Kochi is a vibrant city located on the south-west coast of Indian Peninsula. It is part of the district of Ernakulam and lies in the breathtakingly serene state of Kerala. If you have started a journey towards Kerala, then there are a list of Places to Visit near Kochi that are not to be missed.
Kerala is commonly known as the ‘God’s Own Country’ because of the beauty and prosperity in every corner of the state and Kochi is no different. Kochi holds the first rank in the total number of international and domestic tourist arrivals in Kerala. It is the sixth best destination in India.
There are many beautiful and scenic places in Kerala that make Kerala one of the best tourist attractions in the world. Ernakulam has got many amazing places to visit. You can escape to Kayal island or spend a day in an organic farm home or can even go for a day outing in Pokkali farm. If you are planning a trip to Kerala, especially, to places near Kochi, you need not worry because we got it all, right here. So pack your bags and get going because Kerala will always be welcoming you with both its arms open.
Places to visit near Kochi within 100 km
Alleppey, popularly known as Alappuzha, is a splendid mix of backwaters and situated on the shores of the Arabian sea. It is close to the banks of Vembanad Lake. The city filled with lush green paddy fields, towering coconut trees, shimmering water and long canals all around the place, ensuring you an amazing stay. A houseboat stay in the backwaters of Alappuzha can be a delightful experience. The best part about this city is that it is around 65 km away from Kochi, making it one of the best places to visit near Kochi. The following are some of the highlights in and near Alappuzha that are a must visit because of their serenity and beauty.
The Mararikulam Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Kerala with white sand and tall coconut trees, giving it a unique appearance. This beach is one of the most popular tourist attractions and among the best places to visit near Kochi. There are so many homes that provide you with comfortable stay facilities on the shore of the beach. Also, you can go for an amazing swimming experience as the beach is safe for it. The beach is about 3 Kms from NH 47 junction. Connected by frequent buses travelling between Alappuzha and Kochi, itS easy for you to reach the destination.
Kumarakom is a cluster of small islands on the Vembanad Lake in Kerala and is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Located around 56 km away from the city of Kochi it is one of the popular places to visit near Kochi. Named after the deity of an old temple Kumaran. The soil of Kumarakom is very fertile, making it a paradise for mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves. This place is also famous for Ayurvedic massage, meditation, yoga, fishing, boating, and swimming making it one among the beautiful places to visit near Kochi. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kumaramangalam Temple, Vaikom, Pathiramanal Island, Aranmula, Vagamon, and Erumeli are some other places in and around Kumarakom which attract a lot of tourists visiting Kerala.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
The Salim Ali Sanctuary is located at a distance of around 60 km away from Kochi. This sanctuary is one of the best bird sanctuaries in India with about 300 species of birds including Rose-Billed Roller, Crested Serpent Eagle, Peninsular Bay Owl, Malabar Gray Hornbill, etc. It is spread across an area of 25 sq km at the foothills of Western Ghats and lies across the Periyar river, and is one of the most popular tourist places to visit near Kochi.
The sanctuary is named after the famous ornithologist Dr Salim Ali. You can hire a personal guide at the Assistant Wildlife Office near the entrance gate for a hassle-free exploring experience. There is a deer park inside the sanctuary that adds to your exploration process.
Sholayar Dam is a beautiful dam near Athirapally and is the second largest rock dam in Asia which is 20 km long. The dam is one of the top tourist places to visit near Kochi because of the beauty of its surroundings and the importance of this reservoir under the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project. All you need to do is to seek permission at the office near the dam entrance.
Kottayam is located at a distance of 63 km from Kochi and in the heart of Kerala. It is one of the very famous places to visit near Kochi because of its scenic landscapes, backwaters, bird sanctuaries, temples and churches. This place is the administrative capital of its district and an important centre for trading commercial crops and spices. It is also a hub of various pilgrim centres of Sabarimala, Vaikom, Ettumanoor, Erumeli, Bharananganam and Manarcad. This small town of Kerala is the first town in India to obtain 100 percent literacy. St. Mary’s Knanaya Church, St Mary Church, St Mary’s Forane Church, Good Shepherd Church and Vimalagiri Church are some of the beautiful churches in Kottayam and their presence bags it in being the main Catholic centre in the state. The city is well connected by roadways, railways and airways, making it convenient for you to visit the place at least once in a lifetime. While you visit Kottayam, explore the beauty of the Kerala villages and experience a homestay at Vechoor Village Island Farm.
Mahadeva Temple – Ettumanoor
The Mahadeva Temple is located in Ettumanoor and is one of the most famous tourist and pilgrim places to visit near Kochi and Kottayam. The temple is one of the most renowned Shiva temples in the state of Kerala. The temple is widely known for its exceptional wood carvings and murals which were made in the 16th century. The oil lamp that is present at the entrance of the temple is believed to be light for over 450 years and the devotees visiting this place offers oil to keep it alight. The golden elephants, commonly known as the Ezhara Ponnana which were donated by the Maharaja of Travancore to the temple, is the main attraction here. Ezharaponnana Ezhunnallathu is the most important festival that is celebrated in the month of February and March for 10 long days.
St Mary’s Forane Church – Kuravilangad
St. Mary’s Church, also known as the Martha Mariam Church, is located 20 km away from Kottayam, in the city of Kuravilangad. This church is an ancient church, built in the year 105 AD and belongs to the diocese of Palai. For the establishment of this church, it is widely believed that Mother Mary appeared to a few local children and asked them to build a Church at the same place where the miraculous spring emerged. So, the church got built with a statue of Mary in it. With a beautiful history, the church stands tall on the grounds of Kuravilangad. Their main festival is Moonnu Nombu, which is a three-day festival that attracts thousands of devotees from all parts of Kerala.
Poonjar Palace is an ancient palace built 600 years ago by the Poonjar Rajas. This palace is entirely made from wood that reflects the traditional architecture of Kerala. It also has a museum that exhibits a grand collection of huge chandeliers, exquisite furniture, jewel boxes, lamps, a boat carved out of a single piece of wood, sculptures, etc. and speaks volume about their royalty. The replica of the Madurai Meenakshi Temple and the Sastha Temple close to the Palace are some other major tourist attractions.
Thrissur, also known as Trichur, is located in the heart of Kerala. It is a famous pilgrimage site and lies at a distance of around 80 km from Kochi and is one among the most popular places to visit near Kochi. The word Thrissur means the big town of Lord Shiva and so the city has Vadakkunnathan Temple which is a famous Shiva temple that is one of the most prominent features of the city. Because of its inclination towards cultural, spiritual and religious practices throughout history, the city is also known as the Cultural Capital of Kerala.
This city hosts a festival called the Thrissur Pooram festival which is celebrated in the month of April and May and is known worldwide. The festival is held at Tekkinkadu Maidan with 100 elephants along with Panchavadyam playing for 36 hours until the fireworks mark the end of the festival. The festival was awarded as the most spectacular festival on the planet, by the UNESCO. Thrissur is also known for its Onam celebrations that take place in the month of August or September. This beautiful city is filled with various tourist sites that keep attracting visitors throughout the year. Also, there are a number of other beautiful attractions near Thrissur that you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
The Athirapally waterfall is one of the cascading waterfalls in India, one of the famous tourist attractions and one among the best places to visit near Kochi. This waterfall is located on the Chalakudy river at the entrance of Sholayar hill range in the district of Thrissur. The waterfall drops from 80 feet above the ground level with several other streams, making it a serene view. The greatest beauty of this waterfall can be experienced by trekking down from the top of the fall. You can also swim in the stream of Athirapally falls without any safety issues. The stream continues as Chalakudy river which is a biodiversity spot with 85 varied species of fishes living in it. The Athirapally forest is home to different species of animals like hornbills, Asiatic elephants, leopards, tigers, sambars, bison, etc. Even though the waterfall is in its full glory during monsoons, you can visit it at any time of the year because the beauty it bestows is unmatched.
Guruvayoor is popular as a pilgrimage site and is among the famous places to visit near Kochi. It is widely known in South India for its very famous Sri Krishna Temple, where the statue has four hands carrying Sudarshana Chakram, Sankhu, Lotus and Mace. The special attraction of this place is the gold-plated Dwajastambham which is 33 meters tall. The walls of the temple are beautified with mural paintings and carvings and this sanctum is built in the Kerala style of architecture. The divine architect Vishwakarma is said to have built this temple. On the day of Malayalam New Year, the first rays coming from the sun falls on the feet of Lord Krishna and this states the piousness of the temple.
Peechi Dam and Wildlife Sanctuary
The Peechi Dam is a picture worthy dam that has a catchment of about 3200 acres and is built across Manali River. The dam was constructed to fulfil the locals’ needs of drinking water and it also serves the irrigation needs of the villages around Thrissur. There are boating facilities also available in the reservoir to make the visit a pleasant one. It also has a botanical garden nearby, which has a number of beautiful fountains that add to the beauty of this place. The Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary is spread between Chimmony wildlife Sanctuary and Peechi Dam for across 125 sq km. This sanctuary has more than 60 species of birds, 25 species of mammals and 10 species of snakes along with 50 species of orchids and medicinal plants. The sanctuary is home to various other wild animals like tigers, leopards, sambar deer, elks, etc. making the visit an exciting one. Trekking is also arranged for the experienced trekkers by the Forest department that adds to the adventure.
The Chavakkad beach lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea and is one among the scenic places to visit near Kochi. The beach is blessed with beauty and is also not very crowded, making it perfect for people who seek privacy. The beach offers boating activities as well to help you to visualise the serene beauty of the place.
Places to visit near Kochi within 200 km
Idukki is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Kerala which is only 105 km away from Kochi. The Idukki district is home to the highest peak of South India, namely Anamudi and is popular for Idukki Dam which also offers you with amazing rides in backwaters of the lake. The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across 70 sq km and is a natural habitat for various animal species making it one of the best places to visit near Kochi. Idukki is also a top camping site where you can indulge in a thrilling experience. There are various other places in and around Idukki that are a must visit when you are looking forward to going on a trip.
Vagamon is another amazing hill station that is an ideal summer destination in the state of Kerala. It is situated at a height of 1100m in Idukki district and is among the top places to visit near Kochi. Surrounded by Thangal hill, Murugan Hill and Kurisumala hill, it is also known as the Scotland of Asia. Kurisumala is a pilgrim centre for Christians that attracts more and more tourists from abroad too. This magnificent hill station is surrounded by tea gardens, valleys, waterfalls and lakes that add to the beauty of the place, making for a great camping site. It also has Pine forests, grasslands and meadows which give it a lush green enclosure. St. Sebastian’s Church, Kurisumala Ashram, Parunthumpara Viewpoint and Thangal Para Rock Formations are some of the places that are not to be missed when you plan to visit Idukki. Trekking, paragliding, mountaineering and rock climbing are some of the exciting activities that one must take up to cherish the trip for long. This juxtaposition of so many amazing traits of this place makes it one of the best places to visit near Kochi.
Painavu is another beautiful hill station that is located in the Idukki district. The place is popular for its beautiful ambience and its picture worthy surroundings that make it a hot destination for tourists visiting Idukki. This hill station is surrounded by pristine forests and hills all around which makes it an awesome trekking destination. You can easily visit Painavu through roadways or waterways depending on your fancies because it is one of the most adventurous places to visit near Kochi.
The Malankara Dam is a beautiful place located 43 km away from Idukki and is near to Kochi too. The Malankara Lake measures 11 km in length and is a perfect picnic spot that offers you with boating experience in the lake. This is an artificial lake that was formed for the irrigation project. The dam is constructed across Thodupuzha River making it a perfect tourist attraction in the state. There are various modes of transport available to reach the place without any hassle.
Keezharkuthu Falls / Rainbow Waterfalls:
The Keezharkuthu falls, also known as the Rainbow waterfalls is just 30 km away from Idukki and is an ideal place for rock climbing and mountaineering. The amazing waterfalls that fall from a height of 1500 meters are located in the heart of a dense forest. You can reach this waterfall through trekking for 2 km, making it an adventurous experience. This place is an excellent example of beauty at its best right in nature’s lap.
Munnar is a small town located in the Western Ghats mountain range that has emerged as an all-season destination. This hill station is surrounded by tea estates, forests, valleys, waterfalls and trekking spots which make it one of the most favoured tourist places near Kochi. Munnar is situated 1600 meters above the sea level and is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams that gives viewers a scenic look.
Mattupetty is one of the most visited destinations of Munnar and is one of the top places to visit near Kochi. Peacefully nestled in the Munnar hills, the dam of Mattupetty is a popular picnic spot. The place offers breathtaking views of the mist-covered valley as well as the Anamudi hill range. One can enjoy activities like boating, horse riding, camping around the beautiful lake. It is also an ideal trekking destination.
Eravikulam National Park
Located about 30 kilometres from the main town, Eravikulam National Park is the first national park of Kerala. This place is home to the Nilgiri Tahr, which is an endangered species. One of the highest peaks of Western Ghats – Anamudi is located within this park. This very place is known for the Neelakurinji flowers that appear once in every 12 years.
One of the best places to visit near Kochi for tea and history enthusiasts. It is considered one of the must-visit sightseeings while in Munnar. You can take a tour around the tea plantations that surround the Tea museum and have a taste of different types of tea.
Valara Waterfalls is a cascading waterfall that lies between Neriamangalam and Adimali on the Munnar-Kochi highway. Valara has a number of waterfalls that fall from a height of 1000 feet to provide you with a serene view. The waterfall is surrounded by dense forests that is a habitat for a variety of animals and birds. The fall is in its full glory during the monsoon and post-monsoon season and it requires trekking to reach the bottom of the falls, making it an adventurous encounter.
Trips and trekking add a thrilling touch to your life. It is better to keep yourself charged by pushing your limits and exploring various places in the country. And when talking about Kerala, the state is filled with so many beautifully lush green places that can leave you spellbound by its beauty.
There are so many extraordinary places to visit near Kochi that you can visit during weekends too. The waterfalls, the hill stations and the pleasant green surroundings can make you feel positive and lively about your life. Also, we have sorted you with a long list of places to visit near Kochi so that you do not have to think so much before planning a trip.
While you are touring Kochi, take a heritage walk through the vintage roads of Fort Kochi, the first European township of India. Enjoy staying in a lavish mansion, which was used by the Maharajas of Kochi, to live like a Royal family of Kochi. If you like living in resorts, then you can escape to Kayal Island that is located on the Vembanad lake with a peaceful atmosphere. Also, there are various other things that you can do in Kochi for a fully rewarding trip and an exciting experience.