Indian Cities

Activities in Cochin - Tourist Places

Queen of Arabian Sea

Kochi (also known by its colonial name, Cochin) is a vibrant city which has been the major port of Kerala for over 500 years. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Over the years, Cochin has emerged as the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala and is perhaps the second most important city on the west coast of India (after Mumbai/Bombay).

Cochin is proud of its world class port and international airport that link it to many major cities worldwide. Of most interest for visitors to the city is the historic area universally known as Fort Cochin- the name has stuck despite the last vestiges of the Fort having disappeared long ago. The city of Cochin is situated across a number of large islands which flank the vast natural harbour- Fort Cochin is situated at the northern end of one of these islands and many cochin tourist places around the Fort area have excellent sea and harbour views.

Each of the major trading and conquering groups which had involvement with the Cochin region during the last millennium has left a mark here and the iconic remnants of each are among most famous Cochin tourist places. The Chinese came first and brought with them fishing nets of a type which are very common in parts of eastern Asia but in India are found only around Cochin. Watching the teams of fishermen at work as they haul the nets (hopefully teeming with fish) out of the waters is a popular pastime along the waterfront in the centre of Fort Cochin.

Of all the European powers which brought their influence to bear in Cochin, it is perhaps the Dutch who left the most obvious and long-lasting impression, with many of the most impressive colonial period buildings dating to their occupancy of the area. Chief among these is the Mattancherry Palace - universally known as the Dutch Palace. This impressive building (with its totally unrepresentative entry charge of 2 rupees- about 5 US cents) houses many paintings of the rulers of Cochin as well as being an impressive reliquary for mural paintings dating back hundreds of years which depict scenes from the great Hindu epics the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Mattancherry Palace is known as one of the famous tourist places in Cochin.

The Portuguese influence on Fort Cochin can be witnessed in the form of several grand Catholic churches, most notably St Francis Church where the explorer Vasco de Gama was originally buried. More surprises await in the Jewtown, an area of narrow lanes and tiny shops which leads to India’s oldest synagogue. Although the Jewish community of Cochin is now very small, the synagogue is still beautifully maintained. The shopping area around Jewtown is packed with fascinating antique and curio shops (as well as excellent book stores) and it is easy to ‘lose’ half a day here without really trying. There are so many famous places to visit in Cochin like Dutch Palace, Pardesi Synagogue, Folklore Museum, Cochin Sunset Cruise and so on during your trip.

Tags : Activities in Cochin, Cochin Tourist Places, Cochin Travel, Tourist Places in Cochin

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