Ernakulam is one of the most splendid destinations in Kerala. Ernakulam is considered as ‘Commercial Capital of Kerala’, as it attracts the most international and domestic visitors and serves as the state’s main business centre. Ernakulam is one of Kerala’s most popular tourist destinations due to its stunning surroundings and easy access to people from other parts of the world. The coexistence of business hubs with a 400-year-old synagogue, Portuguese buildings and ancient mosques is a peculiar feature of Ernakulam. Visitors from all over the world visit Ernakulam to see and explore historical sites, forts, museums, beaches and other tourist attractions.
Ernakulam or Cochin/Kochi was originally a small fishing village that grew into India’s first European township. The Portuguese, the Dutch, and later the British developed the town. Several Indo-European architecture that are existing here are examples of different cultural influences of these three countries.
Facts About Ernakulam
District : Ernakulam
State : Kerala
Country : India
Major attractions: Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, Hill palace museum, Cherai beach, Marine drive, Bolghatty palace, Jew town, Vasco House, Parade grounds, Chinese fishing nets and many more.
Ernakulam derives its name from Erayanarkulam (Tamil/Malayalam), which means “Lord Shiva’s abode.” In ancient times, Ernakulam was called Rishinagakulam.
How to Reach Ernakulam?
The Vytilla Mobility hub serves the city’s transportation needs. Private and government buses, long and short-distance trains, auto rickshaws, metro and
ferries are readily available in Ernakulam. There are several jetties in Ernakulam as well.
Cochin International Airport (Nedumbassery) is the nearest airport which is about 27 km from Ernakulam city. Both domestic as well as international flights are available from here. It was the first airport in the world to be operated entirely by solar energy.
The Ernakulam Junction Railway Station is one of Kerala’s busiest stations. Direct trains run from major cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Mangalore, and Bangalore to Ernakulam. Many intercity and long-distance trains run via Ernakulam Town Station.
The four-lane National Highway 66 connects Ernakulam to the North-South Corridor National Highway System. For public transportation, the city relies heavily on city buses, taxis, and auto rickshaws. Inter-state, inter-district, and city services are all provided by the state-owned Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and private buses as well.
Kochi Metro is a rapid transit system in Kochi, India. This metro line, which runs every eight minutes, transports over one lakh (100,000) people. Each train, which consists of three coaches, has a top speed of 80 kilometres per hour.
The Kerala Government Department (SWTD) provides a low-cost ferry service. Ernakulam also has ferry services that run every 20 minutes between Willington Island, Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, and Mulavukadu.
Kochi water metro is a one-of-a-kind project in India that aims to introduce advanced air-conditioned ferries on Kochi’s canals to relieve traffic jams on the highways and provide easy access to the city’s many islands.
Top attraction in Ernakulam
Fort Kochi is one of Kerala’s cultural hotspots. There are traces of Kerala, Jews, and Dutch culture here. Fort Kochi, Kerala’s commercial hub, will take you back in time.
Pretty much across the board, Fort Kochi exhibits a blend of modernity and tradition .For the true Fort Kochi experience, there is no better choice than to have a walk. From Ernakulam’s mainland, travellers can take a bus or a ferry to get here.
Major attractions in Fort kochi : Jew town, fort kochi beach, Paradesi Synagogue, , Mattanchery palace, Vasco Da Gama square, Pierce Leslie Bungalow, Chinese Fishing nets, princess street, Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica
The Jew town is a street brimming with exquisite works of art with a long history and fascinating stories. The objects or items on display are not only Jewish in origin, but also have cultural links to India, China, and Europe. This is the place to go if you’re an antique lover.
Marine Drive is a three-kilometre walkway that runs along the backwaters. The mesmerising sunset and the cool breeze from the Vembanad Lake makes Marine drive a favourite spot for tourists. Marine drive is the most well-known hangout spots in Kochi. At night, the lights from the anchored boats and ships are quite a sight to behold.
Hill Palace Museum
Hill palace is built in 1865, The Hill Palace Museum in Tripunithura, Kerala, is Kerala’s first heritage museum and also the state’s largest archaeological museum. It is one of Kochi’s must-see attractions. Hill palace is also home to deer park, a prehistoric park, and a children’s park.
Cherai Beach is a beautiful destination with its exceptional combination of the sea and the backwaters, as well as sands with seashells of different colours. If you’re lucky, you might even see a few dolphins. The beach at Cherai is surrounded by coconut groves. Chinese fish nets and paddy fields creating the ideal atmosphere here. Cherai beach is a popular tourist attraction, especially among foreign visitors. In comparison to many other beaches in the Ernakulam district, Cherai beach is less crowded.
Mattancherry is noted for having a diverse population of Jews, Jains, Konkanis, Gujaratis, and Marathis. In this region, mosques, churches, Agra harams and synagogues coexist. Mattancherry is bordered by backwaters of the Arabian Sea.
There are two widely accepted explanations of how the location got its name. According to the first, this location was once a Cheri (street) with a lot of mutton butchers, and as a result, it came to be known as muttoncheri/ Mattancherry. The Ancherry Mattom, a Namboodiri Illam that was pronounced Matt-Ancherry by foreign traders and later became Mattancherry, according to another version.
Chinese Fishing Nets
Chinese fishing nets a must see tourist attractions at Kochi in Kerala can be found on backwater’s shore. These nets have now become an important part of Kochi tourism, rather than just a fishing accessory. Head out to Vasco da Gama Square and beautiful narrow walkway that runs along the Fort Kochi Beach, for the best view of these nets. This location is known for being one of Kochi’s most photographed places. Chinese fishing net is thought to have been built between 1350 and 1450 AD, is believed to be brought by Zheng, a Chinese explorer.
Paradesi Synagogue is one of the most popular places to visit in Fort Kochi since it is the Commonwealth’s oldest synagogue. The place has a tranquil atmosphere thanks to its old-world beauty, pollution-free surroundings, and scenic backdrops.
The journey to the island itself is enthralling, with a chain of bridges called Goshree bridges providing a spectacular view against the vivid blue waters. There are numerous tourist attractions to enjoy once you arrive on the island, including the Portuguese Azhikotta fort, which is one of India’s oldest European forts, and the lighthouse at Ochanthuruthu in Vypeen, which offers breath- taking views.
Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum
Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum is an excellent place for learning about Kerala’s rich culture and heritage and knowing the art of the state. Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Fort Kochi and providing one of the best vacation experiences which you will never forget.
With its Malabar, Cochin, and Travancore-style architecture, the museum is a source for architectural enthusiasts. The majestic arches made up of woods, stones and tiles are doubling the charm of this place.
The quaint beauty of this huge hexagonal fort is a mesmerising sight to behold, which is set in verdant surroundings. Pallipuram fort which offers a peaceful ambience is an oldest existing European monument in India. One who is interested in architecture must not miss it.
Mangalavanam Bird Century
Mangalavanam bird century which is referred as ‘ Green Lung of Kochi’ is an ecologically sensitive area with an area of 2.74 hectares.
Tourist can enjoy the beauty of sanctuary and watch a variety of birds such as Common Greenshank, Common Redshank, Brahminy Kite; White breasted Waterhen and Marsh Sandpiper and many more.
Mammals like Indian flying fox painted Bat, Bandicota, Dusky Palm Squirrel and Eurasian Otter
Amphibians like Limnonectes limnocharis;
Fishes like, Blackline Rasbora, Malabar Swamp Eel etc. are also found here.
Dutch cemetery was sanctified in 1724 and now includes nearly 104 epitaphs and tombs, all of which contain authentic records of the Dutch and British people who were buried here. The tombs here are made of granite and red laterite stones, but they lack a cross. The Dutch cemetery at Fort Kochi serves as a reminder of Kochi’s Dutch relations.
Bolghatty Palace built by Dutch traders in 1744 is one of world’s oldest Dutch palaces. Kochi’s famous Bolghatty Palace is located on the island of Bolghatty. There are also frequent Kathakali shows, making it an ideal destination for both foreign and Indian tourists.
Wonderla which is spread over 30 acres has more than 50 water and land rides. Some of the rides are: the Vintage Castle, the Wavy and Vertical Fall, Caterpillar Ride, Jumping Horse, Magic Carpet, Wonder Splash. Wonderla is a popular amusement park in India and one of the must visit holiday destinations.