Cochin or Kochi, as it is called now, has been an important trading port since the ancient ages. European traders were lured to this port as it offered them the lucrative opportunity to trade in Indian spices, an item much in demand in Europe during those days. With time it got the name �Queen of the Arabian Sea� and even today, it is considered the commercial capital of Kerala.
Cochin is an important business center as well as a famous port on the Malabar coast. There are many tourist attractions in Cochin, making it an important destination for tourism in Kerala. The many forts, churches and other buildings are reminders of the British and Portuguese presence in this city.
Tourist Attractions in Cochin:
Fort Cochin � it is the most prominent tourist spot in Cochin and many important monuments related to the city�s history are located in Fort Cochin. These include-
St. Francis church � this is the oldest church built in India by the Europeans. Vasco da Gama , the famous Portuguese trader and explorer was buried here. His remains were later shifted to Portugal by his son.
Santa Cruz Basilica � the current structure of this Church was built in 1905 after the British had destroyed the original cathedral built by the Portuguese. The structure dates back to 1505. It was upgraded to the status of Basilica in 1984.
Fort kochi Beach � this beach is an ideal location for a walk during dawn or dusk. The Chinese fishing nets used by the fishermen are a distinctive feature of this beach.
Jewish Synagogue and Dutch Palace � Both of these are located in Mattancherry. The synagogue was built in 1568. The Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers adorn this wonderful work of decorative architecture. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament are stored here. The Dutch palace was built by the Portuguese but later modified by the Dutch. This palace was subsequently transferred to the rulers of Kochi. Murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata are the major attraction in this Palace.
The museum of Kerala history � audio visual aids have been used in this museum to depict the history of Kerala. Many statues and paintings are also on display here.
Parikshit Thampuran museum � the exhibits of this museum have been shifted to the Hill Palace museum. This was originally used by the rulers of Cochin for their durbars. Currently the building serves as the gallery of contemporary art managed by the Lalith kala Academy.
The Bolghatty Palace, Hill Palace, Pallipuram fort, Cherai Beah, Veega Land, and the Wilingdon island are some of the many tourist attractions in Cochin.
Transportation in Cochin:
Air : Cochin has an international airport 30 kilometrs from the city. The city is connected by direct flights with all the major Indian cities as well as many major middle eastern cities and Singapore.
Rail : Three railway stations in the city connect it to the rest of the country. These are Eranakulam Junction, Eranakulam Town, and Cochin Harbor Terminus. These stations are the starting points of many important trains.
Road : A network of well maintained roads make road travel to and from Cochin very comfortable. Three national highways pass through or originate from the city.
Touristplacesinindia.com offers all inclusive information about Cochin and other tourist places in India.
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