A Brief Guide to your Kochi Sightseeing

Kochi in Kerala is one of the best places to visit in India and it is known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. It has trade links that are said to over 600 years old. It is definitely one of the top tourist destinations in the state and at various points of time in history, it has been under the rule of the Arabs, the Dutch, the Portuguese, the British and even the Chinese. The culture in Kochi is influenced by the British of course, but much before them, the city was under the Chera dynasty which has today made the city truly multi-cultural. There are a few places to visit in Kochi that you just cannot afford to miss once you done with Bangalore tourism and Mangalore tourism.

Willingdon Island

Willingdon Island: Named after Lord Willingdon, the island is the largest manmade island in India and today it is a popular spot for foreign tourists as well as those from India, for those who are looking for a great lifestyle experience during their vacations. There are several luxury hotels here, there are a number of commercial districts and shopping and entertainment zones and one can enjoy a truly cosmopolitan life here. The region is also the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command and it is a pleasure to watch some of the ships come and go. The place is also known for its adventure water sports and so there is no dearth of activities here.

The Mattancherry Palace: It is a piece of architectural wonder and a place in Kochi that you just cannot miss. The palace was built in 1557 by the Dutch, who were then ruling in this part of the country. The palace is unique because although it was built by the Dutch, they were respectful of the local culture and hence the palace has been built in the traditional Kerala styled, with a slanting roof that resembles the traditional thatched home of Kerala. There are four different quarters which are connected by a shared patio. The Palace has a museum within and one can also enjoy some local food. The manicured lawns are a great place to relax and there are a couple of temples in the courtyard that are also a wonderful sight.

Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary: Kochi seems to offer something for everyone and the nature lovers are sure to fall in love with this place. The Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is home to a number of species of birds and butterflies and each year, hundreds of migratory birds come to this sanctuary as well. Several endangered species are housed here and the sanctuary is also home to a mangrove forest, along with many other magnificent trees. There is also a great tidal lake that is connected to the backwaters of Kerala from here and one can take a small boat ride in the lake inside. One may catch a glimpse of the birds like greenshank, kite, white-breasted water hen, marsh sandpiper, redshank, and the brahaminy. The authorities here are very strict about cleanliness and plastic water bottles are not allowed inside. Be sure not to litter the park in any way

Alleppey Kerala

Bolghatty and Vypeen Islands: Bolyghatty Island is just a short boat ride away from Kochi and the Bolyghatty Palace is today one of the oldest and the largest standing Dutch palaces outside Holland today. It has now been converted into a luxury hotel with a mini golf course and is a very popular stay for both Indian and overseas tourists. The hotel hosts regular kathakali performances and has a delightful menu on offer. The Vypeen Islands will present a dizzy mix of shopping arcades and street shopping experience at the same time where you can find some wonderful local ware on sale. The beach at Vypeen cannot be missed either.

The Kodanand Elephant Training Center: Your Kochi sightseeing would be incomplete if you do not visit this place. One has to travel a bit out of Kochi to be here but one can easily catch a cab from here. This place is most loved by children as they enjoy the sights of the elephants being bathed and washed in the rivers from such close quarters. Moreover, Kodanand is now an ecotourism destination and it is operating as an elephant rescue center for the animals rescued from the nearby hills or from abuse. One can also get up close and personal with the elephants in the sanctuary and will surely be one of the highlights of the trip for any family. 

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