If you want to get the best of the flavors of Kerala, then Kochi is the city that you would want to set your foot in first. Seasoned with all best ingredients of culture, progress, architecture, people and so on, Kochi is enriched with the cream of local and international history.
How can you reach Kochi:
Irrespective of whether you are an international tourist or a domestic traveller, Kochi is one of the most easily accessible city, of not just Kerala, but India as well.
Cochin/Kochi (Airport Code: COK, http://www.cochinairport.com/ ) is an international airport, located 30kms north-east of the city, with regular flights to major cities in India.
Airlines operating from Cochin include Air Deccan, Air India, Air India Express, Air Sahara, Emirates, Go Air, Gulf Air, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Mahan Air, Oman Air, Saudi Arabian Airlines, SilkAir, SriLankan Airlines, Air Asia and Qatar Airways and so on, making it the fifth busiest airport in India.
The International and Domestic terminals are located right next to each other. The airport architecture embodies the traditional Kerala architectures. Prepaid taxis are available from the airport and can be booked from within the arrival.
The To and from Timings are given in the below link:
Kochi (and Ernakulam) has an extensive network of railways connecting its different districts as well as connecting it with the rest of India. There are three main railway stations in Cochin: Ernakulam Junction (main station), Ernakulam Town and Cochin Harbour Terminus. Many important trains start from here and many others from/to the south of Kerala stop at these stations.
Railway enquiry: Ernakulam Junction: +91 484 131; Ernakulam Town: +91 484 2390920/2395198; Cochin Harbour Terminus: +91 484 2666050
( find train information at : http://www.indianrail.gov.in/ )
Kochi prides itself on the vast network of roadways i.e. national/state highways and local roads link Kochi to rest of the country. Three important National Highways(NH) pass through/start from Kochi, apart from many state roads. NH 47 from Kanyakumari to Salem pass right through the heart of Kochi while NH 17 to Mumbai and NH 49 to Madurai (in Tamil Nadu) starts from Kochi. Private and public transport services are available to/from all major cities of South India from here. Long distance coach tickets to Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), Bangalore, Coimbatore, etc. can be purchased from private coach operators operating from Jos Junction in the heart of the city.
KSRTC enquiry: +91 484 2352033/2372033 – for state and inter-state public buses.
Kochi has a magnificent all weather natural port that is used regulary by large cargo ships. Regular boat service to places like Kottayam, Kumarakom and Alleppey are available through the scenic backwaters of Kerala. The outlying islands that make up Cochin, like Vypeen, Mattancherry, Bolghatty, etc are connected to the mainland by regular public and private boats plying from the main boat jetty off Park Avenue and from the boat jetty near the High Court. Many cruises ships also currently berth and the Ernakulam Wharf, which is part of the Cochin Port located on Willingdon island.
Getting around Cochin is quite straightforward. Cheap and affordable private buses (bright red) will take you to most parts of the city, but they may not necessarily stop near a location of interest. Tickets must be bought on board. Short distances can be covered in an auto rickshaw. Taxis or reserved taxis are generally recommended for longer trips.
Important Travel Tips:
What to wear
- The best attire for a kochi/Kerala tour would be loose fitted modest clothes. There are basically two reasons why it is recommended ; the first being prevention from hurting the sentiments of the local people and second, to protect you from the weather conditions.
- Places of worship holds a different decorum that varies between regions and religions as well as the code of a particular place. It is essential to respect the traditions and etiquettes of each place. Nudity, semi or full, is a strict no-no in these parts of the world.
- The people here are generally friendly and helpful and the risk of personal threat is very minimal for a traveller in Kochi.
- Like the rest of India, men here hold hands and walk arm and arm as a sign of a close friendship
- Kochi is comparatively less conservative than the rest of Kerala but it stil stays true to its conservative culture for a larger part
- Tipping is a common practice in Cochin city of Kerala. You need to be really savvy about these things if you are an outsider. You will meet a myriad of people once you set foot in Kochi expecting a tip from you, but in certain places like hotels and taxies, a service charge is already levied so make sure you don’t end up paying unnecessarily.
- Ayurveda has its origins in Kerala and you haven’t seen it all unless you have experienced the wonders of ayurveda. At the same time it is important to verify the authenticity of the ayurvedic centers
- Kerala cuisine can be spicy and unless you wish to be bombed with the heat, it is essential you clarify at hotel and restaurants that you require your food to be less hot.
- November to March denotes the peak tourism season in Kerala and hence the prices are higher. Thought he monsoon may seem appealing, getting around during the monsoon season is pretty tedious and in terms of houseboat, the safety and navigation becomes a hassle during this period.
- People in Kerala communicate well; they understand English and Hindi and to a great extent can speak the languages as well, though not extremely fluently.
- The police in Kerala are quite strict and stringent about abiding the rules and regulations of the land.
- Kochi with all its traditions, is also filled with influx of the modern culture. There are every type of food joints ranging from dominoes, subways,McDonalds, pizza hut and so on.
For places to visit in Kerala, read more at:
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