7 Top Tourist Places to Visit in Kochi, Kerala
Situated on India’s southwest coast, Kochi is a beautiful place in Kerala known for its spice trade history, colonial heritage, and thriving art scene, besides the other Kerala-associated attractions like backwaters, beaches, tea plantations, spice estates, ancient temples, etc. Kochi, also known as Cochin, is often referred to as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. This city in God’s Own Country impresses anyone with its lovely blend of old-world charm and modern aura. Kochi is one place you must add to your Kerala itinerary. Here is a list of some of the best places to visit in Kochi, Kerala.
A quaint fishing village with a colonial past, Fort Kochi is where you would find several popular Kochi attractions like beautiful Dutch, Portuguese, and British colonial buildings as well as the signature Chinese fishing nets along the shoreline of Fort Kochi beach. Feel the unique vibe of Fort Kochi by strolling through its streets. Visit St. Francis Church and Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica. Watch a traditional Kathakali performance at Kerala Kathakali Centre and feast on seafood at Fusion Bay while you are here.
Another of the best tourist places to visit in Kochi is Mattancherry, located right beside Fort Kochi. Once a center of the spice and tea trade, this vibrant locality is a melting pot of culture. Hindu and Jain temples, churches, and mosques abound in this region. It is home to major historical and cultural landmarks like Mattancherry Palace or the Dutch Palace, Paradesi Synagogue (India’s oldest functioning synagogue) and Jew Street. The other must-see places include Pazhayannur Bhagavathy Temple, Cochin Thirumala Devaswom, Dharmanath Jain temple, and International Tourism Police Station & Police Museum.
Considered among the most beautiful and cleanest beaches in Kerala, Cherai beach is situated off the coast of Vypeen Island, at a distance of 25 km from Kochi. This immaculate beach offers calm waters perfect for swimming. With golden sands, lush greenery of palms and coconuts, and a long coastline (stretching up to 15 km), Cherai beach is often referred to as the Princess of the Arabian Sea. If you go here during the mornings/ evenings, you’ll see many people practicing yoga and meditation at this tranquil beach. Love sunbathing at the beach with coconut water in hand? There are beachside shacks to provide you with coconut water and food.
A picturesque promenade overlooking the serene backwaters of Kerala, Marine drive is a famous hangout spot in Kochi among the locals and tourists alike. It is the perfect place for evening walks and sunset watching. The walkway is lined with numerous shopping malls and restaurants, inviting tourists for great shopping and dining experiences. Another major highlight of Marine drive is the Rainbow bridge. Tourists could also opt for a cruise on the backwaters that takes you to some of the popular places to visit in Kochi like Cochin Harbour, Mattancherry, and Bolgatty among others.
As the birthplace of Adi Shankara, one of the greatest Indian philosophers, Kalady attracts spiritually-inclined travelers in large numbers. This small town located east of the Periyar River is just 8 km from Cochin International Airport. The presence of several shrines and ghats inspired travelers seeking inner peace to this spiritual place in India. The best places to visit in Kalady are Sri Adi Sankara Keerthi Sthamba Mandapam, Shankara Temple, Sringeri Mutt Temples, Ramakrishna Advaita Ashram, Manickamangalam temple, Sri Krishna Temple, and Kalady Kadavu.
Named after Lord Willingdon (who served as the British Viceroy of India), Willingdon Island is the country’s largest human-made island. This island connects Kochi to major seaports not only across the country, but around the world, and is the headquarters for the southern naval command of India. Surrounded by the beautiful backwaters of Kerala, this is one of the ideal places to visit in Kochi for a relaxing vacation. Enjoy the unobstructed views and explore the island’s many museums and forts. You could stay in any of the luxurious hotels and resorts available in plenty at Willingdon Island.
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary:
Sprawled across 2.74 hectares of land in the heart of Kochi, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is a paradise for nature lovers and bird-watching enthusiasts. This ecologically sensitive area featuring acres of mangroves with a shallow tidal lake in the center is home to hundreds of birds as well as some species of butterflies, mammals, amphibians and fish. Several migratory birds also flock to this pristine place during the migration season (and this is the best time to visit the bird sanctuary for maximum bird sightings). The tidal lake of Mangalavanam Bird sanctuary is connected to Kerala backwaters by means of a canal.
Apart from the above, Kerala Folklore Museum, Bolgatty Island, Andhakaranazhi Beach, and Kodanad Elephant Training Centre are some of the top tourist places to visit in Kochi. So, when are you planning your trip? If you are looking for cheap flight tickets to Kochi from Philadelphia, check out the flight deals available at Indian EaglePlaces to visit in kochiThings to do in kochi