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How To Reach Kochi (Cochin)
Known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi, or Cochin as it was earlier called, is the largest city in Kerala. It is the gateway to numerous tourist destinations within the state. Wondering how to reach Kochi? Fret not; the city is well connected to all parts of India by road, rail and air.
India’s first solar powered airport, Cochin International Airport will give you a green welcome into the city. All major domestic carriers as well as some International carriers have flights to Cochin. Flights ply daily to Cochin from most metropolitan cities in India. The airport is located 29 kms away from the main city. One can easily get pre-paid taxis or buses (State run as well as private) at the airport to take you to the city.
Most Kerala bound trains from across the country have a stop at Kochi. There are two main terminals in the city, the Ernakulam Junction and the Ernakulam Town (mostly used by intercity trains and some other trains from other parts of the country). Some major trains that ply to Kochi daily are Maveli Express, Chennai Egmore Guruvayur Express, KSR Bengaluru Kochuveli Express, Karaikal Ernakulam Tea Garden Express, Alappuzha Dhanbad Express, Jan Shatabdi, Kerala Express, Hazrat Nizamuddin Thiruvananthapuram Express, etc. A rail journey to Kochi will leave you spellbound by the beautiful view of the Ghats (hills) during your journey.
Kochi is situated at a distance of approximately 565 kms from Bengaluru, 223 kms from Coimbatore, 848 kms from Goa, 694 kms from Chennai, 470 kms from Mysore and 312 kms form Udhagamandalam. Make good use of the fantastic highways leading up to Kochi and treat yourself to a road trip.
The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and the State Transport Corporations of neighbouring states run daily buses to Kochi. KSRTC runs buses of three types: Superfast, Express and Garuda Hi-Tech Volvo buses. Karnataka State buses Rajahamsa, Airavat and Ambaari run daily buses from Mangalore, Bengaluru and Mysore. Most inter-state buses start and end their journey from KSRTC Central & Inter-state Bus Station (CBS), located at Rajaji Road.
Apart from the government services, numerous private operators also have daily buses from neighbouring states.
Tourists must not miss this experience. The small islands around the city are connected by ferry services at regular intervals. State run services as well as some private players operate the ferry service every 20-30 mins connecting the town of Kochi to the islands of Mattancherry, Fort Kochi, Vypeen and Willingdon Island.
Getting around in Kochi
Initially tourists may face a hitch in getting around the town of Kochi because of the divide and distance between Ernakulum and Kochi. However, once you’re in Kochi, you have plenty of options to choose from for local transportation. One can easily get autos or taxis to visit tourist spots. Exploring the place on a bicycle is another option for the adventurous.
While you’re in Kochi, do not forget to see the Cheenavalas (Chinese fishing nets) at the Fort Kochi beach. Do visit the Pierce Leslie bungalow which has now been converted into a boutique hotel. It is the only surviving bungalow made in authentic Portuguese style. The International Pepper Exchange is the place which you must not miss. It is the only one of its kind in the world and is Kochi’s answer to the New York Wall Street, except, here they trade numerous varieties of pepper instead of money.