Tourist Spots Near Cochin


Alleppey(Alapuzha)

Alleppey(Alapuzha)Situated 63 kms south of Cochin along the coast, Alappuzha is accessible by rail and road. It is called the Venice of the East due to the extensive canal network here. Every year during various seasons the world famous snake boat race, which is not seen anywhere else in the world is held here.

Chennamangalam Synagogue

Museum of Kerala History, KalamasseryChennamangalam, situated 40kms north of Cochin near North Paravur, is a 175 year old synagogue that is constructed in traditional Kerala style architecture. The major attractions of this synagogue are the intricate artwork and the majestic altar. This synagogue was recently renovated to its old glory. The oldest Hebrew inscription in India, dated 1269, can be found on a tombstone near the synagogue.

Chennamangalam is also a village that splendidly displays religious tolerance and communal harmony with a church, synagogue, temple and mosque located close to one other.

Kallil Temple

Kallil TempleThe Kallil temple is located 50kms north-east of Kochi, near Perumbavoor. The temple, located in 28 acre (113,000 m²) plot, is cut from a huge rock and a climb of 120 steps leads to the temple. To reach the temple one has to travel a distance of about 2 km from Odakkali, on the Aluva Munnar Road and 10 km from Perumbavoor The Hindu godess Durga is the main deity, while Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are also worshipped. The interesting feature of this temple is that it is also a Jain temple with a statue of Mahavira.

Kalady

KaladySituated 48 kms north-east of Kochi, on the banks of river Periyar (Poorna). Kalady is well known as the birthplace of Sri Adi Sankaracharya, the monotheist Hindu sage and philosopher. He lived in the 8th century AD and died at the early age of 32 years. He traveled throughout India, by foot, debating with scholars, teaching the laymen and spreading his theory of Advaita or monotheism. He has written many books and has interpreted many. The Adi Sankara shrine and the 8-storey painted Adi Sankara Keerthi Sthambham are never to be missed by any visitor here.

Kodanad

KodanadKodanad is a beautiful rural riverside village and a popular day picnic spot near Cochin. The elephant rescue, training and care centre for central and southern forest region of Kerala is located in Kodanad. Kodanad is situated on the south bank of river Periyar and on the lower ranges of the Western Ghats, about 42 kilometers north-east of Cochin city. Kodanad is also close to the famous St. Thomas church in Malayatoor. The reserve also features a mini zoo and offers elephant safari to visitors.

Kodungalloor(Cranganore)

Kodungalloor(Cranganore)Kodungalloor (Cranganore) is 35 kms north of Kochi and was the capital of Cheraman Perumal, the emperor of Kerala, in the past. The world famous port here was destroyed by a flood which led to the formation of Cochin harbor.

Of the temples here, the Kodungallur Bhagavati temple and Thiruvanachikulam temple are particularly famous. Taalappoli and Bharani are the important festivals at the Bhagavati temple.

St. Thomas, the apostle, is believed to have landed here in 52 AD and established the first Syrian Catholic Commune. The monuments built in the memory of St.Thomas still exist.

Malik Ibin Dinar and 20 others who were the followers of Prophet Mohammad, the founder of Islam first landed here when they came to India. Cheraman mosque, the first mosque in India, built in the year 629 A.D., in the form of a Hindu temple, is situated here.

The natural beauty of the place is enchanting and is a popular tourist destination today.

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

Thattekad Bird SanctuaryThe bird sanctuary is located in Kothamangalam, about 60 kms from Cochin, on the northern banks of the Periyar river and is a tropical evergreen forest in the foothills of the Western Ghats. At the height of 35-523m above the sea level, this marvelous bird sanctuary is situated at Njayqapilli peak. 13 km north east of Kothamangalam, Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary is a home to some of the rarest and most exotic species of birds in India.

Athirappally & Vaczhachaal

Athirappally & VaczhachaalLocated at about 85 kms from Cochin, these are very popular and scintillating picnic spots and water falls of the Sholayar Ranges of the Vazhachal Forest Division. The waterfalls in the Chalakkudy river attract a lot of visitors. Vazhachal forest areas are attraction of the place and are trekker's paradise. Many film makers shoot their pictures in the scenic beauty of the Athirappally water falls.

Munnar

MunnarAbout 140 kms on the National Highway 49, Munnar is a hill station ideal for a relaxing holiday away from the tropical lowlands. The tea gardens and cardamom plantations give Munnar a beautiful look. Anamudi, the highest peak in South India is in these hills. The Munnar - Kodaikanal (another hill station) road is believed to be the steepest and most adventurous road in South-East Asia.

St. Thomas Church, Malayattoor

St. Thomas Church, MalayattoorThe famous St. Thomas church is situated at Malayattoor near Kalady, a village in the North Eastern corner of Ernakulam District. The name 'Malayattoor' is an amalgamation of three small words. Mala (Mountain) Aru (River) Ooru (Place). This is to say, Malayattoor is a meeting place of mountain, river, and land. Kurisumudy is a mountain at Maiayattoor, 1269 'Ft. above sea level.

Kurisumudy has its fame as a place visited by St. Thomas, one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, whose foot print is seen on a rock which now converted as a monument tomb. Jesus gave a mandate to his Apostles to go out to the whole world and to proclaim the Good News. Taking upon him self this commandment, Thomas set out to India and landed at Kodungalloor in AD 52.

Blessed by natural bounties Malayattoor offers ideal environs for those seeking spiritual happiness. Nowadays, the hill shrine at Malayattoor has emerged as the largest pilgrim centre in the name of St. Thomas in India. Here, the big and auspicious occasion is the feast of St. Thomas, which is observed on the first Sunday after Easter, when thousands horde the shrine for his blessings. The present church is believed to have been constructed in 900 A.D.

Cheruthuruthy

CheruthuruthyCheruthuruthy is about 110 kms away from Cochin. It is the base of the Kerala Kalamandalam-the world famous art and dance academy, which has now become a deemed university of art and culture, where training in various traditional forms like Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Koodiyattam, Ottamthullal and other dance and art forms etc are imparted.

Founded in 1930 by renowned poet Padmabhooshan Vallathol Narayana Menon along the banks of the river Nila (Bharathappuzha), Kalamandalam is an immortal name in the cultural map of the world. Kalamandalam is strictly a residential center of learning. Veteran teachers and talented students are its inestimable wealth. For art-recitals held in Kalamandalam and outside, artiste-teachers and students participate.

Trichur (Thrissur)

Thrissur is regarded as the cultural capital of Kerala. The Thrissur pooram is very popular for its elephant procession and fireworks display at the Vadakkunatha (Lord Shiva) Temple is famous.

Guruvayoor

GuruvayoorGuruvayur, the abode of Lord Sree Guruvayurappan, is located 110 kms north west to Cochin and 29 kms from Thrissur. This narrow coastline strip of land on the south western edge of Indian subcontinent is one of the 10 paradises in the world. According to the legends, the idol worshipped here is more than 5000 years old. But there are no historical records to establish it. In the 14th century Tamil literature 'Kokasandesam', references about a place called Kuruvayur is made.

This Sree Krishna temple attracts close to ten million pilgrims every year. This is regarded as the first Hindu temple to open its gates to all Hindus, irrespective of caste. Only Hindus are permitted to enter the temple.

The elephant sanctuary, the only one of its kind in the world, 3kms north of Guruvayoor is home to around 50 elephants. The sanctuary is at Punnathur Kotta, which used to be the palace of the Punnathur rajas (kings).

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Thekkady

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, ThekkadyThekkady another scenic tourist spot of Kerala is situated 185 km east of Cochin International Airport. The Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary is famous for its dense evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests and savanna grass lands. It is home to herds of elephants, sambar, tigers, gaur, lion-tailed Macaques and Nilgiri Langurs.

A boat ride through the man-made lake in the heart of the sanctuary provides a unique opportunity to observe these animals in their natural surroundings.

Sabarimala

SabarimalaSabarimala, 210kms south-east of Kochi, is home to arguably the holiest Hindu temple in Kerala, receiving millions of pilgrims from all over India and abroad every year. Sabarimala Sri Dharma Sanstha Temple is the most pious and sacred temple of Kerala. Situated at an altitude of 1250 m above the sea level, in the western ghats, it is dedicated to Lord Ayyappa who is believed to be the union of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. According to local beliefs, Lord Parasurama enshrined the deity at the foot of Sabari hills whose reference is also found in Ramayana.

Lord Ayyappa brings together the Shaivite and Vaishnavite branches of Hinduism. Lord Ayyappa is also known as Dharma Shasta. Some scholars believe that it means Lord Buddha. There is no evidence that Lord Buddha ever visited Kerala and therefore this theory is challenged.

The temple is open only during certain periods of the year - 41 days for Mandalapooja Nov 15 - Dec 26, Makaravilakku Jan 15, Vishu Apr 14 and the first day of every Malayalam calendar month. The journey to the summit where the temple is located involves a 5km trek, which is traditionally done barefoot.

Kumarakom

Located about 95 kms south-east of Cohin lies Kumarakom, in Kottayam District. The lake side shore is a beauty to visit. It is accessible both by road and through the waterways of the Vembanad Backwaters and canals.

Lakshadweep

LakshadweepLakshadweep, a haven of unspoiled natural beauty, lies at 220-440kms off the coast of Kochi. Lakshadweep is an archipelago consisting of 12 atolls, 3 reefs and 5 submerged banks. Only 10 islands are inhabited while 17 are uninhabited islands with a total geographical area of 32 sq. kms, which makes it the smallest union territory of India. Lakshadweep is connected to the mainland by air and sea links. The sea route takes around 18-20 hours. Miles and miles of sandy beaches, lagoons, slightly humid climate, coral reefs and coconut groves will leave anyone mesmerized.

 


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