Tourism of India


Kochi, What To See

St. Francis Church
Built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan friars, this is India's oldest European church. The original structure was made of wood, but was rebuilt in stone in the mid-16th century by the Protestant Dutch. The church was converted to an Anglican Church by the British in 1795, and is presently used by the Church of South India. Vasco da Gama's remains were buried here in 1524 and later moved to Lisbon, Portugal. His tombstone is a major tourist attraction.

Santa Cruz Basilica
This church, dating back to 1558 has beautiful paintings.

Mattancherry Palace
This palace, built by the Portuguese in 1557, was presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi. On display are beautiful murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and some Puranic Hindu legends. The palace is open from 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. on all days except Friday.

Constructed in 1568, this is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth. Destroyed in a shelling during the Portuguese raid in 1662, it was rebuilt two years later by the Dutch. Known for its 18th century hand printed floor tiles from Canton, China; and Hebrew inscriptions on the stone slabs, this monument can be visited from 10: 00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on all days except Saturdays and Jewish holidays.

Find the best accommodation in Kochi

Cherain Beach
Bordering Vypeen Island, this beach is ideal for a swim. One can occasionally spot dolphins here. A nearby Kerala village, complete with paddy fields and coconut groves, is an added attraction of this beach.

Bolghatty Island
This island is known for its palace. The Bolghatty Palace was built by the Dutch in 1744, and later taken over by the British. Today it has been transformed into a hotel operated by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, with a small golf course and special honeymoon cottages.

Willingdon Island
Named after Lord Willingdon, a British Viceroy to India, this artificial island is surrounded by Kerala's beautiful backwaters. The island is the site of the city's best hotels, customs and trading center, the port trust and the headquarters of the southern naval command.

Pareekshith Thampuran Museum
Previously the Durbar Hall, this sprawling, traditional Kerala-style building houses 19th century oil paintings and a fabulous collection of old coins, sculptures and Mughal paintings. The museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on all days except Monday.

The Hill Palace Museum, Thripunithura
10 kms from Kochi is the Hill Palace, the official residence of the Kochi royal family. Built in 1865, the palace complex comprises 49 buildings, surrounded by 52 acres of terraced land with a deer park and facilities for horse riding. An archaeological museum and Kerala's first ever Heritage Museum are the main attractions here. Displayed inside the thirteen galleries are oil paintings, 18th century paintings, murals, stone sculptures, ancient manuscripts, inscriptions and coins belonging to the Kochi royal family. The museum is open from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed on Mondays.