Ernakulam

Ernakulam

Ernakulam, the emerging business metropolis is located on the coast of Arabian Sea. This city is fascinating mixture of old and new. The district comprises many interesting cities like Kochi (Cochin) known as the commercial capital of Kerala. Ernakulam has one the finest natural harbor and is known as Queen of Arabian Sea. The Cochin Harbor is the major Centre of trade and commerce in South India. Traders from different parts of the world like British, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch etc., have all come to this shore in search of exotic spices and sandalwood. Even today, Ernakulam welcomes the visitors with its customary warmth and traditional hospitality. Ernakulam is well connected to all major cities of Kerala. Kottayam and Alappuzha districts are situated in the South, Idukki towards East and Thrissur lies in the North. The city is now known as the gateway for travelers who visits Kerala. Ernakulam compared to other districts in Kerala has a well-established International Airport which is also known as the first Airport in India which completely use solar energy for all its electricity needs. The city is rich with heritage places, industries, shopping malls, cinema houses, hotels and restaurants. Cochin is also known for the Chinese fishing nets, churches, spectacular backwaters and synagogues. Ernakulam consists of 4 islands - Fort Cochin, Willingdon, Vypeen and Bolgatty. Fort Cochin is situated in seaward side of the bay, Willingdon Island is a manmade island, which was formed from the sand dug out for deepening the sea for construction of port.


Places to visit


Willingdon Island

The name of the island emerged from earlier Viceroy of India, Lord Willingdon. This man-made island is surrounded by backwaters and travelers will be astonished to see the options of hotels and restaurants in this island. They are few of the best available in Kerala. Also, the island has Port Trust and the headquarters of the Southern Naval command. This island is just 3 kilometers away from Ernakulam South Railway Station and 26 kilometers from Cochin International Airport. Also, Willingdon Island is connected to Ernakulam by a bridge, which has made this island an integral part of Cochin.

Fort Cochin

Fort Cochin will give you a feel of European Architecture as this area was under possession of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British at different points of time. You feel transported to a different world when you reach Fort Kochi by the influence of the people residing over here and the buildings you get to site. This island was named Fort Cochin after Portuguese constructed Fort Emmanuel for protecting their commercial and trade interests. Anyhow, this fort was demolished by Dutch and they created their settlements later. Dutch also built a wooden church, which was later reconstructed as a permanent church and named St.Francis church in the present times. This church is world famous and known as the first church built by Europeans in India. Also, the body of Vasco Da Gama was initially over buried here and later the remains were shipped to Portugal.

Jewish Synagogue

Jewish Synagogue known as the charm of Mattanchery is situated in the corner of the Jew town which is more than 100 years and many of the houses sited here is considered as a rare antique. This monument is also known as Paradesi Synagogue, the word Paradesi in India means foreigners and refers to Jews from Europe and Middle East. Jewish Synagogue is constructed adjacent to Mattanchery Palace. The synagogue is unique for the designing and rare antique objects displayed. We have to enter the synagogue barefoot and admissions are permitted every day except Fridays, Saturdays and Jewish Holidays. Timings: 10 AM to 12 PM and 3 PM to 5 PM. The light which enters the synagogue through the large open window makes sight of chandeliers and lamps more delightful. The floors of the synagogue is paved by hand painted ceramic floor imported from China. Overall the synagogue is absolutely a showpiece for the visitors and will catch the admiration of visitors.

Mattancherry palace

This palace was built by Portugese, reconstructed by Dutch and presented to King Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi. This church is built in typical Kerala style with the courtyard having a Bhagavathi Temple and as Nalukettu. The Dutch Palace is double storeyed palace and the building which stands by the panoramic Kochi backwaters has an exquisite collection of murals collectively covering over 300 sq ft of its walls.

Santa Cruz Basilica Church

Many areas of Cochin takes us for a ride along the history of India. Santa Cruz Basilica, one of the eight basilicas in India is inimitable landmark where devotion embraces history, artistry, and architectural grandeur. This church is also the known as the second oldest diocese in India. The amazing construction welcomes all even from a distance and has has two lofty spires. The interior of the church is pastel-coloured with the exterior white-washed and astonishingly bright. Seven large canvas paintings are exhibited in the church which includes a beautiful reproduction of the 'Last Supper' by Leonardo da Vinci. The paintings in the ceilings is a feast for the eyes which shows the Crucis of Christ. Santa Cruz Basilica Church is a must visit place in Fort Cochin

Bolgatty Palace

Bolgatty Palace is a not be missed list entry during your visit to Ernakulam. This is a well preserved heritage resort in an island owned by Kerala Tourism Development Cooperation (KTDC). This island is in the midst of the busting city Kochi and the city view from the Bolgatty Palace is stunning. This palace is originally built by Dutch traders in 1744 and it is the oldest of this kind which exists outside Holland. The Bolgatty Palace Resort known as honeymooner’s paradise gives world class amenities and also comprises of greenery which gives an exotic island feel.

Magalavanam Bird Sanctuary

Mangalavanam, the green lung of Kochi is located in the city near the High Court of Kerala. This is an unbelievable evergreen forest in the city which is a dwelling place for many rare migratory birds. This is also known as the relaxing point for residents of Kochi. The sanctuary also consists of many varieties of trees which contributes towards the cool temperature in the sanctuary. Mangalavanam also supports many types of mangroves, which includes rare and vulnerable species of the same as well. Early in the summer is the best time to visit this sanctuary.

Marine Drive

Marine drive, is the best hang out place in Kochi which is line by many shops, restaurants, shopping malls and supermarkets. This place is the main Centre where people gather for many programs and also meet up to have a relaxing evening. This place nowadays has become the ground for all programs conducted in Cochin and is the host for many events organized which has been noticed all over the world. Marine drive is also known for the Rainbow Bridge and International tourism boat jetty complex. You can find many eateries in marine drive which will keep your stomach happy as well as your mind feel refreshed with the back water view of Cochin.

Malayattoor

The St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Malayattoor (or Malayatoor Church) is one of the most prominent Christian pilgrim centers in Ernakulam district of Kerala, India. The church is known for St.Thomas the Apostle who built the church and the one who played a key role in developing Christianity in Kerala. This church is famous and attracts devotees all over the world. This church is one among the eight International shrines designated by Vatican in the world. This church is located 15km away from the town Kalady. Malayattoor is also known as the meeting place of mountain, river and land.

Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple

Chottanikkara Bhagavathy temple is governed by Cochin Devaswom Board and is a well known pilgrim destination in Kerala. Here the divine mother known as Rajarajeswari (Adiparasakthi) is worshipped in three forms in a day Saraswathy in the morning, Lakshmi at noon and Durga in the evening. Makam Thozhal is the festival celebrated grandly in Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple, it is believed the bhagavathy gave darshan to a devotee on the same the day and appears on Makom day in her special appearance to give darshan for devotees. Also, Bhadrakaali is believed to exorcise evil spirit from devotees after conducting bhajan. The atmosphere in temple gives mental peace and harmony to devotees.

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