Cochin, the capital of Kerala, is India’s fourth most populous city. It is also one of the medieval trade ports on the Malabar Coast and was a focal point for Arabian and Chinese traders. It was also an important center of biblical studies until it was eclipsed by Goa to the south.There are many interesting places to visit in Cochin including churches, hospitals, mansions, temples, and mosques. In addition to this, there are many museums around the city that showcase various aspects of Indian culture in general. Also,make sure to book a holiday inn Cochin for a hassle free stay.
1. Franciscan Church
One of the important monuments in Cochin is the Franciscan Church that was built in 1510. This church has been built in a typical Portuguese architectural style and is famous for its handcrafted wooden coffins that can be seen inside. This church was declared a Roman Catholic Basilica during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. It is located on top of a hill and can be accessed from Ernakulam Town railway station.
The Ernakulathappan temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus across India. This temple is one of the most famous in South India and draws a lot of people from other parts of the country every year. People come to this temple to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati.
3. Cochin Jewish Synagogue
This ancient Cochin Jewish Synagogue is one of the oldest synagogues in India. This synagogue was built in 1568 by the Jews settled in Cochin. Today it continues to be used as a place of worship by the local Orthodox Jews. The Jews are also credited with introducing rubber trees to India, which were soon developed into large plantations across southern Kerala.The Synagogue of Cochin was built in 1841 by the Portuguese Jews who were settled in Cochin. This synagogue illustrates the influence of Portuguese architecture, and is one of the few examples of classical Jewish architecture to be found in India.
4. St.Mary’s Church
The St Mary’s Church was constructed by Portuguese Dominican priests when they first arrived at Cochin in 1519 AD. This church is famous for the copper-sheathed dome that adorns its central tower, the only dome in all of Kerala. This church is located on St Mary’s Hill and can be found on the road leading to Fort Cochin.
5. Achankovil Mosque
Many of the more important mosques in Kerala have been declared Sites of historical interest by UNESCO. One such mosque is the Achankovil Mosque, which was built during the 13th century AD by a local ruler of Cochin. The name Achankovil means “the place where dogs cry”. This mosque has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because it illustrates the architectural style that became increasingly popular in Kerala during the 14th and 15th centuries.
6. Cochin University
The wonderful Cochin University has a large campus in the heart of the city. This university is one of the oldest in India and is considered to be the best engineering university for humanities in Kerala.
7. Ayroor fort
The Ayroor Fort was built by Ravi Varma Kolshetty between 1633 and 1635 to protect his people and property from neighboring countries. It was built on a sandstone cliff overlooking the backwaters of Kochi that are currently known as Vypin Lake. This fortress can be seen today standing proudly upon a hill at a distance of about twenty kilometers from Ernakulam Town railway station.
8. Portuguese Cemetery
The Portuguese Cemetery is one of the most impressive examples of colonial architecture in Cochin. This cemetery contains the remains of many eminent people who lived and worked in Cochin during the colonial period, including the Viceroy António da Cunha until 1833 and bishop Domingos Fontes Pereira to 1835. Today this cemetery is a popular place for tourists to visit and learn about the history of Cochin.
9. Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi also known as Fort St Paul is located on an island in the backwaters of Kochi that are known as Vypin Lake. This fort has been constructed at the point where the Periyar River enters the Arabian Sea. This fort was constructed centuries ago by the Portuguese and was captured by Dutch admiral Eustachius De Lannoy in 1663. Today Fort Kochi is a popular tourist destination that has many restaurants, cafes and offices of multi-national corporations.
10. Bolgatty Palace
Set deep within the woods of Bolgatty Island, this palace was built way back in 1744 by Dutch governor Herman Van Rompuy to serve as the residence of Kochi’s rulers. Today this palace acts as a heritage hotel and conference center that also houses a museum that documents its long and interesting history.
11. Cochin Hanging Bridge
A tourist attraction that is popular among tourists and locals alike is the Cochin Hanging Bridge. This bridge is a must-see for all those who come to Cochin. A bit of trivia about this bridge is that it was built under the orders of Joseph Stalin and holds the record for being the world’s longest single-track suspension bridge. This bridge can be found in Kochi on Bolgatty Island near Aluva town in Kerala State.
12. Chirakkal Fort
The Chirakkal Fort, also known as Fort Fort Kochi, was constructed by King Marthanda Varma during his reign over Cochin in 1786 AD. This fort was originally built to protect the city from Dutch Attacks. Today this fort is situated on the NH 47 road, between Kottayam and Ernakulam Town railway stations. It is considered to be one of the best-preserved forts in Kerala and has a moat that is about 30 meters wide in circumference. The fort is known as one of the best-preserved forts in Kerala.
13. The House of Mallya
Ashok Leyland’s factory in Kerala is located at Chavakkad near Kochi. This large plant reportedly turns out 11,000 cars and trucks every day and has a capacity to produce up to 17 million vehicles a year. This plant was established in 1971 by industrialist and politician Lakshmi Mittal. The House of Mallya is said to have been built by Mittal with help from the Maharaja Swathi Thirunal, who apparently spent his entire personal fortune to help establish this company that has since grown into one of India’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturing companies.
Cochin was the capital of the Kochi kingdom that ruled from Kochi on the Malabar coast and Kollam up to Kanyakumari between the seventh and fifteenth centuries AD. This region is best known for its magnificent historical monuments, which include 13 Jewish Synagogues, 2 mosques, and a cemetery. Furthermore, this region is also home to some of the most important Indian historical sites such as the Cochin University and St. Mary’s Church.
Cochin is an important economic hub with a number of industries including textiles, rubber goods, and furniture manufacturing industries as well as automobile factories. Enjoy more by booking a holiday inn Cochin.
For those interested in exploring the nearby scenic destinations, you can head from Kochi to Munnar by road for an unforgettable holiday.