Revel in the natural beauty of the inviting land of Kerala. Also known as God’s Own Country, this rejuvenating place promises a vacation full of beauty, serenity and tranquillity.
Although there are several destinations spread across the length and breadth of the state, the beautiful port city of Cochin is one of the obvious choices that one makes.
We list the best of Cochin Tour Packages which will help you in choosing the finest locations for sightseeing. Enjoy the beauty of Kerala in the best possible way.
Here are some of the places to see on your Cochin tour package :
The God’s Own Country, Kerala is not only blessed with great natural beauty but also with a very impressive history, culture and heritage. Once the stronghold of the Cochi kings, the city of Cochin has a number of stories to share that speak volumes about the rich past of the region.
There are several places in the state which are now run as museums. They offer you an insight into the legacy of Kerala. Some of the best known museums are situated near Cochin.
1. Hill Palace Museum
The Hill Palace in Thripunithara of Kerala is the largest archaeological museum in the state. It has served as the administrative office of the Rajas of Kochi. Built in 1865, the complex consists of 49 buildings reflecting traditional architectural style.
It is spread over 54 acres and houses the museum, a heritage museum, a deer park, a pre-historic park and a children’s park. The palace was built by the Rajah of Cochin in 1865 and was handed over to the Government of Kerala by the Royal family.
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In 1980, it was taken over by the Department of Archaeology and converted into a museum. The museum has many interesting things on display which speak volumes about the history, heritage and culture of the state.
There are about 14 categories of items on display which include coins, inscriptions, weapons, sculptures in stone and marble, paintings, the Crown and ornaments of the Cochin Royal Family. The gallery is also a very popular location for film shootings and hence is included in the cochin tour packages.
2. Bolgatty Palace
Built in 1744, the Bolgatty Palace is one of the oldest existing palaces built by the Dutch outside Holland. Located on the Bolgatty Island near Kochi, it was used as the residence of the then Governor for the Commander of the Dutch Malabar.
Initially only the palace was built but later on extensions were made and a garden was laid around it. In 1909 it was leased out to the British, who used it as residence for the British Governors. This place also served as the seat of the British Resident of Cochin during the British Raj.
After India attained Independence, it became the property of the state and was converted into a heritage hotel resort. The property now has a swimming pool, a 9-hole golf course, Ayurvedic centre and daily Kathakali performances.
There is also a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva within the palace complex. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations within Cochin and attracts a large number of tourists.
3. The Museum of Kerala Art and History
The Museum of Kerala Arts and History is situated in Edapally near Cochin. It has been set up with the objective of showcasing the rich heritage and culture of the state. The centre is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cochin and attracts travellers and history enthusiasts from all over the world and hence it should be included in your Cochin tour packages .
The museum conducts literary fairs, exhibitions, demonstrations, art fairs and performances to highlight creative arts. It was set up by Mr R Madhavan Nair, who was a prominent industrialist and philanthropist. The complex has a museum on Kerala history, an art gallery, a visual art centre, dolls collection, miniature art gallery, a museum shop and a cafeteria.
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This fascinating place also organises sound and light shows on the history of Kerala inhabitants and their evolution to the modern era. The art gallery has more than 200 original paintings and 30 odd sculptures by well known Indian artists such as Ravi Varma, MF Hussain and FN Souza.
The Visual Arts Centre which stands on 4500 square feet and has air conditioned halls where artists can display their work. It also has a very interesting doll collection, which consists of as many as 150 dolls representing the people of all the states in the country.
4. Dutch Palace
Popularly known as the Mattancherry Palace, the Dutch Palace was originally built by the Portuguese. The palace is built in the traditional Naalukettu style and has a central courtyard in is a small temple dedicated to the ‘Pazhayyannur Bhagavathy’, who is believed to have been the resident deity of the Cochin Royal Family.
There are two other temples within the complex - one dedicated to Lord Krishna and the other to Lord Shiva. The architectural style is of particular interest as it reflects hints of European architecture through its arches and the proportion of its chambers. It is believed that the palace was gifted to the Raja of Cochin in 1555 by the Portuguese.
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When the Dutch took over, they made some renovations and extensions and from there on, it came to be known as the Dutch Palace. Beautiful murals depicting Hindu temple art, exhibits of the Kochi kings and their portraits have been put up on display in a gallery at the palace.
5. Jewish Synagogue
The Jew Synagogue is situated in the famous Jew Town of Cochin and is also known as the Pardesi Synagogue. It is the only one of the seven synagogues in the area that is still in use. The revered structure was constructed in 1568 and belongs to the Malabar Yehudan or Cochin Jewish community.
Often referred to as the Cochin Jewish Synagogue or the Mattancherry Synagogue, it is situated near the Mattancherry Palace. As per the rules of Hindu, Nasrani and Islamic traditions of the state, worshippers are required to enter barefoot.
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There are several traditions and customs which are unique to the Jewish community of Cochin such as circumcision ceremonies performed at public worship, distribution of grape soaked myrtle leaves during certain ceremonies and special colours of clothing for each festival.
The synagogue is open to visitors. There are several objects of antiquity in the here such as the Scrolls of Law, gold crowns and Belgian glass chandeliers.
6. Cochin Backwaters
Marine Drive is a beautiful promenade in Kochi which faces the backwaters and is a popular hangout among the local people. This beautiful walkway is closed to vehicles. It is one of the most important parts of the city as most shopping malls and important buildings are located over here.
Many tourists throng the Marine Drive to see the sun set into the beautiful Vembanad Lake. It has two important bridges called the Marine Drive Bridge and the Rainbow Bridge.
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You can get a wonderful experience of the city by taking a boat ride from Marine Drive and exploring some of the beautiful tourist places situated around it. Cochin tour packages also offer a sightseeing tour
7. Chinese Fishing Nets
The Chinese Fishing Nets are one of the most beautiful sights in Cochin. Hoisted on strong beams, these nets rise into the sky and look spectacular. Called Cheena Vala in Malayalam, they are used for a unique form of fishing.
These are usually shore operated lift nets where huge mechanical contrivances hold out large nets that measure as much as 20 metres or more in length. Each structure rises to a height of 10 metres and comprises of a cantilever which holds a large net suspended over the sea.
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Each installation is operated by a team comprising of as many as six fishermen. The balance of the beams is remarkable as it stands strongly even when a man climbs and unfurls the net and descends it into the sea. The net is not kept inside the water for a long time and the catch is not to excessive either.
It is held in water for about 10 minutes and then pulled back with the help of ropes. The catch usually comprises of small fish and crustaceans.
8. Dolphin Area
For those who love dolphins, this boat ride will fulfil your wish. On request, you can go dolphin chasing in the beautiful waters and watch them dive in and out of the backwaters. The Dolphin Area is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city and attracts a large number of tourists from all over the country and the world.
9. Willingdon Island
The Willingdon Island is a small island that is a part of Kochi. A large part of the island was reclaimed from Lake of Kochi and given its present shape and appearance by filling in dredged soil on the natural island, which had been in existence previously.
The island was created during the construction of the Kochi Port in 1936 and was named after Lord Willingdon, who was the then Governor of Madras.
Soil was dredged from the Lake Vembanad to accommodate the new port and filled into the existing island to create the Willingdon Island. It is known as the home for the Kochi Port, the Kochi Naval Base, the Office of the Cochin Port Trust, the Customs Office and the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology.
The entire land of the island belongs to the Kochi Port Trust and the Indian Navy. It is a major artificial port of the country and a well known landmark in the city of Cochin.
10. Fort Cochin
Fort Kochi is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city of Kochi. It is a part of a handful of water bound regions a little further ahead of the mainland and is also known as the Old Kochi or the West Kochi. This town derives its name from the Fort Emmanuel.
The Fort was built by the Portuguese near the waterfront to protect their commercial interests. Kochi was a small fishing village in pre-colonial Kerala and was part of the Kingdom of Kochi. The part which later gained the name of Fort Kochi was granted to the Portuguese by the Rajah of Kochi.
The Portuguese had supported him during an attack by the Saamoothiri of Kozhikode and as a token of gratitude; the king gave a part of his kingdom to the Portuguese. This place remained under the influence of them for 160 years till they were overthrown by the Dutch. The Dutch rule ended with Indian Independence in 1947.
11. Ezhattumugham Prakrithi Gramam
Photo Credit- Ajex Skaria
The Ezattumugham Prakriti Village is a scenic village situated at a distance of 40 km from the city of Cochin. Located on the banks of the River Chalakudy, the lush greenery and a number of waterfalls greet visitors into this hamlet.
The pristine river gushes through the village onto the rocks and boulders and thus splits into seven streams. This is how the township has been named Ezattumugham, which means seven faces of a river.
During the non monsoon months, the water level in the river decreases to such a level that visitors can walk through the shallow waters and climb the boulders. During monsoons, the water hides all boulders and islets and often floods the roads near it. While one end of the river touches the northernmost end of the Ernakulam district, the other end lies in the Thrissur district of Kerala.
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The Ezattumugham Prakriti Gramam is yet unknown to most tourists as it is overshadowed by the Athirapally Falls, which attracts tourists by the score throughout the year. Ezattumugham is an ideal isolated retreat. There are no signage boards that direct travellers to this beautiful nature village. It can be reached by asking directions from the locals.
The Prakriti Gramam was set up by the state government near the check dam at Ezattumugham to woo tourists. Tourists can walk over the check dam and cross over to the other side. The place boasts of great natural beauty and the River Chalakudy has been reported to be the richest river in fish diversity in India by the National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources.
12. Athirapally Water Falls & Vazhachal Waterfalls
Image Credits- Karthick Ramachandran- Flickr
Located at a mere 5km distance from each other, the Athirapally and Vazhachal waterfalls are two of the most popular cascades in the Sholayar Range.
Cossetted amidst verdant nature, they are alsoknown for the rich flora and fauna that surround them. Some of the rarest and endangered hornbill species are also found in this region. While the Athirapally is referred as the 'Niagara of India', Vazhachal Falls is considered as one of the finest ones in the country.
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13. Coir Factory
The coir production of Kerala is quite well known and a trip to the state is incomplete without visiting the precincts of a coir factory. The use of the coconut palms is remarkable as every part of it from the root to the fruit is used and consumed by the people of Kerala.
Coir is the natural fibre obtained from the husk of coconut and it is used to prepare floor mats, door mats, mattresses, brushes etc. There are two types of coir, brown and white. The white one is obtained from unripe coconuts and is used for making finer brushes, strings, ropes etc.
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The husks are usually soaked in pits to remove the coir. The longer fibres are sorted out from the shorter ones in a time consuming process. All dirt and other waste items are removed and when the fibre is ductile enough, it is twisted into ropes by hand or by machine.
14. Cherai Beach
The Cherai Beach is situated at a distance of 30 km from Kochi and is one of the most beautiful beaches in Kerala. It is a favourite hangout of photographers who are looking for breathtaking shots of sunsets, sunrise, the lovely coconut palms dotting the beach and the pristine sea shore.
It is located on the northern end of Vypin Island and stretches for 10 kms. The golden sands and translucent waters attract tourists from all over the world, making it one of the most popular places offered by our Cochin tour packages
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Noted in and around here is the Tranquil Lake, Gowreeswara Temple, Pallipuram Church, Juma Masjid, Portuguese Fort, Sahadoora Bhawan, Gowreeswara Temple and the Pallipuram Church.
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