Cochin Travel Guide

By: Vinay Choubey

CultureKochi has a diverse, multicultural, and secular community consisting of Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists among other denominations, all living in peaceful co-existence. The Head of the Syro-Malabar Church has his seat at Ernakulam. The city once had a large Jewish community, known as the Malabar Yehuden—and now increasingly as Cochin Jews—that figured prominently in Kochi's business and economic strata.

Residents of Kochi are known as Kochiites; they are an important part of the South Indian weltanschauung. However, the city's culture is rapidly evolving, with Kochiites generally becoming more cosmopolitan in their outlook. The people are also increasingly fashion-conscious, often deviating from the traditional Kerala wear to western clothing. Kochiites are known for their enthusiasm in sports, especially cricket and football. The Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi is one of the largest multi-use stadiums in India. The Regional Sports Centre is an important centre of sporting activity in the city.

Cochin Best Season Being situated very close to the sea, Cochin has a moderate climate. Heavy showers are experienced during the months of June, July and August due to the south-west monsoon. The north-east monsoon brings light rainfall during the months of September to December. December to February is pretty cool.

Events:• Athachamayam Thrippunithara ErnakulamAn occasion to witness almost all the folk art forms of Kerala, Athachamayam marks the beginning of the ten-day Onam festival in Kerala.

Conducted on the Atham asterism of the Malayalam month Chingam (Leo), the event today commemorates a royal custom of the Maharajas of Kochi State. In olden days it was customary for the king to travel with his entire entourage to the Thripunithura fort. This was also the occasion for his subjects to greet the king and see him at close quarters. The procession, now without the king, still retains its majestic charm, and is conducted in a spectacular manner.

• Kanjiramattom Mosque, EranakulamThis mosque, 25 km from Kochi, is believed to have been built as a memorial to Sheikh Fariduddin. The festival of ' Kodikuthu' commences on January 2 this year. During the ' Chandanakkudam' ritual held at night, pilgrims carrying pots covered with sandalwood paste proceed in a procession to the mosque. Six caparisoned elephants and folk performances accompany the procession. Traditional Muslim art forms like Oppana and Mappilappattu are also staged during the festival. Kochi is well connected by rail and road to different other tourist places in India and also has an airport.

TransportPublic transport in the city is largely dependent on private buses. Taxis and autorickshaws (called autos) are available for hire throughout the day. Narrow roads and the mix of vastly differing types of vehicles have made traffic congestion a major problem in the city. A metro rapid transit service, intended to considerably ease congestion, is planned for the city.

The Cochin International Airport, which is about 25 kilometres (15 mi) north of the city, handles both domestic and international flights. It is the largest airport of Kerala, and one of the busiest in India. It is the first international airport in India to be built without Central Government funds.  A second airport run by the Navy also operates in the city.

There is no intra-city rail transport system in Kochi. The inter-city rail transport system in the city is administered by the Southern Railway division of the Indian Railways. There are two main railway stations the Ernakulam Junction and the Ernakulam Town. The railway line connecting these two stations cuts the city longitudinally in two, with two narrow bridges connecting the two halves.

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