Cochin, the striking port city, is located in the southwestern coast of the Indian Subcontinent. This vivacious little town in Ernakulam district is also referred to as the "Gateway to Kerala". Cochin is bordered with the wooded and fascinating Western Ghats in the east and flabbergasting Arabian Sea in the west. Cochin becomes a true paradise when the plentiful mangroves and dense coconut trees mirror in the crystal - clear backwaters. The city is also ornamented with flawless ancient churches, cathedrals, sanctuaries, and forts. To add on, Kochi has been a prominent trading zone since ancient times. The tradition and esteem of this enthralling bizarre land is well maintained till date. There are numerous tourist attractions in Cochin, particularly the stunning backwaters that shower an ultimate charm and offer a unique experience to tourists oncoming the city. Below is a list of famous sightseeing places which are a must-see in Cochin.
There are several gorgeous backwaters to admire in Cochin as it is a bunch of islands on the vast stretch of the Vembanad Lake. Some of these picture-book islands are Bolgatty, Vypeen, Gundu, and Vallarpadam. The Vembanad Lake edges form one of the finest natural harbors worldwide. One can enjoy several backwater houseboat cruises which commence from here.
Santa Cruz Basilica
This impressive monumental church was built in 1558 and showcases a large number of allure paintings created on its ceiling. It is a Roman Catholic Cathedral and has being a site of devotion, carrying a rich historical significance. Moreover, you will come across amazing architectures, astounding gracefulness, and colors of the gothic style.
St. Francis Church
This is the country's oldest European church, constructed by Portuguese Friars in 1503. It was renovated in 1779 by the protestant Dutch, transformed into an Anglican Church by the British in 1795, and is currently exercised by the church of South India. What's more, the remains of Vasco da Gama were interred here in 1524, but later shifted to Lisbon, Portugal. However, his tombstone still stands in the compound of the church.
This tremendously beautiful palace was established in 1557 by the Portuguese. It was later gifted to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Cochin. The Dutch rebuilt the palace in 1663. Today, it is a showcase of some marvelous murals demonstrating scenes from the famous epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, while awe-inspiring showcases of Puranic legends can also be found.
Bolghatty Palace is situated on a pulchritudinous Bolghatty Island, located near Ernakulam district. This famous and immensely breathtaking Bolghatty Palace was constructed by the Dutch and was once the residence of the British residents of Cochin. The palace is now renewed into a grandiose and luxurious hotel. Tourists fall in love with the picturesque scenic beauty encircling the palace.
Beaches in Kochi are magnificent and one such is the astonishing Cherai Beach. It borders the sublime Vypeen Island which is deemed to be an ideal destination for enjoying great swimming sessions. Interestingly, dolphins are also spotted here occasionally. Tourists can explore the nearby typical Kerala village, blessed with lush paddy fields and lovely coconut groves.
Hill Palace Museum, Thripunithura
The Hill Palace is the official habitat of the royal family of Cochin and was constructed in 1865. The palace complex comprises of 49 amusing buildings, encircled by 52 acres of beautifully terraced land, featuring a Deer Park and horse riding facilities. The museum, located in the palace premises, has 13 galleries which showcase stunning oil paintings, murals, 19th century paintings, manuscripts, stone sculptures, and plaster of Paris sculptures, inscriptions, and coins. All these exhibited antiques belong to the Cochin royal family.
Pareekshith Thampuran Museum
Previously known as the Durban Hall, this museum exemplifies the grandiose and traditional Kerala style structure. The museum showcases brilliant 19th century oil paintings and amusing collection of old coins, sculptures, and Mughal paintings. Visitors are sure to get highly surprised and awestruck as they explore every single ancient heritage displayed here.
This impeccably beautiful island is named after Lord Willingdon, the British viceroy of India. It is a man-made island engulfed by serene and soothing backwaters. This island comprises of some of the most lavish hotels, customs, and trading centers of Kochi. It also serves as the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command.
This dazzling architecture was constructed in 1568 and is the oldest synagogue in the list of commonwealth countries. It is highly popular for the mid 18th century hand printed, willow pattern floor tiles from Canton in China, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, a dock tower, ancient scripts on copper plates, and much more.
This beautiful island is amongst the most populated islands in the world. One can access it either by boat or by a series of newly built Goshree Bridges. The sojourn to this island will offer you abundant everlasting memories of exceptional scenic beauty. A majestic lighthouse at Ochanthuruth also attracts many tourists paying a visit to this island.