Best Unknown Places in Cochin

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Given below list are the lesser known places in Cochin. These are the best non-tourist places in Ernakulam. Also check the best places to visit in Kochi

“What is Kochi well known for other than the flavors and the Chinese angling nets?”, I inquired. The man in the spice shop thought for some time and stated, “Kochi – It is well known for being how it is.” That’s the place started our endeavor to find this town and the stories it brought to the table. And every one of the things to do in Kochi, however past what met the eyes.

Kochi (or Cochin as local people lean toward) has enamored the creative ability of voyagers and pioneers for more than 2 centuries. Vasco Da Gama from Portugal, Niccolo Da Conti from Italy, Ma Huan from China, Zechariah Dhahiri from Yemen are a few travelers who went to Kochi as well as expounded on it.

History makes it clear that pioneers were intrigued with Kochi in light of the fact that it was a center for flavor exchange. Be that as it may, in the event that one looks past the history and culture, they see a differentiation. Stroll around and you will realize what we mean. This place is the thing that the universe would have looked like when it was made. Individuals from each religion and confidence have been abiding in this town in culminate concordance.

Things to improve a ride into the wide open. Take a little kayak. What’s more, you will achieve an interesting village encompassed by paddy fields additionally misbehaving as a fish cultivate after the gather season.

1. Indo-Portuguese Museum

best non-tourist places

The Indo-Portuguese Museum is an amalgamation of Indian and Portuguese culture and architecture. Located in Fort Kochi area, it was built by former Bishop of the city, Joseph Urethra. The museum is divided into 5 wings exhibiting Altar of Furniture, Treasure, Procession, Civil Life and Cathedral.

The vintage altar crafted from teak wood which belongs to the sixteenth century. An Indo-Portuguese Monstrance is likewise on show. A chasuble and a processional move amassed from Santa Cruz Basilica undergo witness to the robust Portuguese impact in Kochi. The processional skip is made of silver and wooden and belongs to the seventeenth century on the same time because the chasuble, belonging to the 19th century changed into obtained from the Bishop’s house.
Don’t miss: The museum houses some prized artefacts like Processional Cross made of silver and wood, Indo-Portuguese Monstrance, and Coat of Arms of the Francis.

Opening hours: 10 am to 5 pm. The museum is closed on every Monday and public holidays.

Entry fee: INR 10 for Indians and INR 25 for foreigners. However, if you happen to visit on the first Thursday of the month, entry is absolutely free.

2. Paniyeli Poru

best non-tourist places

Paniyeli Poru is a less explored tourist destination located on the outskirts of Kochi at the Paniyeli Village apt to spend a few memorable holidays. The stunning destination attracts travellers with gorgeous rivulets, milky waterfalls and lovely streams.

Situated almost 30 kilometres away from Kochi, this marvellous picnic spot offers mind-blowing views of the Periyar River that takes winding paths between the rocks and dense forests. Many locals also visit this area along with their family or friends to relax and enjoy different activities. Each visitor to Paniyeli Poru admires the charm of rocky river areas and rain forests in the backdrop of Malayattoor Hills. When you visit this awe-inspiring tourist spot, you will feel that it is a pristine gift of nature.

Many travellers reach this area after monsoon from December to May in order to enjoy swimming in the river. Some of them even cross the streams in the region to reach the small but picturesque island in the middle of the river. Even though it is a developing tourist spot, Paniyeli Poru lacks sufficient restaurants and eateries. So, it is wise to carry food and water if you plan to visit this unexplored tourist area. Paniyeli Poru is one of the Best Non-Tourist Places in Cochin and most of the people visit the place every day.

Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (35 Kms)

Nearest Railway Station: Aluva (35 Kms); Angamaly (35 Kms)

3. Folklore Theatre and Museum

best non-tourist places

Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum is one of the popular tourist places in Cochin. It displays cultural exhibits and folk-tribal objects of the state. The museum is a 3 storeyed building, inaugurated in 2009 and representing the real legacy of Kerala. The building’s facade had a very strong Malabar architectural influence.

The first floor with the Cochin architectural style is sagaciously named as kalithattu, which means a floor for play and it displays costumes of various traditional and ritual dance forms of Kerala like Theyyam, Kathakali, Ottanthullal, and Mohiniyattam. Kanjadalam; or lotus petal is the name given to the second floor, which is adorned with fascinating mural paintings and has a chiseled wooden ceiling made of 60 frames.

The theatre here conducts authentic stage performances every day at 6.30 pm. Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum is the outcome of 25 years of efforts and determination of George Thaliath and his wife Annie George along with the inimitable craftsmanship and manpower put in by 62 carpenters and skilled workers for more than seven years.

Don’t miss: Folklore Theatre and Museum displays traditional Kathakali masks, costumes, sculptures, musical instruments, ornaments, and utensils which belong to the historic stone age. Do not miss the manichitrathazhu, a traditional ornate door lock of Kerala while you enter the building.

Opening hours: 9.30 am to 7 pm.

Entry fee: INR 100 per head

4. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary

best non-tourist places

An incredible green spot with an extensive variety of life and that too amid a buzzing metro! Then visit Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, an ecologically sensitive area situated at the centre of Kochi behind the Kerala High Court building fittingly dubbed as the ‘green lung of Kochi’. Primarily a bird refuge, the innate appeal of Mangalavanam is augmented by the Arabian Sea which borders the sanctuary and adds to it a panoramic ambience.

This green dreamland also shelters around six species of mammals including Indian flying-fox, painted bat, Eurasian otter, house rat and three-striped palm squirrel. Further, we have two species of amphibians, limnonectes limnocharis and duttaphrynus melanostictus.

Amid the thick greenery of Mangalavanam cascades a shallow tidal lake bordered with thick mangrove vegetation. The lake is connected to the Cochin backwaters by a canal. And down under the silent depth of this water lives seven species of fishes Anabas testudineus, Striped panchax, Orange chromide, Etroplus suratensis, Malabar swamp eel, Blackline rasbora and Sarotherodon. In the fresh air of Mangalavanam flies 17 species of butterflies, the little beauties that bedeck the sanctuary with multitudes of hues.

Don’t miss: In 2006, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary was home to 194 birds of 32 species. Consider yourself lucky if you happen to spot redshank, greenshank, brahminy kite, white breasted water hen and marsh sandpiper. The beautiful landscape of the sanctuary has earned it a spot on the list of best tourist places in Cochin.

Opening hours: 9 am to 6 pm

Entry fee: None. However, carry your own water bottles and snacks as the eateries inside are far less and random.

5. Pooyamkutty River

best non-tourist places

Pooyamkutty river and the surrounding forests make it a scenic spot to have a picnic. Pulimurugan, the trend-setting movie was shot here. The forests here provide ample opportunity for trekking.

Pooyamkutty is a small town in Ernakulam district, Kothamangalam Taluk, Kuttampuzha panchayat and within the Indian nation of Kerala. An area that is blessed with its herbal beauty, situated alongside Pooyamkutty river, a tributary of the Periyar. the closest Municipality is Kothamangalam that’s 27KM away from Pooyamkutty and takes one hour journeying time.

Distance: 60.9km via Aluva-Munnar Road
Transportation: KSRTC bus available
Risk Factors: Pooyamkutti river floods the bridge during rainy season. Threat of wild elephants.
Safety measures: Require permission from the Forest Department to cross the bridge and enter the forest.
Nearby interests: Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, Kuttampuzha, Urulanthanni (perfect for bird watching), Bhoothathankettu Dam, Idamalayar Dam, Peendimedu waterfall.

6. Idamalayar

best non-tourist places

Idamalayar is a multipurpose concrete gravity dam located at Ennakal, near Bhoothathankettu, on the Idamalayar River, a tributary of the Periyar River in Kerala, South India. Completed in 1985, with a length of 373 metres (1,224 ft), the dam created a multipurpose reservoir covering 28.3 km2 (10.9 sq mi) in the scenic hills of the Western Ghats.

An amazing drive covering 10 to 15 km of lush green land surrounded by forests will take a visitor to Idamalayar dam. The route to be taken is the road connecting Bhoothathankettu dam and Idamalayar Dam. Motor mud racing takes place here. It is a hub for elephants. No nearby restaurants available.

Distance: 36km via Kodamangala
Transportation: Bus
Risk factors: Elephants
Additional interests: Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, Kuttampuzha, Urulanthanni (perfect for bird watching), Bhoothathankettu Dam, Idamalayar Dam also a drive through the forest.

7. Illithode

best non-tourist places

Illithode is ocated at a distance of about 10kms from Malayattoor and 62kms from Kochi, this charming and picturesque place is bordered by rolling mountains on one side and the beautiful Periyar river on the other. Very few people know about illithode, but now this little known tourist spot is attracting more tourists day by day. The main attraction here is the river flowing through the forest. It will take 15- 20 minutes walk through the thick forest of Mahagony, Teak to reach the river. While stepping into the river one must be very careful as there are strong undercurrents in certain areas. One can also see monkeys climbing or moving through the trees. The deep forest and the river is a favourite location of film makers.

Illithode is a tourist eco spot located near Malayattoor Church. The main attraction is Periyar flowing through the forest. Filmmakers love this location. There is an off road track between Idamalayar and Illithodu which is open only during the holy week which commences from March to April.

Distance: 47 km via Aluva-Munnar Road
Transportation: KSRTC, private buses
Risk Factors: Strong undercurrents
Additional Interests: Boating, Malayattoor Church, Bhoothathankettu, Kodanad elephant training centre and sanctuary (elephant rides too are available)

8. Mamalakandam

best non-tourist places

Mamalakandam is a forest area and a 4/4 (off-road) trekking spot. The view from the top is beautiful with parts of Munnar visible. The place is not being promoted due to the presence of the tribal community here. “The motor vehicles and traffic may disturb the adivasis who reside here,” said Sheik Haider Hussain, DFO Malayattoor. “They might complain,” he told Express.

Distance: 86km via Aluva-Munnar Road
Transportation: Self-drive (4/4 vehicles)
Risk Factors: Wild animal attack, trekking by foot, which is impossible, and by bike is extremely dangerous and not advised.
Safety Measures: Entry restricted
Nearby Interests: Inchathotty

9. Kuttampuzha

best non-tourist places

Kuttampuzha, Ernakulam is what you would call a typical village in Kerala. Majority of its population is involved in farming and other related practices. The village witnesses the meeting of two rivers namely Pooyamkutty and Edamalayar. Still miles away from commercialization, the village air carries the scent of Kerala’s untainted essence. You need to come visit and soak in its rawness from the soil, the wind and the rivers, to know what I am talking about.

Kuttampuzha is about 30 Km from Cochin airport. While Aluva railway station is at a distance of 40 km. If you are travelling to Kuttampuzha via bus from Kochi, the route will go through Kothamnagalam and is about 60 km long. Look for buses that go to places like Thattekkad, Pooyamkutty or Kuttampuzha. Kuttampuzha is heavily overshadowed by the nearby tourist destination Thattekkad Bird sanctuary. No doubt, Thattekkad is a paradise for bird lovers and nature enthusiasts but Kuttampuzha which is a mere 7 km away is no less than Thattekkad in terms of natural beauty. 

The best time to visit Kuttampuzha and Thattekkad bird sanctuary is during the months of October – April.

10. Paithal Mala

best non-tourist places

If you wish to find out more about Northern Kerala, this is one place that you ought to include in your to-do-list. Paithal Mala is situated in Kerala’s Kannur district. This area is nestled in the Kerala-Karnataka border, near the Kodagu forests. Paithal Mala is a photographer’s delight and is home to herds of wild elephants.

There are two trekking seasons at Vaithalmala, falling in monsoon and summer. Monsoon (June to October) trekking to Vaithalmala is a photographer’s delight as the mist blankets the hills and forest. One can indulge into the lush greenery amidst the showers throughout the day, especially in July. Practically, trekking is not as easy as in the summer because of the extreme climate. Watch out for leeches and occasional elephant visits.

Means of transport up to the starting point: Own vehicle, preferably a jeep or a bike.  You could even board a bus to Kannur town and then resort to another means of transport up to the base of the trek.

Closest railways stations: Kannur, Payyanur, Kozhikode, Thalassery.

Closest airport: Kozhikode International Airport, Karipur.

Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery.

Time taken to travel up to the base of the trek: Approximately 4 hours from Kochi and 2 hours from Kozhikode.

Total duration of the trek: Approximately 6 hours (from the base of the trek and back)

11. Illikkal Kallu

best non-tourist places

Illikal Kallu is a major tourist attraction spot in Kottayam district of Kerala (India). Situated about 4000 feet above sea level, it is also one of the highest peak in the Western ghats. Illikal Kallu is a rock situated above Illikal Mala. The thing that makes this rock unique is that half of the rock has fallen off, and only the other half remains. Numerous mountain streams in this peak, flow down to form the Meenachil River. Tourists must trek 3 km to reach the summit of the peak.

Illickal Kallu comprises three hills, each rising to 4,000 ft above sea level. Each of the hills has a peculiar shape. One of them resembles a mushroom, which is why it is known as Kuda Kallu (umbrella shaped rock).The beauty and the landscape of illikkal kallu is similar to the pillar rocks in Kodaikanal. It is said that the medicinal herb Neela Koduveli grows here. This blue flower is also believed to possess supernatural powers, which could increase wealth and ensure a rich harvest.

Means of transport up to the starting point: Own vehicle, preferably a jeep or a bike.  You could even board a bus to Kottayam  town and then resort to another means of transport up to the base of the trek.

Closest railways stations: Kottayam, Ernakulam

Closest airport: Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery.

Time taken to travel up to the base of the trek: Approximately 2 hours from Kochi and one hour from Kottayam town.

Total duration of the trek: Approximately 4 hours (from the base of the trek and back)

12. Enthayar

best non-tourist places

Yendayar is a village in Kottayam district, Kerala, India that is totally surrounded by hills.Yendayar is a combination of ‘yen’ (my) ‘thai’ (mother) and ‘ar’ (river). 

Enthayar is another trekking destination located in Idukki, Kerala, India. This trek through these forests is not only challenging but is a treat to all those who crave to understand the true essence and value of fresh spring water.

Closest railways stations: Kottayam, Ernakulam

Closest airport: Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery.

Time taken to travel up to the base of the trek: Approximately 2 hours from Kochi and one hours from Kottayam.

Total duration of the trek: Approximately 4 hours (from the base of the trek and back)

13. Chokramudi

best non-tourist places

Grab your trekking shoes and head for the hills in beautiful Munnar! Experience a trek to Chokramudi and camping experience in the forests of Munnar! Once here, you can start trekking from Gap road to Chokramudi hilltop (lunch included) and then camp in the forest with campfire, music and an amazing selection of food.  Once the guests reach the top of the intimidating peaks of the mountain, you can spend up to an hour on top of the mountain.

From the top of the mountain, guests can see the whole Idukki district and all the sightseeing points in Munnar that are sure to take your breath away!  Guests can get done as they can see everything from top.  In the evening, guests will trek down to the camp site and will enjoy the night stay in the forest with usual camping activities of campfire, music etc.

Situated approximately 16 km from Munnar, Kerala, India, this spot is truly a trekker’s paradise. The unique flaura and cool breeze are bound to take your breath away.

Closest railways stations: Kottayam, Ernakulam

Closest airpot: Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery.

Time taken to travel up to the base of the trek: Approximately 3 hours from Kochi and two hours from Kottayam.

Total duration of the trek: Approximately 7 hours (from the base of the trek and back)

14. Ramakkalmedu

best non-tourist places

Ramakkalmedu hill-station is in Idukki district, Kerala, India is known for its panoramic beauty and windmills. One can even view the towns of Theni, Thevaram, Vaiga and a few other places situated in Tamil Nadu from Ramakkal Medu. As the name suggests, this is said to be the place where Lord Rama had walked up to in search of his wife Sita, who was taken away by Ravana.

Closest railways stations: Kottayam, Ernakulam

Closest airport: Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery.

Time taken to travel up to the base of the trek: Approximately 2 hours from Kochi and one hour from Kottayam.

Total duration of the trek: Approximately 6 hours (from the base of the trek and back)

15. Paalkulamedu

best non-tourist places

This place is named after a pool situated at the top of the hill. Hence, the name – Palkulamedu, which means a pool with water rich in nutrients. Situated in Idukki district of Kerala, India – this place is considered to be one of the most popular trekking destinations.

Closest railways stations: Kottayam, Ernakulam

Closest airport: Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery.

Time taken to travel up to the base of the trek: Approximately 2 hours from Kochi and one hour from Kottayam.

Total duration of the trek: Approximately 4 hours (from the base of the trek and back)

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