Industrial visit in the Queen of Arabian Sea i.e. Cochin will be a memorable experience, Cochin is the major port city of Kerala, Kochi is the commercial capital of Kerala. Major industries in the region includes Ship building, pesticides, rare earth elements, rubber processing chemicals, fertilisers, zinc and chromium compounds, and leather products.Major industries worth visiting are Cochin Shipyard, Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Limited, Kochi Refineries, International Pepper Exchange, cochin ports, Indian Rare earth ltd, etc.
Kochi, the commercial hub of Kerala, is one of the most picturesque places in Kerala with an all weather harbour and a grand seascape and is termed the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. The earliest verifiable history of Kochi kingdom is traced to the last Perumal of the second Chera Dynasty, Rama Varma Kulashekara Perumal in the 12th century.
Chinese and Arab traders are believed to have been the first traders to this port, heralding a wave of subsequent visitors, the Portuguese, Dutch and British, who brought in the era of colonial power to the region. Kochi was able to offer in abundance the best of spices to the world, a reputation that continues to this day.
In addition to spices, the voyagers also coveted the fine ivory, sandalwood, perfumes and gold that came to this market town. At one point nothing but a small fishing village, the destiny of Kochi changed in 1341, with the flooding of the Periyar River, which rendered the then popular Kodungallur ineffective.
Among many repercussions of this event was the creation of a natural harbour at Kochi. It was Sir Robert Bristow, an experienced harbour engineer who came to Kochi in 1920 who was responsible for the modernization of Kochi harbour. The city is now the proud owner of one of the most beautiful ports of the country that is the biggest in Kerala and is also one of the premier industrial trading and commercial centres of southern India. Kochi expanded to include many towns and villages surrounding it and the corporation of Kochi was formed in 1967.
Sights to See
Bolgatty Island: From the High Court Junction it is 2 Km via Goshree Bridge. Ferry services are available from the High Court Jetty. The Bolgatty Palace was built by an anonymous Dutch trader in 1744. It was the British Residency from 1909 to 1947. In 1976 it was converted to a heritage resort by KTDC.
Vypeen Island: An isolated island between the sea and tha backwaters, this was originally home to a small indigenous fishing community since 1341 until the advent of the Portuguese. Previously only accessible by ferry, the Goshree bridge has made the picturesque island just a short drive from the city. Its attractions include the renowned Church of Our Lady of Good Hope, a lighthouse at Ochanthuruth open to visitors (1500-1700 hrs) & the Cherai Beach. Also situated here is the Pallipuram fort built by Portuguese in 1503. Ferries are available from Fort Kochi & Ernakulam.
Fort Kochi: Santa Cruz Basilica: Rampart Road, South of Fosse Street, Fort Kochi, Timings: 0900-1300 hrs & 1500-1700 hrs. Saturdays: 1500-1800 hrs. Built by the Portuguese in 1506, it was deemed a cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. In 1795, when British took over Fort Kochi the cathedral was demolished. A new building was commissioned at the same site in 1887 by Bishop Ferreira and was proclaimed a Basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984.
St. Francis Church, Church Road, Fort Kochi: Built in 1503, by a group of Portuguese Fransiscan friars this is India’s first European Church. The church was initially a wood and mud structure dedicated to St Bartholomew. The history of the church depicts the European struggle for power in India. Vasco da Gama was buried here in 1524. Although his remains were taken back to Lisbon 14 years later, his tombstone remains intact. Timings: 1000-1700 hrs. Closed on Sundays.
Bishops House/Indo-Portuguese Museum: Built by the Portuguese in 1506 as a residence for their Governor. It is the residence of the Bishop of Kochi. Entry to the Bishops house is restricted. Adjacent to it is the Indo-Portuguese Museum which is housed in a modern structure. Although small, it is well laid out and maintained. Timings: 0900-1300 hrs & 1400-1800 hrs. Closed on Monday & public holidays. Entry fees: Rs. 10/- (Indians), Rs. 25/- (Foreigners), Rs. 5/- (Child), Tel: 2215400.
Chinese Fishing Nets: Along the beachfront. A legacy of the earliest visitors to ths coast, they are said to have been brought by traders from the court of Kubla Khan between 1350 & 145 AD. Employed mainly during high tides, you can see fishermen haul up the nets at 6 am, once again at 11 am and then finally around 4 pm.
Fort Immanuel: Very close to the Dutch cemetery. The forts confines housed the entire township where the Portuguese used to reside but much of it was destroyed by the Dutch & British. Only bits and pieces remain along the waterfront. Its remnants can also be seen in the basement of the Indo-Portuguese Museum.
Mattancherry: Mattancherry is home to a tiny Jewish community, whose origin goes back to 2000 years. It attracted invaders and traders from far off and was the epicenter of trade, especially that of spices. It has the oldest synagogue in the country, temples and churches.
Pardesi Synagogue: It was constructed in 1568, but destroyed by cannon fire during a Portuguese raid and was rebuilt 2 years later. Its interiors are captivating. The attractions include 19th century glass oil-burning chandeliers from Belgium, gallery for women suspended by slender gilt coloumns, 18th century hand painted floor tiles from China, elaborately carved ark that bears four scrolls of the Torah, 4th century copper plates with writing decipherable only with the aid of a mirror. Timings: 1000-1200 hrs & 1500-1700 hrs. Closed on Saturdays & Jewish holidays. Entry Fee: Rs. 2/-. Dress code: Sleeveless dress & shorts not allowed.
Clock Tower: Built in 1760, it stands next to the synagogue. Its face that faced the Maharaja’s Palace is etched in Malayalam, one etched in Roman numerals for the traders, one that faced the synagogue in Hebrew, the fourth one kept blank.
Dutch Palace: Built and presented by the Portuguese to the Kochi Maharaja Veera Kerala Varma around the year 1555, as a token of appeasement for plundering a Hindu Temple nearby. Ironically it is commonly known as the Dutch Palace, despite the fact that they only renovated it. The double storeyed structure is built in the traditional Kerala ‘Nalukettu’ style and has a temple dedicated to the presiding deity of the royal family, Pazhayannur Bhagawati, at the centre. There are intricate murals on the walls and Ramayana is depicted in 45 murals dating from 1600-1700 AD on the walls of the royal bedchamber. Timings: 1000-1700 hrs. Closed on Fridays. Entry Fee: Rs. 2/-.Tel: 2226085.
Thirumala Devaswom Temple, Gosripuram: Following the fall of the Vijayanagar Empire, Gowda Saraswat Brahmins brought the Sri Venkatachalapati Thirumala Devar idol which was worshipped by them to Kochi. The temple was built in 1599 to house this idol. It was plundered and restored time and again.
Pepper Exchange: The only pepper exchange in India, it is also the only online commodity exchange in Kerala. It was established in 1957 & is located near the spice market in Jew Town. Trading: 1000-1700 hrs on weekdays & 1000-1400 hrs on Saturdays. Closed on Sundays. India Pepper & Spice Trade Association, Tel: 2224263/5173, Fax: 2227434, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org,
Marine Drive: The scenic strip has a spectacular view of the backwaters and the harbour and is a favourite hangout. At night the lights from ships anchored in the harbour make it breathtakingly beautiful.
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES:
Hill Palace Archaeological Museum, Thripunithura: The hill top palace built in 1865, consists of 49 buildings and sprawls across 52 acres of lush greenery. It is a blend of Dutch and traditional architectural styles. There are 18 main galleries displaying the royal throne, pictures of former rulers, tanjore paintings, 14th century wood carvings, inscriptions, megalithic remains, crowns, ornaments, mural paintings, sculptures, porcelain, epigraphy, musical instruments etc. Medicinal plants are grown in the museum’s herbal garden. Tel: 2781113. Timings: 1000-1700 hrs. Closed on Mondays & National holidays. Entry Fee: Adult: Rs. 20/-, Child: Rs.10/-.
- Indian Rare Earths Ltd.
- Tac Floor Co- SISAL Spinning Unit
And many More Industries for more information see state wise list of Industries
Cherai Beach: Bordering Vypeen Island, it is about 26 Km from Ernakulam city via Goshree Bridge an dis a great place for dolphin spotting and swimming. Chinese Fishing Nets; Fort Kochi, St. Francis Church & Santacruz Church;
SNC Maritime Museum: In the Southern Naval Command, Naval Base. Set up in 1989 to display the various maritime activities of the Indian Naval forces. Star attraction is a 300 years old boat belonging to the Raja of Ambalapuzha. Timings: 0900-1230 hrs & 1330-1730 hrs. Closed on Monday & National Holidays. Entry: Rs. 20/-. Tel: 2214103. Permission required from naval base for visits.
Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy: The Maharaja of Cochin once held his durbar here. Once known as the Parikshith Thampuran Museum, it has now been coverted into the Gallery of Contemporary Art at the Durbar Hall Art Centre. Timings: 1100-1800 hrs. Closed on Public holidays or occasions of exhibitions in the gallery. Entry Free.
Bhoothathankettu: 50 Kms. A scenic dam site situated in a vast virgin forest. Close by is the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at Thattekad. It is said that ‘Bhoothams’ (spirits) built it overnight and hence the name.
Chennamangalam: 42 Kms on Edapally-Paravur-Kodungallur route. A church, a temple, a mosque and the remains of a Jewish Synagogue can be seen close by here. The synagogue is the biggest in Kerala. Chennamagalam was once the abode of the Paliath Achans, the prime ministers of the Kochi rulers. Their palace houses historic documents and relics. Also here are the remains of the Vypeenkara seminary built by Portuguese in 16th century.
Kumbalangi: 25 Kms. The first eco-friendly tourist village in India. There are no man-made tourist structures and plastic is banned here. Many houses here are homestays. Kalagramam, an artist’s village is the main attraction.
Cranganore or Kodungallur (32 Km.):Cranganore (Muziris) was in the olden times, the premier sea port on India’s west coast. It was Kerala’s first international harbour and it was here that St. Thomas is believed to have landed in 52 AD..
Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Thattekad (13 Km northeast of Kothamangalam along Pooyamkutty Road, Nearest railway station is Aluva 48 Kms)): Area: 25 Sq Km. It was once a rubber plantation. To protect the abundant wildlife & resident & migratory birds, it was declared a sanctuary in 1983, with the help of Dr Salim Ali, the late renowned ornithologist. The birdlife includes over 320 species. The Bombay Natural History Society identified over 250 bird species here and the Madras Naturalists Society has documented over 50 species of butterflies. There is an interpretation centre, a bird watching chamber with equipment, a library, a souvenir shop, an open enclosure for Sambar and Spotted Deer and an animal rehabilitation centre. The altitude ranges from 35m to 523m. The highest point is Nyappily peak. Timings: 0600-1800 hrs, Entry Fee: Adult Rs. 10/-, Child Rs. 5/-, Guide Fees Rs. 500-1000/-. For information: The Wildlife Warden, Idukki Wildlife Division, Vellappara, Painavu PO, Tel: 04862-232271, The Asst Wildlife Warden, Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Nyayappily PO, Kothamangalam, Tel: 0485-2588302.
Alappuzha or Alleppey (64 Km.): The centre for back water cruises in Kerala, it has a large network of canals passing through the town. Nehru Trophy boat race, is held here on the second Saturday of August every year.
Peechi (96 Km.): A lovely modern irrigation project site and an ideal holiday spot with facilities for boating and swimming.
Cheruthuruthi (100 Km.): Kerala Kalamandam, the training centre for Kerala’s art forms such as Kathakali, Mohiniattam, etc., was established here in 1930.
How would you like to travel?
- Alappuzha 64 Km.
- Bangalore 565 Km.
- Chennai 694 Km.
- Coimbatore 223 Km.
- Kodaikanal 305 Km.
- Kollam 150 Km.
- Kottayam 76 Km.
- Kozhikode 224 Km.
- Madurai 324 Km.
- Mangalore 484 Km.
- Munnar 130 Km.
- Mysore 484 Km.
- Ooty 312 Km.
- Thekkady 190 Km.
- Thiruvananthapuram 223 Km.
- Thrissur 80 Km
‘SPORTS’ operates tours from Kochi to the Lakshadweep Islands from Mid-September to Mid-May.
Contact: Asst General Manager, SPORTS, Lakshadweep Office, Willingdon Island, Kochi, Tel: 2668387, Fax: 2668647. Email: email@example.com,
Laccadives, E-20, Everest Building, Tardeo, Mumbai, Tel: 24943430/1, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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