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The dynamic city of Cochin, also known as Kochi, is Kerala’s prime tourist destination on the southwest coast of India. Known as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea” because of its importance as a spice trading centre since the 14th century, this cosmopolitan city is sure to leave an impression on you. The city is one of India’s major commercial ports and is linked together by a series of bridges and ferries. Its many layered history of Christian, Arab and Jewish settlers make it a melting pot of culture giving it a distinct and lively atmosphere and making it a fascinating destination to visit.
Fort Cochin - Many small art galleries fill the grid like streets of Fort Cochin: this is one of the most important contemporary art hubs in India. The Portuguese erected their first citadel in this area and dozens of European monuments can still be seen here.
Vypin Island - Picturesque fishing villages can be found on Vypin Island. The idyllic Cherai Beach. with it’s coconut tree corridors, safe sea swimming and watersports, offers plenty of opportunities to relax.
Ernakulam Mainland - Cochin’s modern heart and transport hub is also the centre for commercial and business ventures and the place for shopping.
Willingdon Island - This man made island is the location of Kochi Port and Indian Navy infrastructure. It is an interesting spot for watching the boats arriving and departing.
The detailed murals depicting Hindu legends at Mattancherry Palace are a must-see for the Chinese fishing nets that punctuate the shoreline. An iconic image of Cochin and testament to the city’s relationship with ancient China. Pardesi Synagogue, one of the only synagogues in India, and St Francis Church, India’s oldest European church, are two other unique sightseeing opportunities. A short drive from Cochin is the Kodanadu Elephant Training College. Be sure to make the most of this very special chance to see elephants up close.
The Museum of Kerala History depicts the story of the city and the Kerala Folklore Museum contains 4000 fascinating artefacts and a beautiful wooden theatre upstairs. If you’re travelling with the family then the Wonderla Amusement Park and Mangalavanam mangrove forest are great places to explore with children. Spicy Keralan food served on a banana leaf is sure to tickle your tastebuds. If you want to learn how the delicious food is made take a curry class or head to the city’s bustling spice markets. Cochin is famous for it’s lavish festivals and - should all the excitement get too much - the perfect way to relax is with an ayurvedic treatment at a massage centre.
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