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Kochi SONA Travels , formerly known as Cochin, is a city in the Indian state of Kerala. The city is one of the principal seaports of the country and is located in the district of Ernakulam, about 220 kilometres (137 mi) north of the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. It has an estimated population of 600,000, with an extended metropolitan population of about 1.5 million, making it the largest urban agglomeration and the second largest city in Kerala after the state capital. Kochi is also the largest city in South India without a Hindu majority.
In 1102 CE, Kochi SONA Travels became the seat of the Kingdom of Cochin, a princely state which traces its lineage to the Kulasekhara Empire. Heralded as the Queen of Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the Arabian Sea coast since the 14th century. Ancient travellers and tradesmen referred to Kochi in their writings, variously alluding to it as Cocym, Cochym, Cochin, and Cochi. Occupied by the Portuguese in 1503, Kochi was the site of the first European colonial settlement in India. It remained the capital of Portuguese India until 1530, when they opted for Goa as their capital. The city was later occupied by the Dutch, the Mysore and the British.
Kochi SONA Travels entered a period of economic growth after 2000, leading to a spurt in the city's development. A growing centre of shipping industries, international trade, tourism and information technology, Kochi is one of the fastest growing second-tier metros in India. Like other large cities in the developing world, Kochi continues to struggle with urbanisation problems such as traffic congestion and environmental degradation.
Kochi SONA Travels, or more familiarly, Cochin is a city of many parts. Around for a long, long time, Kochi played a pivotal role in the development of shipping and trade in the region. Kochi''s prime location on the west coast, its fine bay and protected harbour made it popular with seafarers and merchant ships
who made frequent stops to stock up on spices, coffee and wooden route to the rich markets of Europe and West Asia. And so down the ages, Kochi prospered as a busy port city and commercial centre. Its seafront is still extremely relevant to Cochin and to India it houses a Naval Base and one of India’s busiest ports. It’s twin city, Ernakulam, is an important railhead and industrial centre. Kochi''s location between the blue, blue waters of the Arabian Sea and Kerala’s emerald backwaters, its rich medley of Indian and foreign architecture, its truly unusual sights like the Chinese fishing nets and its quaint quiet localities like the Jewish Quarters demand the attention of all who travel to Kerala. Explore the city thoroughly it’s bound to have you hooked!
Cochin''s SONA Travels history is a bright tapestry - many coloured threads woven through centuries together present the fabric of the present. Its involvement with the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British are evident in the architecture of city buildings, the old durbar hall is the spice in the dish! Modern day Kochi may be a busy port and shipping centre but it has many attractions for ordinary tourists.
Places to seen in Cochin.
1) Bolghatty Palace in cochin - Once a mansion of the British Resident and now a hotel, is in palm fringed Bolghatty Island
2) Mattancherry Palace in cochin - The palace (Dutch Palace) was built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to the Cochin Raja, Veera Kerala Varma. The Dutch renovated it after 1663, and hence the palace has another name, 'Dutch Palace'.
3) The cochin is the most important feature of Mattanchery Palace is the murals in the bedchambers and other rooms, which depict scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranic legends connected with Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, Kumara and Durga. These murals are some of the most beautiful and extensive, and are one of the wonders of India.
4) The Shiva temple in Ettumanur ( near Kottayam) has similar murals.
5) Jewish Synagogue in cochin - Constructed in 1568, this is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth. A stone slab from Kochangadi synagogue (built in 1344, and has then disappeared), inscribed in Hebrew, can be found on the inner surface of the wall.The synagogue has hand-painted, willow pattern floor tiles brought from China.
6) St. Francis Church in cochin - Built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan friars, this is India's oldest European-built church. The original structure was wood, but was rebuilt in stone in mid-16th century. Vasco da Gama, the first European to reach India, died in Cochin in 1524 and was buried here for 14 years before his remains were transferred to Portugal. The tombstone still stands in Cochin.
7) Cochins' Famous Chinese Fishing Nets in cochin - Lined along the sea-front, these fishing nets exhibit a mechanical method of catching fish, introduced by Chinese traders from the court of Kublai Khan. These nets are also seen along the backwaters between Cochin (Kochi) and Kottayam, and between Alleppey (Alappuzha) and Quilon (Kollam). They are mainly used at high tide.
8) Parishath Thampuran Museum in cochin - Housed in what was previously Durbar Hall, constructed in traditional Kerala style, the museum contains collections of 19th century oil paintings, old coins, sculptures and Mughul paintings and exhibits from the Cochin Royal family.
By visiting the cochin place through SONA Travels, it can be viewed and enjoyed.