Places to Visit – I

Mangalavana Bird Santuary – This mangrove forest is a small bird sanctuary, hidden in the heart of the town behind the High Court of Kerala, attracts a large number of tourists as many rare exotic birds can be seen here.Mangalavanam is the only existing green lung in Kochi city, offering a nesting ground for a vast variety of migratory birds and supporting many varieties of mangroves. As a source of oxygen, the rare eco-system in the heart of Kochi city, Mangalavanam has been keeping pollution under check. Thus, it supports to become rich resource for eco-tourism.

Marine Drive – Marine Drive is a long gracefully curving road along the seacoast of Kochi City. The view of the backwaters and the harbour from here is really breathtaking.

The Walkway here, along the edge of the backwaters starting from behind the Children’s Park to the end of the Shanmugham Road, has become popular with both locals and tourists. The 140-metre walkway is paved with black-dotted, red-carpet ultra tiles. Cast-ironed, wooden benches, weather-proof seating on ash grey tiles and the breeze blowing in, provide recreational relaxation Film music filters through the speakers fixed at the Renewable Energy Park, in the walkway area behind the Park. Now there are two beautiful bridges along the walkway. At the other end of the walkway, a number of country boats and motor boats are parked which are available for rides in the backwaters.

At night, twinkling lights of ships anchored at the harbour is beautiful. There are a number of buildings along the Marine Drive which are good examples of modern architecture like Asoka Apartments, Taj Residency, etc. The famous shopping centres GCDA complex and the Pioneer Towers at the Marine Drive houses many showrooms and restaurants. The surrounding area of the marine drive has become a favourite location for shooting sequences for movies.

Kaladi – Kaladi is the birth place of Adi Sankara the great Indian philosopher who lived in the 8th century. It is situated on the banks of river Periyar and there are two shrines in memory of Sree Sankaracharya. One dedicated to him as Dakshinamoorthy and the other to the Goddess Sharada. Adi Sankara’s shrines in Kalady are open to all pilgrims irrespective of religion or caste.

Dutch Palace – This palace in Mattancherry was built by the Portuguese, and presented to the Raja of Cochin in 1555. Though built by the Portuguese, it is popularly known as the “Dutch Palace”, as the Dutch renovated it during their brief reign here. The glory of the Palace lies in the murals which are in the best traditions of Hindu Temple Art. In the central courtyard of the palace is the temple dedicated to Pazhayannur Bhagavathi. In the coronation hall, there is a display of dresses and Palanquins used by the rulers of Cochin.