Cochin and Backwaters..
Kochi (Cochin) as it is called , is a name derived from the word 'Cochazhi' which in Malayalam means 'small sea'. It is famously known as the best natural harbor in the world.The various ancient travelers and settlers namely the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, Italians and Portuguese helped Kochi emerge as a center of commercial activity, connecting the mainland to the rest of the world.. Over a period of time Kochi has been ruled by the Portugese, Dutch,Britishers ...
They have all left their imprint on this city.Cochin now has a blend of several exotic cultures like the Portuguese, Jewish, English, French, Dutch and Chinese. When India gained its independence the country was divided into 16 states and 6 union territories.The state of Kerala was formed in the year 1956 combining the 3 prominent areas namely Kochi, malabar and Travancore, all princely states..Kochi has always been a major and important city in Kerala. Infact it is a major city in the whole of south India , a major sea port and the spice capital of India.It remains an important trading center dealing in pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, etc., which were and still are very famous for their quality.
Cochin as a tourist destination is a very attractive city still maintaining the old world charm with forts and palaces, a Jewish Synagogue, some really ancient churches, prominently among them is the St Francis Church, which is the first European church to be built in India by the Portuguese ..and the Giant Chinese fishing nets tied to massive teak and bamboo poles dotting the entrance to the harbour, quite an awesome sight! One has plenty to do here other than the visits across the usual tourist destinations. There is a huge antique market stretching to nearly a kilometer in the Jewish city at Mattancherry in Cochin.One can spend a whole day looking at the objects on display.They have huge carved wooden pillars, banisters, wooden chests, earthenware,old lamps, some lovely bead and wood jewellery, just about everything..
Each time I have visited there I have discovered some corner that i hadn't visited before.. Sea food is a speciality of Cochin.The Appams(pancakes or dosas made with rice flour mixed with local toddy and fermented for a few hours) with Spicy prawn curry is something not to be missed here.There are other local specialities like Fish Moily, made with ground Coconut , chillies n pepper, also Pepper mutton. The major attraction in Cochin is the backwaters.
It is one of the most visited Kerala Backwater destinations.There are Regular boat services to tourist places like Kottayam, Kumarakom and Alleppey through the scenic backwaters .In fact Houseboats are an ideal and relaxing way to experience the beauty of Cochin.There are many private houseboat tours offering very competetive packages, one can hire a simple one room boat or a two storeyed 2 bedroom luxury boat, there is plenty of choice . There are some lovely beach resorts in Cochin and around Cochin To name a few: Coconut Lagoon, Kumarkom Whispering Palms Lake Taj Malabar, Cochin Le Meridien,Cochin Taj Residency, Cochin Cochin is connected to many international destinations and all major cities in India and most Middle Eastern cities like Dubai, Baharain, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi .. One can visit places like Munnar which is a lovely hill station in the western Ghats with tea plantation and waterfalls .There are many resorts situated here and most tourists visit Munnar while visiting Cochin..
Some useful informations about Kochi
Area - 95 sq. km.
Population - 1.35 million
Rainfall - 350cm annually
Temperature 20°C-35°C (68°F-95°F)
Language - Malayalam, English is spoken widely
Seasons:- Monsoon : June - September (heavy rains) Winter: October - February (Mild,cool, dry with occassional rain) Summer: March - May (hot and humid)
All in all a multi cultural interesting city that has a lot to offer to all types of tourists.