May 05, 2020
Formerly known as ‘Cochin’, Kochi is a sea port and beach town in Kerala. It is part of the Ernakulam district and it is Kerala’s most populated city. It has its own municipal corporation and is listed as among the fastest growing cities in India. It has high tourism potential, with many wonderful places to see, quaint shopping bazaars, a pleasant climate and friendly people.
You have always wanted to take your parents on a holiday that they will remember. If you are looking for a domestic destination, why not give Kochi a chance?
Kochi has made a name for itself, even throughout history, as a famous trading centre and port of call. Major ships passing through the region would stop at Kochi to refuel or rest. It was known for spice trading on the Indian coast as far back as the 14th Century, when the coastline also had a robust trade network with Arab merchants.
However, the port was forcibly captured by the Portuguese in the year 1503 and thus, Cochin became one of the first European colonies in India. It ceded its status as the main Portuguese power centre in the year 1530 to the British. From this point on, Cochin was ruled by the British and it was conferred with the title of a princely State. As is known, it attained freedom from British Rule in the year 1947, the year of our country’s independence.
Today, Kochi is a much-visited tourist destination and every visitor here is enthralled by its culture, beauty, global outlook and people. It always figures on the list of top-rated cities to visit around the world year upon year, buoyed by its vibrant culture, natural beauty, excellent location and several tourist spots. It is also on the list of Smart Cities envisaged by the Indian Government, and is being developed as a modern housing and communications hub.
Since you are travelling with your parents, you must look up ways to make the journey as smooth and comfortable as possible. We list the three ways in which you can reach Kochi:
* By Air: Kochi has an airport outside the city. The Cochin International Airport is about 20 km away at Nedumbassery town. This airport receives both international and domestic flights. Thus, flight availability is quite high, though there might be a rush for tickets during peak tourist season. Book at least two months in advance to get good deals and lower prices on flight tickets to Kochi. Ask your Kochi resort to send a car to receive you and your parents at the airport so that you may arrive at the resort in comfort.
* By Road: Kochi is quite well connected to the rest of the cities in Kerala. You can also drive down to Kochi from other parts of South India, but do first ascertain if your parents are up to the long drive. Driving for long hours can get exhausting on the back and major joints of the body. If you are all in favour of making the drive down to Kochi, then you can check Kochi tourism guides to know the exact highways and roads leading to the city from Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. If you don’t wish to drive, you can book tickets on a State Transport bus and alight at Kochi city.
* By Railway: Another easy way to reach Kochi in relative comfort is to take the train there from your home town. It’s a long journey from outside South India, but there are many trains arriving at Kochi every day so you can find one easily. Book your train tickets and disembark at Kochi Railway Junction or the Kochi Harbour Terminus a little further away from the city. You can get regular trains from Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
Kochi has high humidity for most parts of the year. However, the weather is not unpleasant. You might experience more perspiration than you are normally accustomed to. The summer months from March to June are quite hot, so if you feel like your parents will be uncomfortable in the high heat and humidity, it is best to book the holiday for another time.
The monsoon season is short lived in Kochi, but quite intense when it does come. The monsoon season starts in mid-June and tapers off by September. Heavy showers might scupper your sightseeing plans, especially in the months of July and August. So, tweak your itinerary accordingly, and arrange for transport to take you around Kochi in a safe manner. If either or both of your parents suffer from arthritis, gout, asthma or rheumatism, then this season is best avoided due to the increase in humidity levels.
The best season to visit Kochi is the winter season, specifically in the months from November to early January. The weather is quite pleasant and the sunlight softens in intensity. You will love exploring Kochi and taking long walks with your parents in the winter sunshine, and shopping at the bazaars and eating out as well. However, this is peak tourist season in Kochi so be sure to book your travel and resort well in time to avoid a last minute disappointment.
You now have an idea of how to visit Kochi and the best time to get there. Once you arrive, you will need a plan of action to visit Kochi and make the trip as memorable for your parents as possible. Here are our recommendations for the best things to do in Kochi during your holiday:
* Visit the Mattancherry Palace: This is a landmark place to visit in Kochi. Its origins are traced back to the rule of the Portuguese in this area. It is said to have been constructed in the year 1557. It is also popularly known as the Dutch Palace. Curiously, it blends elements of European architecture like individual wings and patio, with elements of a traditional Kerala house – this has not been seen anywhere else in the State! Its central courtyard has the famous Bhagavati Temple, whose deity is revered for protecting the city of Kochi from all kinds of disaster. The palace has many frescoes and paintings that your parents will like looking at.
* Catch up with the birds: Your parents probably grew up in a simpler time when there was a lot of green cover in their home town. They are more adept at spotting and recognising birds than you are – so why not plan a major throwback to that charming time by taking your parents to the beautiful Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary? It is one of the best things to do in Kochi. There are so many gorgeous birds to look at and such pleasing birdsong, that you will all love the experience and cherish it forever. This bird park is one of Kerala’s biospheres, and several species of migratory birds visit here every winter. It has a dense mangrove cover as well.
* Enjoy Cherai Beach: What’s a visit to Kochi without checking up on its stunning beaches? When in Kochi, you and your parents must do the most popular thing to do in Kochi: revel in the stunning beauty of Cherai Beach. It is one of the city’s most famous landmarks, and you will love walking through the dense coconut groves and paddy fields alongside. Plus, you can sit down on the sand and make sand castles like you used to as a child, or sit back and enjoy a sumptuous packed meal and beverages. There is also the option of going boating on the famous Cherai backwaters.
* Make a pit stop at some famous places of worship: Kochi is nothing if not deeply historical in nature, and it has some ancient places of worship that your parents will definitely want to see. Hire transport for the day and do one of the most popular things to do in Kochi: visit the Paradesi Synogogue and Shiva Temple. The synagogue was built in the year 1568 and it is one of the oldest Jewish places of worship in India. It also houses rare antique pieces of furniture and carvings, like Belgian glass chandeliers, a clock tower, carved teak arks with scrolls, centuries-old copper plates, oriental carpets, and so on. Meanwhile, visit the Shiva Temple here and let the mammoth Shiva sculpture at the entrance take your breath away! The temple is made in the Malabari architecture style and has a huge sanctum sanctorum and intricately sculpted walls. It is one of the seven famous Kochi Maharaja Temples and the Shiva deity here is said to protect the city from harm.
* Take a look at elephants: Take a trip to the Kodanad Elephant Training Centre, which is one of the most interesting things to do in Kochi. This centre gives you and your parents the chance to get up close with the kings of the forest, the noble elephants. Kodanad village in Ernakulam runs the famous elephant training centre which works closely with rehabilitated adult Indian elephants and even young ones. Don’t miss the elephant baths in the morning hours: the sight of baby elephants getting a dunking is a lovely one!
* Catch up on some Kathakali: Kathakali is a Kerala performance art form comprising drama, music and dance. The colourful costumes and bright makeup are breathtaking, and the themes and stories told by the performers are sourced from traditional folklore or the Indian epics. You can catch a performance at the Kathakali Centre and also meet the dancers backstage and watch them prepare for the performance.
* Get a look at the famous Chinese Fishing Nets: One of the best things to do in Kochi is to visit Cheenawala, where Chinese fishing nets are hung at the beaches at a certain distance from the shore. These huge nets are controlled by machinery about 20 metres in, thus adding a unique dimension to fishing on the beach. This method of fishing dates back to the 14th century! The nets offer a perfect backdrop for a series of photographs with your parents.
* Catch the mesmerising Athirapally Falls: These Falls are one of the best tourist sites in Kochi and your parents will certainly enjoy looking at them. Known as India’s Niagara Falls, with their roaring pure white waters that come from the Anamudi mountains. You can drive up to the waterfalls (ask your resort to send you an all-day transport) and have a great time just taking in the magnificent beauty of the place.
You and your parents deserve only the best Kochi resort for your holiday. The better the accommodation facilities, the more comfortable the holiday becomes.
We recommend checking yourselves into the glorious Club Mahindra Olive Downtown Resort in Kochi. Ideally located in dense vegetation but within walking distance of the nearest markets and sightseeing spots, the resort features a wide range of suites and rooms to choose from. You are only a few kilometres away from the famous Lulu Mall, so you can shop there as well. Stroll around the property with your parents, gorge on delicious meals at one of the best on-site restaurants in Kochi, and enjoy the state-of-the-art amenities. You and your parents are sure to have a blissful time at this superb resort, with your every need taken care of even before you say the word!
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL), India’s leading player in the leisure hospitality industry, offers quality family holidays as also stated by Club Mahindra Resort Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra Membership Fees gives you opportunity to explore your holidays across world, the other brands offered by the company are – Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As on Mar 31, 2019, MHRIL has 61+ resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has 33 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain.
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.