Cochin - Biennale City

As a centrally located commercial capital, Cochin is a busy city. People come here from all over the world, it is a mix of traditional and the modern. From the Chinese Fishing Nets in Fort Kochi to the northern beaches of Cherai, Kochi’s coast offers delightful sights to the visitor. Cherai Beach is one of the safest beaches to swim or engage in water sports. There’s also a large backwater body, just 250m from beach. The walkway on Fort Kochi beach has been renovated and is a bustling place for fun and food.

Santa Cruz Basilica in Fort Kochi is the first European Church built in Asia. It was built by the Portuguese and later modified by the British. St. Francis Church used house the remains of the famous explorer Vasco da Gama. It has been under the Portuguese, Dutch and the British. It now belongs to the Church of South India (CSI). Dutch Palace in Mattancherry was constructed by the Portuguese in 1568 and gifted to Maharaja of Kochi, Veera Kerala Varma. Another must-visit is the Paradesi Synagogue.

For those who want a different experience, head to the Athirapally waterfalls. On the way, visit the Kodanad Elephant Training College (Ana Thothil), on the banks of the Periyar. It open between 9am and 6pm, and also houses a mini zoo with deer and peacocks.

The Hill Palace Museum in Tripunithura is open on all days except Sundays. It was once the Kochi Maharaja’s palace, but now converted to a large museum, and also has a small zoo. It is the largest archaeological palace in South India with more than 500 artifacts exhibited in 16 galleries.