Best Seven Must-Visit Attractions City in Kochi, India

Kochi multi-cultural history has given it several landmarks to take pride in. Influenced by Europe and the Keralan state’s indigenous culture, here are seven must-visit attractions in the Indian city.

Kochi

Kerala Kathakali Centre

Watch Kathakali – the traditional dance-drama art form of Kerala – at the Kerala Kathakali Centre. Kathakali is traditionally performed at night on the premises of a temple, but you can watch it at the centre indoors. Here, the nuances of Kathakali are explained to the visitor, such as the hand gestures, the traditional storylines and the identification of the characters. You can also take photographs of the artists as they undergo their elaborate makeup rituals.

Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica

The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is an ancient structure from the Dutch regime and renowned for its Gothic architecture. Originally built by the Portuguese in 1558, it was destroyed by the British and later rebuilt in 1887. It was ordained a Basilica in 1984 by Pope John Paul II. The church is striking in its appearance, wearing a bright cream-ish-white coat of paint. The main altar inside it is decorated by the acclaimed Italian painter Fra Antonio Moscheni.

Chinese Fishing Net

Walk along the sea face of Fort Kochi marvelling at the Chinese Fishing Nets that date back centuries. This 10 m (33 ft.) high structures are operated by a team of around six fishermen. The nets, compared to the more conventional ones, are outstretched over the sea with large stones suspended from ropes as counterweights at the other end. They do not yield a large catch and mostly contain only some fish and crustaceans. Other than Kochi, these Chinese Fishing Nets are found in Kollam, another district of Kerala.

Hill Palace Museum

The largest archaeological museum in Kerala, the Hill Palace Museum, built in 1865, was the official residence of the erstwhile rulers of Kochi. Oil paintings, murals, sculptures, manuscripts and belongings of the Kochi royal family are exhibited here. Make a day of it by visiting the deer park, children’s park, prehistoric park and heritage museum, while exploring the numerous rare species on medicinal plants, all to be found on the Hill Palace premises. About 10 km (6.2 mi) from the city centre, the attraction is approachable by road and rail.

St. Francis Church

The St. Francis Church is the first European church built in India, dating back to 1503. It is here that the remains of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama were first buried. Originally made with mud and wood, the church was later reconstructed in stone in 1516 and declared a protected structure in 1923. This is the only remaining Portuguese church in Kochi, as the rest were destroyed by the Dutch during their reign over the city. Services are conducted here only on Sundays and commemorative days and it is open for visitors on weekdays.

Iringole Bhagavathy Temple

This hidden beauty is a temple dedicated to Goddess Vana Durga. It is nestled amid an evergreen forest called a kaavu –sacred grove, which has remained undisturbed until today. According to a local myth, it is protected by the trees within the grove who are gods themselves and are there to protect the deity. The 50 acres of forest area surrounding the temple is home to 44 species of birds and a number of endangered animals and insects. A pond near the entrance of the premises houses numerous turtles, fish, birds and butterflies.

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Paradesi Synagogue

The oldest Jewish Synagogue in the country and the only functioning one in the city, the Paradesi Synagogue dates back to 1567 and is attributed to the Spanish-speaking Cochin Jews. Considered one of the biggest tourist attractions in Kochi, the synagogue is renowned for its centuries-old blue and white Chinese tiles. The place of worship can be accessed with a small entrance fee. The ticket collector, Yaheh Hallegua, is the last surviving woman from the latest generation of Cochin Jews.

The 10 Best Heritage Hotels in Kannur Kerala, India

Heritage Hotels With rampant modernization and advancement, hotels around the world compete with each other on the latest styles and innovations. However, there are some hotels that are dedicated to perpetuating the dying cultures and traditions of the land. Kerala is rich with history, nature, and culture, and there are several hotels that keep alive its legacy. Here are the ten best heritage hotels from across the state that has retained the old world charm and continue to live the tales.

Heritage Hotels

Chittoor Kottaram – CGH Earth, Kochi

Chain Hotel, Eco Hotel, Garden Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel With a rich history of three centuries, this traditional mansion was built by the Raja of Cochin, who also constructed a family temple just 50 yards away from the dwelling. Devoid of extravagance, it is commendable for its plain and tasteful glory. The palace has been maintained to preserve its original essence and as a remembrance of the days of yore. The highlight of the hotel is that it accepts only singular guests, where the entire staff will be dedicated to your services exclusively.

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Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel, Kochi

Located in the chief tourist spot of Fort Kochi, Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel provides scenic vistas of the sea. Their food is favored for its modern take on classic delicacies. The place is a recipient of the Travellers’ Choice Awards by Tripadvisor in 2016. The precinct of the hotel houses the old lighthouse mast that dates back to 1927.

Coconut Lagoon – CGH Earth Resort, Kumarakom

Built with the aim of perpetuating traditional Kerala architecture, these homes on the Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom are a living legacy of the ancient ancestral homes, or tharavadu, that existed in Kerala and are now almost extinct. The abodes have been diligently rebuilt from the original locations around Kerala. The experience of staying at the estate is heightened by the presence of the sacred grove on the land.

Bolgatty Palace and Island Resort, Bolgatty Isand

Built by the Dutch traders in 1744, this mansion houses four stately quarters. Popular with honeymooners, it is known for its exclusivity and world-class conveniences, which includes a nine-hole golf course created in 1925. The royal home began as the abode of the commander of Dutch Malabar and was later rented out to the British in 1909. It served as the seat of the British Resident of Cochin during the British Raj.

Casino Hotel, Kochi

The forerunner of the CGH Earth group of hotels that specializes in heritage assets, Casino Hotel was erected in the late 1950s. It is an exemplar of the perfect amalgamation of the rich past and the distinguished present. The hotel is renowned for their hospitality, which reflects the intrinsic warmth of the people of God’s Own Country. They ensure that the patrons experience a slice of Kerala through its architecture, amenities, and cuisine.

Eighth Bastion – CGH Earth, Fort Kochi

According to historical records, there were seven bastions in Fort Kochi that were built by the Portuguese and bolstered by the Dutch later. The Eighth Bastion is inspired by this colonial history and reflects it in its architecture and style. The charming boutique hotel is built in line with the style of the forts built by the Dutch East India Company. The hotel’s affinity to antiquity is underlined by the presence of the model of the Batavia, the relic of a legendary vessel that was washed off the coast of Australia.

Taj Malabar Resort & Spa, Cochin, Kochi

Characterized by the old world charm, this 5-star property offers its guests world-class luxuries. Embodying colonial charm, the hotel enjoys an envious location, being situated at the waterfront and facing the Arabian Sea. It thus provides an unshared experience replete with unbeaten luxuries. Wood-beamed ceilings and wood finishing lend a regal touch to the ambiance and stay.

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Brunton Boatyard Hotel – CGH Earth, Kochi

Reminiscent of the colonial period, this pleasing hotel has preserved the remnants of the past. A five-star hotel in the midst of bustling Fort Kochi, the ambiance of the place is done up with the influences of the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. The artifacts, curios, hanging fans, and high ceilings are symbolic of the mixture of cultures that have left their mark on Fort Kochi.