Formerly known as Cochin, Kochi is home to beautiful landscapes, temples, beaches and monuments. If you're visiting Kochi for the first time, choose months from October to March; the weather is pleasant at that time. To get there, you can either drive, hop onto a train, board a flight or travel by bus. If you land up taking a train, please remember that Ernakulam Junction (South station) and Ernakulam Town (North Station) are the two main railway stations. While Ernakulam Junction connects the city to different parts of the country, Ernakulam Town does inter-city trains. The only con with the latter is that it connects to a few states in India as compared to the South Station. Also, you'd be delighted to know that Kochin has its own international airport. However, it's about 29 km from the city. Go Air, Spicejet, Indigo--all fly to Kochi. Whichever mode of transport you choose, Kochi is worth the trip!
Here are 10 things to do in Kochi if you're visiting for the first time. The unique landscapes, beaches, culture, temples, lifestyle, and cuisine make Kochi the most desirable place in India.
I'm not a huge fan of elephant rides, but I like to admire these majestic animals from afar. Located on the banks of Periyar River in Kodanad, this elephant sanctuary is open to the people from 8 am to 5 pm. However, it's best to reach there early to watch these majestic animals make their way to the river for a bath. Earlier, you could bathe and ride an elephant, but the Forest Department has put an end to those activities today. Also, it's open on all days except Monday. I've mentioned the entry fee below:
Address: Vallom Panamkuzhi Road, Malayattoor PO, Kaprikad, Kerala 683544
You HAVE to go here! Legend has it, these very nets were brought from the royal courts of the Chinese Emperor, Kublai Khan. The 'Cheena Vala' was later introduced to the locals of Kochi by a Chinese explorer named, Zheng He. They're said to be 500 years old and poles are made from bamboo and teak. Do you know what's cool? You can buy fresh fish from the fishermen who own these nets and get them cooked t in the local shacks nearby.
Address: Fort Vypin, Puthuvype, Vypin, Kerala
Kathakali is a classical Indian dance originated in Kerala. Known for their expressions and colourful costumes, Kathakali performers usually dance to the folk stories of the Hindu Mahabharata and Ramayana. At the Kathakali Centre, you can not watch the performances, but watch them get into character backstage. This place was founded in 1990 and is open from 4-10pm all through the week.
Address: KB Jacob Rd, Fort Nagar, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala 682001
A good place to shop for souvenirs is on Princess street. It's also known as Loader's Corner and is by default one of the oldest locations in Kochi. It attracts more than 1000+ tourists a month! Some of the buildings here have European architectural styles. Mainly Dutch, Portuguese and British. Here, you can find book stores, cafes and handicraft shops in plenty. It's open from 10 am - 7 pm.
Address: Main Street, Kochi (Cochin) 682001, India
This is one of the oldest temples in Kochi. Known for its Kerala-style architecture, it houses a shrine of Lord Shiva. What's interesting is that the entire temple is made from stone, metal and wood. You cannot miss to visit this place in Kochi.
Address: Perandoor Rd, Kaloor, Ernakulam, Kerala 682017
Get into your swimsuit, wear your sunnies and put on your swimming goggles, because you, my friend, are going SCUBA diving in Kochi. The best time to go there is in October. It's around Rs 5,000 for diving in seawater and Rs 4,000 in freshwater. If diving is not your thing, you can try Kayaking instead! This is one of the most fun things to do in Kochi.
Address: Gcda Shopping Complex, Shop NO 12 OPP Central School, Opposite Centre School, Kadavanthra, Kochi (Cochin), Kerala 682020
This European-built Church is one of the oldest landmark monuments in India. It was built in 1503 as a Roman Catholic Church by the Portuguese. It's also the burial place of Vasco De Gama. He died in 1524. However, his remains were removed and moved from Kochi to Lisbon 14 years later. His tombstone is still there though. Also, if you fancy gothic architectural styles, head to Santa Cruz Basilica.
Address: Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala 682001
If you are going to get a massage, make sure that you do it at the Ayurveda Massage Centre, Kochi. For men, it's open from 8 am - 8 pm. However, the women staff come in a little later. Their services begin at 10am-4pm. Also, they claim that their full body massage with herbal oil is one of their best massage services. The best part it's only Rs 1,000 for an hour!
Address: House No. 11/635, Meckenzie Garden, Kochi (Cochin), Kerala 682001
Local art is rare to find these days. That's why you should make a trip to this place. They have thick wooden tables and the cost for two people will easily come up to Rs 600 approximately. You should try the wraps, chocolate cake and pancakes here. You can thank me later!
Address: Burger Street, Near Delta Study School, Fort, Kochi, Kerala 682001
Usually visited by Jews from Europe and the Middle East. This place was built in 1568. If you fancy artefacts and precious items, you will find happiness at the Paradesi Synagogue. Except for Fridays, this place is open every day from 10 am- 12 pm and the afternoon from 3 pm - 5 pm. Mind you, this place requires you to walk barefoot!
Address: Synagogue Ln, Jew Town, Kappalandimukku, Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala
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