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Ernakulam district prides itself of unparalleled natural beauty steeped in rich cultural and historic values. Also known as Kochi, the district is fringed by vast Arabian Sea coastline on one hand and commercially flourishing cities such as Kottayam, Alappuzzha and Thrissur on the other. Aquamarine waters stretching to eternity and coconut palms forming the skyline, Ernakulam has been generously blessed by nature with idyllic locations. The natural harbour in Kochi has witnessed trading ships anchoring in since Roman period. Reshaped in 1958, the harbour has the unique distinction of being the largest natural port serving as trading centre on the Western coast. Ernakulam or ‘The Queen of Arabian Sea’ has been named after Ernakulathappan Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The district had been formed by merging the princely states of Cochin and Travancore with British Malabar. The district is heavily influenced by Western cultures and carries vestiges of its interactions with British, Chinese, Dutch, Portugese and Arabians in the shapes of churches and regal palaces. It became the first district in India to boast of 100% literacy.

Periyar River

The longest river in Kerala flowing through Ernakulam is fringed by coconut and palm plantations. A number of small islands made artificially blossoms with verdant landscapes and exotic flora and fauna.

Dutch Mattancherry Palace

This palace was constructed by Portugese in 1555 AD and was gifted to the Cochin’s king. The quadrangular double storied structure has been fashioned with oriental designs and later became the abode of imperial family. The architecture blends seamlessly with cultural inputs and creates a vibrant atmosphere within.

Bolghatty Palace

The splendid palace is located on the serene Bolghatty island away from the hustle and bustle of main city. Dutch rulers once lived in the grand palace. Furniture from the Dutch period still can be seen in its natural glory. The palace is now commercially used as a hotel. Adjacent to the palace are a golf course and beautiful park. The island is connected to the main city through ferry service.

Fort Kochi beach

The pristine beach is now a flourishing fishing ground. You will catch sight of fishing nets sprawling along the beach. These nets have been fashioned after the vintage nets that were used during the period of Mongolian ruler Kublai Khan. The beach has been the silent witness of foreigners setting foot in India and foreign cultures extending their sway over the local one. Alongside the beach, you will come across numerous imposing monuments which speak volumes about the place’s rich history.

Thripunithura Hill Palace Museum

Kerala’s largest archaeological museum houses historic and archaeological masterpieces that would stun you with wonder. The palace is also the Cochin’s royal family’s official residence. Kerala’s conventional architectural genius gets abundantly reflected from the walls and artefacts of the museum. You can catch glimpses of the ethno-archaeological pieces that have been a part of daily lives of erstwhile regal family. The garden space is used for cultivating rare medicinal plants featuring varied flora species. Enthusiasts of horse riding can enjoy ride on the equine animal in the sprawling lawn. Nearby is a deer park also.

Pareekshith Thampuran Museum

The museum once served as the Durbar Hall of regal family. The architectural style of the building conforms to traditional Kerala way of construction. The museum features an amazing collection sculptures, oil paintings several centuries back, vintage coins, and Mughal era paintings.

Jewish Synagogue

Jews got this prayer place constructed at the end of 16th Century. Later, the Portugese plundered it and set it ablaze. The Dutch later restored the synagogue. This place serves as the repository of well-preserved ancient spiritual scriptures. The area on the outskirts of the synagogue is referred as Jew Town. You can market for antiques and spices here.

St. Francis Church

Portugese Christian mendicants got this church constructed in 1503 AD. It is a famous historical monument. Vasco De Gama, the famed Portugese explorer who had set foot in India in 1498 AD, was laid to rest here and the headstone is still preserved till date. The spectacular rattan fans manually operated by tugging on ropes during the Sunday Church service add to the attraction.

Pallipuram Fort

The splendid fort reminds of the architectural glories of the past and has the unique distinction of being the oldest European fort constructed in India.

Cherai Beach

The picturesque beach is located 42 Km from Kochi with the aquamarine water lapping the Vypeen Island. Lovers of country life can savour the rustic charm of the typical Kerala village replete with paddy fields and coconut palms. Dolphins can be spotted doing somersaults in the water. The beach is ideal for swimming.

Bhoothathankettu

On the north eastern side of Ernakulam town about 50 Km away is the scenic place. The dam is located next to the sylvan grove. Excursion lovers can trek through the thriving forest trails. You can enjoy boating on the dam’s waters. Thatteckaud, the bird sanctuary dedicated to the memories of acclaimed ornithologist, Salim Ali is in the vicinity. In close proximity are the Idamalayar Irrigation Project and the Periyaar Valley Irrigation Project, Ernakulam’s major irrigation projects.

Willingdon Island

India’s British Viceroy Lord Willingdon is the eponym for the island. The idyllic island is surrounded by placid backwaters. The tranquillity of the place will win you over. The island is man-made. The soil that had been gathered during the process of deepening of the Cochin harbour docks’ was used for building the island. The island serves as the headquarters of Southern naval command. A heart-warming cruise of the backwater on a luxury liner is a joyous ride that you would cherish for a lifetime.

Bastion Bungalow

The construction style is Indo-European. It was built in 1667 AD. The old Dutch fort’s Stromberg Bastion, where the building is located, is the eponym for the bungalow.

Chendamangalam

Paliath Achans who used to serve as the prime ministers of Kochi Maharajas used to live here. The Paliam palace reflects the magnificence of the Kerala’s architecture. This place is 42 Km away from Ernakulam and within the palace, there is a commendable collection of relics and historic documents.

Children’s Park

The park is a visual toast for children. The fountain displays a vibrant play of colours to the tunes of soothing music. The high tech park also features a non-conventional energy museum. A number of entertainment options are available for children.

Chottanikkara Temple

This beautiful temple, situated 13 Km from Kochi, is dedicated to Goddess Durga Bhagawathy. The deity is worshipped in her three avatars Saraswati, Bhadrakali and Durga respectively during the 3 phases of day. She is draped in white in the morning, in crimson during the noon and in blue in evening.

Iringole Forest Temple

The temple is situated in the centre of town some 8 Km away from Kalady and is surrounded by tropical rain forest. The peace of mind you would experience here is unparalleled. The place is suitable for communing with nature spiritually.

Kalady

Kalady is forever etched in the spiritual map of world. Greatest Hindu philosopher, Adi Sankaracharya, who pulled the religion out of the abyss of ignorance and metamorphosed it, was born here. Many of his childhood pastimes in Kaladi are still being recounted. The place has two shrines of Dakshinamoorthy and Devi Sharada here. The place exudes religious fervour and is situated some 45 Km from Kochi.

Kallil Jain Mandir

The temple is believed to be built in 9th Century AD and has been carved out of a mammoth rock in the nearby hill. Situated 22 KM away from Kalady, one has to negotiate 120 steps to visit the historic temple.

Kanjiramattom Mosque

Sheikh Parid, the famous muslim saint, was cremated here in Kanjiramattom Mosque. The structure has been built over his mortal remains. Baver, a muslim saint, is rumoured to have attained salvation here. Enjoy the variegated colours of Ernakulam and experience the rich historic and cultural links.

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