Kochi (Cochin) - Queen of the Arabian Sea

                                              Known as Queen of the Arabian Sea, Cochin (Kochi) is believed to be the finest natural harbour in the world. Some of the islands are Bolgatty, Vypeen, Gundu and Vallarpadam. The main tourist attraction of Kochi is visiting these islands on the local ferries. It is a cluster of islands on the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake. Because of its commercial importance, foreign powers vied for supremacy in the area and therefore the place has a blend of several exotic cultures like the Portuguese, Jewish, English, French, Dutch and Chinese.

                        Ferry rides in Kochi commands a breathtaking view due to its lush green lawns sloping down to the water's edge. Giant Chinese fishing nets that billow from massive teak and bamboo poles dot the entrance to the harbor. Silhouetted against the setting sun, they present a magnificent sight at the waterfront.

Few of the major tourist attractions in Kochi are:

Bolghatty Island: Bolghatty palace, built by the Dutch in 1744 for their governors and later used by the British governors is situated here. Today it is a Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) owned hotel.

Willington Island: This is situated in the backwaters and is named after the British viceroy to India, Lord Willington. The headquarters of the naval command, port trust, trading centers etc are located here.

Fort Kochi: A fishing village, Fort Kochi became a European trading center in the middle ages.

Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace): This was built by some foreigners on Hindu architectural style in 1555.

St Francis Church: Built of wood in 1503, it may be the oldest European church in India. Vasco-da-Gama was buried here.
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