Medical Traveller’s Guide to Kochi

Night scene of Kochi city, Kerala.

Kochi or Cochin is the largest city in the state of Kerala and is a major port in South India. It has a population of around 3 million. Kochi, also known as the “Queen of Arabian Sea,  is an important trading centre right from the 14th century.

With a large number of advanced hospitals, Cochin has one of the best healthcare facilities in India. The city has become a major attraction for international patients especially from Middle east and Africa. The main reason  is the availability of high class medical treatments at much lesser rates. There are also many famous Ayurvedic hospitals in Kochi.

Some of the best hospitals in Kochi, Kerala are

Aster Medcity

Rajagiri Hospital

VPS Lakeshore

Sreedhareeyam Ayurvedic Eye hospital

 

History of Kochi

Chinese fishing nets at sunrise in Kochi, Kerala

Kochi was well known to Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Jews and Chinese since ancient times. The city has been under the rule of various colonial powers starting with Portuguese followed by the Dutch and later the British. Cochin was one of the first European colonies in India.

The city has a very diverse and multi-cultural society  with people from all religions and faiths.  There are  many Hindu temples, churches, mosques and synagogues in here.

Kochi is the financial, commercial and also the industrial capital of Kerala.  There are many commerical establishments including Cochin Shipyard, International Container Terminal,  Fertiliser companies, IT companies etc. in the city. Like any other place in Kerala, tourism is also a major industry here.

Things to do in Kochi

Cochin - Thrissur pooram festival

Cochin is one of the major travel destinations in India. Backwaters of Cochin which flow parallel to the Arabian sea are world famous for its serene beauty. Mattancherry Palace (also known as Dutch palace), Fort Kochi, Jewish Synagogue (built in year 1568), Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica and Bolgatty Palace are some of the other main places of interest in Cochin.

The main nearby attractions are Munnar (a popular hill station), Thekkady (a wild life sanctuary on the banks of Periyar river) and the backwaters of Alleppey.

Thrissur pooram, probably the most popular festival in Kerala, attracts a lot of tourists in the month of May. This is famous for the large number of elephants that take part in the procession on the festival day.

Living in Kochi

Houseboat on backwaters near Kochi in Kerala

Malayalam is the local language in Kochi, however most people understand English in the city. Cochin or Kochi airport is the fourth busiest airport in the country in terms of international passenger traffic. There are many daily direct flights to the Middle East/Gulf countries and also to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. In addition, rail and road network connects Cochin with other parts of India.

The city has a wide range of hotels and apartments across all budget types. Average cost for a hotel room per night would be around 20 USD for 3 star hotels and around 150 USD for 5 star hotels. Local cuisine is typical Kerala style with lots of coconut and spices in it.

In conclusion, Kochi is a fascinating place to visit be it for general tourism or for medical treatments.

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