Best hangout places in Kochi
When we think of a hangout in Kerala, 'Gods own Country', I would say that Kochi is the right option for you. Kochi has a lot of hangout places to spend a day or two. Let's start with my native place Vypeen beach near Kochi.
Vypeen island, the beach hub of Kochi
This island is Asia's most thickly populated island. It is 27 kilometres long. And this island alone can take one full day of yours, if you wish to spend all day relaxing in the beach and tasting varieties of Kerala style seafood curries. There is a lot to see here, so I'm sure you will enjoy your day in Vypeen.
There are so many beaches in this island starting from the northern end namely Munambam beach, Cherai beach, Ambedker beach, Kuzhupilly beach, St.Ouseps beach, Aniyal beach and finally Puthuvype beach. From Munambam beach to Aniyal beach you can move easily because new beach road has come and its development is still in progress. Read more on the beaches of Kochi.
Our Lady of Hope Church, Vypeen
We have this historical church which is built 450 years back by the Portuguese, towards the southern end of the island. Nowadays you can see this church in many Mollywood movies due to its popularity. It is said that the statues and paintings we see in the church are of the Mattanchery Synagogue located in Cochin and has brought to this church during War.
Chinese Fishing Nets aka Cheenavala
Nearby the above mentioned church is the people's main attraction – the Chinese Fishing nets, also called as 'Cheenavala', which the fishermen used to catch fish. They price their fishes high and people are ready to buy also. It is at the meeting place of a freshwater lake and the Arabian Sea and so people say that the salt content there is right for fishes. The spot is hardly half a kilometre away from my house. It is so beautiful that the tourist people coming from abroad will never miss to see this place.
This church is otherwise called 'Our Lady of Ransom Church'. It is just a kilometre away from Ernakulam main city and opposite to Dubai Port World. The church was first set up in 1524 but destroyed in a heavy flood and re-established again. People have witnessed so many miracles here. Hence pope declared this church as a major International pilgrim centre.
To make your evening unforgettable let's move to the beautiful walkway Marine drive in 3.9kms. In between there are two bridges; the Rainbow bridge and the Chinese Fishing Net Bridge which adds to the beauty of the walkway. You can enjoy the sunset here and the breeze from the Vembanad lake can ensure you absolute peace of mind.
Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kaloor
This is the 4th largest stadium in the world as well as the largest in Kerala. Both Cricket and Football matches are held here. This is 4.5kms away from Marine drive.
In 4kms you have the biggest mall in Kerala, Lulu. It is the right destination for a one day outing since there are Movie shows, Game Stations, Food Courts, Ice skating and all sorts of Shopping Centres.
Once when I have been to Kozhikode, I happened to have my lunch from Paragon, which is famous for South Indian special Biriyani. It's one of my favourite foods. After I was back to Kochi, I felt like going back to Kozhikode for nothing else but for the Biriyani. Now I'm happy because the same store is opened at LuLu Mall, Kochi.
Timings: 10.00 am to 11.00 pm on all days.
This palace located at Thriponithura is of great historical importance. I have visited there several times. Here they still take care of all the ancient coins, weapons and ornaments used by the King and the people lived there. Also you can see the great paintings of Raja Ravi Varma in the palace.
Timings: 9.30 am to 12.30 pm and 2.00 pm to 4.30 pm on all days except Mondays.
Malayattoor church is famous as an International pilgrim centre of Saint Thomas, the apostle of Jesus Christ. This church is built on a mountain called Kurisumudy which is almost 608m high. It is believed that Saint Thomas came to India to spread the Gospel as Jesus asked them to. This church was set up when he happened to visit the Kurisumudy mountain while his way to Kodungalloor to Madras. Some miracles also have taken place here. More about the church and some of my experiences going there are detailed in our article on Malayattoor church. The best time to visit here is the Lent Season that is during March or April.
This is an amusement park located at Kakkanad, Kochi. It is previously known as Veegaland. People always rush to this place since it is one of the top listed amusement parks in Kerala. There are so many rides, laser shows and musical fountain. It's not only for a people of a particular age group; all that is there can entertain people of all ages. Everyone will feel like coming back once again to Wonder La. Best time to visit here is during summer because most of them are water rides.
Timings: Monday to Friday -11.00 am to 6.00 pm and Holidays including Saturdays and Sundays -11.00 am to 7.00pm
Mattanchery Dutch Palace
This great palace of many more ancient features was built in 1557 by the Portuguese. Since the Portuguese has destroyed one of the temples of the ruling party in Cochin, they gifted this Palace to the Raja of Cochin for their favour. After this, in 1663 this Palace was renovated by the Dutch, hence the name Dutch Palace. Great carvings, paintings, murals depicting from Ramayana & Mahabharata and also small temples inside the Palace are the main attractions. You can make your visit any time between 10am and 5pm on all days except Fridays.
Synagogue is a place where Jewish people gather for prayer. This is the only one still active in Kochi, even though there are some more. This is built in the year 1568 but was demolished in a raid by Portuguese and was rebuilt by the Dutch in 1662.
Timings: 10.00 am to 12.00 pm and 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm on all days except Fridays, Saturdays and Jewish holidays.
St. Francis CSI Church
This was the first church to be built by the Europeans in India. It was constructed in the year 1503 by Portuguese. At First the church was dedicated to St. Antony. Later on it was changed St. Francis by the Anglicans. The Dutch Cemetery nearby is also very famous.
Timings: Monday to Fridays - 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Hope you will enjoy the visit.
Lidiya, you have well described best hangout places in Kochi. For beach lovers, Vypeen is the best place to visit than fort Kochi. There are so many beaches to see like Munambam beach, Cherai beach, Ambedkar beach, Kuzhupilly beach and more. Don't forget to try varieties of Kerala style seafood.
North East looks really promising. Shillong, Meghalaya from the YouTube videos looked so westernized and modern compared to our metro cities. Definitely wants to visit, but I've heard that we need prior permissions to visit these states. Is that true?