Kochi alias The Queen of the Arabian Sea

Kochi, The Queen of the Arabian Sea and a leading Spice Trading Center is on the Western Coast of India in the ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala. This city is also known as Cochin.

Queen of Arabian Sea - Kochi
Chinese Fishing nets at Queen of Arabian Sea – Kochi – .

Cochin, the Queen of the Arabian Sea, is regarded as one of the best tourist destinations in India. It is also a major spice trading center from the 14th century onwards and is known for its mouth-watering spicy foods. Pandari’s Biriyani on the C P Ummer Rd, Ernakulam North, Pullepady is a good one for Biriyani lovers. Their phone number is +91-9895406422.

Fort Kochi is a tourist enclave. There are several historical monuments, which include the Jewish Synagogue (Paradesi Synagogue or Jewish Church), Mattancherry Palace, Dutch Palace, Museums, The Spice Market, Cochin Tirumala Devaswom Temple, Jain Temple, etc. These historical places attract a lot of tourists.

Chinese fishing nets, or ‘Cheena Vala’, as it is known locally, are another major tourist attraction. This is a system of fixed land fishing net installation.

Backwater tourism is a major attraction for tourists in and around Cochin. Aathirapally (The Niagara of India) is a nearby Kerala tourism destination.

Cochin is the commercial capital of the state of Kerala. Kochi was the first princely state of India, which willingly joined the Indian Union when India gained independence in 1947. Kochi is also called Ernakulam, which is the mainland part of the city.

Ernakulam has an International Cricket Stadium, Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, at Kaloor, Kochi. It is the second-largest cricket stadium in India with a seating capacity of 75,000 people, the largest being the one at Kolkotta, with one lack of seating capacity.

Wonderla, situated at Kakkanad, on the outskirts of Cochin, which was previously known as Veegaland, is one of the most popular theme parks in South India.

Museum of Kerala History at Edapally, Kochi

There is a history museum at Edapally near the National Highway by-pass road.  Its objective is to raise awareness about the rich cultural and historical heritage of Kerala.

Cochin Luxury Vessel Cruise Packages

Sagara Rani is a Luxury cruise vessel with a capacity to accommodate 100 persons. This vessel offers different Sea cruises at affordable rates. Individuals, as well as groups, can book the tickets for the cruise. Their group cruise packages are for a minimum of 50 persons.

Snacks, tea, water, etc, are provided free of cost. They play recorded songs (mostly old Malayalam film songs) on the deck. Tourists can also sing on their own. Dancing is also allowed.

This vessel is owned by Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation Ltd, a Kerala state government undertaking. They themselves operate the vessel and the cruise package tours.

Beaches, Palaces, and Synagogues at Kochi alias Cochin

Cherai Beach

Cherai Beach is on the Vypin Islands. Cherai Beach is one of the famous beaches near Kochi. It has a white and sandy beach ideal for taking a bath. You can swim here where the water is shallow. Chinese Fishing Nets or Cheena Vala can be seen here. It is the most sought-after beach in Kochi. Backwaters meet the Arabian Sea here.

There are a large number of resorts and hotels in Cherai Beach. Kadamakkudy Islands are 27 kilometers from Cherai Beach.

Fort Kochi Beach

Fort Kochi Beach is on the Fort Kochi. Fort Kochi derives its name from Fort Manuel of Cochin alias Fort Emmanuel, the first European fort on Indian soil. The Portuguese built it. Fort Kochi has a rich culture and heritage. It is one of the most visited places in Kochi. It was ranked ninth by the National Geographic’s best tourist destinations in 2020.

Chinese Fishing Nets or Cheena Vala is the main attraction here. There is a well-laid walkway on the beachfront.

Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, a major basilica in India, is situated here. The Portuguese built the original church, which was elevated to a cathedral, in 1558. It was proclaimed as a Basilica in 1984.

This beach lies 23 kilometers north of Cherai Beach.

Puthuvype Beach

It is one of the least crowded and scenic beaches in Kochi. It is located on the PuthuVypeen (meaning New Vypin). Local administration is trying to promote this beach as an alternative to Cherai Beach. A lighthouse is there, around half a kilometer from his beach. You can enter the lighthouse from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M.

There is a plan to set up an Oceanarium at PuthuVypeen. Though the project is over a decade old, it has not materialized.

Puthuvype Beach lies 19 kilometers south of Cherai Beach.

Kuzhupilly Beach

Kuzhupilly Beach is located on the Vypin Islands. It lies 4.5 kilometers south of Kuzhypilly Beach. Close to the beach, there are backwaters. Kite festivals are conducted here, occasionally.

Bolgatty Palace

Bolgatty Palace, a prominent tourist place is located 8 kilometers from Puthuvype Beach. It is one of the oldest Dutch palaces outside Holland, still intact. It was built in 1744. It is now a heritage hotel. It has got a 9-hole golf course.

Mattancherry Palace

Mattancherry Palace was built by the Portuguese in 1557. It was gifted to the then Kochi king, Raja Veera Kerala. The Dutch renovated it in 1663. It was built in the traditional Naluketty style of Kerala Architecture. The specialty of this style is the courtyard in the middle of the building.

It now houses a Museum. Murals, 3D paintings of the former maharajas of Kochi and their coronation robes. Dutch maps of old Kochi and royal palanquins are also on display.

Paradesi Synagogue Alias Cochin Jewish Synagogue or Mattancherry Synagogue

Paradesi Synagogue was constructed in 1568 A.D., by Portuguese-speaking Jews. It is the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth Countries. It is located at Mattancherry, which was a Jewish town.

Cochin Jewish Synagogue is the only functioning synagogue in Kochi. Those who wish to work at this Synagogues must enter barefoot. Entry tickets are a must to enter.

Mattancherry Synagogue is closed from Friday to Sunday and also on Jewish holidays.

Spice trade and curio shops are the other attractions close to this synagogue.

Other Synagogues in Mattancherry, Kochi

Kochangadi Synagogue was the first synagogue in Kochi and the oldest Synagogue in India. Kochangadi Synagogue was also known as Misro Synagogue. It was built by the oldest Jewish settlers in India, Malabar Jews, who fled from the present-day Kodungallur. It was constructed in 1344 A.D and collapsed in 1789 A.D. It was never rebuilt and does not exist now. It is located at Kochangadi, one kilometer away from the Mattancherry Place.

Kadavumbhagam Mattancherry Synagogue was the second Synagogue at Mattancherry. It was built in 1544 A.D. by the oldest Jewish settlers in India, Malabar Jews. After the entire Jews left Mattancherry in 1955, this Synagogue was neglected. It collapsed in 2019 due to heavy rains. Kerala Archaeology Department took possession of the monument. It is being restored as a heritage museum.

There were seven Synagogues in Cochin alias Kochi. All other Synagogues were damaged.

How Do I Go to Kochi alias Cochin or Ernakulam?

Cochin is well connected by air, road, and railway network (and by boat and ship services) to the rest of the world.

Cochin International Airport, Nedumbrassery, is the nearest airport, around one hour’s travel from Ernakulam city. Angamaly Railway Station, with station code AFK, is the nearest railway station to the Cochin International Airport, four kilometers away. Angamaly is about 55 kilometers from Kochi city.

Kochi Port connects Kochi to the outside world. Luxury cruise ships regularly visit this port at Cochin.

Public Transport Facilities Kochi

Road Transport and Bus Services at Kochi

Kochi is well connected by roads to the rest of the country. NH 17 (Panvel, New Mumbai to Kochi), NH 47 (Kanyakumari to Salem), and NH 49 Kochi to (Rameswaram via Dhanushkodi) are the three National Highways that connect Cochin to other parts of India.

A new bus terminus called Vytitila Mobility Hub offers convenient public transport bus facilities to other parts of the city and the state. Kochi Metro Railway and Kochi Water Metro are conveniently located at Vytilla Hub.

Old state government bus terminus, off M.G. Road and Chittor Road, near the Ambedkar stadium and on the side of the railway track between Ernakulam North and Ernakulam South railway stations, is also available. There is also a small bus station at the Boat Jetty on the seafront.

Kaloor Private Bus Station is used mainly by the private buses operating in Kochi city.

Major Railway Stations at Kochi

Ernakulam South, alias Ernakulam Junction, with station code ERS, is a central railway terminus with trains to most parts of India. Ernakulam North railway station, alias Ernakulam Town station, with station code ERN, is another station around 2 km from the Ernakulam Junction, where almost all trains stop.

Boat Services at Kochi

There are regular boat services from the Boat Jetty to different parts of Kochi. The state government operates these. Tourists can use the boat services to enjoy the beauty of the sea and backwaters at a nominal cost.

Kochi to Alappuzha boat services are not available, even though there is a strong demand for this from tourists.


India’s first solar cruise, Indra, is expected to operate by the end of December 2023. It’s a French-made, airconditioned Fiber Catamaran. The charges are Rs 300 for a 3.5-hour cruise. It can accommodate 100 persons. This Catamaran has a length of 22 meters and a width of 8 meters. Parties can be arranged at the upper deck.

The first trip will be from 10.30 am to 2.00 pm. The second trip will be from 3.30 pm to 7 pm.

Boarding is at Ernakulam boat jetty. It covers Vypin, Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, Kamalakadavu, Vallarpadam, etc. Kerala State Water Transport Department is operating this cruise package. They have two other cruise packages: Sea Ashtamudi at Kollam backwaters (Rs 400 for the lower deck and Rs 550 for the upper deck) and Vega at Allapuzha (one way AC fare is Rs 300 and both ways it is Rs 600. Non-ac charges are Rs 200 and Rs 400 for one way and both ways, respectively)

Kochi Water Metro

Kochi became India’s first city to have a Water Metro Project in 2021. More than 75 E-boats are planned as per the project. Battery-powered boats numbering 23 are being constructed at the Cochin Shipyard Limited as part of this and the remaining ones from outside. These boats are being inducted into the fleet on its 15 routes covering 78 kilometers. The Kochi Water Metro connects ten islands. 38 jetties are there in the water metro at Kochi. Water Metro plans to integrate the public transport system of the city with itself.

Kochi Metro Railway

Kochi and its suburbs are excited after the inauguration of a section of the Kochi metro railway network line from Aluva to Palarivattom in June 2017. The first phase of the Kochi metro line will connect Aluva to Tripunithura Terminus.

Palarivattom to M.G. road section (up to Maharaja’s College Stadium) was opened in September 2017. Maharaja’s College Stadium to Thaikoodam section was opened on 3 September 2019. It was then extended up to SN Junction Metro Station. The major stations in the first phase are Ambattukavu, Kalamassery, Cochin University, Edapally, Palarivattom, JLN Stadium, Kaloor, Town Hall, M.G. Road, Ernakulam South, Kadavanthra, and Vytila. Vyttila Mobility Hub is in the Vytila metro station, with long-distance and local buses, metro, and inland water connectivity.

Work is going in the remaining section of the first phase to connect to the last station on this line: Tripunithura Terminal Metro Station.

Check this link to know the the ticket fare of Kochi Metro.

Cochin is the first Tier-II city in India to go for a metro railway network.

Work for the Second Phase, from JLN Stadium to Infopark-Kakkanad, known as the Pink Line, is undertaken in other parts of the city. Kakkanad is the administrative headquarters of Ernakulam District. Kochi Info Park is the second-largest IT park in Kerala, at Kakkanad.

Where Can I Stay at Kochi?

Taj Malabar (Vivanta by Taj), is an Upper Upscale Brand, a 5-star rated hotel from the Taj group of hotels. Le Méridien Kochi, at Maradu (near Vytilla junction), is another 5-star hotel on the highway.

The Malabar House at Mattancherry, The Renai Cochin, The Gateway Hotel in Marine Drive, Dream Cochin, Beaumonde The Fern, Holiday Inn Kochi, Trident Cochin, Crown Plaza on the NH bye pass road, Abad Plaza on M.G. Road (next to Kavitha theatre), Abad Atrium, The Wyte Fort at Vytilla, etc, are some of the other luxury hotels in Cochin. Ramada Resort Cochin is a good resort on the Vembanad backwater lakeside.

Where Can I Go for a Movie in Kochi City?

Cinemax runs a 4-screen multiplex theater at Oberon Mall, Edapally. Another good theatre where the latest movies are screened is the Q Cinemas, Gold Souk, Bye-pass Road, Vytilla, and Kochi.

Kavitha Theater, M.G. Road, Cochin, the largest single-screen theatre in Cochin with around 1000 seat capacity, is also a good option for cine-goers in Cochin city. Saritha Theater, Savitha Theater, and Sangeetha Theater is a leading theatre complex at the heart of the city in Banerji Road, Ernakulam, Cochin.

Shenoys Theater complex is another good theatre complex in the city’s heart, at M.G. Road, Ernakulam. Padma Theater is also a good theatre in the heart of the city.

Hotel and Theaters in Lulu Mall at Kochi

The new Lulu Mall hypermarket is at the Edapally Junction. Lulu Mall at Cochin is the second largest mall in India after the Phoenix Market City in Mumbai.

JM Marriott Hotel inside the Lulu Mall has 300 rooms spread over a 20-story building inside the Lulu Mall premises.

There is a nine-screen PVR Cinemas inside the Lulu Mall Hypermarket complex.


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