Monday, February 17, 2020

Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

Established in 2014, Mangalavanam bird sanctuary which is situated in around 2.72 hectares of land in the heart of Cochin city is often accredited as the green lung of Kochi. This is also located behind the compound of the High Court of Kerala. Even though it is in the heart of the city, this place is very calm and quiet. Newlywed couples often visit this place for post-wedding shoots amidst this bounty of nature. Since this place has no entry fee, nature lovers of all ages come here to enjoy the greenery. The land consists of a large number of flora and fauna including about 98 different species of birds. Apart from that, there are about six types of mangroves.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Willingdon Island

Willingdon island is one of the largest man-made artificial islands in the country. It is named after Lord Willingdon who had been the Viceroy of India when the island was made in 1936. It was made around the lake of Kochi, initially for only shipping and navigation. Although there is no other entertainment as such in the island, the view from the island is picturesque and most people find it very relaxing to be here during evening hours. Since it is also a little away from the crowded city, it is a quiet place. The roads here are world class and hence many people come here to learn driving because they give out very smooth rides. It is a well maintained and clean place. There are benches at different spots where people can relax and enjoy a different vibe of the city. Government boats also provide their service to shuttle people to and from the island.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Vadakkunnathan Temple

Located in the huge premises of Thekkinkadu Maithanam and right at the heart of the city of Thrissur is the sacred abode of Lord Shiva whom we worship as Vadakkunathan here. Thousands of years ago, the very first structure of the Vadakkunathan temple is believed to have been formed by Parashu Ram, the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu. The temple, built in traditional Kerala style is also adorned by beautiful and age-old trees all around. The temple has four towers on the sides. Mural paintings of some episodes from the Mahabharatha are placed inside the temple which is another attraction of the temple. Nrithanatha and Vasukisayana are some notable pieces of art. The temple has been declared as a National monument in India under the AMASR act. The temple is most popular for hosting the Thrissur pooram during the month of April-May that is a must-attend event that takes place in this very temple every year. 
Also note: Men must not wear shirts or vests inside the temple. 
Open: Morning: 4am to 10:30am
           Evening: 4pm to 8pm


Ezhattumugham, which literally means ‘seven faces of a river’ is a rural village in Ernakulam district. Since it is located downstream of the Athirappilly waterfalls, several visitors come here during all times of the year. But commonly, monsoon season is the best time to visit this place, that is during the months from June to November. This is because during other times of the year water level will be very low. But it is truly one of the best spots to be in, especially for a nature lover as one can enjoy the elegance of the smoothly running water and can be closest to nature while having fun in the water and amidst rocky paths. So, it is suggested that extra pieces of clothes are also carried. The picturesque view of the waterfalls and the islets in Ezhattumugham is unquestionably worth a visit. Since this place is also known for native fruits like jackfruits, different types of eatables are also sold here. This much photogenic place is around 20 km from Cochin International Airport and around 60 km from the city of Kochi. From the nearest Town of Angamaly taxis are available for hire. But other public transport may not be available all the way to Ezhattumugham.

Cochin Backwaters Cruise

One of the best to-do’s in Kerala is definitely a backwater cruise. One can enjoy a peaceful and relaxing journey and get to interact with the local residents of the Kochi where one can also get the chance to learn more about the traditions and culture of Kerala. In most cruises, guides are employed who also tell different tales regarding folklore and history of Kerala. The traditional food served in such cruises are also extremely delicious.  

Cochin Backwaters

God’s Own Country, Kerala is well known for its backwaters and Cochin backwaters offer one of the best experiences of backwaters. Cochin backwaters are also the most visited backwaters in the state and most popular routes are between Cochin and Alleppey where one will be able to have a relaxing experience along lush canals, lagoons and lakes. Away from the noisy city, beautiful villages with friendly people offer a different sort of experience. Traditional houseboat journeys are the most preferred kind of cruise. The views during the journey are truly incredible and almost all travellers leave good reviews of the travel in the backwaters of Cochin. The sound of birds and water does indeed provide a very serene atmosphere and one can truly get lost in the beauty of nature.

T D M Hall

TDM hall is one of the best halls in Ernakulam consisting of huge fully air-conditioned auditoriums in the first floor. The dining halls are separate and are in the ground floor. With the proximity of the hall to Ernakulathappan temple, a number of marriage functions are held here especially on Sundays.  Parking space is available right opposite to the hall in the Durbar Hall ground. But parking fee is taken. Tender coconuts which are a must-try for all non-natives of Kerala are also sold outside the hall. The nearby Durbar Hall Art Gallery might also have some art exhibition.

St. Martin de Porres Church

ST. MARTIN DE PORRES church in Palarivattom town belongs to Ernakulam Angamaly Archdiocese. It is a pretty huge church with good facilities and also offers a serene environment. The parish hall is air-conditioned and has a huge space with beautiful interior. Positive energy is felt everywhere within the church and there is joy and happiness everywhere especially during church feasts. Decent parking lot is also available inside the compound. 
Mass timing 
 Monday To Saturday
6:30 AM
Evening Mass
Friday And Saturday
6:30 AM
5:30 PM
5:45 AM
7:00 AM
9:00 AM
5:30 PM

Ernakulam Temple festival

The Ernakulathappan temple festival (or ulsavam as festivals are termed in Malayalam) is one of the grandest temple festivals in Kochi. It is celebrated for 8 consecutive days in the months of January or February during the Malayalam month of Makaram . The exact dates of festivals vary slightly every year. On the first day of the festival, the temple flag is hoisted. This is called Kodiyettam in Malayalam. In the following seven days of the ulsavam several cultural programmes like Kathakali, Ottamthullal, Classical dance, Classical music Kacheri are also held. Annadanam is also arranged in the temple during the festival when food is offered to devotees. On the eighth day of the festival, the tradition of Pakalpooram takes place where the deity is taken in procession with elephants in the lanes around the temple along with Panchavadyam(which literally means five instruments). Later that day, the temple flag is lowered and the deity is taken for Arattu which is the holy bath of the deity. In the night colourful fireworks and a cultural night is hosted in the Durbar Hall Ground where thousands of devotees gather to witness one of the grandest fireworks show in the city. Apart from this festival, Maha Shiv Rathri is also celebrated in the temple.

Princess Street

Princess street, located in Fort Kochi, often also named Loafer’s corner is an absolute must-visit place in the centre of the Cochin city and is also a famous landmark. It’s one of the best-maintained regions in the city and is an excellent spot for fun-loving people as this alley is lined with spas, art galleries, antique stores, gift shops, cafes, stalls and eateries serving delicious food and beverages.  Apart from these, the main reason for the popularity of this street is that both sides of the street are lined with buildings from the colonial era. These beautifully architectured buildings showcase different flavours of British, Dutch, Portuguese, French etc, who once ruled this place. This part is also really tourist-friendly.

Kuzhupilly Beach

Kuzhupilly Beach is one of the best places near Kochi to spend time with friends and family. Located in Vypin, this beach with near white sandy coast also has many pine trees providing a shady area where people come for a relaxing yet exciting time. This beach also hosts kite festivals occasionally hence a number of people come here during this time for some captivating moments. Otherwise, the beach is less crowded than the nearby Cherai beach and also much cleaner. Here you can also see many local fishermen and their traditional and indigenous ways of fishing. One can also find that these local people are also very friendly and helpful. Another attraction is the beautiful sunset that one can witness from this beach. 

Azhikode Beach

Azhikode beach, located about 50km away from the city of Kochi is a lovely destination to spend an evening with friends and family. This well-maintained beach is a peaceful and quiet yet lively place to hang around. There are lots of pine trees near the shore which is a place one can hone their photography skills. Children can also get involved in a lot of activities as there is a children’s park here. Chinese finishing nets also called Cheenavala in Malayalam and fishing boats can also be seen here. One can go there and also interact with the friendly local fishermen. This is an easily accessible place. Public transport ply to this area. Private vehicles' parking area is also provided right outside the entrance to the beach for a nominal charge. Clean and well-maintained toilets and bathrooms are also there. Usually, weekends are a little more crowded than other work-days since local people from nearby areas also come here for a relaxing stroll. It’s also a good spot to watch sunrise and sunset. Snacks and cool drinks are sold near the beach. This place is also quite well known for its religious matters since it is believed that St. Thomas, the Apostle landed near this place around 2000 years ago and he is credited with bringing Christianity to India. Nearby there is also a church often called as Marthoma Pontifical shrine which is a well-known religious centre here. The Kodungalloor temple and Cheraman Juma Masjid is also nearby this beach.