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Cochin Kerala

The one time prominent trade centre on the west coast of India, the city of Cochin (presently Kochi) is today the commercial capital of Kerala. Due to its wonderful geographical location, Cochin is famously known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. Besides being a major trading centre for the Portuguese and the Dutch, the city also gained support from the British rulers. It was back in the year 1936 that Cochin was declared a major port. Even today Cochin serves as a key port for the entry and exit of cargo. The city experiences heavy rainfall between the months of June and August. Though the colonial rule has long ended, Cochin still makes travellers reminisce the glory of the bygone era. You should therefore be ready to dig out the colonial history of Cochin.

What to Do in Cochin
Get to the much walked along promenade – the Marine Drive. As you take a stroll here, enjoy the cool sea breeze and a soul-stirring sunset in the evening. It is also the point where coalesce the backwaters with the waters of the Arabian Sea.

Marine Drive also features several shopping malls where you can look to buy some wonderful souvenirs. In addition, you can relish good quality food at the food courts, situated along the walkway and in the malls. If you are on a shoe-string budget, you can go shopping at the tented stalls run by Nepali traders at the promenade.

Take your kids to the Children’s Park. At the park, you can let your children learn the rudiments of traffic rules. In addition, kids can also have a lot of fun at the roller skating rink and the mini train. Also enjoy your time at the beautifully laid out garden at the Subhash Chandra Bose Park.

In and Round
The very first thing that reminds you of the colonial invasion in Cochin is Fort Kochi. The European architecture in Fort Kochi has immensely contributed towards promoting tourism in Cochin as well as in Kerala. Next on your wish list should be the very historical St Francis Church, the burial place of the Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama. Though, he was initially buried here, his mortal remains were later transferred to Portugal by his son Pedro da Gama. Another major crowd puller in Cochin is the Dutch Palace, located at Mattancherry. Murals depicting various scenes from Hindu epic Ramayana adorn the walls of the palace. For history buffs, the Parishath Thampuram Museum is the place to be. Ancient sculptures, Mughal paintings, oil paintings, temple models and coins (dating back to the 19th century) are on display at the museum.

Where to Stay
Tourist preferred hotels in Cochin include Abad Airport Hotel, Aluva Ayurvedic River Retreat, Anchor House, Backwater Hideaway, Bullard Bungalow, Bolgatty Palace, Birds Lagoon Village Resort etc.

Cochin Air/Rail/Road Link
Cochin has its own international airport. Frequent rail services connect Cochin with key destinations like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Road routes link the city with all the major cities of southern India.