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Ernakulam also referred to as Cochin, is called the Queen of the Arabian Sea. The commercial hub of Kerala, it is a fast growing city abuzz with industries, shopping malls, cinema houses, hotels, and restaurants. Known for its Chinese fishing nets, churches, synagogues and the spectacular backwaters, Cochin is a developed city that has preserved its natural beauty. The town has three main parts- Fort Cochin, Willingdon Island, and Ernakulam. Fort Cochin (Fort Kochi) occupies the Southern Cape on the seaward side of the Bay.

Shiva Temple

Known as the Ernakulathappan Temple, the God of this temple is named after the city (Ernakulam). The deity Shiva faces the west towards the sea which is a rarity. The idols of Lord Shiva and Parvathi found in the temple are believed to be self-created. The Arattu procession where the deity is taken for a ritual bath in the temple pond marks the end of the eight-day festival during the months of January and February.

Hill Palace Museum, Tripunithura

The palace on a hill-top was built in 1865 and was the residence of the Raja of Cochin. The largest archeological museum of Kerala it is set up in 52 acres of land and has 49 buildings. Exhibits displayed in its 18 galleries include the royal throne and other antique furniture, precious jewellery used by the kings and queens, royal chariots, palanquins, royal clothes, earthen, brass and bronze vessels, gold coins, and swords and spears.

Museum of Kerala History

10 km from the city this museum at Edappally was the brainchild of industrialist and philanthropist, R Madhavan Nair. The sculptures in the museum depict the history of Kerala through the Neolithic Age to the Modern Age. The one hour light and sound show depict Kerala's journey through the past to the present day. There is a gallery of contemporary and miniature paintings holding over 200 pieces of art.

St Francis Church

It is India's first European church built in 1503 by a group of Portuguese. The Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama was buried here in 1524. 14 years later his remains were taken back to Lisbon, however, his tombstone remains intact. Regular services are conducted on all days of the week in English and Malayalam at the church.

Fort Kochi Beach

The Fort Kochi beach with its Chinese fishing nets and wonderful sunsets is a place you must visit when you are in Kochi. A colorful carnival on the New Years Eve attracts a number of tourists to the beach. You can even get roadside restaurateurs to cook these catches for you the way you like! Take a stroll along the lovely beach or race with the crabs; watch the waves and feel totally at bliss.

Willingdon Island

Named after the viceroy of India, Lord Willingdon, this 775-acre island was created from the soil dredged up while deepening Kochi's Harbour in 1928. This engineering feat was led by Sir Robert Bristow. The island lies between mainland Ernakulam and Mattancherry. The island houses the Cochin Port Trust and the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command. Luxury hotels such as the Taj Malabar, the Trident Hilton, and Casino Hotel are also built on the island.

Area: 94.88 km2
Clothing: Warm Clothes and Rain Gear
Temperature: Min. 0 c - Max. 35 c

By Air

Nedumbassery International airport is an international airport which is situated at a distance of about 20 km from Kochi. Taxi and bus facilities are also available from and to the main city.

By Rail/ Train

Harbour Terminus on Willingdon Island, Ernakulam town and Ernakulum Junction are three important railheads in the region. There are frequent rail services from the railway station to various other major cities of the country.

By Road

Ernakulam is well connected by road and many bus services along with state transport buses are available from all major cities.

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