Monthly Archives: August 2014

Captivating Cochin

A traveller’s guide to Captivating Cochin

Cochin is a preferred spot in the itinerary of Kerala holiday tour packages. Located on the western coast of India Cochin or Kochi is part of the Ernakulum district. It is encompassed by the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. It’s very often referred to as the ‘queen of the Arabian Sea’. True to its nickname it’s a commercial and trading hotspot. It’s considered as an important seaport in India. The port has historic significance as European traders traded through the port for spices during mediaeval times. In 1503 however Cochin was occupied by the Portuguese, becoming the first European Colonial settlement in India. This was to followed with the Dutch and British settlements until India’s independence.

Places to visit:

Fort Kochi

The reminiscence of the European settlement is an important tourist destination and an important historical monument.

St Francis Church

The oldest church built by European settlers in the 16th century. It also served as the final resting ground of the explorer ‘Vasco da Gama’ until his remains were shifted to Portugal by his son.

Santa Cruz Basilica Cathedral

Built by the Portuguese, it stands as an example of Portuguese architecture and presence. It is estimated the structure may be as originally erected in 1505 although it got the status of Basilica in 1984

Kochi Beach

Although small it’s an ideal picnic spot for family outings. There is a lot of commercial fishing activity that takes place here.

Dutch Palace

Built in 1568, the architecture is galore with architecture of the period. Testament scrolls are stored in the palace. Originally built by the Portuguese it was used by the Dutch during their settlement and later by the rulers of Kochi.

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Must see at Munnar

Must see at Munnar

Munnar is a hill station in the Western Ghats. It is situated around 1600 m above sea-level. The name Munnar metaphorically means “three rivers” referring to the convergence of the rivers Madhurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundaly.

The following is a collection of scenic locations that you can include in your itinerary.

Mattupetty Dam

Mattupetty Dam, near Munnar in Idukki District, is a dam used for conservation of water for the purpose of hydroelectricity generation. The large availability of water has enabled the flourishing of wild flora and fauna along the dam. It’s also a waterhole that elephants in the region frequent.

Mattupedi Dairy Farm

It’s a unique tourist attraction in Munnar. The dairy farm is run by the Indo-Swiss Livestock Project. Various breeds of high yielding cattle are nurtured here.

Kundala Lake

Located about 20km away from Munnar, the artificial dam is a major draw among tourists as its Asia’s first Arch dam. The boating at the dam is a famous pastime. Pedal boats and rowboats are available on rent on location.

Top Station, Munnar

It derives its name from being the highest railway station on the Kundala Valley. Top Station offers a breath-taking panoramic view of the Western Ghats and the lush green valley of Theni district.

Echo Point

Any Munnar tour package will most likely include ‘Echo point’. Like the name suggests, a natural echois created at the point. The greenery from the point is something that will cast a spell on the viewer and a very good location to capture images of mountain ranges.

Other interesting places:

  • Tea Museum
  • Marayoor Sandalwood Forests
  • Attukad Waterfalls
  • Blossom Park
  • Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Tea Plantations
  • Lakkom Water Falls

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