The arrival of summer brings to mind images of coconut trees, long walks by the sea shore, and indulging on some fun beachside activities. If you are planning for a beach holiday with your family, then head straight to Cherai, the ideal destination to relax by the beachfront and enjoy picturesque views by the bay. Cherai beach is known for its unique landscape, which is lined by the Chinese fishnets that add a rustic charm to it during sunset, and art-deco style Cherai beach resorts. All this, and more, makes Cherai one of the best places to visit in Kochi for a family vacation.
Called the Queen of the Arabian Sea, and a major port city for trading since the 14th century, Kochi is connected to all the major cities via air, railways, road, and sea. Nedumbassery International Airport in Kochi is the main airport here, and it supports both domestic as well as international flights.
Its location by the sea and rich culture–influenced by Hindu, Islamic as well as European traditions–means that Kochi is attractive to a number of tourists from all over the world. Kochi is home to many popular Dravidian-style temples, Gothic churches, museums, forts, amazing seashores, and resorts in Cherai Beach. As for what to eat on your holiday, worry not. Kochi offers a plethora of cuisine- international as well as from other parts of India– but it is highly recommended that you try some of the local Kerala cuisine when vacationing here.
All these diverse attractions make it one of the biggest tourist attractions in the region. To enjoy the best of the destination, choosing the right accommodation is key, and what better way to enjoy a beach vacation on Cherai than by waking up to views of sunrise by the shore? Staying at one of the many Cherai beach resorts offers you just that!
Places To Visit And Activities To Indulge In
There is so much to see and do in Cherai, that it can get overwhelming for the average traveller to put together an itinerary of the places to visit and activities to take up while planning a trip. From swimming and riding some waves on a water scooter to finding spirituality at the Cherai Gowreeshwara Temple, here’s a list of must-do activities and places to visit in Kochi that you can’t afford to miss. While these are only some of the most prominent of countless tourist attractions of Kochi, this curated list balances the perfect blend of fun activities that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, with some monuments and structures of architectural and historical significance. Use this guide to enjoy its popular attractions, but keep your adventurous spirit alive by taking some time away to explore Cherai’s little streets and lanes that lead to quaint cafes, forgotten structures, and a glimpse into its local life.
• Cherai Gowreeshwara Temple
• Azheekkal Sree Varaha Temple
• Portuguese Fort
• Pallipuram Syro-Malabar Church
• The Museum Of Mattancherry
• Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary
• Cherai Beach • MG Road (Mahatma Gandhi Road)
• Hill Palace
• Prakruthi Ayurveda Spa & Treatment Centre
1. Cherai Gowreeshwara Temple
Cherai Gowreeshwara Temple is the first in our list, for it is not only a popular attraction of Cherai, but one of the famous places to visit in Kochi as a whole. It is among the oldest Hindu temples in the area and highly revered. The temple is also known as Kerala Palani, and is maintained by Vijnana Vardhini Sabha (VV Sabha). One of the key attractions of the temple is its annual festival, which is one of the biggest in the district of Eranakulam. It is held sometime between the last two weeks in January or during the first two weeks of February. One of the main features of this festival is the Elephant March–a fascinating parade of around 20 to 30 elephants decorated with ornaments and flowers, which is a thrilling sight to see. Tourists, locals, and devotees from all over the country visiting Cherai to witness and take part in this spirited festival. If you plan for a trip to Cherai during this period, participate in this festival for the sheer exposure to the local culture and the energy.
2. Azheekkal Sree Varaha Temple
Next in our list is another key attraction among the places to visit in Kochi- Azheekkal Sree Varaha Temple. This famous Cherai temple is of great religious importance to Hindus in Kochi, but you don’t have to be religiously inclined to find inspiration to visit this place. Known for its architecture, it boasts of a stunningly beautiful chariot and is owned by the Gowda Saraswatha Community. Like with Cherai Gowreeshwara Temple, Azheekkal Sree Varaha Temple is a major attraction, both among the devoted Hindus, as well as non-religious sightseers.
3. Portuguese Fort
Aya Kotta, the famous Portuguese Fort built in the year 1503, adds a monument of historical significance in this list of places to visit in Cherai. It is the oldest European monument existing in India. It was built as an outpost by the Portuguese to safeguard the Muziris Port. The fort was captured by the Dutch in 1661 but was later handed over to the King of Travancore in 1789. The fort is a symbolic gateway of the centuries of colonisation that would eventually follow. Overall, the building will also interest tourists that are very interested in European architecture.
4. Pallipuram Syro-Malabar Church
Kochi is not just about temples and forts; there are also beautiful churches to see, and this list of places to visit in Kochi would be incomplete without a mention of the Pallipuram Syro-Malabar Church. Built in 1577, this church is famous for the awe-inspiring picture of Ave Mary that was brought in from Portugal and placed right atop the altar. What’s more, the Portuguese style of architecture that can be observed even in the minutest of details on this structure makes it an important cultural heritage point and one of the major attractions in Cherai. There is an annual celebration of the Lady of Snow held in the church each year in August, and it’s worth a visit when vacationing in Cherai during this period.
Another important event you must witness if possible is the water parade of the boats. It makes for a thrilling and fascinating sight, especially when travelling with children, so make it a point to work it in your itinerary!
5. The Museum Of Mattancherry
The small little neighbourhood of Mattancherry gets its name from the fact that it was once full of mutton butchers. It makes it to the list of places to visit in Cherai because of its heritage value. It still carries prominent signs of the former colonial rule making it one of the biggest tourist attractions in Kochi.
6. Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary
If you are a nature enthusiast, especially birds, then next in this list of places to visit in Cherai–the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary–is just for you. Ideal for a visit during the winter months, the bird sanctuary is the oldest haven for birds in India. The deciduous greenery is another major attraction for tourists, making it a great place for tourists to visit.
7. Cherai Beach
There is no compilation of a list of places to visit in Kochi without adding the famous Cherai Beach. This is a 15 kilometre-long isolated and beautiful beach stretch. The location is dotted with small shops selling local snacks like pakoras and chips that will satiate your hunger pangs. The scenic beauty of the beach is compounded by the stunning lagoons, coconut groves, and the wide paddy fields along the road to the beach.
Cherai Beach is the most popular beach among locals as well, because of its sheer size, which explains the popularity of the resorts in Cherai Beach. It can be a bit crowded especially during weekends, but thanks to its expanse you will never feel that the crowd will get in the way of you having a peaceful evening. This beach is perfect for indulging in some adventure sports, go swimming, switch off from the hustle and bustle of the city sunbathing or just read a book while watching a glorious sunset. What’s more, it is great to be this close to the sea, which is why it is best if you live in a Cherai beach resort whenever you visit Kochi. Who wouldn’t want to spend an evening strolling near the sea, a walk under stars or watch the sunrise on the beach? All of this is a lot more convenient when you have your accommodation nearby.
8. MG Road (Mahatma Gandhi Road)
Next up in our list of places to visit in Cherai is the famous Mahatma Gandhi Road or MG Road. This place is just the perfect spot if you want to let loose your inner shopping enthusiast. Buy clothes, jewellery, accessories, and a plethora of other things for yourself and your loved ones back home. There are items that suit every budget, making it the perfect place to shop for souvenirs that you can purchase for your friends and family. We are sure you will feel like buying everything on display here! The market is the best go-to shopping spot in the whole of Cherai.
9. Hill Palace
Next in our list of places to visit in Cherai is Hill Palace, a little something for the history lovers among us. An important heritage museum today, the palace was first built in 1865. It exhibits several archaeological relics that belong to the Maharaja of Kochi. Architecturally, it has 49 buildings within it, along with stunning gardens, as well as a children’s park. The palace is open to the public every day from 9 AM to 12 noon and from 2 PM to 4:30 PM.
10. Prakruthi Ayurveda Spa & Treatment Centre
Every vacation needs to include some time dedicated to a little bit of relaxation and rejuvenation, and the best way to achieve this is by signing up for a spa treatment. One of the best places offering this in Cherai is the Prakruthi Ayurveda Spa & Treatment Centre. This is the perfect chance to treat yourself to the ayurvedic spa treatments that help relax your muscles using the ancient Indian techniques. The proximity of this centre, as well as other centres, is one of the major reasons why you should choose a Cherai beach resort as your accommodation whenever you decide to visit this destination.
This is a list of places to visit and things to enjoy that can be included on a tour with the whole family, friends, or your significant other. With the biggest attraction of Cherai being its wonderful and unique flora and fauna, your trip can get a lot more exciting when you include its scenic backwaters, woods, and paddy fields in your itinerary.
Want to explore the best of Cherai with family? Have a look at this Kerala tourism guide to make the most of your family trip to Cherai!
Where To Stay
When it comes to accommodation options, you can book your stay at the spacious and comfortable Club Mahindra’s Cherai Beach Resort. Staying here means that you are in close proximity to all the major tourist attractions in Cherai, as well as the gorgeous beach.
Look forward to modern, state-of-the-art amenities in your room, making this a home away from home. This is a great resort for those travelling with family as well as for the ones planning a vacation with friends.
The Club Mahindra property here has a brilliant in-house restaurant where one you can enjoy delicious local Kerala cuisine. You will also be close to the Prakruthi Ayurveda Spa and Treatment Centre as well as several other Ayurvedic spas, yoga houses, and treatment centres, making it the ideal choice for those seeking a relaxing and peaceful beach holiday. Our hands-on, well-trained staff will ensure that your stay at Cherai Beach resort in Kerala is as memorable as it is comfortable.
This beautiful Cherai beach resort is also a mere three kilometres from Kuzhupilly Beach and less than nine kilometres from Marine Drive in Kochi. Have a look at Club Mahindra reviews online to see how other travellers have enjoyed memorable vacations at this property.