Formerly known as cochin, Kochi is a city in Kerala that boasts one of the finest natural harbours in the world and was the hub of the world of spice trade for centuries. Located on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula, Kochi is popularly referred to as the Gateway of Kerala. Kochi serves as an ideal starting point for exploring the diversity of Kerala and is one of the top tourist destinations in Kerala tour packages.
Kochi includes parts of old Kochi (a group of islands comprising of Willingdon Island, Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, etc.), Ernakulam City, Kumbalangi, and outlying islands. Flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the West, Kochi’s proximity to the sea, the hills, and the equator provides with a moderate equatorial climate. Kochi is also a centre for Keralan arts and is one of the best places to see traditional dance forms including Kathakali and Kalarippayat.
Many historians believe that Kochi comes from the word ‘Cochazhi’, which means ‘small sea’ in Malayalam. Others believe that traders from the court of famous Chinese ruler Kublai Khan gave this name. A wide variety of Chinese fishing nets can be the result of the heavy Chinese influence in the past. Another theory says that the word may be a modified form of ‘Kaci’, which means ‘harbour’.
How to Reach Kochi?
Located 30 km. northeast of the city, Cochin/Kochi International Airport is the nearest airport. Well-connected to the rest of India, Kochi has three main railway stations— Ernakulam Junction (main station), Ernakulam Town, and Cochin harbour Terminus. Apart from many state roads, there are three National Highways NH 47, NH 17, and NH 49 connects major cities to Kochi.
Best Time to Visit Kochi
The month of March marks the arrival of the summer and the mercury continues to rise till June. Temperature ranges between 20 and 37, which makes the place quite hot and humid. If you want to enjoy Kochi in its rain-washed splendour, you can visit the place during the monsoons i.e. July to September. Winters (October to February) is the best time to visit Kochi. The temperature during the winter makes it an ideal time for beach bums, honeymooners, and adventure seekers.
Places to Visit in Kochi
The serene backwaters of Kochi lying parallel to the Arabian Sra Coast are one of the major attractions of the Kerala tour packages. Marine Drive, Fort Kochi, Hill Palace, Mattancherry Palace, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Jewish Synagogue, Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, Bolgatty Palace, Willingdon Island, Kochi International Marina, Museum of Kerala History, St. Francis Church, Pallipuram Fort, Fort Emmanuel, Bastion Bungalow, Kodungallur Bhagvathy Temple, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, Cherai Beach, etc. are some of the popular places to visit in Kochi.
With an intriguing mix of 600-years trading history, a 400-year synagogue, Chinese influence, remains of British Raj, stunning backwaters, forts, museum, temples, Kochi is a perfect getaway for couples, friends as well as family.