Places To Visit in Ernakulam
Ernakulam refers to the eastern, mainland portion of the city of Kochi in central Kerala, India. It is surrounded by Thrissur District in the north, Idukki District in the east, Alappuzha and Kottayam districts in the south and also by the Arabian sea to the west. The city is the most urban part of Kochi and is a bustling place with crowded shopping malls, restaurants and high-rises. Ernakulam is also called the commercial capital of the state of Kerala and is far advanced on the cultural, political, commercial and industrial front.
The main language spoken in Ernakulam is Malayalam while English is extensively used in commercial circles. It is also popular for gorgeous silk saris and intricate gold/silver jewellery. Being a major academic hub, it hosts several educational institutions too. The Cochin Port, DP World Kochi and Cochin Shipyard has resulted in the faster growth of the city. The technology park – InfoPark, Kochi and SmartCity, Kochi, proof of advance in technology, is on the outskirts of the city. This destination with its temples, old churches and its culture, hosts the highest number of international and domestic tourists in Kerala state. Tourism has contributed heavily to the economy of Ernakulam.
Climate in Ernakulam :
The city of Ernakulam features a tropical monsoon climate. Since the region lies in the south western coastal state of Kerala, the climate is tropical, with barely any differences in temperatures between day and night, as well as over the year. March to May are the summer months, followed by the South-west monsoon from June to September. October and November form the post monsoon or retreating monsoon season. Winter from December through February is slightly cooler and windy, due to winds from the Western Ghats.
How To Reach Ernakulam :
By Rail : There are regular trains from other major cities of the country to Ernakulam Railway Stations.
By Air : The closest international airport is located at Nedumbassery, 20 kms away. You can also easily get to Ernakulam by taking regular flights to Kochi airport from other major cities of the country.
By Ferry: One can also travel by ferry to Ernakulam as there are two ferry stations there.
By Bus: Ernakulam is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular buses.
One can opt for bus services from Chennai, Hyderabad, Munnar or Bengaluru to Ernakulam by booking bus tickets online at www.abhibus.com.
Tourist Attraction in Ernakulam :
From historical monuments to scenic locations, Ernakulam provides visitors a wide array of things to do and places to see. Listed below are just a few of these:
1 – Marine Drive
Marine Drive is a picturesque promenade in Kochi, Kerala, India. It is built facing the backwaters, and is a popular hangout for the local people. Contrary to its name, no vehicles are allowed on the walkway. Marine Drive is also an economically thriving part of the city of Kochi. With several shopping malls, it is as an important centre of shopping activity in Kochi. Major fast food joints, are a great attraction along this walkway. The view of the setting and rising sun over the sea mouth, and the gentle breeze from the Vembanad Lake has made Marine Drive an important tourist destination in Kochi.
2 – Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi situated on the Fort Kochi/Mattancherry peninsula, is the historical part of the city and boasts of many tourist attractions, such as the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, the Mattancherry Palace and the Santa Cruz Basilica. To explore the historic town of Fort Kochi, there is no better choice than setting out on foot. At every nook of this island steeped in history, there is something magical awaiting you. It is a world of its own, retaining the specimens of a bygone era and still being proud of those days. Fort Kochi is one of the places in Kerala where you can get to see a diverse range of cultures. From Malayalis to Jews to Dutch, you can find traces of their culture here.
3 – Cherai Beach
Bordering the Vypeen island off Cochin is the lovely beach of Cherai. It is located about 25 kilometers away from Kochi and about 30 kilometers from Kochi International Airport at Nedumbassery. This beach is a popular tourist destination especially among the foreigners. It is less busy and cleaner as compared to many other beaches in Ernakulam district. Cherai beach is lined with Chinese fishing nets, coconut groves and paddy fields offering the perfect setting. With the unique combination of the sea and the backwaters and also the sands filled with seashells of various colours, Cherai Beach is a picturesque destination. If lucky, you could spot a few Dolphins as well.
4 – Hill Palace Museum
Kerala’s first heritage museum and also the largest archaeological museum, the Hill Palace Museum at Tripunithura of Kochi, Kerala, is one of the must visit places at Kochi. Built in the year 1865, this museum houses the royal collections of the erstwhile Maharaja of Kochi. Showcasing the traditional Kerala architecture, this palace complex has about 49 buildings spanning, over an area of 52 acres. Other than the archaeological and heritage museum, this complex is also house to a deer park, a pre-historic park and a children’s park. Along with this the place also has a large variety of rare medicinal plants grown here.
5 – Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
Christened the ‘Green Lung of Kochi’, considering its role in keeping the city’s air pollution under check, this ecological sensitive area is located at the centre of Kochi, Kerala. This sanctuary is connected to the Kochi backwaters through the shallow tidal lake. Mangalavanam, being the nesting ground for many resident and exotic migratory birds and a site supporting many mangroves, is a paradise for all bird watchers. One can view birds such as Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Brahminy Kite; White breasted Waterhen and Marsh Sandpiper and many more. Other than this, mammals like Indian flying fox painted Bat, Bandicota, Eurasian Otter, and Dusky Palm Squirrel can also be spotted.
6 – Jewish Synagogue
Jewish synagogue also known as Paradeshi Synagogue in Mattancherry, Ernakulam, is considered to be one of the oldest active synagogues in the Commonwealth of Nations. It was built in 1568 by the Malabar Yehudan people or Cochin Jewish community in the Kingdom of Cochin. The synagogue is located in the quarter of Old Cochin known as Jew Town, and is the only one of the seven synagogues in the area still in use. The complex has four buildings. It was built adjacent to the Mattancherry Palace temple on the land given to the Malabari Yehuden community by the Raja of Kochi, RamaVarma. The Mattancherry Palace temple and the Mattancherry synagogue share a common wall.
7 – Kerala Folklore Museum
Opened in the year 2009 as a non-profit organization, Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum at Thevara, Ernakulam, is a unique venture to preserve the splendid folklore wealth of the State. The museum is a treasure trove that showcases the rich heritage of Kerala through its numerous art and dance forms. Artifacts that bear the scent of bygone era like masks, sculptures, in wood, stone and bronze, costumes of traditional and ritual art forms, musical instruments, traditional jewelry, manuscripts of rare medicinal and astrological secrets, and Stone-Age utensils are all preserved in this museum with utmost care.
The building itself is a piece of wonder with its three floors following the architectural styles of Malabar, Cochin and Travancore. It also houses a café and shop for the benefit of tourists.
8 – Wonderla
Earlier known as Veegaland, this popular amusement park at Kochi, Kerala is worth visiting if you love taking adventurous rides. The Wonderla Amusement park, is owned and operated by the Wonderla Holidays. This amusement park is located on top of the Pallikkara hill, which is at a distance of 14 kilometers from Kochi. This park has more than 50 water and dry land rides, including options for small kids and 3D films, which is spread over an area of 30 acres.
Picture Credit: TripAdvisor