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Cochin (Kochi) known the world over as the Queen of the Arabian Sea is the commercial capital of Kerala. Cochin is a metropolis with a modern population and western outlook to life. Though a modern metropolis Cochin is a tourist's delight. This a place where there are locales frozen in time whether it is the colonial era, well pre
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served remains of a princely state,natural beauty of beaches, backwaters, rivers, lagoons and vibrant rural ife,nfact every thing one may look for is here and can be easily accessed any day. Cochin is just about the center of Kerala. is basically a collection of islands and narrow peninsulas. Ernakulam is the commercial centre and forms the main land. The two main railway stations and the bus stands are located here. Fort Cochin and Mattenchery for an elongated island west of Ernakulam. Willington island which houses the Naval base lies between Ernakulam and Fort Cochin.
Cochin has one of the World's most beautiful ports. A conducted cruise through the winding waterways will take you to several quaint spots including Jew Town, where the Jews arrived as early as 52 AD from Yemen and Babylon. Half the fun of visiting Cochin is getting out on the local ferries. It has to offer palaces, forts, beaches, backwaters , old churches, snake boat races, Kathakali, Museums and the convinence of the big city.Undoubtedly,
the commercial hub of Kerala, the city of Cochin is where ancient civilization gracefully mingles with modern life. Right from the early years, Cochin has had cultural and trade relations with the outside world. She had also experienced pulsating episodes of European colonial rivalry. An interesting point to note is that Cochin is probably the only city in India formed from parts of three different states, viz. the two princely states of Travancore and Cochin, and the British Malabar. In 1976, the village panchayats of Edappally, Vennala, Vyttila, and Palluruthy were merged with the municipalities of Ernakulam and Mattencherry to form the Corporation of Cochin. Today with a natural, all-weather harbour and replete with serene backwaters, beautiful lagoons, wooden isles and a magnificient seascape, Cochin is indeed the Queen of the Arabian Sea.Old Cochin comprising of Fort Cochin, and
attencherry and its adjoining areas is famous for several sites of historical significance. The St. Francis' Church, the Santa Cruz Cathedral, and the Chinese fishing nets (Fort Cochin); the Dutch Palace, the Synagogue and the ecclesiastically important Coonen Cross (Mattancherry) beakons you to the bygone era when old Cochin had cultural and trade relations with Arabia, Rome and China and to a vibrant history of European imperialism thereafter. Old houses, particularly in Fort Cochin, Still retain old colonial charm, with some neighbourhoods reminiscent of quaint hamlets in Holland, England, and Portugal. The highly cosmopolitan population is even today engaged in active trading.Marine Drive is gradually catching up as another busy retail centre. The lively GCDA Commercial Complex along the waterfront features kaleidosope of several business establishments and other institutions fast food and cafes, and a variety of shops. Luxury apartments, elegant hotels and office buildings are located either side of the main Shanmugham Road which terminates at High Court Junction on the northern end, where the Ram Mohan Palace - the seat of the Kerala High Court is situated. An evening stroll along the water-side promenade is a favourite pastime.Broadway narrow despite its name - running parallel to the east of Shanmugham Road is among the city's oldest and busiest shopping streets, where the best buys include clothes and spices. The main Ernakulam market is also located alongside Broadway.

Park Avenue
The green lung of the metropolis so to speak, the well-shaded, tree lined Park Avenue gets its name from the beautifully laid-out parks on its western side ovelooking the backwaters of the Vembanad Lake and having impressive views of Cochin harbour. The ancient Siva Temple, old government buildings, the General Hospital, the main boat jetty, the Cochin Corporation office, the District Court, and some of the city's finest educational institutions are located alongside this picturesque boulevard. The Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy Gallery of Contemporary Art is of interest along the Durbar Hall Road. which branches eastwards from the southern end of Park Avenue.

Half a kilometer east of downtown Cochin is Kadavanthra, the seat of the Greater Cochin Development Authority and the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium - the second largest of its kind in India. The adjoining areas of Gandhi Nagar, Giri Nagar and Elamkulam are huge residential locales. Panampilly Nagar, also a predominantly residential area located before Kadavanthra and adjoining the city centre, is home to the Malayala Manorama, Kerala's leading publishing house. The office of the General Manager, Telecommunications and the Regional Passport Office are also located.

The city's suburbs feature mainly residential colonies mixed with small commercial enterprises. Kaloor is situated two kilometers from the city centre. The New Indian Express and Financial Express, Mathrubhumi, Deshabhimani, four leading newspapers, have their Cochin offices located here. Kaloor has also become a major sporting venue with its 55,000 capacity Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Willingdon Island connected to the mainland by the road-cum-railway Venduruthy Bridge, this man made island, named after the former Viceroy of India, Lord Willingdon, was created with the material dredged while deepening the Cochin port. The island, about four miles long, is divided into two zones - the defence and the civil. The former includes the naval command and naval aerodrome. The civil side including the harbour is under the Cochin Port Trust. The Customs House and many other central government establishments are situated here. The island has also on it a busy railway terminus, some of the city's most luxurious hotels, and a very large number of business establishments. Housing colonies for staff members, schools, hospitals, banks and parks are the island's other highlights.

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