For ages, Kochi has been a harbor that received mariners from all over the world. Sailors from China, Portugal, Arabia, Britain, and Holland have set their feet in Kochi and have contributed in one way or the other in shaping Kochi to what she is today. Such fruitful invasions for years have made Kochi the prime tourist destination in Kerala. Kochi tourist attractions include the following sites


•Backwaters of Kochi are a chain of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast (known as the Malabar Coast) of Kerala state in southern India. In Cochin, the stretch from Kochi Azhi to Munambam Azhi, the serene backwaters are popularly known as Veeranpuzha.

•Marine Drive is a picturesque promenade in Kochi. It is built facing the backwaters, and is a popular hangout for the local populace. With several shopping malls it is an important shopping centre in Kochi. The walkway has two contemporarily constructed bridges, the Rainbow bridge and the Chinese Fishing Net Bridge. The view of the setting and rising sun over the sea mouth, and the gentle breeze from the Vembanad Lake has made Marine Drive an important tourist destination in Kochi. Hundreds of people throng the walkway in the evenings.

•Fort Kochi : situated on the Fort Kochi/Mattancherry peninsula, is the historical part of the city and home to many tourist attractions, such as the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, the Mattancherry Palace and the Santa Cruz Basilica.

•St. Francis Church: Built in 1503, this Anglican Church is an exemplary evidence of the European colonial struggle in India. The church contains the tombstone of Vasco-da-Gama and it has been an architectural model to numerous churches in India.

•Dutch Palace: This palace is a unique blend of the oriental and the occidental architectural patterns. It is famous for the mural paintings in it. There are three temples inside the palace, each devoted to lord Krishna, Lord Shiva and Pazhayannur Bhagavati- the protective deity of the Royal family of Kochi.

•Santa Cruz Basilica: Established in 1558, this church in Kochi is famous for the beautiful paintings on the ceiling.

•Pareekshith Thampuran Museum: Previously called Durbar Hall, this museum houses collections of old coins, paintings and sculptures.

•Hill Palace Museum: It was actually the residence of the Kochi Royal family. It is surrounded by 52 acres of terraced land with a Deer Park. It is the first heritage museum in Kerala.

•Cherai Beach: Beaches abound in Kochi. But the beauty of Cherai Beach surpasses all with its swimming facility and coconut groves. Occasional sights of dolphins are also an added attraction.

Apart from these places, other Kochi tourist attractions are Jewish Synagogue, Willingdon Island, Gundu Island and Vypeen Island. You may go through the following sites for more information on Cochin tourism.


http://www.keralatourism.org

http://www.ktdc.com

http://www.incredibleindia.org

http://kochimuzirisbiennale.org