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Cochin Holidays Overview
Cochin is the capital of the Southern Indian state of Kerala and it is often referred to as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. Kerala is the state in Southern India which is described in most travel journals as ‘Gods own country’ because it is characterized by a lush, green landscape.
Cochin has a safe deep natural harbor and this enabled it to function as an epicenter of the world’s trade in black pepper, spices and cardamom since the 14th Century. The Dutch, Portuguese, Jews, Chinese and Phoenician all traded with natives of Cochin through the ages.
Various historians estimate that Cochin which was known as the Kingdom of Kochi came into existence in 1102 after the fall of the Kulashekhara Empire. The King of Kochi then ruled the area of Kochi city and its surrounding areas. The reign of Cochin Royal Family was hereditary and passed on from generation to generation and lasted until the 18th Century but during much of this time the King functioned only as a titular head as Cochin was ruled by various foreign powers like Portuguese, Dutch and the British.In 1947, when India gained independence from the British, Cochin was the first princely state which joined the Indian Union willingly.
Today Cochin is composed of Ernakulam City, Fort Kochi, Willingdon Island (which is a man-made island that was created by the British by dredging in the 1920s as they tried to deepen the port of Cochin), Mattancherry and Kumbalangi and several other small islands which are connected by ferries and bridges. Cochin is one of the most cosmopolitan cities of Kerala having been subjected to European influence right from the early 1500s.Cochin is inhabited by Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews and is thus a melting pot of various cultures.
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holidays - Top Events
Vishu marks the start of the New Year in Kerala. Vishu is usually celebrated in April every year with the conduct of many religious ceremonies and rituals. An important tradition of Vishu is the large and lavish meal called ‘Sadhya’ which is usually consumed in the company of families and friends. Like other Indian festivals, Vishu features the buying of new clothes and the lighting of fireworks.
The Indira Gandhi Boat Race
The Indira Gandhi Boat Race is usually held during the last week of December in Ernakulam. This boat race is usually the finale event of the annualTourism Fair that is held just before the race. This race which is named after a former Prime Minister of India features Kerala’s famous snake boats.
The Attachamayam Festival
The Attachamayam Festival marks the beginning of the Onam festival in Cochin. The Onam festival is the traditional harvest festival of Kerala which is celebrated during August or September. This festival is celebrated to commemorate the King Mahabali, who was a magnanimous king who ruled Kerala in ancient times. This King was loved by all his subjects and Onam is celebrated in his honour. The Attachamayam festival is similarly held to commemorate the legendary victory of the King of Kochi and it features an elaborate procession which usually takes place at the city of Thirpunithura which is located at a distance of 10km from Kochi. The procession features several folk and temple arts of Kerala which are performed by skilled artists. Decorated elephants and ornate floats all feature in the procession.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like Singapore Airlines, Qantas, British Airways and Malaysian Airlines offer air links to Cochin from various Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. The flight time of these journeys varies according to the route that you choose to take as most routes feature one or two stops Generally the journeys between Cochin and these Australian cities extend over 20 hours.
Australia doesnt have a consulate in Cochin and the closest Australian mission is located at the southern Indian city of Chennai.