Ernakulam refers to the western part of the mainland of Kochi city in Kerala, India. The name 'Ernakulam' is derived from the name of a very famous temple of Lord Shiva called the Ernakulathappan Temple. Ernakulam is the commercial capital of the state of Kerala.The Kerala High Court is situated in Ernakulam.
Cochin/ Ernakulam, affectionately called the "queen of the Arabian Sea" is located on the south western part of India and is home to one of the finest natural harbors in the world. It is bordered by the Arabian Sea on the western part and the Western ghats on the eastern front. Cochin is the commercial capital of Kerala and is termed the gateway to Kerala
Cochin is one of the most important tourist destinations in Kerala and there are several tourist attractions and places of tourism importance near Cochin. Cochin is the most favored point of entry for tourists to Kerala. Cochin is the hub of international tourism in Kerala. Cochin today is witnessing tremendous economic growth led by Information Technology and Tourism including Medical Tourism.
The Jewish Synagogue is one of the most important tourist attractions in Cochin. This Jewish Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth. The synagogue stays open from 10 am to 12 noon and from 3.00 pm to 5 pm on all days except on Saturdays and Jewish holidays.
Two water-theme parks - the Dream World and Silver Storm are located to the west of Athirapally.
The Dutch palace or the Mattancherry palace now is one of the important tourist attractions in Cochin and tourists are seen visiting this ancient monument The Dutch palace showcases several mural paintings of Hindu mythological figures and scenes from the Ramayana. The Dutch palace obviously is one of the important places to visit in Cochin. The Dutch palace stays open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except on Fridays and national holidays.
The Santa Cruz Basilica is one of the oldest churches in the country and is located near the St. Francis church in Fort Cochin. The Santa Cruz basilica is a Roman catholic church and was built in Gothic style by the Portuguese in the year 1503. It is a specimen of Portuguese church architecture with lofty spires. The basilica features frescos and mural paintings on the ceilings and the interior. The Santa Cruz basilica is one of the "must see" tourist attractions in Cochin. Daily masses are held, and on being raised to the status of a basilica, it has achieved international recognition. Foreign tourists are also seen visiting this basilica in large numbers.
The Chinese fishing nets are an integral part of Cochin and are an icon in the tourist map of Cochin. These Chinese fishing nets in Fort Cochin have very large nets that hang from teak poles. The fishing nets are still in use and tourists visiting Cochin make it a point to watch the fishermen catch fish using these fishing nets
The hill palace museum is the largest archaeological museum of Kerala and is located at a distance of 13 km from Cochin close to Thrippunithura. The hill palace museum was the abode of the erstwhile kings of Cochin and the relics kept in the museum are a testimony to the opulent lives led by these kings. The museum features a throne and the crown besides housing several paintings by renowned painters. The utensils used by the royal family, dresses, swords and other weapons etc are all on display at the museum. This hill palace museum is one of the most important tourist attractions near Cochin.
There are several kathakali centers in Cochin and the most important one being the Cochin cultural center located on Manikath road behind Medical Trust Hospital. Ernakulam South. Daily kathakali shows are held every evening at 7 Pm. There is also the Kerala kathakali center at Fort Cochin near the Chinese fishing nets. The entrance fee is Rs. 50 per person
St. Francis church at Fort Cochin is the oldest church built by the Europeans in India in the year 1510. Though the church was initially built by the Catholic Portuguese its ownership passed on to the Dutch who were mostly Protestants.. St. Francis church is one of the "must see" tourist places in Cochin. The church presently is managed by the church of south India, a protestant sect.