Kochi, formerly known as Cochin, is Kerala's famous coastal city and commercial centre. It is of no surprise that the city is called the “Queen of the Arabian Sea,” with its many scenic locations and amazing architecture. Kochi is popular for its tranquil backwaters, spices, pre-colonial traditions, and housing the world’s first green airport – powered entirely by solar energy. The port city was under the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch and the English, before India finally gained independence. According to historians, Kochi was a busy trading port for about 150 years before the Portuguese, and the earliest mention of the bustling city has been found in early 15th century records of Chinese travellers.


Steeped in history, across different rulers, the city boasts of a rich cultural past which is reflected in the architecture, people, and the festivals. Playing host to arts and cultural festivals, it draws many visitors from across the country, and the world.

Kochi-Muziris Biennale

12th December, 2022 - 10th April, 2023

One of South Asia’s biggest contemporary art festivals, Kochi-Muziris Biennale will feature 80 artists and collectives, and over 45 new commissions. Curated by Singaporean-Indian contemporary artist Shubigi Rao, this edition is titled, In Our Veins Flow Ink and Fire. Starting 12 December, 2022, the event will go on till 10 April, 2023, and showcase exhibits across multiple venues, including repurposed heritage properties, near Fort Kochi. 

With an aim to be the centre for artistic engagement in the country, the event seeks to introduce contemporary, international visual art theory and practice to India. The Biennale will host conversation forums, concerts, screenings, and more, to encourage discussions amongst artists, cultural practitioners, curators, and the public.

Artists whose works have been part of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale over the years, include Anish Kapoor, Jitish Kallat, Ranbir Kaleka, Sudarshan Shetty, and Anita Dube.

For more information, click here.

Travel tips

Here are some travel tips one should know before visiting Kochi:

  • Malayalam is the local language. English is understood and spoken in tourist-busy areas
  • Kochi has a typical tropical climate, so pack accordingly
  • Keep a check of your belongings
  • There might be many instances where Cochin is still used. Do not get confused since it is the former name of the city

How to reach

  • By air:  Cochin International Airport is located in Nedumbassery, about 25 km from the city’s centre. IndiGo operates over 150 non-stop flights to Kochi from cities across India and abroad.
  • By train: There are two main railway stations in Kochi, Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town. Various trains connect the city to the rest of the country.
  • By water: There are cruise ships and ferry services that connect Kochi to select destinations. You can take these from Ernakulam, Willingdon Island, and Vypin Island.
  • By road: Kochi is well-connected to almost all of India via state and national highways. Both government and private buses operate to and from Kochi, with the main bus station located in Ernakulam.

Travelling within the city

Kochi has a vast network of buses run by Kerala Road Transport Corporation, in addition to private operators. Additionally, auto-rickshaws, taxis, app-based cab services, metro, and cycle-rickshaws are common modes of transportation within the city.

To know about more such festivals and events, visit Festivals From India, your one-stop shop for all arts and culture festivals in India.

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