Thursday, March 04, 2010
The Queen of the Arabian Sea; despite India having a vast coastline sharing with the waters of the Arabian sea with beautiful shores, it is only Kochi / Cochin which has the honour of carrying this sobriquet. Cochin has always been in prominence due to its proximity to the sea and the natural harbor that it has. The history of Cochin dates back to the days of Roman Empire when the trade between India and Cochin with Rome was on a full spree. The spices along with pearls and tortoise shells were the basic trading objects. Very soon silk, cotton, honey and oil also found the path through this trade to Rome and other countries.
Cochin is a cluster of islands on the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake. Some of these picturesque islands are Bolgatty, Vypeen, Gundu and Vallarpadam. The lake opens out into the Arabian Sea here to form one of the finest natural harbors in the world. The actual trading ground was Muziris and Cochin came into existence much later. This natural harbor was actually formed due to nature. In the mid 14th century, a great flood in the Periyar River led to an in the sea. The floods had meanwhile silted up the mouth of the Muziris harbor and this rich ancient port was lost in history almost immediately. The merchants of Muziris shifted to Kochi and thus Kochi came into prominence. It became such an important place that when the Europeans such as the Portuguese, the Dutch and the English, landed in India, each had to face many a battles to establish themselves on this priceless trading port. Vasco - Da - Gama, the first known European to have landed in India and the Fort Manuel is the first known fort built by the Europeans in India.As the trade developed in Cochin, so did the importance of the port and today, Kochi or Cochin is the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala. Many religious and historical monuments have made this place one of the most important tourist spots of Kerala. Along with the Jewish Synagogue and the Chinese fishing nets, the proximity of sea and the famed backwaters of Kerala have added to its beauty and its potential as a forth coming tourist destinations of India.
Location: Kochi (Cochin) is known as the queen of the Arabian Sea. Situated in the district of Ernakulam, Kochi or Cochin has a natural harbor and hence has been a prominent port since days unknown. One of the rare ports of the world having all the three modes of transport, rail, sea and air in full-developed form.
Other Name: Cochin
Languages Spoken: Malayalam and English
Long Distance Code: +91-484
Importance: Most important port of India and famous for Chinese fishing nets.
Area: 8700 sqkm
Best Time To Visit: October To February & Summer months of March, April and May can be enjoyable too.
This Dutch palace situated on the Bolghatty Island near the city of Cochin was once the official residence of the British resident of Kochi. Built in 1744 A.D. this beautiful palace has now been converted into a hotel by the Kerala Tourism. It is also known as the Dutch palace as it was actual the residence of the Dutch officials before the British took over. Huge historical portraits, beautiful panoramic view and the most exciting boat ride to the palace are its main attractions.
Chinese Fishing Nets
From far in the sea one can spot these fishing nets on the coast of Cochin. The Chinese Fishing Nets are the only one of its kinds in India. It is said they were brought here from the courts of Kublai Khan in China. Watching the sunset through these huge cantilevered fishing nets is a splendid sight, when the nets adhere to the crimson shadow of the sky. These nets are not only a marvel to watch but also a proof of the ancient trade relations between India, especially Kerala and China.
One of the oldest buildings in Cochin, the Dutch palace or the Mattancherry palace is a beautiful structure built in oriental style of architecture. It was the Portuguese who built it and later gifted it to the rulers of Kochi in mid 16th century. Later the Dutch renovated it in the 17th century and since then it was known as the Dutch palace. Neither the Portuguese nor the Dutch ever resided in the building and it was always the bastion of the rulers of Kochi.Most of the rulers were coroneted in this very palace and the palace has a portrait gallery of the kings of Kochi. A temple in the middle of the courtyard dedicated to the royal deity, Palayannur Bhagawati, and the side temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna, along with beautiful murals depicting the scenes from the epic Ramayana, is some of the prime attractions of this palace. A museum displaying the objects used by the kings and the queens is a must visit inside the palace.
Built in the 19th century by Raja of Kochi, the Hill Palace was the official residence of the rulers of Kochi. Around 10 kms from the town of Kochi, the Hill Palace has an amazing array of plants, herbs and medicinal plants; almost all those are found in Kerala; cultivated here.Today this palace has been converted into a museum and has on display ancient paintings and murals and many an obects of antiquity. The Simhasana, or the throne of the Kings of Kochi is the main attraction along with some objects like ceramic vases from China and Japan.
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
Kochi city has surprises to offer. One of many such beautiful surprises that the city offers is this bird sanctuary. The Mangalvanam bird sanctuary is situated right in the heart of Kochi city. It is the home of many exotic and rare varieties of migratory birds and a definite beautiful sight to visit.
St. Francis Church
It is the oldest church built by European in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco de Gama, the Portuguese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that the exact place where he was buried has been marked out inside the church.
Total Rooms: 97
Star Category: 5
The Malabar Hotel is situated on Willingdon Island and offers magnificent views of the Cochin harbor and the beautiful backwaters. The hotel is easily accessible from the airport, which is only 10 minutes away. The hotel has a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Total Rooms: 96
Star Category: 5
Located on Willingdon Island, the Trident is hardly 20 minutes drive away from Fort Cochin. It is also quite close to the business area of Ernakulam. The property is architecturally rich and reflects the traditional low buildings of Cochin with their sloping terracotta tiled roofs.
Total Rooms: 120
Star Category: 5
Just 45 minutes from Kochi International Airport, Ramada Lake Resort and Spa is an exclusive 5 star deluxe resort. 8 acres of secluded waterfront land. 120 aesthetically crafted rooms. Floating pool villas, meandering pool villas on stilts, lake facing cottages and deluxe rooms. A 5500 sq.ft. Spa overlooking the lake. The first-of-its-kind in the country. All this and more to serenade your senses and give you a holiday experience unlike any other. A veritable altar of enchantment beside the Kumbalam Lake. Promoted by Synthite Group. A global leader in natural extracts and product solutions. Synthite ventured into the hospitality sector with Riviera Suites. Ramada Lake Resort and Spa is their second undertaking to promote tourism in Kerala. Ramada Lake Resort and Spa will be opened for tourism in early 2008.
Total Rooms: 67
Star Category: 5
This luxury hotel is ideally located between the old city of Fort Cochin and the modern town of Ernakulam. It is clean, private and friendly.
Total Rooms: 109
Star Category: 4
hotel that brings the gracious comfort and elegance of your home to the Cochin city. Travelers & guests will find it the perfect place to mix business with pleasure. Being strategically located it is a boon to the business travelers from all over. About 27 kms from the Airport, 300 meters away from Ernakulam Town Railway Station, a stone's throw away from the Bus Terminus and one of the closest hotel in Ernakulam to the International Airport at Nedumbassery. The perfect place for the business traveler with easy access to fax, telex, telephones and secretarial services. For those who'd like a more relaxed holiday we'll be happy and proud to show you our lovely city the serene, tranquil backwaters, historic palaces and sites of a bygone era, the bustling Harbour.. All the sight- seeing you'd like. Or take a cruise around the beautiful islands that dot the sea around