pread over a series of islands and crisscrossed by the sea and backwaters, Kochi (long known as Cochin) speaks of the old world charm and leisure. The culturally and historically rich port city is the gateway for several visitors to start their tour of Kerala in south India. Located between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, Kochi has been one of the most sought-after destinations in India.
The best time to visit Kochi is between October and April. Kochi earlier comprised Ernakulam, Fort Kochi and Mattancherry Palace but now refers to the sprawling urbanization. Fort Kochi and Mattancherry palace remain wonderfully serene, steeped with sepia-tinted memories of past glory and heritage.
With its spice markets, Jewish synagogue, European church, Chinese fishing nets, Portuguese palace and 17th century Dutch homes, Kochi stands testimony to the irresistible pull felt by wanderers and traders for over 600 years. Kumarakom, known for houseboat rides on the backwaters and its bird sanctuary and Alappuzha (formerly called Alleppey) are situated just a few hours to the north of Kochi.
It serves as the gateway to the hill stations of Munnar and Vagamon in Idukki and the wildlife hot-spots of Eravikulam National Park and Periyar National Park.