Kochi and Ernakualm can be a little confusing at first. Ernakulam is on the mainland and is the heart of the city. Kochi is a peninsula surrounded by sea and backwaters.
Fort Kochi, Mattancherry all are in Kochi peninsula. The name Kochi has hundreds of years of existence. So the city has named Kochi.
Okay then, Cochin? Cochin is the anglicized name of Kochi. Many times Kochi and Ernakulam both refer to the city of Kochi.
This delightful city in the Malabar coast has long colourful history as a busy port.
Kochi is very multicultural. Now it may not have a large international community. But it was a busy port visited by merchantmen from all over the trading world. Prosperity of Kochi lasted for centuries.
A massive upgrade of the port in 1920s saw Cochin emerge as the most dependable and richest harbour in south India.
After independence its fortunes declined sharply. Liberalizing economic reforms of 1990s made city back in to the track.
Since 2000 the service sector has boomed in Kochi. One of the most important port in India. Newly opened International Container Transshipment Terminal is the only such facility in India.
Kochi now prides itself as major centre of gold trading, shopping, IT, health care, spices, shipbuilding and tourism.
Moving around Kochi
Kochi is surrounded by the water. So its not surprising that ferries are important means of transport here.
Two main jetties used by the ferries in Ernakulam. Main boat jetty and another one near High court. KTDC operated cruises for tourists are also there.
For travel on land , the options are equally plentiful. The local, red city buses are the cheapest option available. KSRTC also run city buses in the name Thiru-Kochi in white and blue. Look for the comfortable low floor Volvo a/c orange buses. The green non a/c low floor buses are also good to travel.
More convenient choices include auto-rickshaws and taxis. Bicycles can be rented from many of the hotels and guest houses in Fort Cochin.
Landmarks of Kochi
Museums and Galleries
Enough day-trip destinations lie within easy reach of Kochi to keep you here for weeks.
Topping the most visitors' lists are the enjoyable tours of small backwater villages to the south. You can get the taste of rural life from a motorboat or canoe in Kallancherry.
Kallancherry is in island of Kumbalanghi which holds an award winning community based tourism project.
A bus or auto-rickshaw ride out of town, Thripunithura is the site a former royal palace and museum.
An hour ride across the harbour towards the north from Fort Cochin brings you to Cherai beach. This is the nearest decent beach to the city. The beach is in Vypin island.
A day-trip from Kochi guaranteed to please children and animal lovers is the ride 52km northeast to Kodanad. A former elephant training camp on the banks of the Periyar river.
The current population comprises of three adults and four charming youngsters. Get here by 8.30am you can accompany them and their mahouts to the river to help bathe and scrub the animals down.
Most spectacular waterfall in Kerala is Athirappally. The place is couple of hours northeast of the city. Its easily accessible from the airport.
And if you're heading inland towards Munnar visit Thettekkad. Kerala's number on bird sanctuary. The place has a batch of appealing guesthouses and camps on the banks of the Periyar river. All these makes an ideal spot to break the long journey into the hills.
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