In Cochin you will come across many backwater options which will refresh your soul. Popular as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Cochin is a group of islands on the huge expanse of the Vembanad Lake. Some of these picturesque islands are Bolgatty, Vypeen, Gundu and Vallarpadam. The Vembanad Lake opens out into the Arabian Sea here to form one of the finest natural harbours in the world, making Cochin a fascinating blend of diverse cultures and influences. The interlinking of waterways has made Cochin a place, from where many backwater houseboat cruises begin or end. Cultural capital of Kerala, Trichur is a daylong trip from Cochin. The cultural traditions of Kerala are revealed in the museums, art schools and institutes of Trichur. Vadakkumnathan Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, is another must visit in Trichur. Pallippuram fort amongst the oldest existing European monuments in India is another place to be seen in Cochin. The museum of Kerala history in Edapally is an excursion option from Cochin. Chennamangalam near Cochin is an important handloom weaving and coir-manufacturing centre where you may visit the famous Vaipinkotta Seminary and an old Syrian Catholic Church. Close to Cochin is Kanjiramattom where the mosque attracts pilgrims and tourists alike. The mosque was built on the mortal remains of Sheikh Parid. The Kodikuthu festival takes place at the mosque in December-January. For the fun seekers in Cochin the beautiful Cherai Beach is an ideal retreat. Swimming is the best thing to do. Near by is a classic village of Kerala with paddy fields and coconut groves. The birthplace of Adi Shankaracharya, Kalady is another excursion option from Cochin. Two shrines made in memory of Shankaracharya are must visit sacred sites here. The annual festival in the Shiva temple of Cochin is the best time to visit Cochin. Make your holidays at Cochin more enjoyable by seeing these nearby places. The places to visit in Cochin are
Named after Lord Willington, the British viceroy to India this man-made island is surrounded by beautiful backwaters. The Willington Island is the site of the city's best hotels, customs and trading centers, the port trust and also the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command.
This place is situated at a connecting point of 3 hills and 7 inlets and is a geographical wonder. The place is a photographer's paradise and houses some really wonderful architectural works. The Paliam palace is an architectural marvel and houses the hereditary Prime Ministers to the Maharajas of Cochin. Apart from this, you will find temples, mosques and churches together on one piece of land, symbolizing the peaceful coexistence of religions in this place.
The Cherai Beach
Is situated at a distance of about thirty five km from Cochin and is on the north end of Vypeen Island. The unique feature of the Cherai beach is that lot of Dolphins can be seen here. The newly beautified 400 Meters of the main beach with the walkway adds to the charm and the High mask lamps make the beach enjoyable even at night. The Cherai beach is also one of the favorite destinations to enjoy the best of sea food delicacies to be combined with the country liquor called Toddy. The Cherai beach is about 10 km long with splendid beauty of white sand, blue water and green vegetation. The green vegetation here includes the coconut trees and the paddy fields lining the shore. When you will see the coconut and the paddy field dancing with the wind along the shore all your tensions will be relaxed. Also a visit to the Cherai beach will make you familiar to the prawn farming techniques. This is an uninterrupted place in the Gods own country away from city noise and pollution, where each one of us should try to attempt visiting this beach. It is an ideal place to spend a laid back, peaceful holiday amidst enchanting surroundings. The tourist department is trying to improve the facilities here to attract more tourists.. Cherai beach is now becoming a favorite spot for beach lovers. The beach frontage and the backwaters frontage have given Cherai magnificent scenic beauty.
Just at fifty km from Cochin, this beautiful patch of unexplored land lies near the famous Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. This lush green haven is an ideal spot to hang out with family and unwind yourself in nature.
Kaladi is located around thirty five km from Cochin and is the birthplace of the great Adi Shankararcharya, who was a great philosopher in ancient India. It is said that a crocodile caught hold of his leg and left it only when his family agreed to Shankararcharya's decision to become a saint.
This place is around thirty km from Cochin and is located in the high ranges on the southern bank of the Periyar. Kodanad is renowned as the largest centre for training elephants in South India. Elephants are specially trained here for riding and do work that humans can't, like transporting logs, exploring the jungles, etc. In fact there is a mini zoo here for tourists that houses wild animals.
Chinese Fishing Nets, Fort Kochi
The Chinese fishing nets popularly known as Cheenavala are distinctly unique to Cochin. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. But to the surprise, these nets are found only in Kochi, outside China. Many fishermen earn their livelihood by fishing using these massive nets. A whole stretch of the coast along Fort Kochi and Vypeen are dotted with these nets. Icons of Fort Kochi, the Chinese fishing nets located at the far end of Vasco da Gama Square attract curious visitors who like to fish. This is due to the excellent fishing technique that still exists in the region. The fishing nets are thought to have been built 500-600 years ago as Chinese traders were initially exploring the southern coastline of India.
Today local Keralite fishermen make their livelihood from the numerous contraptions seen along the coast. These are the only nets tourists can view outside of China, making them extraordinary. Visitors can plan roughly an hour to adequately see the nets and surrounding stalls. This area is part of the larger walking tour of Fort Kochi but can also be accessed via the plentiful taxis which are available nearby in the square. The famous Kathakali dance performances also take place within walking distance from the nets. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Ample eating establishments serving a wide array of cuisine including Indian fare are a stones throw from here.