Location: Ernakulam District is located in the south – west of Kerela. It shares boundary with Thrissur district in the north, Idukki district in the east, Kottayam and Alappuzha district in the south and Arabian sea and Alappuzha district in the west.
District Headquarter: Kochi or Cochin
Distance: Around 533 km from Bangalore, 1919 km from Bhubaneswar, 684 km from Chennai, 2360 from Kolkata, 2594 from Delhi, 3402 from Guwahati, 1095 from Hyderabad, 220 from Thiruvananthapuram.
Journey time: Around 8 – 9 hours from Bangalore and 10 – 11 hrs from Chennai.
How to reach there: By Train, bus and flight from various parts of India.
From Bangalore: Bangalore – Hosur – Krishnagiri – Dharmapuri – Salem – Coimbatore – Palghat – Trichur – Cochin
From Chennai: Chennai – Tindivanam – Salem – Coimbatore – Thrissur – Cochin
Where to stay:
1. Hotel Arches
1/341, Rose Street, Next to St. Francis Church,
Fort Cochin, Kerala, India, Pin: 682001
Phone: 91 484 221 50 50
Fax: 91 484 221 57 04
Bristow Road, Willingdon Island,
Cochin – 682 003
Ph: 91 484 308 1000
Fax: 91 484 308 1002
3. Abad Atrium
M.G Road, Cochin-682 035
Ph: 91 484 23811221
4. You are looking for heritage stay or theme based stay try Koder House or Victory Dawn
Opp : St : Andrews Parish Hall
Fort Cochin – 682 001
Ph : 91- 0484 – 2216730
Fax : 91- 0484 – 2215757
Cell : 09847- 032117
2. Hotel Luciya
Near KSRTC Bus Stand,
Stadium Road, Cochin – 35
Ph: 91 484 – 2381177, 2382471, 3043179, 3043177
3. Hotel Cochin Tower
Lissie Junction, Kochi-682 018, Kerala
4. Hotel Saas Tower,
Cannon Shed Road,
Near Main Boat Jetty – 682011
Ph : +91 484 2365319, 2365322, 2368545, 4069999
Fax : +91 484 2367365
Email : email@example.com
5. Hotel Aiswarya
MG Road, Cochin-16
Ernakulam, Kerala – 682016
Ph: 0484 2364454
6. ATS Willingdon Hotel
Willingdon Island, Cochin – 682 029
Tel : +91 484 2667643, 2667282, 2669223
Where to eat:
1. Hotel Thali
opposite Little Flower Church, near Kadavanthra
2. Bimbis Foodcourt
Jos Junction, MG Rd
Note: It is a good budget restaurant which offers north Indian, south Indian, continental and Chinese food.
3. Hotel Unnikrishnan
opposite Medical Trust Hospital, Pallimukku
4. Mughal Restaurant
South Railway Station Rd
5. Sree Krishna Cafe
Gujarathi St, Mattencherry.
6. Thai BBQ House
7. Khyber Pass
Jos Junction, MG Rd
8. Royal Food Court
Near North Railway Station
Language spoken: Malayalam, Hindi, English
Ernakulam is one of the most flourishing district in Kerela. Its headquarter Cochin has been a major sea port and trade center from centuries. Gochin has cultural impressions from various traders from Arabian countries, Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese, British etc. On 01/04/1958 the district of Ernakulam was formed with Cochin (Kochi) as its district headquarters. The word Ernakulam was derived from a Tamil word Erayanarkulam which means abode of Lord Shiva. The Portuguese first established a base in Cochin followed by the Dutch and British. Since 1814 Cochin was part administered by British and the local Kochi Raja (king). In 1947 the parts of British Malabar region and Kingdom of Travancore were merged to form one Malayalam speaking state. In 1948 this merged entity joined the dominion of India.
What to See:
1. Bastion Bunglow: This bunglow built by the Dutch in 1667 was in Indo – European style. Located the end of Church street, Fort Kochi this a beautiful residential place built by the then Dutch traders.
2. Hill Palace Museum: Hill palace museum is located around 12 km from Ernakulam on Hill Palace road, Thripunithara. It is the largest archeological museum in Kerela. The royal family of Kochi kingdom used to stay here. There is also a deer park and a zoo.
Timings: 10 am – 12.30 pm and 2 pm -4.30 pm (Crown gallery closes at 4 pm)
Entry fees: Rs 20 for Indian and Rs 100 for foreigners
3. Chinese Fishing Nets: China has century old trading relation with the kingdom of Cochin. The Chinese fishing nets gifted by then emperor of China can be seen at Beach road near Fort Kochi beach.
4. Bhoothathankettu: Bhoothathankettu dam is located around 50 km from Cochin in the village of Pindimana. The dam is built on river Periyar. Local myth says that the dam was built by demons to submerge the nearby Trikkariyoor (Lord Shiva) temple. But they were not successful and here you can see many different shaped stones. Here river Periyar flows through a thin gorge. However, geologists attribute to huge floods in the past. Also, you can see Bhoothathankettu reservoir, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and Idamalayar reservoir (12 km from here).
5. Bolghatty Island: Bolgatty island is famous for Bolghatty Palace built by dutch traders in 1744. It was the residence of the then Dutch governors followed by British. After India’s independence the palace has been concerted into a heritage hotel run by KTDC.
6. Chendamangalam: Chendamangalam town is located around 35 km from Cochin. This place is full of natural beauty with rivers, hills, green trees. The most important sightseeing here is the Paliam Palace. This place used to be the residence of Paliath Achans – prime minister of Kochi kings. You can also see some Jewish synagogue, church, mosque and the Hindu temple of Sri Venugopala Krishna Swami.
7. Cherai Beach: Cherai is very popular beach located on Vypin island around 25 km from Cochin. This 15 km beach is clean and not crowded. A perfect place for sun, sand and sea. You stay at some of the following hotels:
1. Cherai Beach Resort – http://www.cheraibeachresorts.com
2. Raja’s Residency
3. Brighton Beach House
4. Sea Line Beach Resort
5. Holiday Hotel
8. Dutch Palace: The Dutch palace is located in Mattancherry and is also know by Mattancherry Palace. This palace was built by the Portuguese and the gifted to the then Kochi king Veera Kerala Varma in 1555. Later the Dutch renovated this palace and it became popular by Dutch palace. The palace houses many works of Kochi kings and their artifacts.
9. Historical Museum: The Museum of Kerela history is located on national highway 47 near Edappally Toll Gate.
10. Jewish Synagogue: The Paradesi Synagogue is located besides Mattancherry Palace. It was built in 1568 by the Cochin Jewish community. It has a beautiful design and architecture.
11. Kodanad: This place is popular for its natural beauty and a small elephant zoo – Elephant Kraal . It is located around 50 km from Cochin. It is the only elephant training center in kerela and you go for a elephant safari in Kodanad Park.
12. Marine Drive: Marine Drive in Cochin is a sea front walkway. Here no vehicles are allowed and this area is full of fast food restaurant, malls and shops. The beautiful promenade is a popular hangout place. Sunrise or sunset view is amazing from here.
13. Pallipuram Fort: Pallipuram fort was originally built by the Portuguese and then captured by the Dutch. Later, it came to the hand of Kochi kings. One can also visit the museum there.
14. Parikshit Thampuran Museum: It is also called Pareekshith Thampuran Durbar Hall Art Gallery. It houses the paintings from various era and various artifacts of Kochi kings. This place used to be the darbar hall or court room of the Kochi kings.
15. Willingdon Island: Willingdon island is the largest man island constructed during British time in Kochi. It was constructed with the sand which came out of dredging the sea to deepen the Kochi port. It was named after the then viceroy of India Long Willingdon. The southern Naval command of India Navy, Kochi port and many prominent building and hotels are located here.
16. Santa Cruz Bascillica: Santa Cruz Bascillica is located near Saint Francis church. This is a Roman catholic church built in 1503 based on portuguese architecture. Located in fork Kochi area.
17. St.Francis Church: Saint Francis church built in 16th century and built by Portuguese is the first European church in India. Explorer Vasco Da Gama was buried in this church. Located in fork Kochi area.
18. Thrikkakara Temple: In this temple lord Vishnu is prayed as Vamana avatar. It is an old temple built in around 10th century. It is located around 8 km from Cochin.
You also visit other temples like Thirumala Devaswom Temple at Mattencherry, Ernakulam Siva Temple, Chottanikara Devi Temple and Poornathresya Temple around 15 km from Cochin at Thripunithara, Gujarathi Mandir (Jain temple) at Gujarathi street, Mattencherry, Kalady around 45 km from Cochin which the birth place of Hindu preacher Adi Shankaracharya, Kallil Bhagavathy temple around 23 km from Kalady and Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha on MG road.
19. Indian Naval Maritime Museum: Indian Naval Maritime Museum in Cochin is built on the navy ship INS Dronacharya. It is located in Fort Kochi area.
20. Indo-Portuguese Museum: The museum located in fort Kochi area showcase the colonization of Kochi and the Portuguese affairs here.
21. Mastyafed Milky-way Aqua-Tourist Village: Mastyafed Milky-way Aqua-Tourist Village is located in Malipuram Village in Vypin island and located around 12 km from Cochin. It is run by Mastyafed – the Kerela government fishery department. One can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, boating etc. Entry fees is Rs 100 per person which includes breakfast and lunch.
22. Kumbalangi Integrated Tourism Village: Kumbalangi island is a water front village located around 15 km from Cochin. It is promoted as India’s first eco tourist village. One can experience here fishing, country side, mangrove forest etc. for more info visit – http://kumbalangy.com/
One can visit Kanjiramattam Mosque located 30 km from Cochin and Chembittapally Mosque in fort Kochi area. Also there many parks in Cochin and prominent among them is Subhash Park at Park avenue, Children’s Park, Indira Renewable Energy Park, Beach Children’s Park at Beach Rd, Managalavanam onTatapuram-Pachalam Road. You can also visit Poru around 14 km from Cochin to enjoy the serene beauty of the bank of river Periyar. If you are looking for wet day out visit Veegaland Amusement Park in Kakkanad.