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Cochin Travel Guide

Cochin or Kochi, is one of the most interesting cities of India, located in the state of Kerala. Situated on the west coast of the country, the beautiful city is often referred to as the "Queen of the Arabian Sea." Cochin has an anceint history dating back hundreds of years. Basically a collection of islands and narrow peninsulas, Cochin is known for its wealth of historical associations. Cochin consists of mainland Ernakulam, the islands of Willington, Bolghatty and Gundu, Fort Cochin and Mattanchery. Ernakulam is the business centre of the city and it forms the main land. It is separated from Fort Cochin and Mattanchery by the Periyar river. Cochin is also famous for its finest natural harbours around which the city has grown. The city covers an area of 87 sq. kms and has a population of 16,60,000.

Climate & Clothing
The climate of Kochi is tropical, because of its closeness to sea. The city enjoys a pleasant weather round the year, with no harsh extremities. The average maximum temperature in summers can go up to 38C and to a minimum of 18C in winters. Monsoon comes to the city in the month of June and remains until September. Cochin can be visited any time in the year but the best time to visit the city is from October to April. The tropical climate recommends light cotton clothes in summers and woollens in winters. Waterproofing is required during monsoons.

Accommodation in Cochin
Le Meridien Resort and Convention Center (5 Star/ N. H- 47, Bye Pass), Taj Malabar (5 Star/ Willingdon Island North End), Taj Residency (5 Star/ Marine Drive), The Trident (4 Star/ Willingdon Island), Casino Hotel (4 Star/ Willingdon Island), Gokulam Park Inn (4 Star/ N.H. Road, Kaloor), Best Western the Avenue Regent (4 Star/ M. G. Road) etc.

Tourist Attractions of Cochin
Chinese fishing nets, Cochin St Francis Church : Built by the Portuguese in 1510, this is believed to the be the oldest church constrcuted by the Europeans in India.

Chinese Fishing Nets : These nets are strung at the entrance of the harbour and along the backwaters. Chinese fishing nets were introduced by traders from the court of Kublai Khan.

Dutch Palace (Mattanchery) : The palace was built by the Portuguese in 1557 and was presented to the Cochin Raja, Veera Kerala Varma as a gesture of goodwill. It is a two storeyed building surrounding a central courtyard containing a Hindu temple.

Bolgatty Palace : This Dutch Palace was built in 1744. Bolghatty Palace is situated on an island and now functioning as a hotel.

Santa Cruz Basilica : The church is located close to St. Francis Church. It was built by the Portuguese and elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. This Roman Catholic church has some beautiful paintings.

Gundu Island : Located close to Vypeen Island, this is the smallest island in Cochin harbour. There is a coir factory in the island, where attractive doormats are made out of the coconut fiber.

The Jewish Synagogue : Built in the year 1567, this is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth. It is an interesting place with exquisite hand painted, willow-pattern floor tiles brought from Canton and China in 18 th century.

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