Kochi formerly known as Cochin, is a city in the Indian state of Kerala. It is the most popular tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors to Kerala and is among the most visited tourist destinations in India. MICE tourism, LuLu Mall, the Wonderla water theme park, and the metro nature of Kochi city were the main aspects for attracting more domestic tourists.
Popularly known as the Queen of Arabian Sea, the city also flaunts one of the finest natural harbors of the world and was the centre of the world spice trade for many centuries. Old Kochi (presently called West Kochi), loosely refers to a group of islands which comprise Willingdon Island, Fort Kochi, Mattancherry etc. The city derives its name from the Malayalam word Kochazhi meaning small lagoon.
Constituted during 1983, Dr. Salim Ali, the world famous ornithologist, is directly responsible for the wonders on display at the Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary. His famous survey of Travancore in the 1930s led to the formation of this modern day paradise for avian life. He noted that the area was rich in bird diversity and ought to be turned into a sanctuary to conserve the same. The over 300 species that reside in these tropical and deciduous forests are testament to his great vision.
One can run across the Sri Lankan Frogmouth, Racket Tailed Drongo, Bronzed Drongo, White-bellied Treepie, Shama, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Rufous Babbler, Malabar Parakeet, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher and the Malabar Grey Hornbill in these parts. Beautiful teak, rosewood and mahogany plantations can also be viewed here. It also boasts of over 28 mammal species and over 9 species of reptiles.
Munnar rises as three mountain streams merge – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala. 1,600 m above sea level, this hill station was once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government in South India. One of the most sought after honeymoon destinations in Kerala, Munnar is replete with resorts and logding facilities that fit a wide rage of budgets. Sprawling tea plantations, picturesque towns, winding lanes and holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Among the exotic flora found in the forests and grasslands here is the Neelakurinji. This flower which bathes the hills in blue once in every twelve years, will bloom next in 2030. Munnar also has the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which towers over 2,695 m.