Monday, January 31, 2011

Ernakulam Town | Ernakulam Map | Ernakulam Travel

Ernakulam refers to the eastern part of the mainland of Kochi city in Kerala, India. Ernakulam is the most urban part of Kochi and has lent its name to Ernakulam District. The Office of the Corporation of Cochin, and the Kerala High Court are situated here. The name 'Ernakulam' is derived from the name of a very famous temple of Lord Shiva called the Ernakulathappan Temple. It is also said that the word Ernakulam was drawn from Malayalam words 'Ere naal Kulam', which mean 'Pond for a long time'. Ernakulam is the commercial capital of the state of Kerala.

Kochi, the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala, has one of the finest natural harbours in the world. Ancient mariners from Arabia, China, Holland, Britain and Portugal have all left their mark on this beautiful island city.

One of the finest natural harbours on the Arabian Sea coast, Kochi, earlier known as Cochin has been a port of call for foreign traders from early times. Its cosmopolitan character is reflected in the buildings and structures representing different regions of the world. A city of peninsulas and islands, today it is Kerala's commercial hub.

Kerala's prime tourist destination, it spreads across islands and promontories in a stunning location between the Arabian Sea and Backwaters. Its main sections: modern Ernakulam in the east and the old districts of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin on a peninsula in the west are linked by a complex system of ferries.

How to Reach Ernakulam:

Telephone access code:



International airport at Nedumbassery (32 km from the town)

Airline offices:

Air India, MG Road Ph: 2380700 2351295

Indian Airlines, DH Road Ph: 2370238/2353826

Jet Airways, Atlantis, MG Road Ph: 2369879

Oman Air (RL Travels), Atlantis, MG Road Ph: 2357093

Cathay Pacific (Spencer & Co. Ltd.), MG Road Ph: 2362064

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Arafat Travels), MG Road Ph: 2352689

Singapore Airlines (Aviation Travels), MG Road Ph: 2358127

British Airways (Nijhawon Travels), MG Road Ph: 2364867

Kuwait Airways (National Travels), MG Road Ph: 2359133

Air Sahara Ph: 2365508

Srilankan Airlines Ph: 2361263

Emirates Ph: 2382860 Fax: 2384612

Qatar Airways Ph: 2381063


Ernakulam is a major railhead of the Southern Railway Main station: Ernakulam Junction

Ph: 131 Other stations: Ernakulam Town Ph: 2390920; Kochi Harbour Terminus Ph: 2666001


The KSRTC Central Bus Station is near the Junction Railway Station Ph: 2372033. Private buses operate from High Court Junction, Railway Station and Kaloor Junction Tamil Nadu Road Transport bus station Ph: 2372616

Inter-State private bus services to Bangalore, Coimbatore, Mangalore, Chennai and Madurai: Indira Travels, near Jos Junction Ph: 2360693 Yesbee Travels, near Jos Junction Ph: 2375080 Princy Tours, Opp. Sealord Hotel Ph: 2354712 Sharma Transports, Grand Hotel Ph: 2350712 Ashirwad Travels, Jos Junction Ph: 2367709

Ferry Services: There are two ferry stations in Ernakulam. The main Boat Jetty is 1 km from the Junction Railway Station and the other is near the High Court.

Ferry timings (From the main boat jetty):

Vypeen : Frequent services (1/2 hour journey)

Mattancherry : Daily 6 ferries (1/2 hour journey) at 0910, 0940, 1100, 1400, 1520, 1740 hrs

Fort Kochi : Daily 30 services (20 minute journey). First trip at 0600 hrs and the last at 2110 hrs

Varapuzha : Daily 6 boats (2 hour journey)

Willingdon Island : Frequent services (15 minute journey)

Tourist Information Office:

Tourist Information Officer, Dept. of Tourism, Ph: 2360502, Fort Kochi Ph: 2216654

Govt. of India Tourist Office, Willingdon Island, Ph: 2668352 / 1913

Airport Information Counter, Dept. of Tourism, Kerala, Ph: 2610115, Ext. 2105

Tourist Reception Centre - KTDC, Shanmughom Rd., Ph: 2353234, 2382199

DTPC Tourist Information Centre, Old Collectorate Bldg., Park Avenue, Ph: 2367334/2383988

Tourist Desk, Main Boat Jetty, Ph: 2371761

Entertainment in Ernakulam:

There are over twenty cinema halls that screen movies in Malayalam, Tamil, English and Hindi. A film festival, known as the Cochin International Film Festival (CIFF), is held in the city every year.


Major Malayalam newspapers published in Kochi include Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhumi, Madhyamam, Deshabhimani, Deepika, Kerala Kaumudi and Veekshanam.

Popular English newspapers include The Hindu, The New Indian Express and The Pioneer. A number of evening papers are also published from the city.

Newspapers in other regional languages like Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu are also sold in large numbers.

Being the seat of the Cochin Stock Exchange, a number of financial publications are also published in the city. These include The Economic Times, Business Line, The Business Standard and The Financial Express.

Prominent magazines and religious publications like the Sathyadeepam, The Week and Vanitha are also published from the city.


Television stations in Kochi include Ernakulam Cable Television, Asianet Cable Vision, Indiavision, Kairali TV, Jeevan TV, Amrita TV, JaiHind TV and Manorama News. Satellite television services are available through Doordarshan Direct Plus, Dish TV and Tata Sky.


All India Radio has two FM stations in the city, operating at 102.3 MHz and 107.5 MHz. Private FM radio stations are Club FM 94.3, Radio Mango 91.9 which plays music 24 hours a day, and 93.5 S FM. Private satellite radios such as WorldSpace, are also available.


Ernakulam has the highest density of telephones in India (based on its population). Telephony services are provided by various players like Airtel, Idea cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Infocomm, Tata Indicom and the government owned BSNL.

Places To Stay - Ernakulam (Kochi)

  • Choice Sea Side Hotel, Cantonment.
  • Centaur Tourist Home, M A Road.
  • Kamala International, S M Road.
  • Kavitha Tourish Home, S N Park.
  • Motel Aram, Kalliassery.
  • Omars Inn, Station Road.
  • Yatri Nivas (KTDC), Near Police Club.
  • Bharat Hotel, Ernakulam.
  • Casino Hotel, Willingdon Island.
  • Dwaraka Hotel, Ernakulam.
  • Ganam Hotel, Ernakulam.
  • Grand Hotel, Ernakulam.

Historic Zone of Ernakulam:

Inside Ernakulam - Fort Kochi:

Access: Backwater ferry / bus / auto rickshaw

Loafer’s Corner / Princess Street:

One of the earliest streets to be constructed in Fort Kochi, Princess Street with its European style residences still retains its old world charm. The best view of this quaint street can be had from Loafer’s Corner, the traditional meeting place and hangout of the jovial fun loving people of the area.

Parade Ground:

The four acre Parade Ground was where once the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British colonists conducted their military parades and drills. The buildings around the ground housed their defence establishments. Today, the largest open ground in Fort Kochi, the Parade Ground is a sports arena.

St. Francis Church:

Built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan friars, this is India’s oldest European church. This was initially built of timber and later reconstructed in stone masonry. It was restored in 1779 by the Protestant Dutch, converted to an Anglican church by the British in 1795 and is at present governed by the Church of South India. Vasco da Gama was buried here in 1524 before his remains were moved to Lisbon, Portugal. The tombstone still remains.

Bastion Bungalow:

Built in the Indo-European style way back in 1667, the Bungalow gets its name from its location on the site of the Stromberg Bastion of the old Dutch Fort. The building blends beautifully into the circular structure of the bastion, has a tiled roof and a typical first floor verandah in wood along its front portion. Though it has been said that a network of secret tunnels runs beneath the bungalow, none have been found. Today, the Bungalow is the official residence of the Sub Collector.

Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace) (Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Fridays):

Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi, the palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. On display here are beautiful murals depicting scenes from the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, and some of the Puranic Hindu legends. The palace also houses Dutch maps of old Kochi, royal palanquins, coronation robes of former maharajas of Kochi as well as period furniture. The three dimensional portraits of the Maharajas are also noteworthy.

Synagogue (Open 1000 - 1200 hrs; 1500 -1700 hrs. Closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays):

Constructed in 1568, this is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth. Destroyed in a shelling during the Portuguese raid in 1662, it was rebuilt two years later by the Dutch. Known for mid 18th century hand painted, willow patterned floor tiles from Canton in China, a clock tower, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, great scrolls of the Old Testament, ancient scripts on copper plates etc.

Jew Town:

The area around the Synagogue is a centre of spice trade and curio shops.

The Hill Palace Museum:

The Hill Palace, the official residence of the Kochi royal family, is today the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. Built in 1865, the palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the tr tional architectural style of Kerala, sprawled over 52 acres of beautifully landscaped terraced land which houses a deer park and facilities for horse riding. Numerous species of flora including rare medicinal plants grow here. On display in the full-fledged Ethno-archaeological museum are oil-paintings, murals, sculptures in stone and manuscripts, inscriptions, coins, belongings of the Kochi royal family and royal furniture including the simhasana (throne).

Also exhibited are over 200 antique pieces of pottery and ceramic vases from Japan and China, Kudakkallu (tomb stone), Thoppikkallu (hood stone), menhirs, granite, laterite memorials, rock cut weapons from the stone ages, wooden temple models, plaster cast models of objects from Mohanjodaro and Harappa of the Indus Valley Civilisation. The museum also houses a gallery of contemporary art.


Utsavam at Mahadeva Temple:

Highlights: Ritual procession, Kathakali, Classical music recitals, Ashtami (November)

Utsavam at Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple:

Highlights: Kanikka edal (offerings placed in a golden pot), Kathakali, Chakyarkoothu, Ottanthullal, Music concerts (December)

Mahotsavam at Mahadeva Temple:

Highlights: Deepakazhcha, illumination of traditional lamps, Ottamthullal, Chakyarkoothu, Kurathiyattam, Elephants pageants (December)

Tourism Week Celebration:

A secular festival that brings together the thirteen communities living in Kochi. Highlights: Food festival, Procession of theme floats, Gajamela (elephant pageants), Music concerts, Jalamela (water fiestas), Cultural programmes, Boat race (December)

Indira Gandhi Boat Race on the Kochi backwaters. (December)

Utsavam at Siva Temple:

Highlights: Seeveli, Panchavadyam, Pakalpooram, Kathakali, Music concerts, Arattu (January)

International Contemporary Dance Festival:

Assemblage of artistes from India, Europe and the Far East. (January)


An entire Kerala village is recreated during this ten day long festival. Highlights: Arts and crafts fair, Kathakali, Thiruvathirakali, Mohiniyattom, Oppana, Kalaripayattu, Sarpapattu, Theyyam, Panchavadyam, Chakyarkoothu, Ottanthullal (February)

Utsavam at Sree Rajarajeswari Temple:

Highlights: Arattu, Makamthozhal (special rite)-Chottanikkara Makam, Pooram on the eighth day, Grand fireworks, Art forms, Cultural performances (February)

Kakkoor Kalavayal:

A traditional post harvest festival of the peasants of Kakkoor. Highlights: Exhibition of agricultural products, implements, and other traditional crafts, Folk arts, Music concerts, Elephant processions, Bullock race (March)

Bharani festival at Sree Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple:

Highlights: Cultural programmes, Devotional rites (April)


Marks the beginning of the Onam festival. Highlights: Elephant procession, Colourful floats, Musical ensembles, Ritual and folk art forms (September)

Aluva Sivarathri at Siva Temple:

Highlights: Night long reading of the puranas, Rural trade fair, Cultural programmes, Vavubali (ritual in honour of the forefathers) at dawn (March)

Leisure Zone in Ernakulam:

The United Club:

Once upon a time one of the four elite clubs of the British in Kochi, the United Club today serves two roles - as classroom for the nearby St. Francis Primary School by day and as card room for the current members by evening. Until 1907, the building housed the offices of the Fort Kochi Muncipality.

The Cochin Club:

The club, with its impressive library and collection of sporting trophies, is housed in a beautifully landscaped park. In the early 1900s, when the club had just become operational, admission was restricted to the British and to men only. Today, though the club retains its traditional English ambience, its rules are more liberal and the membership of 250 includes women as well. Strangely enough, alcohol is not served on the premises.

Cherai Beach:

This lovely beach bordering Vypeen island is ideal for swimming. Dolphins are occasionally seen here. A typical Kerala village with paddy fields and coconut groves nearby is an added attraction.

Bolgatty Island:

This island is famous for its palace of the same name. The Bolgatty Palace was built in 1744 by the Dutch and later taken over by the British. Today it is a hotel run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, with a small golf course and special honeymoon cottages.

Willingdon Island:

Named after Lord Willingdon, a former British Viceroy of India, this man-made island is surrounded by beautiful backwaters. The island is the site of the city's best hotels and trading centres, the Port Trust and the headquarters of the southern naval command.


Kodanad, set on the southern banks of the Periyar river amid the beautiful high ranges near Perumbavoor, is one of the largest elephant training centres of Kerala. Earlier elephants captured from the Malayatoor forests (the forests in the east and north of Kodanad) were trained here. Since the introduction of a ban to elephant capture Kodanad has been reduced to a training centre. The famous Malayatoor Church is near Kodanad.


Kumbalangi Integrated Tourism Village project is a unique initiative to transform the tiny island as a model fishing village and tourism spot. Here at the Kumbalangi Tourism Village one can fully savour a variety of natural splendours, and paramount to a model tourist village the outstanding ecological balance of the location. The village, the first of its kind in the country is located near the port city of Kochi in Ernakulam District. The model village is a veritable treat to its visitors with the famous Chinese fishing nets and many other sights to savour.

View more image of Ernakulam:

Ernakulam, Ernakulam town, How to Reach Ernakulam, Entertainment in Ernakulam, Historic Zone of Ernakulam, Leisure Zone in Ernakulam and more


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