Formerly known as Cochin, Kochi is a major port city and is part of the district of Ernakulam in Kerala. The city has a very colorful and illustrious history. It served as an important trading center in the ancient times. Its geographic location has long been attracting travelers & traders and has slowly gained the reputation of being a significant spice-trading center and has witnessed successive waves of migration by the Arabs, British, Portuguese, British, etc. who came in mainly for the purpose of trade. Today, Kochi stands as the most important city in Kerala.
After having visited all the important ancient palaces, temples and churches within the city, you will be tempted to choose from the many other places to visit in and around Kochi. Some of these are:
- Bhoothathankettu, located about 50 km away from Ernakulam, is set amidst lush greenery and the swiftly flowing Periyar River.
- Renowned for its splendor, Cheeyappara Waterfalls is located between Neriamangalam and Adimali.
- The little town of Chendamangalam is sure to amaze you with its three rivers, hillocks and green pastures. The magnificent Paliam Palace is found here.
- Some of the other nearby places that must be explored are: Mangalavanam-a popular bird sanctuary and Malayattoor-one of the most important places of pilgrimage for the Christians.
The port city of Cochin offers an impressive variety of mouth-watering vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, distinct in their taste and flavor. Coconut based seafood delights like ‘Meen vevichathu’ and a host of dishes made of chicken, lamb and fish, will leave you asking for more! Some of the popular food joints are: Sri Krishna Café- for its amazing Stuffed Parantha (vegetable stuffed bread) &Vegetable Masala Dosa (stuffed fermented crepe), Arya Bhavan- for all kinds of basic local cuisine and Palms Restaurant (Metropolitan) for authentic and sumptuous local cuisine. The others worth a mention are Salt N Pepper, Solar Café, Fort House Restaurant and Kashi Art Café.
An important center for both trade and tourism in Kerala, Cochin, now called Kochi, is well connected by air, rail and road, making it easy for the domestic and international tourist to reach this exotic port city. Flights operate from the International Airport located at Nedumbassery, connecting the city with the other major cities not only within India, but also across the entire globe. Excellent road connectivity with Bangalore, Coimbatore, Goa, Chennai, Mysore and Ooty, make it a much sought after tourist destinations. However, if you wish to tour at a leisurely pace and experience the real flavor of India, then traveling by train is the best option for you!
There is a lot to do in Cochin beyond a visit to the popular tourist destinations. You may swim at the Cherai beach, visit the museums and art galleries, shop for clothes, curios and handicraft, relax with an Ayurvedic massage, and take a boat-ride along the backwaters and much more.