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Top 10 tourist attractions in Kochi
Imagine yourself in the midst of lush green tea gardens along the valleys or floating away on a houseboat in the calm backwaters. Or walking down the coconut-tree lined streets with glimpses of rich heritage in every corner and then lounging on clean beaches to watch the colours of the sunset dance on the ocean waves. If that’s your idea of a vacation, then Kochi is the perfect destination for you.
Book your tickets to this magical land of seafood and spices with Akasa Air for a comfortable and affordable flying experience!
Kochi, popularly called the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, is a major city and port on the southwestern coast of India. Deeply enriched with culture, it will take you on a journey through the pages of history while also giving you a view of the modern world.
Here is a checklist for you from Akasa Air of the best places to visit in Kochi.
1. Fort Kochi and St. Francis Church
Steeped in history and culture, Fort Kochi gives you a glimpse of the colonial era's intricate Portuguese architecture. Upon stepping into Fort Kochi, you can see Fort Emmanuel standing tall by the beach, commanding a strong presence.
Spend some time exploring the beach (check out the unique Chinese fishing nets) and soak in the local culture - especially Kalari Payattu and Kathakali at the Kerala Kathakali Centre. You can also visit the Vasco Da Gama Square and the Vasco house, which is the actual house where the legendary explorer resided. There is also the St. Francis Church, where Vasco Da Gama was buried, making it a historically significant landmark. You can make a stop at David Hall or Kashi Art Cafe in the same vicinity, which is an art gallery and also serves scrumptious meals.
2. Jew Town and Jewish Synagogue
Located in the heart of Fort Kochi is this quaint little market that is home to many local businesses. Shop for some beautiful pieces of home decor, antiques, hand-crafted clothes, and even the best quality spices that Kerala is famous for.
At one corner of Jew town is the humble-from-the-outside Jewish Synagogue. Step in, and you shall be mesmerised by the grandeur! The ceilings are lined with glass chandeliers, and the floors have Chinese tiles with designs of blue willow. You can spot Scrolls of the Law, crowns made of gold, and copper plates owned by the oldest-known jew of Kochi, Joseph Rabban.
The clean and artistic streets are home to a number of Jews, and many generations have lived in the area for decades.
3. Santa Cruz Basilica
Also located at Fort Kochi, the Santa Cruz Basilica is one of the eight Basilicas in India. This elegant roman cathedral is a sight to behold that you wouldn’t want to miss. You can marvel at the attractive fresco paintings and the elaborate work on the church's ceiling ( `a la Michelangelo) and spend some time absorbing the beautiful architecture and the tranquillity of the place.
4. Marine Drive
Among Kochi’s famous places is the Marine Drive, which gives a magnificent view of the backwaters and the Kochi harbour. While you can visit the Marine Drive at any time of the day for a casual stroll, the reflection of the Rainbow Bridge in the waters as it lights up in the evenings leaves an unforgettable memory. This is absolutely worth witnessing!
There are also boat rides available to nearby islands, so you can easily book a private ferry and go boating in the waters. There is also a government-run Boat Jetty just across the street that plies to and fro Fort Kochi, Vypin, Vytilla, Kakanad and more. If you have some more time to spend, hop on a small cruise and enjoy the cool breeze and city lights along the shore.
5. Veeranpuzha Lake and Backwaters
Veeranpuzha is a series of brackish lagoons of the Vembanad Lake. It runs along the Malabar coast and is home to the native fishermen community that lives on the banks of the backwaters.
You can rent a houseboat with your friends and family and spend a serene evening on the backwaters under clear blue skies. You can also enjoy other activities, including boating, fishing, sightseeing, or a picnic. In the inlands, one can find green paddy fields, where Pokkali rice is grown, a Kerala speciality. All this gives a top position to Veeranpuzha or Vembanad Lake among the tourist attractions in Kochi.
6. Cherai Beach
A paradise of sand, waves, and cool breeze, Cherai beach is the perfect tropical location for you to let your hair down and relax with refreshing coconut water and the sound of waves washing the shore.
It is an exceptional location for a seafood enthusiast to try out local delicacies from the shacks surrounding the beach. You can also fulfil your adventurous spirit with water sports or choose to get an ayurvedic massage for a relaxing afternoon.
7. LuLu Shopping Mall
The largest shopping mall in India, LuLu shopping mall, brings together all the big retail brands, making it the perfect place for you to go on a shopping spree. Right from accessories and clothing to electronic gadgets, you will find an outlet for everything. The mall also has a food court with the most extensive food joints for you to dine at.
You can also participate in the various events held throughout the week, such as reading fests and live singing shows, that draw huge crowds! Count this among the best places to visit in Kochi with friends.
8. Bolgatty Palace
Built by Dutch traders, the Bolgatty Palace is spread across 8 acres of land and showcases the elegance of Dutch architecture. A symbol of royalty and extravagance, the Palace has now been converted into a luxurious hotel. You can enjoy a walk or a game of golf in its lush green lawns, spend time appreciating the beautiful and regal interiors (maybe have a small photoshoot!), take a relaxing ayurvedic massage, or indulge in some delectable meals.
If you are looking for places in Kochi for couples to explore together, this is the perfect spot. Spend a romantic evening with your partner at this heavenly palace.
9. Kerala Folklore Museum
Kerala folklore museum is a three-floored structure that showcases the heritage of Kerala. On the first floor, you can find the history of the traditional dance forms and plays, crafts and folk art. The second floor is dedicated to murals, with the ceiling itself holding over 60 frames! The third floor is a performance theatre that hosts artists every day at 6:30 PM.
Delve deep into the richness of Kerala’s culture by spending time here, and take a token home from the museum’s antiques shop.
10. Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary
This unique sanctuary is on the banks of river Periyar and serves as a training centre for elephants. It is among the must-see places to visit near Kochi. You can spend time watching elephants, who are considered very auspicious in Kerala, and see how they are bathed, fed, and trained. Take a safari ride atop an elephant and participate in the feeding and bathing if you are interested.
Take a break and surround yourself in this peaceful environment, away from the bustling city. These tusked friends are always a delight to hang out with in God’s own country!