Travel Services, Local Travel, Emergency Services
This page "Cochin Information" is about necessary services in Cochin that a tourist should know. There is a tourist information counter at the airport. It distributes free brochures that includes a neat map and walking tour entitled historical Places in Fort Cochin.
KTDC Tourist Reception Centre
Tel: 0484 2353234
Full- and half-day backwater tours on kettuvallams. Full-day tour 0830-1830 (includes lunch), half-day tour 08.30am-1pm and 2pm-6.30pm. Tours include visits to coir factory, spice garden, canoe ride and toddy tapping demonstration. Also daily half-day Kochi sightseeing boat cruises, 9am-12.30pm and 2pm-5.30pm, which cover Bolgatty Island, Chinese fishing nets, St Francis Church and Mattancherry Palace. Tour departs from Sealord Jetty.
Tel: 0484 2371761
Tel: 0484 2216129
A private tour agency that is extremely knowledgeable and helpful about Kochi and beyond. Runs several popular and recommended tours and its Ernakulam office displays a board showing recommended cultural events on in town that day, has a secondhand book exchange, and produces the 'Village Astrologer', a monthly free newsletter about cultural events in Kerala.
Tel: 0484 2353234
Tel: 0484 2215055
Aspinwall and Co
Tel: 0484 2345690
Experienced, slick Kerala package company and surface travel agent with networks across India. A/c and non-a/c cars available.
Tel: 0484 3011711
Tel: 0484 2377415
Efficient and well-connected inbound travel agent, who can hook you up with homestays, authentic Ayurveda retreats and responsible tour operators throughout Kerala. Helpful and highly recommended.
South end of MG Rd
Tel: 0484 2369544
Very competent and helpful.
Tel: 0484 4048886
Tailor-made tours throughout Kerala. Highly recommended.
Pioneer Personalized Holidays
Tel: 0484 2666148
Fleet of cars with tailor-made tour packages from a well-established and highly competent tour company. Efficient and knowledgeable, with unusual homestay and guesthouse options.
Tel: 0484 2359127
Surface and hotel arrangements in Kerala, specializes in homestays catering to 'foreign independent tourists', promoting insight into Kerala's customs.
North Janatha Rd
Tel: 0484 2339045
Half-day backwater tours in a dugout. punted and engineless, through very peaceful shady waterways passing unspoilt villages with toddy tappers, coir making, fishing, etc; led by an excellent guide. Highly recommended. Also offers trips in traditional kettuvallams.
Viceregal Travels and Resorts
GCDA Shopping Complex
Tel: 0484 2372644
Runs a 9-day homestay package to charming properties, including a/c Ambassador cab, from Cochin to Peermade, Cherthala for the backwaters and Kovalam for Kanniyakumari.
Getting There and Away
The KSRTC bus stand (Tel: 0484 2372033; reservations 6am-10pm) is in Ernakulam next to the railway halfway between the two train stations. Many buses passing through Ernakulam originate in other cities-you may have to join the scrum when the bus pulls in. You can make reservations up to 20 days (30 for Tamil Nadu) in advance for buses originating here. There is a separate window for reservations to Tamil Nadu.
Several private bus companies have super- deluxe, AC, volvo buses to Bengaluru, Chennai, Mangalore and Coimbatore; prices are around 75% higher than government buses. There are stands selling tickets all over Ernakulam Kaloor bus stand is the main private bus station; it is 1km north of the city.
Ernakulam has two train stations, Ernakulam Town and Ernakulam Junction Reservations for both are made at the Ernakulam Junction reservations office (8am-8pm Mon-Sat. 8am-2pm Sun). There are trains to Trivandrum ( 4.5 hours), via either Alleppey (1.5 hours) and Kollam ( 3.5 hours), or via Kottayam (1.5 hours). Trains also run to Thrissur (1.5 hours), Calicut (4.5 hours) and Kannur (6.5 hours).
To/From the Airport
Kochi International Airport is at Nedumbassery, 30km northeast of Ernakulam. Taxis to/from Ernakularn cost around 500, and to/from Fort Cochin around 650; a bumpy rickshaw dash from Ernakulam would cost 350. Ernakulam's mad traffic means that the trip can take over 1.5 hours in the daytime, though usually less than one hour at night.
Ferries are the fastest form of transport between Fort Cochin and the mainland. The jetty on the eastern side of willingdon lsland is called Embarkation; the west one, oppositte Mattancherry, is Terminus; and the main stop at Fort Cochin is Customs. With another stop at the Mattancherry Jetty near the synagogue.
Erankulam: There are services to both Fort Cochin jetties (Customs and Mattancherry) every 25 to 50 minutes (5.55am to 9.30pm) from Ernakulam's main jetty. Ferries also run every 20 minutes or so to Willingdon and Vypeen lslands (6am to 10pm).
Fort Cochin: Ferries run from Customs Jetty to Ernakulam between 6.20am and 9.50pm. Ferries also hop between Customs Jetty and Willingdon lsland 18 times a day from 6.40am to 9.30pmn (Monday to Saturday). Car and passenger ferries cross to Vypeen Island from Fort Cochin virtually nonstop from 6am until 10pm.
There are no real bus services between Fort Cochin and Mattancherry Palace. But it is an enjoyable 30-minute walk through the busy warehouse area along Bazaar Rd. Autorickshaws are another option and it is really affordable.
To get to fort Cochin after ferries stop running catch a bus in Ernakulam on MG Rd (45 minutes), south of Durbar Hall Rd. From Fort Cochin, buses head out to Ernakulam from opposite the Vypeen lsland ferry jetty. Taxis charge round-trip fares between the islands, even if you only go one way.
Scooters/Enfields can be hired from Vasco Tourist lnformation centre (Tel: 0484 2216267 Bastion St Fort Cochin).
Tel: 0484 2701032
It is 8km southeast of central Ernakulam.
Tel: 0484 2358001
College Post Office
Tel: 0484 2369302
Ernakulam Post Office
Tel: 0484 2355467
9am-8pm Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm Sun
Also branches on MG Rd and Broadway.
Main Post Office
Post Office Rd
9am-5pm Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm Sat