DESTINATIONS >> Willingdon Island

  District :Ernakulam
  Destination details

Willingdon Island : This island named after the Viceroy, Lord Willington, is a manmade island created in the 1920’s out of the material dredged while deeping Cochin Port. Situated between Fort Kochi, Mattanchery and Ernakulam, it has The Government of India Tourist Office, the Southern Naval Command Headquarters, the Seaport, Naval Airport, Railway terminus, Customs House, Cochin Port Office etc.


Cochin (Kochi) also known as Ernakulam is the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala. Kochi has one of the finest natural harbours in the world. The International Airport at Nedumbassery is just 36 kms away from the city. Kochi is known as “Queen of the Arabian Sea".  Kochi is in fact a collection of narrow islands and peninsulas, and is also a trading center for spices and seafood. It is built around a saltwater lagoon of the Arabian Sea and the mainland Ernakulamboast of concrete shopping malls and glitzy apartment buildings. Mattancherry and Fort Kochi have an old world charm, with Portuguese and English  bungalows along the streets.  Today with a natural, all-weather harbour and complete with serene backwaters, beautiful lagoons, wooded and  magnificent seascape, Kochi is indeed the Queen of the Arabian Sea.

Major Tourist Attractions

Marine Drive : It is considered to be one of the most beautiful part of the city. It is also called as Shanmugham Road. Walking through the marine drive is a main hangout for all as the backwaters and the harbour from here is excellent. The lights from the various ships anchored are just breathtaking. TheBoat rides allow you to soak in the real serene beauty of Kochi which lies in its backwaters. Theharbour is dotted with tiny islands formed by alluvial deposits from the rivers. The sunset with Chinese fishing nets in the background can be seen while you enjoy your boat-ride.

Chinese Fishing Nets :The Chinese fishing net first erected between 1350 and 1450by traders of Kubalai Khan's Court. These cantilevered fishing nets indicate trade links with China. They are used at high tide. It exhibits another technique of fishing.

St. Francis Church :  The church was originally built by the Portuguese in 1510 AD.  Vasco da Gamma was initially buried here and 14 years later, his mortal remains were taken to Portugal. This church is believed to be the oldest church built by the Europeans in India.

BolghattyPalace : Bolghatty Palace situated in Bolghatty Island, is a narrow palm fringed Island which is easily accessible from the mainland. The Palace was built by the Dutch in 1744. Later, it became the seat of the British Resident and today this has been converted into a hotel run by KTDC. This hotel is accessible through the boating service from Marine drive.

Museum of Kerala History : 10 kms from Ernakulam, situvated at Edappally on the Alwaye route, is the museum with a treasure house of important scenes of Kerala History from Neolithic age to modern period portrayed through life-size statues. Recorded commentary of each scene with sound and light shows is staged here.

Mattancherry (Dutch) Palace : This Palace was constructed by the Portuguese in the mid-1550’s and was given to the ruler of Kochi as a token of goodwill in exchange for trading rights. The Palace is a two tiered quadrangular building consisting of long spacious halls with a central courtyard enshrining the Royal Deity. Two temples are situated on either side of the Palace dedicated to Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva. The interiors of the Palace are decorated with murals from the Ramayana. This is opened for the visitors from 10:00 hrs to 17:00 hrs. Palace will be closed on Fridays and National Holidays.

Jewish Synagogue: Situated next to the Mattanchery Palace, in the heart of Jew Town, is India’s oldest synagogue built in 1568 A.D. The first Jewish settlers are said to have reached Kodungallur in the first century A.D. The present synagogue, with the roof and clock tower was rebuilt in 1664 with Dutch help when the Portuguese destroyed it in 1662. This is opened for the visitors from 10:00 hrs to 12:00 hrs and 15:00 hrs to 17:00 hrs. Synagogue will be closed on Sundays and Jewish Holidays.

Santa Cruz Basilica Church: This Roman Catholic Church situated close to St. Francis Church is worth visiting. The church is having beautiful paintings.

Thripunithura Hill Palace Museum: It is situated about 16 kms east of Kochi, on the Ernakulam-Piravam road. The Palace shows a synthesis of European and Kerala styles of architecture. The major attraction is Nalukettu (four sided Palace with a central courtyard). The museum mainly displays the wealth and prosperity of the royal family of Kochi, the Kings Throne and Crown. The Parishith Tampuran Museum situated at the Durbar Hall Ground together with its collection were transferred to Hill Palace Museum in 1997. The collection of rare coins, old weapons, manuscripts in ancient form and collection from the Royal Family are exhibited here.

Kaladi : This place is situavted at the northeast of Kochi, on the banks of beautiful Periyar River. This is the birthplace of great Sri Shankaracharya (Adi Guru AD 788 – 820). There are two temples built in 1910 to honor his memory, on the river bank. One is dedicated to him and the other to the Goddess Sharada Devi. Other places to visit nearby are the Brindavan (where the Shankaracharya’s mother Aryamba was cremented), the old Sri Krishna temple and Kirti Stambha Mandapam (nine tiered octagonal tower) of Adi Sankaracharya.

 Kodanad : Situvated at Perumbavoor town, on the southern banks of Periyar River, is the scenic beauty of the high ranges. There is an elephant taming center here. Facilities for elephant ride and a mini zoo is there at Kodanadu.

Bhoothathankettu Dam, Kottayil Kovilakam, Chottanikkara Bagavathi Temple, Malayattoor Church etc are other major attractions of Ernakulam.

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