Once upon a time, it was a witness of a number of changing colonial empires. Now it’s a witness of millions of tourists across the globe. For merchants, for newlyweds, for families and for college buddies, Kochi has something for all. Popularly called as the ‘Queen of Arabian Sea’, the city is a part of Ernakulum district in Kerala bordered by Arabian Sea and Laccadive Sea. Not just colonial but the city holds good in historical and cultural significance as well.
Though, there isn’t any place not worth a visit here, following list best summarizes the topmost holiday spots for marking in your itinerary. Read on.
1. Mattancherry Palace
In 1555, the Palace was gifted to the Raja of Cochin by Portuguese. Today in 21st century too, the palace still holds mucho gifts but for your eyes viz. Tempera style murals, King’s Palliyara, mythological paintings and more. Built in Nalukettu, the traditional Kerala construction style, the palace features a quadrangular building with a courtyard at the centre that holds up a small temple dedicated to Pazhayannur Bhagavati, the protective Goddess of Kochi Royal Family. And don’t forget to carry a memento back home from Mattencherry Jetty at the backside.
2. Fort Kochi
Of Portuguese, Dutch and British, the fort is a storyline marked by the three Colonial empires that once ruled the city before Independence. Also, known as Old Kochi, Fort Kochi lies in the south-western part of the mainland city with two of its corners surrounding Arabian Sea. In addition to the three colonial eras, the region also exhibits Chinese influence reflected in the famous Chinese Fishing Nets at the waterfront.
3. LuLu International Shopping Mall
No holiday is complete without a little (or big) shopping, not at all if you are at the largest shopping mall of the country, LuLu Mall. Accommodating fashion, food and fun in a 2.5 million square feet area spread across Edappally Junction, LuLu is one stop destination for shoppers and tourists alike. And if you’re ready to dig deeper into your pockets, the Marriott Hotel adjacent to LuLu offers a scintillating view from its suite window.
4. Hill Palace
Of course, while on a trip in Kochi, who would want to miss out the sight of 18th century residence of late Maharaja of Kochi. Though now an archaeological site, the place still holds the same old royal charm bestowed by the Maharaja and his Queen. The Hill Palace spans 49 buildings including an archaeological museum, a heritage museum, a deer park, pre-historic park and a children’s park.
5. Cherai Beach
Endless stretches of Arabian Sea backwaters, silent hum of the waves and occasional splashing of fishing nets by fishermen; this is probably more than what you need for a relaxing sunbath. The minimally crowded getaway features Cheena Veela fishing nets, thickly dotted coconut trees and clean golden sands. Located 30 kilometres away from the Cochin International Airport in Vypin Island, Cherai Beach calls for some lightsome moments with your better half.
6. Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple
Many tales prevail in the Kerala culture which talk about the origin of this temple. Which one’s true, nobody knows. However, the main thing here that attracts millions of tourists every year is the threefold worship of Hindu Goddess Bhagavathy – as Saraswati, Durga and Lakshmi. The site remains one of the rare depictions of ancient Vishwakarma wooden sculptures.
7. Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica
Santa Cruz Basilica is a place where devotion meets historical art. Being one of the finest basilicas in India, the church houses grandeur of Italian art painted in brushstrokes of gothic colours. The church was originally built by Portuguese and revamped by Dutch & British giving it a unique cultural touch.
The seven places listed offer a great combination of devotion, art exploration, awe striking historical tales and moments of solitude. All in all, Kochi makes up an all-in-one stop destination for your spiritual, romantic or vacation travels. Do plan a trip!