

- Mattancherry - There is a beautiful Jain temple here. It is great to visit at about 12:15hrs when the pigeons are feed by Jain mandir people, which they have been doing for the past 17 years. A huge number of pigeons first take three circles of the temple and listen to mantra before eating.

- Willingdon Island - An large artificial island made out of sand dredged from the backwaters to deepen the Kochi Port.

- Vypeen and Gundu Islands - The Island boasts a lighthouse at Ochenthuruthu, beaches and the early 16th century

- Bolgatty - built in 1744 as Dutch Palace; one of the KTDC Hotels with green lawns and Golf Course.

- Chinese fishing Nets - at Fort Kochi.

- Dutch Palace - constructed by the Portuguese in 1568 for Maharaja of Kochi Veera Kerala Varma. Later rebuilt by the Dutch.

- St. Francis Church, Fort Kochi - constructed by the Portuguese[1503]. Vasco da Gama was buried here [1524] and later his remains were transferred to Lisbon, Portugal. His tombstone can be seen inside the church.

- Jew Street and Synagogue - at Mattancherry, the synagogue was constructed in 1568 and rebuilt in 1662.

- Santacruz Cathedral- at Fort Kochi

- Art Complex - Madhavan Nayar Foundation - Gallery of Paintings and Sculptures at Edappally, 10 km. north of city. (There is the Kerala History Museum, history students take note!)

- Thrikkakara Temple - at Thrikkakara, is a temple devoted to the Hindu deity Vamana. Thrikkakara temple is a major centre for celebration of the festival Onam, that is celebrated in great pomp and colour throughout Kerala. Get here during Onam time and you can catch the famous 10-day festival at the temple, peppered with performances of Kerala's traditional arts and ending with a Onam feast on the last day.

- Thirumala Devaswom Temple - at Mattancherry. A temple built by the Gowda Sarawatha Brahmins, Lord Venkateswara the main deity, famous for second-largest brass bell in Asia. The North Gopuram is fully roofed with copper.

- Ernakulam Siva Temple - situated at the centre of the town, near the Durbar Hall Ground.

- Durbar Hall Ground - venue of many fairs during festivals

- Kalady - Birth place of Sri Shankaracharya (Adi Shankara) [786-820], the great Indian philosopher and founder of the Advaita philosophy. Shrines of Shankaracharya here are open to all pilgrims, irrespective of religion or caste. 48km north of the city.

- Kanjiramattam Mosque - Muslim pilgrim center, venue of Kudikkuthu Festival, 30km east of the city

- Chendamangalam - Historically the seat of Paliath Achan, the Prime Minister of Kochi Kingdom, old Oriental Jewish synagogue and colony. Now a centre for handloom weaving and coir manufacturing, view of annual fair "Mattachanda" (Barter Systems). It is 42km north-west of city near North Paravur .

- Pallipuram Fort - built by the Portuguese in 1503, one of the oldest existing European monuments in India. Situated in Vypeen island at Pallipuram.

- Aluva - called "Alwaye" till a few years ago, town on the way from the international airport to Kochi, has some places of interest - Sree Narayana Guru's Advaita Ashram and the erstwhile Travancore king's palace.

- Aluva Manalpuram - is famous for the Shivarathri festival on the sandy banks of the Periyar river. A Siva temple is located along the banks too.

- Malayattoor Mount - A Christian pilgrimage centre, supposed to be a place visited by St. Thomas. (St. Thomas visited Kerala in AD 52. Don't forget Christianity reached India much before it reached Europe!)

- Cherai Beach - near North Paravur is a new-generation tourist hot-spot with golden beaches (with big sand grains, like those of river sand used in construction, probably deposited by the Periyar river at some point in time), coconut palm corridors, backwaters, and historical monuments. You can reach Cherai Beach by bus, auto rickshaw, etc., from Ernakulam town though bus is a lot cheaper. Frequent buses are available from High Court that go through Goshree bridges and Vypeen Island.

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