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Exploring Ernakulam: Top Things to Do in this Vibrant City

Photo things to do in ernakulam

Ernakulam, also known as Kochi, is a vibrant city located in the southern state of Kerala, India. With its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning natural beauty, Ernakulam has become a popular destination for travelers from around the world. From its historical landmarks to its delicious cuisine, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this bustling city. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the attractions and experiences that make Ernakulam a must-visit destination.

The purpose of this blog post is to provide readers with a comprehensive guide to Ernakulam, highlighting its top attractions, must-try dishes, best shopping spots, and more. Whether you are a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, Ernakulam has something to offer you. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what makes this city so special and why it should be on your travel bucket list.

Key Takeaways

  • Ernakulam has a rich history with landmarks such as the Dutch Palace and St. Francis Church.
  • Foodies must try local dishes like appam and stew, and visit hotspots like Fort Kochi for street food.
  • Nature lovers can unwind at parks like Subhash Bose Park and gardens like the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden.
  • Retail therapy is best enjoyed at markets like Broadway and malls like Lulu Mall.
  • Experience the culture of Ernakulam through festivals like Onam and events like the Cochin Carnival.

Discovering the Rich History of Ernakulam: A Tour of the City’s Landmarks

Ernakulam has a rich and fascinating history that dates back centuries. The city was once a major trading hub and was ruled by various dynasties including the Chera, Pandya, and Chola kingdoms. Its strategic location on the Arabian Sea made it an important center for trade between India and the rest of the world.

One of the top landmarks to visit in Ernakulam is Fort Kochi. This historic fort was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and later occupied by the Dutch and British. Today, it is a popular tourist destination known for its colonial architecture and charming streets lined with cafes and art galleries.

Another must-visit landmark in Ernakulam is Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace. Built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and later renovated by the Dutch, this palace is a fine example of Kerala’s traditional architecture. It is home to a stunning collection of murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana and other Hindu epics.

St. Francis Church is another important historical site in Ernakulam. Built by the Portuguese in 1503, it is one of the oldest European churches in India. The church is famous for being the burial place of Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer who discovered the sea route from Europe to India.

Preserving Ernakulam’s heritage is of utmost importance. The city’s historical landmarks not only showcase its rich history but also attract tourists from around the world. By preserving these landmarks, we can ensure that future generations can learn about and appreciate Ernakulam’s cultural heritage.

Exploring the Local Cuisine: Must-Try Dishes and Foodie Hotspots in Ernakulam

Kerala cuisine is known for its bold flavors and use of fresh ingredients. Ernakulam offers a wide range of culinary delights that are sure to satisfy any food lover’s palate.

One of the must-try dishes in Ernakulam is appam. This fluffy pancake-like dish is made from fermented rice batter and coconut milk. It is typically served with a variety of curries, such as vegetable stew or egg roast.

Another popular dish in Ernakulam is puttu. This steamed rice cake is made by layering ground rice and grated coconut in a cylindrical vessel. It is often served with kadala curry, a spicy black chickpea curry.

Fish curry is another staple of Kerala cuisine, and Ernakulam is no exception. The city is known for its fresh seafood, and fish curry is a must-try dish for seafood lovers. Made with a blend of spices and coconut milk, this dish is bursting with flavor.

When it comes to foodie hotspots in Ernakulam, there are plenty of options to choose from. For a taste of authentic Kerala cuisine, head to Dhe Puttu. This popular restaurant specializes in puttu and offers a variety of fillings and accompaniments to choose from.

Unwinding in Nature: Top Parks and Gardens to Visit in Ernakulam

Park/Garden Name Location Entry Fee Timings Facilities
Subhash Bose Park Kadavanthra, Ernakulam Free 5:00 AM – 9:00 PM Children’s play area, walking track, benches
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary Ernakulam North Free 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM Bird watching, nature trails, butterfly garden
Bolgatty Palace Gardens Bolgatty Island, Ernakulam Rs. 20 per person 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM Swimming pool, restaurant, golf course
Jawaharlal Nehru Park Kaloor, Ernakulam Free 5:00 AM – 9:00 PM Children’s play area, walking track, amphitheater
Marine Drive Ernakulam Free 24 hours Walking track, benches, boat rides

In the midst of the bustling city, Ernakulam offers several parks and gardens where visitors can unwind and connect with nature. These green spaces not only provide a peaceful retreat but also contribute to the overall well-being of the city’s residents.

One of the top parks to visit in Ernakulam is Subhash Bose Park. Located near Marine Drive, this park offers stunning views of the backwaters and is a popular spot for morning walks and evening strolls. It is also home to a musical fountain that comes alive with colorful lights in the evenings.

Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is another natural gem in Ernakulam. This protected area is home to a wide variety of bird species, including migratory birds that visit during the winter months. Visitors can take a leisurely walk along the trails and observe the birds in their natural habitat.

Apart from enjoying the natural beauty, these parks and gardens offer various activities for visitors. Subhash Bose Park has a children’s play area and a skating rink, making it a great place for families to spend quality time together. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary offers bird-watching tours and nature walks, allowing visitors to learn more about the local flora and fauna.

Shopping in Style: Best Markets and Malls for Retail Therapy in Ernakulam

Ernakulam is a shopper’s paradise, offering a wide range of shopping options for every budget and taste. From bustling markets to modern malls, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.

One of the best places to shop in Ernakulam is Lulu Mall. This sprawling mall is one of the largest shopping malls in India and offers a wide range of international and Indian brands. From clothing and accessories to electronics and home decor, you can find it all at Lulu Mall.

For a more traditional shopping experience, head to Broadway Market. This bustling market is known for its vibrant atmosphere and wide variety of goods. From spices and textiles to handicrafts and jewelry, you can find a treasure trove of items at Broadway Market.

When it comes to unique souvenirs, Ernakulam has plenty to offer. One popular souvenir is the traditional Kerala saree, known as the Kasavu saree. These sarees are made from handwoven cotton and feature a gold border, making them a perfect memento of your visit to Ernakulam.

Soaking up the Culture: Festivals and Events to Experience in Ernakulam

Ernakulam is a city that celebrates its culture and traditions through various festivals and events throughout the year. These events not only showcase the vibrant culture of the city but also attract tourists from around the world.

One of the most important festivals in Ernakulam is Onam. This harvest festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and includes various cultural performances, such as Kathakali dance, boat races, and flower arrangements. It is a time when the entire city comes alive with color and festivities.

Cochin Carnival is another popular event in Ernakulam. Held during the last week of December, this carnival features parades, music performances, and fireworks. It is a great way to ring in the New Year and experience the vibrant spirit of the city.

These festivals and events play an important role in promoting tourism in Ernakulam. They not only provide entertainment for locals but also attract visitors from around the world who want to experience the rich culture and traditions of the city.

Finding Inner Peace: Spiritual Sites and Temples to Visit in Ernakulam

Ernakulam is home to several spiritual sites and temples that offer visitors a chance to find inner peace and connect with their spiritual side. These sites not only hold religious significance but also showcase the architectural beauty of Kerala.

One of the top temples to visit in Ernakulam is the Shiva Temple, also known as Ernakulathappan Temple. This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is believed to have been built by the Pandya kings. It is known for its stunning architecture and intricate carvings.

Another important religious site in Ernakulam is the Jewish Synagogue, also known as the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568, it is one of the oldest active synagogues in the Commonwealth of Nations. The synagogue is known for its beautiful hand-painted tiles and antique chandeliers.

When visiting these spiritual sites, it is important to respect local customs and traditions. Visitors should dress modestly and remove their shoes before entering temples or religious sites. It is also advisable to seek permission before taking photographs inside these places of worship.

Enjoying the Outdoors: Adventure Activities and Sports in Ernakulam

For adventure seekers, Ernakulam offers a wide range of outdoor activities and sports that allow visitors to explore its natural beauty and get their adrenaline pumping.

One of the top adventure activities to try in Ernakulam is kayaking. The backwaters of Kerala provide the perfect setting for this activity, allowing visitors to paddle through serene waterways and explore hidden corners of the city.

Trekking is another popular outdoor activity in Ernakulam. The Western Ghats, which surround the city, offer several trekking trails that cater to all levels of fitness and experience. From easy hikes to challenging treks, there is something for everyone in this picturesque region.

When participating in outdoor activities, it is important to practice responsible tourism. This includes respecting the environment, following designated trails, and not disturbing wildlife. By being mindful of our actions, we can ensure that these natural spaces are preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Taking a Break: Relaxing Spas and Wellness Centers in Ernakulam

After a day of exploring the city, visitors can unwind and rejuvenate at one of Ernakulam’s many spas and wellness centers. These establishments offer a range of treatments and therapies that promote relaxation and well-being.

One of the top spas to visit in Ernakulam is the Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort. This renowned wellness center offers a range of Ayurvedic treatments, including massages, herbal baths, and yoga sessions. Visitors can indulge in these ancient healing practices and experience the benefits of Ayurveda.

The Bodhi Wellness Center is another popular wellness center in Ernakulam. This holistic retreat offers a range of treatments, including aromatherapy massages, reflexology, and meditation sessions. It is a perfect place to relax and recharge your mind, body, and soul.

Self-care and relaxation are important aspects of travel. By taking the time to unwind and pamper yourself, you can ensure that you make the most of your trip and return home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Getting to Know the Locals: Authentic Experiences and Activities in Ernakulam

One of the best ways to truly experience Ernakulam is by getting to know the locals and immersing yourself in their culture. By interacting with locals, you can gain a deeper understanding of the city’s traditions, customs, and way of life.

One authentic experience to try in Ernakulam is a backwater cruise. This allows you to explore the serene waterways of Kerala and interact with the local communities that live along the backwaters. You can learn about their traditional fishing techniques, visit local markets, and even try your hand at cooking traditional Kerala dishes.

Another authentic experience in Ernakulam is attending a Kathakali performance. Kathakali is a traditional dance form that combines dance, music, and storytelling. By watching a performance, you can witness the intricate makeup, elaborate costumes, and expressive movements that make Kathakali so unique.

By engaging in these authentic experiences and activities, you can create meaningful connections with the locals and gain a deeper appreciation for Ernakulam’s culture and traditions.

Exploring Beyond the City: Day Trips and Excursions from Ernakulam

While Ernakulam has plenty to offer, there are also several nearby attractions and destinations that are worth exploring. These day trips and excursions allow visitors to venture beyond the city limits and discover the natural beauty of Kerala.

One popular day trip from Ernakulam is a visit to the Athirapally Waterfalls. Located about 60 kilometers from the city, these majestic waterfalls are often referred to as the “Niagara Falls of India.” Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the cascading water and take a refreshing dip in the natural pools.

Another popular excursion from Ernakulam is a trip to the backwaters of Alleppey. Known as the “Venice of the East,” Alleppey is famous for its network of canals, lagoons, and lakes. Visitors can take a houseboat cruise along the backwaters and experience the tranquility of this unique landscape.

Exploring beyond the city limits allows visitors to see a different side of Kerala and experience its natural beauty up close. It is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings.

Ernakulam is a city that offers a diverse range of attractions and experiences for every type of traveler. From its rich history and vibrant culture to its delicious cuisine and stunning natural beauty, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this bustling city. Whether you are exploring its historical landmarks, indulging in its local cuisine, or immersing yourself in its cultural festivals, Ernakulam is sure to leave a lasting impression on you. So pack your bags and get ready to explore all that this amazing city has to offer.


What is Ernakulam?

Ernakulam is a district in the Indian state of Kerala, located on the coast of the Arabian Sea.

What are some popular tourist attractions in Ernakulam?

Some popular tourist attractions in Ernakulam include the Mattancherry Palace, Fort Kochi, the Hill Palace Museum, and the Bolgatty Palace.

What are some outdoor activities to do in Ernakulam?

Visitors can enjoy boating at Marine Drive, take a stroll through the Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, or visit the Cherai Beach.

What is the best time to visit Ernakulam?

The best time to visit Ernakulam is from October to February, when the weather is cool and dry.

What is the local cuisine in Ernakulam?

The local cuisine in Ernakulam is predominantly seafood-based, with dishes like fish curry, prawn fry, and crab roast being popular.

What is the nearest airport to Ernakulam?

The nearest airport to Ernakulam is the Cochin International Airport, located approximately 30 kilometers away.