Posted 01 September 2022
Seven best reasons to visit Kochi, Queen of the Arabian Sea
Also referred to as Cochin, Kochi is an enchanting city situated on the southwest coast of India in the state of Kerala. Popularly known as ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, it is a flourishing port city showcasing a rich blend of mesmerising natural beauty and vibrant culture. Serving as Kerala’s commercial, industrial and financial capital, it is the crowning jewel of the state’s tourism landscape. Featuring gorgeous beaches, a far-reaching shoreline and breathtaking backwaters, Kochi is a paradise for nature lovers.
With its expansive tea plantations, numerous spice estates, lush greenery, striking architecture and ancient temples, it serves as an exceptional holiday destination for travellers with diverse tastes and interests. Flaunting a fascinating history that dates back to hundreds of years, it still bears the influence of Greek, Portuguese, Arabic, Roman and Jewish settlements. With a rich history and age-old traditions intricately woven together with modernization and urban lifestyle, Kochi is an incredible place to visit for plenty of reasons.
So, here is a list of the top 7 reasons to explore the beautiful city of Kochi:
1. Unparalleled beach paradise
If you are a beach lover or just someone who can spend days relaxing amidst the beauty of Mother Nature, there is no dearth of stunning beaches in Kochi. Whether you prefer visiting beaches bustling with tourists or ones radiating peace and serenity, you can definitely find somewhere to enjoy your visit to the city.
Some of the most popular beaches in the city include:
- Cherai Beach: This tranquil beach features towering coconut trees, golden sand, awesome beach shacks and loads of seashells. Away from the noise of the city's hustle and bustle, you can visit Cherai Beach anytime during the day or night.
- Veeranpuzha Beach: With lush green vegetation, sandy shoreline and quaint fisherman settlements, this gorgeous beach is the perfect place to enjoy some peace and quiet while enjoying magical views.
- Munambam Beach: With its long seashore and awe-inspiring views, Munambam Beach is situated in the vicinity of Munambam Fishing Harbour. It is one of the best places in Kochi for those who wish to enjoy kite-flying and other fun activities.
- Fort Kochi Beach: Radiating charm and tranquillity, Fort Kochi beach is an excellent spot to enjoy birdwatching and sunbathing while taking in some glorious views.
Other beaches that you can explore in Kochi include Kuzhupilly Beach, Puthenthode Beach, Puthuvype Beach and Andhakaranazhi Beach.
2. Treasure trove of religious sites
Kochi is home to loads of revered and popular religious sites for those who want to satisfy their religious appetite. It houses everything from numerous beautiful temples to holy mosques and ancient churches. Some of the must-visit religious sites in the city include:
- Santa Cruz Basilican: Counted amongst the oldest churches in Kerala, Santa Cruz Basilican is the Cathedral church of the Diocese of Cochin. Known for being one of the state’s heritage sites, it features an exquisite Gothic pattern of architecture and houses magnificent historical paintings.
- Gowreeswara Temple Cherai: Locally referred to as Muruga Temple and Malyala Palani, this revered Hindu temple is primarily dedicated to Lord Subrahmanyan. Featuring striking Dravidian architectural style, it hosts the annual caparisoned elephant march.
- Ernakulam Mahadeva Temple: Situated in the heart of the city, this ancient Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Built from metal, wood and stone in a typical Kerala architectural style, it has beautifully designed interiors and a serene atmosphere.
- Paradesi Synagogue: Built in 1568, this Jewish synagogue is one of the oldest synagogues in all the commonwealth countries. Located in Kochi’s Jew Town area, it is home to some very rare and valuable antiques like silver and gold crowns, century-old copper plates, a clock tower and Belgian glass chandeliers.
St Francis Church, Shiva Temple, Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple and Thrikkakara Temple are some other religious sites worth visiting while in Kochi.
3. An abundance of cultural attractions
Ranging from its charming traditions and delicious cuisine to awe-striking dance forms and soul-stirring art, Kochi has a rich and vibrant culture that can amaze travellers from all around the world.
To discover the city’s colourful culture in all its glory, you can pay a visit to some of its best cultural attractions such as:
- Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum: Inaugurated in 2009, this charming three storeyed building represents the authentic legacy of Kochi and all of Kerala. Flaunting a remarkable Malabar architectural style, it houses an extensive collection of the state’s folk-tribal objects and cultural exhibits like sculptures, musical instruments, costumes, ornaments and utensils.
- Kathakali Centre: This theatre conducts regular Kathakali dance performances. Kathakali is a classical dance form originating from Kerala. Donned in unique costumes and colourful makeup, dancers beautifully depict stories from Mahabharata and Ramayana through these inspiring performances.
- Greenix Village: Serving as a must-visit attraction for art lovers, it exhibits a variety of cultural performances including Kathakali, local dances of Mohiniattam and ancient martial arts. It is also home to a quaint chocolate factory, making it a haven for those with a sweet
- Chinese Fishing Nets: Locally referred to as Cheena Wala, this place clearly portrays the Chinese influence on the city’s modern culture. It is a great example of the fishing style introduced by Chinese traders in the 14th
4. Dynamic shopping destination
Kochi is nothing if not a shoppers’ paradise. No matter what you want to buy, there is certainly a place in Kochi to meet all your shopping needs. From bustling markets to high-end shopping malls, you can get it all here. So, whether you want to indulge in some retail therapy to pass some time or wish to buy souvenirs for loved ones back home, don’t miss out on the following shopping destinations.
- Lulu Mall Kochi- Known for being one of India’s largest shopping malls, it serves as a one-stop destination for all your shopping, entertainment and dining needs. It is home to several international brands, luxury boutiques and amazing food outlets.
- MG Road- If you are a fan of street shopping, MG road is one of the city’s best shopping spots for you. Lined with vibrant shops and stalls of all sizes, it offers everything from clothes and accessories to household items, spices and handicrafts.
- Marine Drive- Marine Drive is another great spot for street shoppers. You can visit Bay Pride and GCD Complex to check out a wide collection of clothes, electronics and perfumes. You can also explore the Flea Market to buy casual clothes at stunningly cheap prices.
- Centre Square Mall- Listed amongst the city’s most popular shopping malls, it is home to several elite brands such as Vero Moda, Nike, Park Avenue and Arrow. It also houses numerous eateries that serve a wide range of cuisines.
5. Lip-smacking cuisine
When it comes to food, nothing can compete with Kochi's local cuisine. Serving as a paradise for foodies, the city offers an unforgettable culinary experience to all those who visit. With the use of flavourful spices and traditional cooking techniques, food in Kochi is one of the primary highlights of the city's tourism landscape. So, here are some of the must-try local dishes you should remember.
- Puttu Kadala: Puttu is prepared with ground rice and coconut shavings. It is served with delicious Kadala curry, which is made by cooking black chickpeas in roasted coconut gravy.
- Kappa Goti: A particular favourite amongst non-vegetarians, it is a delightful combination of Boti (goat’s gizzards) and Kappa (mashed tapioca).
- Appam and Stew: This delightful combination of Appam and Stew is a household staple in Kochi as well as the rest of Kerala. The Stew has both vegetarian and non-vegetarian variations and is cooked in rich coconut milk.
- Pazham Pori: This mouthwatering local snack is made by coating ripe bananas with a combination of wheat flour and authentic local spices before deep-frying it.
Some of the other delectable local delicacies include Kallummakaya, Karimeen Pollichathu, Sadya, Puttu Kadala, Thattu Dosa, Ellum Kappayum, Meen Molagita Curry and Erachi Pidi.
6. Hub of fun and exciting activities
There is no shortage of interesting and enjoyable things to do in the city of Kochi. Regardless of where your interests lie, you will certainly find a great way to spend your time in the city. So, here are some of the best things to do during your visit to Kochi.
- Play with elephants- You can visit the remarkable elephant training centre in Kochi’s Ernakulam district. You can spend an unforgettable day playing with adult and baby elephants.
- Rejuvenate your senses at fort ayurveda spa- Enjoy therapeutic massages and treatments at the city’s renowned Fort Ayurveda Spa for an utterly relaxing and refreshing experience.
- Enjoy bird watching- If you enjoy peaceful and fascinating activities like birdwatching, pay a visit to Kochi’s Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. It houses a wide range of species of birds and offers picturesque views.
- Go snorkelling- If you are an adventure enthusiast, you cannot end your trip without going snorkelling at Thiruvankulam. You can witness the region’s vibrant marine life while experiencing the thrill of an exciting water sport.
7. Loads of historical marvels
If you are a history buff or love to learn about a place’s ancestry and roots, there are a number of amazing historical places you can visit in Kochi. Some of the best places you can explore to quench your thirst for knowledge include:
- Mattancherry Palace: Counted amongst the city’s most prominent historical marvels, this beautiful piece of architecture was built by the Portuguese in 1555 as a gift for the Raja of Kochi, Verra Kerala Varma. It features many Kerala murals displaying the portraits and exhibits of Rajas of Kochi.
- Indo-Portuguese Museum: Situated in the garden of Bishop’s House, this amazing museum preserves the legacy and classical heritage of one of India’s earliest Catholic communities. It showcases historical artefacts like silver processional crosses, altarpieces from the Cochin diocese and vestments.
- Fort Kochi: Listed amongst the major historical monuments in the region, this ancient fort clearly reflects the influence of English, Dutch and Portuguese cultures through its mesmerising architecture. Exploring this fort can offer deep insights into its fascinating history.
- Pallipuram Fort: Renowned for being the oldest European monument in the country, this fort was built in 1503 and features a unique hexagonal outpost made out of laterite, mortar and wood.
How to reach Kochi?
- By air: Kochi International Airport conveniently connects Kochi with numerous other cities in India as well as the rest of the world. IndiGo offers a number of non-stop and connecting flights to Kochi and several other domestic and international cities. You can visit IndiGo official website to check out further details about the flight schedule and fares.
- By train: Ernakulam Junction railway station is the primary railway station serving the city of Kochi. The city is well-connected with the rest of the country via regular trains.
- By road: Kochi has a well-maintained network of highways that conveniently connects it with several nearby cities. You can easily travel to Kochi via bus or car.
Weather in Kochi
During winters, Kochi experiences mild temperatures ranging from 17°C to 33°C. The summer season, falling from March to June, can become uncomfortably hot with temperatures ranging between 20°C and 37°C. The city witnesses heavy rains during the monsoons, which typically last from July to September.
Best time to visit Kochi
The winter season, falling from October to February, is the most favourable time to plan a trip to Kochi as the weather conditions are quite pleasant during these months, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable sightseeing experience.
Kochi is one of the best holiday destinations in India, welcoming tourists all year round. Whether you are a nature lover, an adventure enthusiast or a history buff, the city has something for everyone. So, pack your bags, book an IndiGo flight and get ready to explore the magical land of Kochi.
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