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Home » Kerala » Ernakulam  

Ernakulam

Festival Ernakulam Tour Operator Kerala Holidays India Travel GuideErnakulam is the main business and commercial town of Cochin. It has today come to represent a state of mind for the youth of Kerala. The destination of the adventurous and the ambitious. Today Ernakulam symbolizes the future of Kerala, as this City with a future paces ahead.The city's suburbs feature mostly residential colonies and small commercial enterprises.

Ernakulam, the commercial capital of Kerala, served by an international airport, fine communication facilities, excellent accommodation, modern amenities and a lot of attractive tourist places gives a breathtaking experience for its visitors and settlers. The district took its form on 1st April 1958, by carving out the areas of erstwhile Travancore, Kochi & Malabar kingdoms. The word Ernakulam was derived from a Tamil word 'Erayanarkulam' which means 'Lord Shiva's abode'.


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Prime Attractions of Ernakulam

» The Cochin Clubm
The club, with its impressive library and collection of sporting trophies, is housed in a beautifully landscaped park. In the early 1900s, when the club had just become operational, admission was restricted to the British and to men only. Today, though the club retains its traditional English ambience, its rules are more liberal and the membership of 250 includes women as well. Strangely enough, alcohol is not served on the premises.

» Mattancherry Palacey
(Dutch Palace) (Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Fridays): Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi, the palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. On display here are beautiful murals depicting scenes from the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, and some of the Puranic Hindu legends. The palace also houses Dutch maps of old Kochi, royal palanquins, coronation robes of former maharajas of Kochi as well as period furniture.

» Cherai Beach
This lovely beach bordering Vypeen island is ideal for swimming. Dolphins are occasionally seen here. A typical Kerala village with paddy fields and coconut groves nearby is an added attraction.

»Bolghatty Island
This island is famous for its palace of the same name. The Bolghatty Palace was built in 1744 by the Dutch and later taken over by the British. Today it is a hotel run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, with a small golf course and special honeymoon cottages.

» Willingdon Island
Named after Lord Willingdon, a former British Viceroy of India, this man-made island is surrounded by beautiful backwaters. The island is the site of the city's best hotels and trading centres, the Port Trust and the headquarters of the southern naval command.

» Chinese Fishing Nets/Vasco da Gama Square
These huge cantilevered fishing nets are the legacy of one of the first visitors to the Malabar Coast. Erected here between 1350 and 1450 AD by traders from the court of Kublai Khan, these nets are set up on teak wood and bamboo poles. The best place to watch the nets being lowered into the sea and catch being brought in is the Vasco da Gama Square, a narrow promenade that runs along the beach. The Square is an ideal place to idle, with stalls serving St. Francis Church Ernakulam Travel Packages Kerala Vacations India Holidaysfresh delicious seafood, tender coconut etc.

» St. Francis Church
Built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan friars, this is India's oldest European church. This was initially built of timber and later reconstructed in stone masonry. It was restored in 1779 by the Protestant Dutch, converted to an Anglican church by the British in 1795 and is at present governed by the Church of South India. Vasco da Gama was buried here in 1524 before his remains were moved to Lisbon, Portugal. The tombstone still remains.

» Santa Cruz Basilica
This historic church was built by the Portuguese and elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. In 1795 it fell into the hands of the British when they took over Kochi, and was demolished. About a hundred years later Bishop Dom Gomez Ferreira commissioned a new building at the same site in 1887. The church was proclaimed a Basilica in 1984 by Pope John Paul II.

» Loafer's Corner/Princess Street
One of the earliest streets to be constructed in Fort Kochi, Princess Street with its European style residences still retains its old world charm. The best view of this quaint street can be had from Loafer's Corner, the traditional meeting place and hangout of the jovial funloving people of the area.

» Vasco House
Believed to have been the residence of Vasco da Gama, this is one of the oldest Portuguese residences in Fort Kochi. Built in the early sixteenth century, Vasco House sports the typical European glass paned windows and balcony cum verandahs characteristic of the times.

» Parade Ground
The four acre Parade Ground was where once the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British colonists conducted their military parades and drills. The buildings around the ground housed their defence establishments. Today, the largest open ground in Fort Kochi, the Parade Ground is a sports arena.

» Fort Immanuel
This bastion of the Portuguese in Kochi was a symbol of the strategic alliance between the Maharajah of Kochi and the Monarch of Portugal, after whom it was named. Built in 1503, the fort was reinforced in 1538. By 1806 the Dutch, and later the British, had destroyed most of the fort walls and its bastions. Today, remains of this once imposing structure can be seen along the beach.

» Cheruthuruthy
(32 km north of Thrissur): Cheruthuruthy is the seat of the Kerala Kalamandalam, renowned the world over for its Kathakali training centre. The music and dance academy was founded by the famous poet, Vallathol Narayana Menon. Training in Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Thullal and other art forms of Kerala is imparted here.

» Ariyannoor temple, Kandanisserry
This temple has a carved entrance gable which has been compared to the wooden sculptures of American artist Louise Nevelson. The Siva temple at Thiruvanchikulam as well as the Sri Krishna temple at Thirukulashekharapuram are believed to be monuments from the 9th century.

» Athirapally
(63 km from Thrissur): At the entrance to the Sholayar ranges, this 80 foot high waterfall is a popular picnic spot.

» Vazhachal
(68 km from Thrissur): Just a short drive from Athirapally, this picturesque waterfall is close to dense green forests and is a part of the Chalakudy river. Athirapally and Vazhachal are the most famous waterfalls of Kerala and favourite destinations of tourists.

» Shakthan Thampuran Palace
Also known as Palace Thoppu, the campus covers an area of 6 acres. Here you can see 3 shavakudeerams (tombs) including that of the renowned Shakthan Thampuran.

» Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kodungalloor
Located 2 km from Kodungalloor town, this mosque resembles a Hindu temple in appearance. Built in 629 AD, this is the first mosque in India and the second in the world where Juma prayers were started. Other places of interest nearby include Cheramanparambu, the ancient Thiruvanchikulam Temple, the Bhagavathi Temple and the Portuguese fort.

» Saint Thomas Memorial, Kodungalloor
St. Thomas is believed to have landed in Kodungalloor (formerly called Muziris) in 52 AD. The St. Thomas Church established by the apostle houses holy relics from the olden days.


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How to get there
Ernakulam Tours Kerala Travel Vacation India Tourism

» Air
Cochin/ Kochi (Airport Code: COK) has a domestic airport with flights to Agatti, Bangalore, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Goa, Madras and Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum - the capital of Kerala). The Cochin International Airport is under construction and is in the finishing stages. Currently, there are regular international flights to the Gulf. Flights to other destinations will start soon. Other international airports nearby includes Mumbai, Madras, Bangalore and Trivandrum.

» Rail
Kochi and Ernakulam are connected to the rest of India by an extensive network of rails.There are three important railway stations here namely Cochin Harbour Terminus, Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town . Many important trains start from here and many others pass through these stations.

» Road
Three important National Highways(NH) pass through/start from Kochi, apart from many state roads. NH 47 from Kanyakumari to Salem pass right through the heart of Kochi while NH 17 to Mumbai and NH 49 to Madurai(in Tamil Nadu) starts from Kochi. Private and public transport services are available to/from all major cities of South India from here.

» By Sea
Kochi has a magnificent all weather natural port. Regular boat service to places like Kottayam and Alleppey are available through the scenic backwaters of Kerala


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