Kochi - the name
Like most cities in India, Kochi has a very long and
illustrious history. But, the origin
of the name is still shrouded in mystery. Many
theories exist, but none are strong enough to be
conclusive. Some historians believe that Kochi is a
modified form of the word 'Cochazhi' which in
Malayalam means 'small sea'. Others are of the
opinion that 'Kochi' was named so by the Chinese.
According to them, traders from the court of the
Chinese ruler Kublai Khan, gave Kochi the name of
their homeland. The peculiar Chinese fishing nets
found here, the only place outside China where it
has been spotted, can possibly be attributed to the
heavy Chinese influence the city has had in the
past. Still another theory is that Kochi is derived
from the word 'Kaci' meaning 'harbour'.
Tourist spots in Cochin
Chinese Fishing Nets, Fort Kochi
The chinese fishing nets (Cheenavala) are distinctly
unique to Cochin. It is believed that traders from
the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan
introduced these nets here. Oddly, these nets are
found only in Kochi, outside China! Many fishermen
earn their livelihood by fishing using these massive
nets. A whole stretch of the coast along Fort Kochi
and Vypeen are dotted with these nets.
Fort Kochi beach
A stroll along the beach, particularly at sunset
with the chinese fishing nets and sailing ships in
the background, is a memorable experience. Many
European style bungalows can be seen along the
shoreline. The coastal stretch has loads of small
stalls, which make on demand mouth-watering
traditional cuisines using freshly caught fish.
St. Francis Church, Fort Kochi
It is the oldest church built by Europeans in India.
On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da 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, his burial spot
inside the church has been clearly marked out.
Vasco House, Fort Kochi
Vasco house, located on Rose Street, is believed to
be one of the oldest Portuguese houses in India.
Vasco da Gama is believed to have lived here. This
house features European glass paned windows and
Santa Cruz Basilica, Fort Kochi
The original church, situated in Fort Kochi, was
built by the Portuguese in 1505 and named
as a cathedral in 1558. The British colonists
destroyed the cathedral in 1795. The current
structure was built in 1905 and raised to the status
of a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984.
Bolghatty Palace, Bolghatty
This Dutch palace is situated on Bolghatty island
which is just a short boat ride away from the
mainland. The palace has been converted to a hotel
run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC).
The island has a tiny golf course and the panoramic
views of the port and the harbour, makes it an
attractive picnic spot. Frequent boat service is
available from the mainland.
Parikshith Thampuran Museum
This Rajas of Cochin used to conduct their durbars
in this impressive building located within the
Durbar Hall grounds. It was later converted to a
museum which has a treasure trove of archaeological
findings and relics including old coins, sculptures,
oil paintings and murals. The building has been
taken over by the Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy and
now houses the Gallery of Contemporary Art. All the
exhibits of the museum have been moved to the Hill
A stroll along the long tree-lined coastal pathway
that lines the backwater is well worth the time
spent, especially late afternoon or dusk. The
bustling backwaters, dotted with fishing boats,
speedboats, ships, tankers and passenger boats, can
be observed from this walkway that lines the coast.
Its stragetic location and commerial importance has
led to an extensive travel network linking Kochi to
the rest of the country and the world by air, rail,
road and sea.
Cochin/Kochi (Airport Code: COK) has a world-class
modern international airport, located 30kms
north-east of the city, with regular flights to
major cities in India. Cochin is also connected to
Singapore, Colombo and all major cities in the
middle-east (Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait,
Jeddah, Muscat, and Riyadh) by direct international
Kochi (and Ernakulam) are connected to the rest of
India by an extensive network of rails.There are
three main railway stations in Cochin: Ernakulam
Junction (main station), Ernakulam Town and Cochin
Harbour Terminus. Many important trains start from
here and many others from/to the south of kerala
stop at these stations