And Around Cherai
( Cochin ) : The
eventful history of this city began when a major flood in
AD 1341 threw open the estuary at Kochi, till then a land
locked region, turning it into one of the finest
natural harbours in the world. Cochin is the oldest
European settlement in India,recording a history
of visitors who came, saw and stayed for hundreds of years.
Layered impressions - Chinese, Arab, Jewish, British, French
and Portuguese, are contained within its environment.The
commercial capital of Kerala and the most cosmopolitan of
the state's cities,Cochin has long been eulogised in tourist
literature as the “ Queen of the Arabian Sea” with ferry
rides commanding its breathtaking view.
Cruise around man-made islands
with lush green lawns sloping down to the water's edge.
Giant Chinese fishing nets that billow from massive teak
and bamboo poles dot the entrance to the harbour. Silhouetted
against the setting sun, they present a magnificent sight
at the waterfront.Kochi is the arguably the ideal starting
point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty
of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist destinations by
the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National
Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.
The synagogue, built in 1568, is magnificently decorated
by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls
of the Old Testament can be found here. It is located
near the Dutch Palace. Built in A D 1568. Great scrolls
of the Old Testament (Bible) and copper plates in which
the grants of privilege to Jews from Cochin rulers were
carved are preserved here.
St. Francis Church
: It is the oldest church built
by Europeans in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco
De Gama, the legendary navigator from Lisbon, died at
Kochi during his second voyage to Kerala. He was laid
to rest in the St. Francis Church on Christmas eve 1524.
Years later, his mortal remains were taken back to Portugal.
The sepulcher is still preserved in the church hall and
is open for visitors.
Vasco House : Believed to have been the residence
of Vasco da Gamma, this is one of the oldest Portuguese
residence of Fort Cochin. Built in the early 16th century
Vasco House sports the typical European glass paned windows
and Balcony cum Verandas characteristic of the times.
The Dutch Cemetery : The tomb stones here are the most
authentic record of the hundreds of Europeans who left
their homeland on a mission to expand their colonial empires
and changed the course of history of this land. The cemetery
was consecrated in 1724 and is today managed by the Church
of South India.
Cruz Basilica: The original church, situated
in Fort Kochi, was built by the Portuguese in 1505 and
named as a cathedral in 1558. The British colonists destroyed
the cathedral in 1795. The current structure was built
in 1905 and raised to the status of a basilica by Pope
John Paul II in 1984.
Built by the Dutch in 1744, this palace is on an island,
off Cochin in the Arabian Sea. Earlier Dutch and later British
used the palace as Governor's residence. Today, Kerala Tourism
Development Corporation has transformed the palace into
a tourist hotel. A canopied garden is another tourist attraction
on The island.
Temple : Chottanikkara temple located
20 kms east of Cochin, is dedicated to Bhagawati - the mother
Goddess. The deity is worshipped in three different forms
- as Saraswati in the morning, draped in white; as Bhadrakali
at noon, draped in crimson; and as Durga in the evening,
decked in blue.
of Kerala History:-Situated 18 Kms from Cherai. The
Museum of Kerala History is at Edapally on the way to Aluva.
It is the best place to have a quick glimpse of Kerala's
history. A statue of Parasurama, the sage who is said to
have created Kerala, greets the visitors.Life size figures
depict important landmarks of civilization from the Neolithic
age to the modern era. There is an excellent narration of
Kerala history in the past 2000 years. This 'live' Museum
is not just a retelling of the past but is a Light and Sound
show of three-dimensional visuals. The light and
sound shows take place in the following timings: 10:00,
10:30, 11:00, 11:30 12:00, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00 15:30, 16:00
The museum remains closed on Mondays and Public holidays.
|Thrikkakara Temple :
Thrikkakara temple, located 10 kms north-east of Kochi,
is considered to be the seat of famous 10 days Onam celebrations
in Kerala. Thrikkakara is considered to be capital of the
good asura (demon) King Mahabali, whose rule was prematurely
stopped by Lord Vishnu in the diguise as a Brahmin boy,
when the Hindu gods became jealous of the growing power
of the generous and kind-hearted king. The Vishnu temple
here is the only one of its kind to have Vamana (one of
the incarnations of Lord Vishnu) as the deity.
Land : Veega
Land is South India's largest amusement park situated 14kms
from Cochin. The park includes a range of attractions including
mini castles, water theme park, ferris wheel, rides, slides,
shows and fountains. Kids and adults alike can enjoy the
fun and activities.A tour to Veegaland Kerala offers unlimited
fun and frolic.Veegaland in Kerala has 26 thrilling water
slides, dancing musical fountain, floral gardens, beautiful
promenades, 3 delightful restaurants and a wave pool. Ride
various exhilarating water rides. Visitors are welcomed
to the amusement park by Ammu, a baby elephant. Veegaland
Amusement Park is perfect for family getaways
Palace Museum : This
museum showcases wealth and prosperity of erstwhile royal
family of Cochin. including the king's throne and crown.
Also on display are other trappings of royalty like majestic
beds, paintings,carvings and samples of epigraphy. Tripunithura
is also known for the nearby Chottanikkara Temple and the
Tripunithura Temple. Location: 13km off Kochi
Mattancherry Palace : Also known
as Dutch Palace. Built by Portuguese and handed over to
Cochin Raja in 1555 AD and the was renamed as Mattancheri
Palace in 1663, when the Dutch spruced up the palace. However,
neither the Portuguese nor the Dutch stayed in the palace.The
centre of the building has a Coronation Hall where Cochin
Rajas investitures were held. Today, it is a portrait gallery
of the Rajas. Rooms adjacent display 17th century murals
depicting scenes from the epic,Ramayana.
Location : Eranakulam. Open for visitors.
10 am to 5 pm Closed on Fridays, national holidays.
Chennamangalam, situated 40kms north
of Cochin near North Paravur, is home to a synagogue that
is based on traditional Kerala architecture. The major attractions
of this synagogue are the intricate artwork and the majestic
altar. This 175 year old synagogue was recently renovated
to its old glory. The oldes 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 with a church, synagogue, temple and
mosque located close to each other.
Church: Christs apostle
St Thomas is believed to have landed in Kodungalloor (formerly
called Muziris) in 52 AD. The St.Thomas Church established
by him houses ancient relics.The schematic map of the region
around Kodungallur gives only a faint suggestion of the
landscapes of the area, which is hardly above sea level
and abounding in canals and lagoons and prone to flooding
in the rainy season. It is now not possible to locate the
ancient site of Musiris harbourat any of the present sites
of the environs of Kodungallur.
Kodungalloor Bhagawati Temple: The Bhagawati temple at Kodungallur
is of great renown throughout the state of Kerala. The Bharani
festival at the Kodungallur Bhagawati temple is one of the
grandest in Kerala
Cheraman mosque: The Cheraman Juma Masjid is believed
to be the first mosque in India, built around 629 AD. The
mosque is unique because it was baseed on traditional Hindu
art and architecture and resembles a temple.
Malayatoor: On the slopes of the picturesque
Western Ghats, 52 Kms. From Kochi and 8 Kms. From Kalady
is the Malayattoor Church. This is a Christian pilgrim centre
and is believed to have been blessed by the Apostle of Christ,
St. Thomas and the Church atop the hill was established
in AD 900. Malayattoor is accessible by road up to the foot
hills of Kurishumudy. The church at the top of the hill,
about 2 Kms. can be reached only by foot. Situated beside
the Periyar river and a small lake called Manappattuchira,
Malayatoor is also a place of scenic beauty.
|Kalady:Is the birth place of one of
India's foremost philosopher's Adi Sankaracharya who preached
advaita or monotheism. The temple also encloses the samadhi
of Sankaracharya's mother Aryamba. The location on the bank
of the river where the young Sankara was held by a crocodile
can be seen nearby. The Ramakrishna Advaita ashrama adjoining
the Sri Krishna temple nearby has a beautiful shrine modelled
on the Sri Ramakrihna temple at Belur Math. The 8-storey
Adi Sankara Keerthi Sthambam is a monument that tells Sankaracharya's
story in paintings on the wall as one ascends the structure
along a spiral staiway. The view from the top is breathtaking.Kaladi is 48 kms north-east of Cochin
Kodanad: Kodanad lies on the southern bank
of Periyar river amongst the scenic beauty of the High Ranges. It is 45 Kms.
From Kochi city and 12 Kms.
to the east of Perumbavoor town. There is an elephant training
centre here. Facilities for elephant ride are provided here.
There is also a mini zoo at Kodanadu.
|Athirapally : At the entrance to the Sholayar
ranges, 78 kilometers from Cochin, this scintillating waterfall
is a popular tourist spot.A picturesque spot adjacent to
thick green forest land.Nearby the gliding Vazhachal waterfall
is a part of the Chalakudy river.Affording to the onlookers,
one of the most bewitching sights, Athirappally Falls is
about 80 feet high and located in the forest area. Combined
with the greenery, it infuses freshness into any tired soul.
The Athirapally Falls join the Chalakkudy River. The Vazhachal
waterfall is a scenic and popular waterfall on the edge
of the Sholayar forest range in Kerala
Sree Krishna temple here is very famous attracting 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 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 the
Punnathur Kotta, which used to be the palace
of the Punnathur rajas (kings).
|Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
bird sanctuary is located 60kms east of Cochin near Kothamangalam.
On the northern bank of river Periyar is a tropical evergreen
forest in the foothills of the Wester Ghats. Spread over
25 sq kms, this bird sanctuary was once regarded as the
richest bird habitat in peninsular India. In spite of recent
developments and deforestation, this sanctuary is still
home to a large number of rare and exotic bird species.
It is also Known as also known as the Dr Salim Ali Bird
Sanctuary. A trip through this sanctuary would
certainly be a bonanza for any birder with its over 270
species in a relatively small area of 25 sq kms area. One
should see the rare Mottled Wood Owl, Spot-bellied Eagle
Owl, Malayan Night Heron, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Rusty-tailed
Flycatcher, Grey-headed Bulbul and the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon
Kalamandalam) : Kerala
Kalamandalam at Cheruthuruthy, was founded by Malayalam
Poet Vallathol in 1930. Main objective was to revive, preserve
and develop ancient and traditional art form of Kerala,
particularly Kathakali.Kalamandalam has been the nursery
of Kerala's renowned kathakali artistes. Hundreds of boys
and girls are undergoing training in various branches of
performing arts such as Mohiniyattom, Koodiyattom and Ottan
Thullal. Many foreigners captivated by the language of Kathakali
and other art forms are joining the training sessions. Koothambalam
attached to the Kalamandalam is a major attraction. The
Samadhi (tomb) of the founder-poet is in the premises of
the Kalamandalam on the banks of River Bharathapuzha.
Location: Shornur (Thirssur district)
Near Shornur railway station on Mangalore- Chennai route.
29 Km away from Thrissur, bus services from Thrissur Private
|Alappuzha:The Venice of the East welcomes you to the
backwaters of kerala.The Palm fringed canals and shores
bustling with glimpses from the day to day life in the country
side, the mirror still lagoons, picture book lakesides and
its long sandy beach has blessed Alappuzha.Alappuzha is
very famous for its boat races, houseboats, coir products,
fish and lakes. Alappuzha is interlocked with a large number
of canals and bridges.This water locked district has immense
untapped potential for backwater tourism, preserved through
the ages and completely hidden from the road is an enchanting
experience to any visitor. Gliding along the calm and serene
backwaters flanked by green leaves and palms seeing a rural
more so while sailing a slow-moving, spacious Kettuvallam
|Munnar : Munnar is a beautiful hill station
covered with unending expanse of tea plantation is 165 km
away from cherai. This was once the summer resort of the
British Government in South India. A hill station transcending
excellence – Munnar is surrounded by gently undulating hills
swathed in the soothing green of vast tea estates makes
it perfect tourist destination in south India. Situated
at an altitude of 1600 m above sea level, its bracing climate
with the laidback atmosphere and its delightfully refreshing
colonial air makes it the most sought-after destinations
Picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday
facilities make Munnar a unique experience Munnar also has
the highest peak in South India - Anamudi , which towers
over 2695 m. Anamudi is an ideal spot for trekking
|Kumarakom : The village of Kumarakom is a cluster
of little islands on the Vembanad Lake. The lake, an enchanting
picnic spot and a fast developing back water tourism destination,
and its small water world is part of the Kuttanad region.
A 14 acre bird sanctuary is situated on the eastern banks
of the Vembanad Lake. The sanctuary adds to the natural
beauty of Kumarakom. Birds (waterfowl, water ducks, cuckoos,
wild ducks etc.) nest and spend happy summers here. Birds
like Siberian Storks migrate here every year and is an ornithologist's
pride of Kerela and a testimony to nature's splendor and
human innovation, the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated
on the banks of the Periyar Lake .It is an artificial lake
was created in 1895. Thekkady is 200 km away from cherai.
The drive to Thekkady itself as enchanting as the road winds
the high ranges. The Western Ghats are clothed in dense
ever green, moist deciduous forests and savannah grass lands.
Below this thick green canopy roam herds of Wild elephants,
sambar deer, tigers, buffaloes, gaurs, lion tailed macaques
and Nilgiri langurs. The sanctuary offers a lovely and comfortable
way to see the animals via - boat rides on the man-made
lake, which the wildlife areas encircle. A tourist can get
a great opportunity for treks mountain walk, Bamboo rafting
and Jungle patrol.Thekkady is also a spice trading centre.
Cardamom, pepper, vanilla, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and ayurvedic
herbs are planted here