Kochi | India
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Kochi (formerly Cochin; Malayalam: കൊച്ചി) is a cosmopolitan city in Kerala with a bustling commercial port. Kochi is the financial and commercial capital of Kerala and, with a population of more than 2 million, the biggest conurbation in the state.


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1 Understand 1.1 History 1.2 Culture 1.3 Climate 1.4 Orientation 1.4.1 When to visit 1.5 Tourist information A city born in storm, nurtured in rivalry and established as battling ground for European empires. This phrase is a good description of Kochi, which was formed as an ancient port city after the Great Floods of the Periyar River in 1341. With partitioning of Chera Kerala empire in 14th century, this region came under control of a new dynasty, rivaled by other local feudal lords. With the advent of colonization, Kochi became the first major battle grounds of almost all European powers. History Kochi merchants began trading in spices such as black pepper and cardamom with the Arabs, Dutch, Phoenicians, Portuguese and Chinese more than 600 years ago. This helped Kochi to prosper and to become the gateway to old India. It was from Kochi that the colonization of India started. Portugal was first to establish its base in Kochi, followed by the Dutch and British. The Anglo-Dutch treaty of 1814, compelled the Dutch to hand over Kochi to the British in exchange for Bangka Island in Indonesia. The British managed to establish their influence over Kochi, limiting their direct administration to a small enclave of Fort Kochi and British Ernakulam with their capital at Bolgatty Island. The rest of the Kochi Kingdom was administered by Kochi Maharajas from their capital at Thripunithura. However, the real administration was done by Diwans (Prime Ministers), leaving the Maharajas to patronize culture, arts and focus heavily on the areas of public health and education. The foundations of modern Kochi city started when Sir Robert Bristow, a senior Royal Navy Engineer, felt the need for a modern large port after the opening of the Suez Canal. This resulted in the creation of the largest man-made island of the country, Willingdon Island, to house the new Kochi Port. In the 1930s, the Kochi Maharaja joined the public outcry to form a common state of Malayalam-speaking people by merging with the Kingdom of Travancore and British Malabar. Kochi Maharaja Kerala Varma Raja was at the forefront of this agitation, and passed the Aykiakerala Resolution in the Kochi Parliament. In 1947, the Kingdom of Kochi and Travancore merged to form the Royal State of Travancore-Kochi. The Kochi Maharaja was amongst the first to advocate the state joining the newly formed Indian Union. Finally, in 1948, the state of Travancore-Kochi merged with India. Since the formation of Kerala in 1957, Kochi has been the commercial capital of Kerala as well as the seat of the Kerala High Court. Since 2000, Kochi has revitalized its economy, with a focus on tourism, information technology and its port. Culture The colonial charms of Fort Kochi Kochi has a cosmopolitan culture, highly influenced by historical trading partners, Portuguese, Dutch, Arab, Chinese, and Japanese. Kochi is the seat of the Latin church of Kerala and has many Catholic churches and followers. Kochi was traditionally a potpourri of various Indian and international communities. Syrian Christians started the first wave of immigration, followed by Jews between the 7th and 10th centuries. Arab merchants also made a strong settlement in Kochi. In the 15th century, Gujaratis settled in Kochi, especially on Mattancherry, where they played a strong role in spice trading and other areas. Later, at the beginning of the colonial era, the Portuguese, Dutch, French, and British all made their settlements in Kochi. The Portuguese had a strong influence in Fort Cochin. British culture was strongly felt, lending Kochi a strong community of Anglo-Indians. In the early 1970s, Punjabis settled here, focusing their strong presence on the local automobile industry. Tamilians, Telugus, Kannadigas have all formed small settlements since the days of royalty. Students from Cambodia, Thailand, Korea, and Indonesia have settled down in Kochi for studies and research activities. Kochi has a sizeable expatriate population mainly from European countries who have settled in Fort Kochi. Most of them are senior citizens who settled down to enjoy retirement life and many run boutique hotels and restaurants in that area. Due to the rapid growth of the city, a majority of the local population are now immigrants. Generally, Kochinites are modern and fashionable. Being a city that has a tradition of various cultures being given equal respect, a high level of tolerance exists. The city has a modern attitude, but some basic social modesty still prevails, especially in villages and rural areas. Climate Kochi has a typical tropical climate. Temperatures range between 30°C and 35°C during daytime and around 24°C at night. Kochi is one of the first places to experience the heavy monsoon showers, which start around mid-May. It thus experiences heavy rainfall between mid-May and the first week in September. Daytime temperatures during the monsoon fall to between 25°C and 30°C. From September to early February, the weather is fine, marked with cool winds and light showers. Summer starts in February. Although temperatures never reach 40°C, the high humidity can make summers uncomfortable. This continues until early May. Frequent showers cool down the harshness of summer. Orientation After rapid growth during the two last decades, Kochi is now one of the most densely populated town areas in India. Kochi city consists of: Map of the Kochi area Aluva — the second largest town in Kochi U/A, famous for its Periyar river banks. Kochi International Airport is nearby. Bolgatty Island — the island where the British established a Royal Residency, which is now converted into a five star hotel. Famous for its large golf course, horse riding tracks, marina and boatyards. Ernakulam Mainland City — the heart and transport hub of Kochi with three distinct parts: the Central Business District (CBD) which has Mahatma Gandhi Road (MG Road) as the main arterial road along with Marine Drive and Chitoor Road; Downtown with upscale residential areas and the business district at SA Road and Vytilla Junction and the Suburb which has many business and commercial areas. Maradu — next door to Kochi city; an upcoming business district with numerous high-end hotels. Peninsula of Mattancherry and Fort Kochi (Old Kochi) — primarily a tourist enclave. Fort Kochi forms the upper part of the Peninsula with neatly arranged colonial buildings, narrow well-paved roads, Anglo-Dutch influenced structures and large antiques shops. Mattancherry is primarily a trading city, famous for its thriving Gujarati settlement brought to the city in the 16th and 17th centuries by the spice trade. Thrikkakara Town — famous for the large Vamana Temple, the focal centre of Onam, the national festival of Kerala. Also the home of Cochin University and other educational institutes. Thripunithura — the erstwhile capital of the Kingdom of Kochi is famous for various historical palaces, museums and temples, and as a centre of the arts. Vallarpadom Island — where the new Kochi International Mega Container Terminal (ICT) has opened. Vypin Island — one of the most densely populated islands in world with numerous fishing villages, tourist villages and the popular Cherai Beach. Willingdon Island — large man-made island made from sand dredged from the backwaters to deepen the Kochi Port. Named after Long Willingdon, then-the reigning Viceroy of India, it houses the Kochi Port, Southern Naval Command Headquarters of Indian Navy and many five-star hotels. When to visit The peak visitor season is often from August to February with December being the busiest month when there are many festivals and special attractions along with the famous Cochin Carnival and Christmas celebrations. Onam season (mid Aug-mid Sept) is also a busy tourist season considering traditional line up of various festivities. Monsoon is being promoted heavily by the tourism department as a rejuvenation season which also slowly becoming a popular season to visit to experience the heavy rainfalls. However it is advisable to avoid March and April considering the harsh summer, though it is a primary Indian domestic tourist season. Tourist information Free information and city maps are available at state run Kerala Tourism Development Corp (KTDC) offices at: Airport Tourist Counter in Arrival hall of both terminals, ☎+91 484 2611308, +91 484 2611309. Central Toll-Free Number, ☎ 1 800 4254747 City Tourist Information Centre at Old Collectorate in Park Ave, ☎+91 484 2381743. Railway Tourist Office at Ernakulam South Railway Station, ☎+91 484 2378723. Tourist Reception office in Marine Drive, ☎+91 484 2353534 from where KTDC city tours starts/ends. The India Tourism also has its office at Willingdon Island ☎ +91 484 2668352. The District Tourist Promotion Council (DTPC) also helps in providing information to tourists about other parts of Kochi District, which can be reached at ☎ +91 484 2367334, +91 484 2383988.


Planning a Trip

1 Get in 1.1 By plane 1.1.1 Facilities in and around the airport Domestic terminal 1.1.2 Getting to and from the airport By bus Orange Bus By taxi By car By train By three-wheeler auto By helicopter 1.2 By train 1.3 By bus 1.4 By car 1.5 By boat Kochi is well connected by air, road, rail and ferry from others parts of India, and to some other international destinations. As Kochi is a financial capital of India and possess commercial port, it is easy to get into this city. By plane Cochin International Airport Cochin International Airport (COK IATA), General tel: +91 484 305-3000, Flight status and Airline desk transfer: ☎ 91 484 2610115, +91 484 2611322, +91 484 2610033. In Nedumbassery, 29 km from the city centre, this is the largest airport in Kerala and one of major gateway to India. Regular flights to the Middle East and elsewhere in Asia. There are regular direct services from Europe and the USA during tourist season. There is a duty-free area at the international terminal providing a good collection of international premium brand liquors, perfumes, chocolates and other items at competitive prices. Facilities in and around the airport Transit and early passengers can use the airport guestrooms in Central Block on hourly or per-night basis for ₹ 750-2,000. The international terminal has good reasonably priced multi-cuisine restaurant and a terrace garden dining and lounge bar with BBQ. There are cafes and snack corners in the waiting area. The Concourse has free wifi network, a business centre, free public telephones for local calls and large plasma televisions in the waiting lounge. Premium lounges are available for first and business class passengers. Visa-On-Arrival for selected nationalities has started. The Airport has a full fledged Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), whose chief officer is empowered to grant visa extensions, fee waivers and other visa-related issues. The airport has a good 18-hole golf course nearby. Golfers can register at the Airport Golf counter and pay green fees to use the facility. There is a small recreational centre, a pool and a bar lounge at the golf club. There are five major airport hotels opposite the airport terminal that offer rooms on an hourly basis. There are also many budget hotels and restaurants near the terminal. Domestic terminal The domestic terminal has a good shopping arcade selling mainly Kerala-specific items. Food is expensive and limited within the check-in lobby. There are cheaper options after security. Getting to and from the airport By bus KSRTC operates four classes of bus service from the airport: regular, fast passenger, super fast express (operate every 10-20 minutes to most nearby towns). All bus services stop only at the bus point near the departure gate of the international terminal (city-side). Orange Bus KSRTC Orange Bus air-con Volvo service (locally called "Low Floor Buses") operates every 30-40 min to Kochi City via Aluva, Kalamassery, Vytilla and terminates at Fort Cochin. Fares are ₹70 or less and the journey takes 1 hour 40 minutes. To the airport, the Orange Bus leaves from the Fort Kochi bus area near the Chinese fishing nets at the following times: 07:25, 08:00, 09:45, 11:35, 12:00, 13:55, 15:30, 16:00 and 18:05. By taxi All taxis operated from Cochin airport belong to the Cochin Airport Taxi Society (CATS) which is a pre-paid taxi service. While other taxis can drop-off passengers at the airport, only CATS taxis are allowed to pick up passengers at the airport. CATS charges government fixed rates and their process is simple. Take a receipt from the CATS counter in the arrivals hall and walk to the prepaid taxi stand to find your taxi. For airport/city transfers, the standard charge is ₹510 for non air-conditioned taxis or ₹650 for an air-con taxi, with an additional premium of 15-25% as night charges (19:00-06:00). It costs ₹250 for a trip to Aluva. CATS also operates limo services as well as customized packages available for full/half day trips. By car Many car rental companies operate counters in the arrival area of both terminals. Many hotels and travel agents provide free pick-up/drop-off services in their cars. It is safe to travel by these cars as they are operated by experienced drivers and you will get some more information them while on the go. By train The nearest railway stations are Aluva or Angamaly (15 km) where almost all major express and passengers trains to all over Kerala stop. By three-wheeler auto Three-wheeler autos are not allowed to ply inside the airport, to protect the interests of CATS taxis. However, it's pretty easy to get an auto outside the airport premises, ideal for budget-conscious travellers. Auto ride from the airport to the nearest railway station at Angamaly or Aluva costs less than ₹50. Be prepared to bargain. Getting autos early in the morning and late at night is pretty difficult. By helicopter Pawan Hans, in the departure gate of thecdomestic terminal, operates a wide range of helicopter services to almost all parts of city as well as state, which requires a prior booking. K-Air also operates air-taxi and private jets. Cochin Airport has its own helicopter services with support of Bharat Airways. Scheduled and chartered helicopter services to pilgrimage centres like Sabarimala, Guruvayoor and major cities like Thiruvananathapuram, Kozhikode are available. By train Kochi is well connected by train from all parts of India. Most Kerala-bound trains have a major stop here. There are two major rail terminals inside the city limits. Ernakulam Town Station (North Station), (IR Code : ERN), ☎ +91 484 2395198, is mainly for Inter City trains and a few long distance trains usually travelling to or from Kottayam. Ernakulam Junction Station (South Station), (IR Code : ERS) ☎ +91 484 2353751 (service inquiries ☎ 131, ☎ 133, reservations ☎ 132, ☎ 1361) is a major Indian railways station. Most of the long distance trains to and from Kerala pass through here. There is a good food court, large waiting areas, book shops, a medical shop and a few retiring rooms along with a dorm. Some of the major trains that pass through this station are: Kochi has many suburban railway stations where long-distance trains stop, such as Aluva, Thripunithura and Angamaly. Book in advance, as trains are usually crowded. Reservations are available from 3 months in advance of the travel date. Depending upon the season and day bookings may close up to several days prior to departure with all remaining travellers going onto a waiting list. You can also try using Tatkal which is an emergency booking system costing ₹ 150 above the normal rate. The Tatkal service opens one day(excluding the day of journey from the train originating station) before the departure of the train. One of the best ways to get to Kochi is to take the Konkan Railway train from Mumbai. The train ride is renowned for the breathtaking scenery and the natural beauty of the terrain. Outside Ernakulam Junction Station (South), there is a pre-paid taxi stand where you can stand in line for a receipt and take an auto-rickshaw to other parts of Kochi. The service fee is ₹1. This is recommended for getting a fair fare and no haggling or scams with the drivers. A pre-paid auto rickshaw to Fort Kochi cost ₹179 as of March 2014. By bus Kochi is accessible from all southern parts of the country as well as other parts of the state, through the extensive state run Kerala Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus services and services of neighbouring state transport corporations. KSRTC operates 3 types of services; Super Fast (No Frills), Express (Standard non-A/C) and Garuda Hi-tech(Volvo premium). Karnataka State buses run daily services from Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore with three types of services; the Rajahamsa (executive service, with reclining seats), the Airavat (A/c service, with reclining semi-sleeper seats), and Ambaari (A/c sleeper service). Tamil Nadu SETC operates superfast and executive services to many destinations like Madurai,Ooty, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli,Salem, and Trichy. Most inter-state buses start and end their journey from KSRTC Central & Inter-state Bus Station (CBS), in the heart of the city at Rajaji Rd. To reduce congestion at CBS, some local KSRTC buses start/end their services at KSRTC Boat Jetty Stand in Park Avenue. Apart from govt services, numerous private bus companies operate scheduled services to almost all major cities in South India as well as Mumbai, Goa etc. All these buses are executive or premium services offering air-conditioned travel with good facilities and higher prices to match. Several online bus booking sites like RedBus/ Raj National Express [dead link]/ KPN Travels/ Customer Needz/ TicketGoose.com Via.com and MyTicketBuddy.com helps to find right service. By car Kochi is well connected by road from all parts of the state as well as other major cities. Three major national highways connect Kochi with other parts of country. NH 17, the 7th longest highway in India, connects Kochi with Mumbai via most of major towns in Malabar, Mangalore, Goa. The heavily congested NH 47 connects Thiruvananthapuram with Kochi and continues on to Coimbatore and Salem in Tamil Nadu via Palakkad and Thrissur. NH 49 connects Kochi with Ramaeswaram in Tamil Nadu which passes through Madurai via Munnar. Kochi is well connected to other parts of state through various state highways. By boat Kochi can be reached by sea in yachts or the occasional cruise ship from Goa, Mumbai, Lakshadweep, Colombo and Male. Almost all leading international cruises on global voyages operate to Kochi from the US and Europe at Wellingdon Island Cruise Berth. Yachts can be anchored at Kochi International Marina or Yacht Club Marina. There is a direct ferry service between Kochi and Lakshadweep.


Getting Around

1 Get around 1.1 Orientation 1.2 By bus 1.3 By metro 1.4 By train 1.5 By auto rickshaw (tuk-tuk) 1.6 By taxi 1.7 By private car 1.8 By ferry 1.9 By foot 1.10 By cycle Map of Kochi At peak hours, traffic moves at a snail's pace in Kochi. Limit your plans to three or four places in a day unless you have good knowledge of the geography or a trustworthy transport option Remember to club nearby places in your trip with buffer time of one hour per trip. Air pollution is acute. Orientation The main city arterial road is Mahatma Gandhi Road. Traveling inside the city at peak times (8AM-10AM, 1:30PM-2:30PM; 5:30PM-7PM) takes a lot of time, with frequent road blocks and traffic congestion. North and South over-bridges are two bottlenecks. Knowledge of side roads and crossroads is very useful to avoid traffic blocks. Kochi has a typical Indian-style address system which is a bit confusing, as there is no sector or house numbering system. Most buildings have their own name which are commonly used along with the road name for the address, e.g. Alappatt House, Diwans Road, Near Lakshmi Hospital. Some up-market areas have their own house-numbering system. Panampilly Nagar and Giri Nagar are divided into various zones and each house has its own zone number followed by a house number. Many residential areas have formed their own associations and established their own addressing system. In most of the residential colonies or areas, a map sign is found at the entrance. Fort Kochi has a more western-style numbering system, yet still locals use the nearby landmarks for addressing, rather than house numbers. For communicating with auto/taxi drivers, you must know the nearby landmarks. By bus Kochi has an excellent public bus network with four types of buses operated by Govt-run KSRTC and private operators. The most common option is privately operated Blue bus (also referred to as 'Line buses') which provides a cheap no-frills journey. Using these is not that difficult as many destination boards have English lettering in small and most bus conductors can provide assistance in basic English, though route numbers exists only on papers. Peak hours on weekdays can lead to overcrowded buses, particularly Route 1. Govt-operated KSRTC offers no-frills city services Thiru-Kochi which also ply in same Red-Bus routes. Thirukochi buses can be distinguished from other buses with its blue-white livery. Most of Red and Thirukochi buses run primarily on the Big 4 Routes. These cover virtually all parts of the city. There are other feeder routes, which interconnect places between these Big 4 Routes. Vytilla-Vytilla circular services cover most of the city core. The minimum fare for all city buses is ₹ 8. The average waiting time is 1-10 mins. Apart from regular city services, KSRTC under JnNURM's funding operates 2 class of bus services which can be distinguished from other city buses with its distinctive livery and JnNURM logo. For premium travel, low-floor air-conditioned Volvo services called Orange buses connect many important destinations. Rates are ₹ 10 for first 5 km, ₹ 2 for every km thereafter. Average waiting time is 10-30 mins. These buses can stop anywhere on the route as per passenger's request. For standard travel, use Green bus, a non air-conditioned low-floor service which links all suburbs to city centre. This is ideal for budget tourists as it connects to many faraway tourist attractions while maintaining excellent standards. The rates are ₹ 5 for first 5 km, 75p for every km thereafter. Only 3 lines are served, which will be increased soon. Like Orange Bus, these buses stop anywhere on the route as per passenger's request. Timetable for Orange/Green are available at the KSRTC site. All city bus services start at 6AM and end by 10PM. A certain number of seats are allocated for women in the forward portion of each bus, and men must vacate them when a woman wishes to sit there. Different bus shelters/stops are used for bus plying different routes. Route notices displayed at each stop will be in Malayalam. Route notices for Orange bus lines are now in English also. Asking locals or bus conductors would be very helpful. The important city bus stations where all services touch are: Aluva Rajiv Gandhi bus station, large bus station nearest to Airport and interchange for long distance services Fort Kochi Beach Road bus stand, the major terminus which is nearest to most tourist attractions Kakkanad Civil Station bus stand for Kakkanad area, a commercial and IT sector zone Kaloor bus stand, a major city bus station and interchange for long distance private buses. Marine Drive-Menaka bus stands, the heart of Ernakulam shopping with Broadway market nearby. Palarivattom-Padivattom bus stand South Girls High School bus stand, nearest to South Railway station (ERS) Thevara KURTC Bus Stand, only for Low Floor Buses. Thoppumpaddy bus stand, major junction for Mattancherry Thripunithura terminus Vytilla Mobility Hub at Vytilla Junction, a new bus station where almost all city buses and inter-city/inter-state bus meet. The station is the Terminus for all Inter-city and Inter-state services by all operators. This is a spacious 37-acre bus station. By metro Kochi metro has been flagged off on 17 June 2017 and is operational from Aluva to Palarivattom. The second phase from Palarivattom up to Maharaja's College has been flagged off on August 2017. The unveiling of the metro was considered a landmark event in India in terms of completion time, control systems used and initiatives such as employing transgenders, vertical gardening, respecting migrant laborers and use of solar power. Each station in the metro is designed on a specific theme around Kerala culture and geography. The metro can be used with regular tickets, and has also adopted a single card, single timetable and a singular command and control. Along with this debit card a mobile app should be launched to replace tokens and tickets. By train Some suburban areas are well-connected via regular passenger and long distance express trains. The most used route is Ernakulam-Aluva. Almost all regular passenger, express and intercity trains have a stop at Aluva. Regular passenger trains have 1-minute stops at Edapally, Kumbalangi, Angamally and Aroor stations. Many long-distance trains operate between Thripunithura and Kochi North station. It is a good idea to take rail during busy peak-hours when buses are overcrowded. Equally good idea to take rail to Aluva from city centre which is the nearest point to Airport (12 km) from where a taxi or Orange Route A bus can taken to avoid city traffic congestion. By auto rickshaw (tuk-tuk) This is a cheap method of transport between attractions. You can find an auto stand at almost every bus stop and important places near junctions and residential areas. Make sure you agree on a fare with the driver before the journey. The govt fixed rates starts at ₹ 30 for the first 1.25 km and ₹ 7 per km thereafter with a premium of 15% at night (7PM-6AM). Pre-paid auto stands are available only in railway stations. By taxi Taxis are convenient, comfortable, and safer than auto rickshaws. If you are alone or going to an unknown destination, this is a good option, though the rates are double that of an auto. Unlike many countries, taxis are not usually marked with signs on the top and do not have meters inside the taxi. There are two type of taxi services, regular and call taxis. Regular taxis are normally available at designated taxi stands at places such as railway stations, the airport, boat jetties, major bus stations and in front of important hotels. There is no need to negotiate prices, as most of them follow fixed rates. Regular taxis have tariff cards displayed on the dashboard. Call taxis have charges fixed by their respective companies (although they are normally uniform). The standard tariffs are ₹ 50 for first 3 km, and ₹ 8 per km thereafter. Add 10% for a taxi with A/C, and 15-20% at night. Many taxi companies offer full or half day services. Most of them are fixed on ad-hoc basis, based on the negotiating skills of the passenger. Typical rates are ₹ 1,100/1,500 for standard/AC taxis for a full day and ₹ 500/750 for a half day. These rates are not available after 7PM. By private car Unless you are into adventure seeking, self-drive in Kochi is not recommended as driving discipline is almost non-existent. There are long stretches of roads passing through heavily populated areas that have no median breaks, and most of them are congested bi-lane roads. A few major roads like MG Rd, NH Bypass Rd and Marine Drive are two lane-dual carriageways with good medians. Speed limit inside city zone is 30 km/hr. Driving is on the left, and all foreign drivers need a valid International Driving Licence attested by the Road Transport Office (RTO). Driving outside the city limits is a fine experience with good scenery and far less traffic. Most of the bridges and few roads carry toll charges collected at manned toll plazas or checkpoints. Almost all tolls are uniformly charged separately for one/two way; 2 wheelers- ₹ 3/5, 4 wheelers- ₹ 5/10 and bus/minivans - ₹ 15/25. Almost all the toll pass is valid for unlimited travel for a period of 24 hours, though a few bridges allow one time validity. Car rental is not popular among foreign visitors. Many car rental companies refuse to provide self-drive cars to Westerners. Normally a bank guarantee letter or security cheque/traveller's cheque to the value of the car or a passport are taken as security for renting the car. No security deposit is needed if the car is chauffeur-driven. Most hotels with three stars or more provide private cars for their guests at rates slightly higher than elsewhere. By ferry Kochi Ferry Route Map Kochi has an excellent system of cheap (₹ 2.5 Park Jetty to Fort Kochi) inter-island ferries. The Ro-Ro (roll on-roll off) ferry service called Junkar between Fort Kochi and Vypeen is very popular. There are regular boat services operated by KSINC and other private operators, every 20-30 minutes, from Ernakulam to Mattancherry, Fort Kochi, Vypeen and Willingdon Island which are cheaper and in many cases faster, than buses. All services operates from 4:40AM-6:30PM with an exception to Fort Kochi-Vypin Junkar service which operates from 4AM-10:30PM. The major boat jetties are Ernakulam Main Jetty (in Marine Drive near High Court), Park Jetty (in Park Avenue next to KSRTC Bus station), Customs Embarkation Jetty in Willingdon Island, Fort Kochi Jetties. Do take a look at the map provided, as some ferries do not stop at all stops along the way. A few tourist oriented private ferries service non-scheduled routes during tourist seasons connecting mainly to Kumbalangi Tourist village from Ernakulam Main Jetty as well as from Aroor. As of April 2018, the Vypeen-Fort Kochi vehicle ferry has been out of action for 2 months, and vehicles must make the round trip through Ernakulam. Main Boat Times : Fort Kochi to Ernakulam. 7 INR. (updated Oct 2017) Fort Kochi to Willingdon Island. 7 INR. (updated Oct 2017) Mattancherry to Ernakulam via Fort Kochi. 10 INR. (updated Oct 2017) Vypeen to Ernakulam via Willingdon Island. 9 INR. (updated Oct 2017) By foot Kochi is traditionally not a pedestrian-friendly city considering the humid tropical climate, poor pedestrian walkways and reckless traffic. So it might be good to avoid too much walking in the busy city-centre area. Fort Kochi is one of the better places to walk, with elaborate colonial-style stone pavements. Most of the famous destinations fall within the range of 10 km so it is good idea to cover them by foot. By cycle Fort Kochi is a perfect place for cycling with dedicated tracks and walkways. There are several tourist firms that offers cycles and bikes on hourly basis. A popular option is Vasco Information Centre in Fort Kochi ☎ +91 484 2216215), which rents cycles for ₹ 7 on hourly basis. However, there are no separate cycling tracks on mainland city roads. Motorbikes are becoming a popular option for tourists to take a ride in other parts of city. Take extra care while biking in Kochi roads as road users can be reckless.


Things to do

Other attractions 10.141676.178281 Cherai Beach, North of Vypin Island (Take Route-3 bus from High Court stand). Gold beaches with big sand grains, coconut palm corridors, backwaters and historical monuments. Cherai Beach surpasses all with its swimming facility and coconut groves. Occasional sights of dolphins is also an added attraction. This is one of the safest beaches for swiming, watersports and beach games. A very large beautiful backwaters just 250 m from beach is famous for scenic beauty and boating. (updated Jun 2017) 9.9636976.23752 Fort Kochi Beach, Fort Kochi. A historic beach where 1st Portuguese-Dutch war broke out in the 17th century. Once a very large beach, it has reduced to a quarter in size after the Tsunami. A beautiful, small walkway is ideal for evening strolls. One can find remnants of Old Portuguese Immanuel Fort along with parts of Dutch Stormberg Fort with some canons still kept intact. An obsolete boiler that once used for powering cranes of old port and a very large anchor of an old Portuguese ship are displayed on the walkway. Works for creating a new artificial beach is undergoing near to this old beach with help of Tsunami development funds.  10.193576.5273 Kodanad Elephant Training Centre (Ana Thothil), Vallom Panamkuzhi Road, Malayattoor, ☎ +91 94479 79164. 9AM-6PM. Lies on the southern bank of the Periyar amongst the scenic beauty of the high ranges, Kodanadu is extremely famous for its unique elephant training college, elephant orphanage and a mini zoo with deer and peacocks here. Wild elephants are first tamed in special cradles and then taken to the nearby training college, where they are trained. The elephant orphanage rears baby elephants until they are ready for training college. Elephant safari is one of the most sought tourist activity here along with kids playing ball games with baby elephants.