Cochin, now officially known as Kochi, is a historic port town in the Indian region of Kerala. The town is a popular tourist destination and has a multitude of attractions to offer. Its historic significance as a spice trading port has given rise to a varied architecture from Portuguese churches to the administrative buildings of the English Raj. Green and serene as Indian cities go, Cochin retains its old-world charm despite being one of the west coast's largest ports. The historic districts are a living museum where stores of tea, ginger and spices are piled high in traditional warehouses. Renowned amongst travellers as a place to wind down and soak up the Keralan culture, Cochin is a must-see on any west India travel itinerary.
Cochin's peak season is between October and April when hot temperatures can be enjoyed outside of the rainy season. Prepare for daily monsoon rains between June and September with showers continuing all the way into December.
Kochi International Airport is situated 25 miles east of the city centre. The average flight time from London is 11.5 hours. As well as being an international hub Kochi is also a popular airport for travelling to other Indian destinations.
Cheap flights to Kochi are provided by a number of airlines. The cheapest flights can be found between November and June.
Once at the airport heavy traffic can mean a lengthy journey into town; be prepared to spend up to two hours transferring to your hotel. Taxis cost around 500 rupees, which works out at around just 5 GBP.
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Cochin is the gateway to the tropical beaches of the west coast and the lush green mountain of India's interior. Boat trips, tours of national parks and transport to less developed beaches can all be arranged in the town.
The historic streets of the city are an attraction in their own right. Explore them on a walking tour of the main heritage districts. The area behind Fort Cochin docks is an excellent place to begin where remnants of the spice trading industry live on.
The town is also well known for its artworks and enthusiasts should visit the Kashi, Artek, Chitram, Lawrence, Dravida and Mereechika galleries to marvel at beautiful paintings and pick some up to take home.
St Francis Church is the oldest European-built church in India
The elephants get decorated like this for the annual festival at the Siva Temple
Chinese fishing nets at sunset
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