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Kochi India

"Fort Kochi and Ernakulam -
the heart of Kerala"

Chinese Fishing nets in Fort Kochi, India
Kochi India: the Chinese fishing nets in Fort Kochi

This article was last updated on April 15, 2012
All information below is subject to change

Kochi consists of Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Willingdon island and Ernakulam and much more. In this article I will focus on Fort Kochi and Ernakulam.

Fort Kochi has been strongly influenced by European culture for centuries, and it is deeply reflected in its architecture, food and history.

If you compare Ernakulam and Fort Kochi, it can be hard to digest that these two belong to the same country. Fort Kochi is absolutely stunning with its great architecture, laid-back and charming cafes.

I stayed in Fort Kochi for 3 weeks because of my field work. So I got to know this place very well.

Santa cruz basilica at night in Fort Kochi, India
Kochi India: Santa Cruz Church
What I do know is that if you want to escape from the hassle and noise, Fort Kochi is perfect. It was very quiet compared to several places in India and Kerala.

So a couple of days of voyage into Fort Kochi will do good for your mind and body.

Another thing about Fort Kochi (and Kerala) was its people. I got to know fantastic Keralites during my stay there, and I will never forget them.

In general, the South Indian culture differs from the North Indian. And I'm probably not the only one thinking that Kerala is much more calmer than the north.

In fact, the differences are quite noticeable. You will notice it you too. People in the south harass you a lot less than they do in the north.

How to get to Kochi and out

By air: Domestic and international flights land at Kochi airport, located 1,5 hour from Ernakulam city center.

From the airport you can take taxis to Ernakulam city center or Fort Kochi. I took a taxi from Ernakulam to the airport, and it cost me Rs 600. The ride took one hour. From Fort Kochi, a taxi to the airport will cost around Rs 700-800.

Cheap flights to Kochi:

Here's the KSRTC AC-bus time table to and from airport:

Time table is picked up from stayinkochi.com.

From Fort Kochi
From airport

18.00, 20.05

boat to fort kochi backpacking tips asia
Boat to Fort Kochi
By train: There are two railway stations in Kochi, Ernakulam Town (around 3 km north of city center) and Ernakulam Junction.

Ernakulam Junction (ERS) is the closest station to the ferries heading for Fort Kochi, Mattancherry and the other islands (Vypeen and Bolghatty).

When arriving at Ernakulam Junction, take a pre-paid Rickshaw. The booth is right outside the main entrance. It cost Rs 20 from the railway station to the main boat jetty, in addition to a service charge (Rs 1). The ride takes 10 minutes.

When arriving at the main boat jetty, there's a ticket booth on your left side. If there's a long queue, there's a separate lady queue to the right. The ticket cost only Rs 3, and the boat ride takes 20 minutes to Fort Kochi.

Time table: Ernakulam to Fort Kochi - (picked up from stayinkochi.com)

Ernakulam to
Fort Kochi


Time table from Fort Kochi to Ernakulam/Willingdon island:

Time table for Fort Kochi and Ernakulam and Willingdon island
Kochi India

When arriving in Fort Kochi, you can either walk or take an auto rickshaw to the main tourist area, where most of the guesthouses, homestays and hotels are located in town.

Most of the accommodation facilities are heavily concentrated around Princess street, Bastian street, Burger street and Peter Celli street, while many hotels and resorts can be found on Tower Road and along the shores.

How to leave Kochi: the same way you got in. By rail Ernakulam Junction connects to most major towns and cities in Kerala. Trains to Trivandrum also leave Ernakulam Town.

Getting a ticket at the jetty in Fort Kochi, India
Kochi India: Ticket booth at Fort Kochi jetty
Most trains to Goa (Madgaon) leave Ernakulam Junction and take between 12-16 hours, depending on train route. If you're on your way to Wayanad, you can take the train from Ernakulam Junction/Town and get off at Kozhikode (Calicut). The train ride takes 4-5 hours, and another long bus or taxi ride from Calicut to Wayanad.

You should have at least one hour at your hands when arriving at the railway station. I will tell you about one incident.

I booked a seat on a train from Ernakulam Junction to Trivandrum. I arrived there 45 minutes before departure. Guess what they said?

"I'm sorry, but the train route to Trivandrum has been moved to Ernakulam Town. Only for today."

I grabbed my stuff, and ran to find an auto. The ride from Ernakulam Junction to Ernakulam Town took 15 minutes, and cost Rs 35. I was glad that I showed up early, that's for sure :-)

Map of Fort Kochi:

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Important information for Kochi:

  • Police: Office at Ernakulam Junction Railway station. Tourist police tel: 0484-2224067
  • Hospital: Try Medical Trust Hospital, a private hospital and has a 24 hour ambulance service. Tel: +91 484 2358001. Website: Medical Trust Hospital
  • KSRTC bus station: General inquiry tel: + 91 484 2372033
  • Internet: Rs 40 per hour, international calls: from Rs 15 per minute

Kochi India Articles

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Here are reviews of the accommodation I tried and visited in this town!

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Thali meal in Fort Kochi, India

Where to eat

Looking for a place to eat in Fort Kochi and Ernakulam?

No problem, I will help you with that! :-)

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Where to shop in Kochi India

There are many shops in Fort Kochi and Ernakulam:

Markets, retail shops and much more!

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Spice market at Mattancherry in Fort Kochi, India

What to see and do

There are lots of attractions in Fort Kochi;

Chinese fishing nets, the Spice Market, the Jewish Synagogue, Bishop's House and countless churches.

And also a boat trip from Ernakulam is covered! :-)

Welcome to Kochi tourist attractions

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