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    The Holy Cross Church

    The Holy Cross Church



    The Holy Cross Church situated within the Muziris Heritage area of Kerala is a historically important Church. Located in the village of Chendamangalam, in Ernakulam District, the Jesuit Priests from Portugal started this Church in 1577. Saint Francis Xavier, the great Christian Missionary, is believed to have lived in the old building of this Church.

    In the early period, the Christians of Kerala seem to have built their churches following the model of Hindu temples. The indigenous tradition which influenced church architecture continued without a break till the coming of the Portuguese in 1498 AD.

    As part of their policy of Latinisation of the church in Kerala, it is learnt that the Portuguese introduced innovation in the design of church buildings too. St. Mary’s L. P. School which started in 1921 as a part of the Holy Cross Church is a fine example of the cordial relationship of different communities in Chendamangalam.

    Kerala Tourism

    The changing tourism potential of New Kerala



    The changing tourism potential of New Kerala-storyhunters-in

    At a time when the state’s ever-expanding tourism sector is attracting world attention, Kerala is effectively harnessing the endless potential of post-Covid tourism. The tourism sector is growing to touch people’s lives with the ultimate goal of integrating the tourism industry with normal life. A ‘Kerala model’ is being created in the field of international tourism through the assessment that quality tourism is the specialty of Kerala. It is the crowning example of marking Kerala globally, with the tag line “Visit Kerala during the festival season to enjoy rural beauty” and was ranked 13th among 52 places to visit in the world in 2023 by The New York Times ( has won the place. The report also mentions the tourist centers of Kumarakam, Maravanthuruth and Vaikom. The New York Times has also highlighted the activities of responsible tourism societies that contribute holistically to the Kerala tourism sector. Placed on the world map with the advertising tagline of God’s Own Country, Kerala is keeping pace with the times as it moves to new levels of tourism.

    Tourism – the backbone of economic growth: The Department of Finance has confirmed that the tourism sector has played an important role in the growth of Kerala’s economy after Kovida. 35,000 crores in revenue from tourism sector last year. 2792.42 crores in direct foreign exchange earnings in 2022. The state has already set a record in terms of domestic tourist arrivals. The number of international and domestic tourists in 2022 is 345549 and 18867414 respectively.

    A number of projects are being planned and implemented to explore the regional and popular tourism potential of the state.

    Street Tourism Project: Street is an innovative tourism development project with the primary objective of promoting participatory and inclusive growth in 10 selected locations across Kerala based on the principles of ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’, a new tourism initiative of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. STREET stands for Sustainable, Tangible, Responsible, Experiential, Ethnic and Tourism Hubs. 

    Through this, tourism centers will be created that emphasize sustainable and responsible tourism, which are visible, experiential, and traditional ways of life. The project aims to develop tourist destinations into “thematic” streets with the support of local people and local governments.

    In this way, three categories of tourist destinations will be formed. 1. Tourism destinations
    where tourism activities have not started till date but can be brought up in future  . 2. Areas that are close to international tourism hubs but are suitable for offering new experiences to tourists and extending their stay. 3. Areas where there is little tourism activity at present and which can be turned into better tourist destinations. 

    Various streets such as Green Street, Cultural Street, Ethnic Cuisine / Food Street, Village Life Experience / Experiential Tourism Street, Agritourism Street, Water Street and Art Street will be established in each project area. At least three streets will be implemented as part of the project in each project area. Envisioned to be implemented in a fully public-private partnership, this project will be implemented in such a way that the local self-governing institutions and the local people can play a major role in the tourism process. 

    In the first phase, it will be implemented in 10 areas namely Kadalundi in Kozhikode district, Tyathala and Patithara in Palakkad district, Pinarayi and Ancharakandi in Kannur district, Maravanthuruth and Manchira in Kottayam district, Valiyaparamba in Kasaragod district, Kanthallur in Idukki district and Chekadi in Wayanad district. As part of the project, it is also aimed to form 1000 indigenous units to be associated with the tourism sector. 

    Agritourism Network to know the agricultural culture 

    Kerala Agritourism Network is the flagship initiative of the state’s globally recognized Responsible Tourism Scheme. ‘Kerala Agritourism Network’ was launched in September 2021 under the Responsible Tourism Mission to popularize farm tourism activities and involve more people in farm tourism to ensure economic benefits to the farming community by linking agriculture with tourism. The Agritourism Network aims to integrate tourism and agricultural activities by adopting environmentally friendly measures. This initiative will also help introduce Kerala’s agricultural culture to international tourists and the new generation. 

    Units are registered under various categories. 
    Category 1- Homestead Farming – Up to 25 cents (including terrace gardens) – will be included in the chain of sale of agricultural produce) Category 2 – Farm Visit Units – 25 cents per acre

     Women Friendly Tourism:  Kerala is fully becoming a women friendly tourism destination through the ‘Women Friendly Tourism’ scheme launched to encourage women participation in all tourism activities and attract more women tourists to the state. This is the first initiative of its kind in the country. In line with the UN Women’s concept of ‘Gender Inclusive Tourism’, which envisages major participation of women in the tourism sector, the state has formulated a women friendly tourism project.
    Implemented by the Responsible Tourism Mission, Eau’s project includes fully women-managed and run tour packages that include meals, accommodation, transport and community guides. 
    The country’s first women-friendly tourism mobile app is also ready. Apart from presenting information about popular tourism destinations, the app also provides details of women-friendly tourism products and packages, resorts, hotels, women-led enterprises, authorized tour operators, women tour operators, travel agencies and homestays 
    . Tourists also know Kerala’s festivals, experiences and adventure packages through the app.

    Kochi Muziris Biennale: The Kochi Muziris Biennale: The Kochi Muziris Biennale has become a contemporary art fair that reflects Kerala in its entirety against the backdrop of Kochi’s magical beauty. It is estimated that the fifth edition of the Kochi Muziris Biennale, which was judged by contemporary art experts to be the best in the world, was visited by more than nine lakh people from different parts of the world. The Biennale has also made a place on the tourism map of Kerala. 

     Destination Challenge – Destination Challenge :  Destination Challenge is a scheme designed to have multiple tourist destinations in one local government body in collaboration with the local governments of the state. The project is based on the goal that if the areas that are not known to the outside world are developed according to their merits, there will be employment for the people there and income for the country itself. What needs to be done is to find a tourist center in a local authority and prepare a plan to develop it and submit it to the tourism department. The tourism department will check it and pay 60 percent of the project. The remaining amount has to be found by the local body. Panchayat can find the amount from their own fund or through sponsorship. Now MLA funds have also been approved for this project. So far 34 projects have been sanctioned through the Destination Challenge which started on 28 June 2022.  

    Kerala on New Paths – Caravan Tourism: Caravan tourism is a project launched by the government to enable the survival of Kerala tourism after covid. This is a remarkable initiative started by Kerala tourism after houseboat. Post-Covid, the foreign tourists who came to India came to know about Kerala’s caravan policy and 31 tourists from Germany and Switzerland in 16 caravans arrived in Kerala. Safe travel, travel to unexplored destinations, low capital for setting up infrastructure etc. are the features of caravan tourism. Local employment has also been boosted by caravan tourism. The first caravan park in Kerala was started at Wagamon. Steps are in progress to start caravan parks at Ponmudi and Ernakulam Bolgatti in Thiruvananthapuram district. 50 cents of land is the minimum space required for caravan parks. The tourism department is giving a subsidy of Rs 7.5 lakh or 15 percent of the investment amount to the first hundred caravan applicants, five lakh and 10 percent to the next hundred and Rs 2.5 lakh or five percent to the next hundred.

    Cine Tourism:   The tourism department is all set to launch a new scheme that will add color to nostalgic movie memories. Cinema tourism is a project to attract tourists by preserving the memories of famous movie locations such as Kirayam Bridge in Vellayani, Thiruvananthapuram, where Mohanlal’s emotional scenes were shot in Kiryadam movie, Bekal, where the song Uire was shot in Bombay movie. The project will be launched at Bekal Fort in Kasaragod. 

    Adventure Tourism: Adventure tourism is the fastest growing tourism sector in the world today. The adventure tourism sector is also on the rise in Kerala. Rich in biodiversity, our state is well suited for the adventure tourism sector. Blessed with mountains, hills and water bodies, the landscape of Kerala is perfect for adventure. 

     Wedding Destination: People from different states of India travel to different tourist destinations of the state to get married. Kerala is the land that can provide the best wedding destinations. Coconut groves, violas, riverside and beach can be prepared as wedding destinations. The wedding destination project has started in Kerala. The aim of the tourism department is to make Kerala a top destination for wedding tourism. Promotional programs of the wedding destination project of Kerala have already started in major airports of the country like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. 

                              Realizing that the design of public spaces is essential for the comprehensive tourism development of Kerala, a comprehensive design policy is being prepared. With this, the tourism sector in Kerala will rise to new levels and will be a source of energy for sustainable tourism growth and this will also pave the way for Kerala to be marked more broadly on the world tourism map.

    Last Updated : 2023-10-04 15:24:55

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    Kerala Tourism

    Conolly Canal Kozhikode to Kochi

    Conolly Canal Kozhikode to Kochi



    Conolly Canal, sometimes spelled as Canoly Canal, is the part of the West coast canal (WCC) network of Kerala and the canal was constructed by combining the rivers and streams along the coast with the intention of creating a vast waterway from Kozhikode to Kochi. It was constructed in the year 1848 under the orders of then collector of Malabar, H.V. Conolly, initially to facilitate movement of goods to Kallayi Port from hinter lands of Malabar through Kuttiyadi and Korapuzha river systems.

    The construction was from 1848–50. The canal was built almost entirely by human labour at a time when no machinery was in place. The Canoly Canal connects various rivers and streams including the Korapuzha river in the north and the Kallai River in the south thus forming part of the line of water communication from Vadakara to Beypore. The width of the canal varies between 6 and 20 metres (20 to 65 ft), and the water depth during the monsoon ranges between 0.5 and 2 metres (1.5 to 6 ft).

    This was the main waterway for the cargo movement between Kochi and Calicut, trade was the definition of the Canolly canal for more than a century. Major coastal towns such as Chavakkad, Ponnani, Kandassankadavu, Sahibinte palli masjid east, Santhipuram, Sreenarayana puram Kottappuram and Kodungallurdeveloped because of the freight trade along the canal. The main products of the coastal line, coconut oil and coconut fibre (Chakiri), were transported to Cochin by using “kettuvallam” (old house boat) through this canal. Many of the things in the once popular Chavakkadu Kuttakkunnu weekly market came through the Canolly Canal.

    Even the lives of ordinary people were associated with the canal. They used the water of cannoli for all purposes except drinking. The main dependence of the coastal settlers was for bathing and washing clothes. Fishing was also active in small ponds. The sides of most of the canal are lined with dimension stone, but at some locations the lining has collapsed. In a number of places along the canal, trees and bushes and water plants have grown, causing the water flow in the middle stretch of the canal to become weaker.

    The Canoly Canal Development Samithi in Kozhikode had decided to start speedboat service on the canal from Karaparamba to the Sarovaram park site in September 2009.

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    Kerala Tourism

    Kochi Water Metro

    Kochi Water Metro, Kerala, India



    Kochi Water Metro

    Kochi Water Metro (KWM) is an integrated ferry transport system serving the Greater Kochi region in Kerala, India. It is the first water metro system in India and the first integrated water transport system of this size in Asia, which connects Kochi’s 10 island communities with the mainland through a fleet of 78 battery-operated electric hybrid boats plying along 38 terminals and 16 routes spanning 76 kilometers. It is integrated with the Kochi Metro and serves as a feeder service to the suburbs along the rivers where transport accessibility is limited.

    Native name: കൊച്ചി വാട്ടർ മെട്രോ
    Owner: Government of Kerala (74%)
    KMRL (26%)
    Locale: Kochi, Kerala, India
    Transit type: Ferry
    Number of lines: 16 (Planned) 2 (Operational)
    Line number: Vypin–High Court, Vyttila–Kakkanad
    Number of stations: 38 (Total) 2 (Completed)
    4 (Operational)
    Daily ridership: 34,000 (After phase 1 completion) 150,000 (When fully operational)
    Headquarters: J. L. N. Stadium metro station 4th Floor, Kaloor, Kochi, Kerala
    Website: KWM
    Operation: Began operation
    26 April 2023

    Number of vehicles: 23
    Headway: 10 – 20 minutes


    System length: 76 km
    Average speed: 8 knots
    Top speed: 12 knots

    The construction work started in 2016 and its first route between Vyttila and InfoPark was inaugurated in February 2021 by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. It was officially inaugurated and opened to passengers by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 April 2023.

    Kochi Water Metro is expected to become fully operational by 2035 with a daily commuter-count of 1.5 lakh passengers. It is also described as possibly the largest electric boat metro transportation infrastructure being implemented in the world.


    Two variants of modernised air-conditioned and Wi-Fi enabled catamaran passenger boats were proposed for the project. The electric propulsion boats has a passenger capacity of 50 and 100 operate at an optimal speed of about 15 kilometers per hour, with the potential to increase up to 22 kilometers per hour.

    The boats are equipped with latest safety and communication devices. Small battery operated boats ply on the narrow lanes. The headways vary between 10 minutes to 20 minutes across various routes. The jetties are proposed to have floating pontoons with automatic docking system technology. The floating pontoons is covered with retractable sheds to provide comfort during rainy season.

    As part of the infrastructure, Intelligent Navigation System and Operation Control Centre (OCC) are also proposed and will be integrated with the city’s intelligent transportation system. The Automatic Fare Collection system being implemented by the Kochi Metro will be extended to water transport system which facilitates travelling the metro train and the boat using the same ticket.

    Apart from ferry service, the project also contemplates development of the new and existing access roads to jetties and islands. Two boatyards are proposed, at Thevara and Pizhala. The project also seeks to improve livelihoods in the areas along the backwaters and the islands in Kochi. Tourism is also proposed to be promoted as part of the project. Cochin Shipyard delivered the first of 23 electric ferries in January 2022.

    The phase 1 consists of 3 lines out of which the Vytilla–InfoPark was inaugurated on 15 February 2021. The Vypin–High Court line began service on 26 April 2023 and the Vyttila–Kakkanad line began service on 27 April 2023. Phase 1 is expected to be fully operational in 2024 and on becoming so, it is expected to serve 34,000 passengers a day. The entire water metro system is expected to become fully operational by 2035 with a daily ridership of 1.5 lakh passengers. The annual carbon emissions is also expected to reduce by 44,000 tonnes once the project is fully operational.

    Routes and Terminals

    Route Map of Kochi Water Metro

    Kochi is mostly surrounded by backwaters and bordered by the Arabian Sea. It is interconnected by hundreds of waterways, which offers a way to make the public transport system much more accessible and environment friendly. Water Metro is expected to solve the travel issues of the islanders of Willington, Kumbalam Vypeen, Edakochi, Nettoor, Vyttila, Eloor, Kakkanad, and Mulavukad. In the first phase, the water metro started sailing on two routes, High Court to Vypin and Vyttila to Kakkanad with eight electric-hybrid boats.


    The total cost of the Water Metro project is ₹1,137 crore (US$140 million). The KfW Development Bank will be providing EUR 85 million as long term soft loan and the Government of Kerala will be contributing ₹102 crore (US$13 million).


    Fare collection

    The minimum ticket price of the metro system is 20 rupees and the maximum ticket charge is 40 rupees. Weekly pass is available at 180 rupees whereas monthly pass cost 600 rupees and quarterly pass cost 1500 rupees. Single journey tickets and various travel passes are available from the ticket counters in the terminals. Water Metro can be accessed using the Kochi Metro One card. It is also possible to travel using the mobile QR code booked through the Kochi One app.


    In the first phase, the service will be provided from 7 am to 8 pm. The service frequency is 15 minutes during peak hours.


    Kochi Water Metro Limited has been formed as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with 74% of the shareholding being owned by the Kerala government and 26% by Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL). It is operated and maintained by the KMRL.


    Kochi Water Metro has two types of boats that can carry 100 passengers and 50 passengers at a time. These boats have won the Gussis Electric Boat Award, an international award for electric boats. The boats and terminals are designed as fully disabled-friendly. Kochi Water Metro has the innovation of a boat that can be operated in battery and hybrid mode.

    These boats are built in a hybrid system and are completely eco-friendly. Boats can be powered by a diesel generator in case of emergency. Kochi Water Metro is also first of a kind in the world to have such an extensive network of battery-powered boats. The boats uses lithium titanate oxide battery that can be charged very quickly and meets high safety standards. It can be charged in 10–15 minutes and there is a facility to charge the batteries even when the passengers are boarding and disembarking. The speed of the boat is 8 knots in battery mode and 10 knots in hybrid mode.

    There are arrangements to automatically monitor the movement of the boat from the operating control center at Vyttila hub. A thermal camera is also equipped to assist the boat operator during night travel. The boats are also equipped with radars. The passenger counting system is used to enter Kochi Water Metro boats to prevent the number of passengers from getting increased more than the designated level. Floating pontoons which can stay at the same level with the boats during high tide and low tide are the specialty of Kochi Water Metro. The rescue boats of the metro system are able to start rescue operations within 10 minutes in case of any kind of accident.

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