Willingdon Island, Kochi: India’s Largest Artificial Manmade Island 

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Whenever anyone talks about islands in India, all you can spontaneously think of are the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Or if you topped your class in the subject of geography, then you could pride yourself in answering Diu. But it's relatively unlikely that you would come up with a certain name called Willingdon Island unless you were schooled in Kochi. If you didn't know this already, Willingdon Island is the largest artificial manmade island in India.

The Willingdon Island is located in Kochi and was majorly created out of the Lake of Kochi. The island is mostly populated by commercial centers like offices, hotels, trading centers, and also serves home to the Kochi Naval Base and the Port of Kochi. It is responsible for linking Kochi with the other seaports of the world. Today, the island handles millions of tonnes of freight every year.

It was created in 1936 by filling in soil around a small natural island. It is named after The 1st Earl of Willingdon, the then British Viceroy of India; he was the one who commissioned the project of creating this island. Robert Bristow was the chief engineer of the project, and owned the very first property on the island. Now the entire island belongs collectively to the Cochin Port Trust and the Indian Navy.

Following is all the relevant information you need if you plan to visit this unique place.

How to Reach

Credits: Wikimapia

Photo of Willingdon Island, Kochi, Kerala, India by Prateek Dham

The island is seamlessly connected well to Kochi via a bridge. One can either access the public transport or hire cabs easily from the Kochi mainland.

Nearest Railway Station: Ernakulam South - 3 kms.

Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport - 26 kms.

Best Time to Visit

Credits: Cochin Best

Photo of Willingdon Island, Kochi: India’s Largest Artificial Manmade Island by Prateek Dham

Even though Kochi is a genial & habitable port city which is home to a massive population, but if you're a tourist visiting for sightseeing the best time to visit would be between October and April. That's when the climate is the friendliest. The temperature usually varies between 20 and 32 degrees celsius during this time. Due to the city's proximity to the equator, it experiences heavy monsoon from June up till October. But post October, it's only drizzles at the maximum and they are manageable.

Things to Do

Where to go:

1. LuLu International Mall

Credits: Wiki

Photo of LuLu Mall Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, India by Prateek Dham

Officially the second largest shopping mall in India (and the largest in terms of retail space), the LuLu Mall is one of the most visited places in the whole of Kerala. With a total built-up area of 2.5 million square feet, the mall hosts 215+ outlets to spoil you for choice.

Address: 34/1000, N.H 47, Edapally, Kochi, Kerala 682024

2. Mattancherry Palace

Credits: Kerala Blogspot

Photo of Mattancherry Palace, Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala, India by Prateek Dham

This was a gift from the Portuguese to the King of Kochi in 1555, hence the Portuguese architecture is very obvious as soon as you enter the palace. It exhibits stunning Hindu art and portraits of the Kochi Rajas. It is also called Dutch Palace.

Address: Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala 682002

3. Paradesi Synagogue

Credits: Wiki

Photo of Paradesi Synagogue, Synagogue Lane, Jew Town, Kappalandimukku, Kochi, Kerala, India by Prateek Dham

The oldest functional synagogue in the entire commonwealth of nations is surprisingly located right here in Kochi. The literal meaning of the name means "foreigner" because it was constructed in 1567 by the Spanish-speaking Jew migrants.

Address: Synagogue Ln, Jew Town, Kappalandimukku, Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala 682002

Where to Eat:

1. The Thai Pavilion - Vivanta by Taj

Credits: Taj Hotels

Photo of The Thai Pavilion, Kochi, Kerala, India by Prateek Dham

Possibly the finest Oriental restaurant in the whole of Kerala, the regal decor of this place alone can make you fall in love with it. Being backed by the Taj brand obviously helps. Must have - Jumbo Prawns.

Cost for 2: Rs. 2,200

Address: Vivanta By Taj - Malabar, Cochin, Malabar Willingdon Island, Kochi, Kerala 682009

2. Fort Cochin Seafood Specialty Restaurant

Credits: Zomato

Photo of Willingdon Island, Kochi: India’s Largest Artificial Manmade Island by Prateek Dham

South India absolutely loves its seafood, and to make a name as big as Fort Cochin Seafood Specialty's is a testimony in itself on how sublime the food must be here. Their excellent buffet packages are to die for.

Cost for 2: Rs. 2,500

Address: Casino Hotel, CV Iyer Road, Willingdon Island, Kochi

3. Qissa Cafe

Photo of Qissa Cafe, KB Jacob Road, Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, India by Prateek Dham

A tiny but classy cafe in the Fort Kochi area, Qissa attracts a lot of young crowd for its upbeat feeling and great fast food. Also, the fact that it's extremely reasonable lets it earn extra brownie points.

Cost for 2: Rs. 300

Address: Number 18, KB Jacob Road, Fort Kochi, Kochi

We surely do feel we've inspired you enough to visit this unique island in the grand city of Cochin. Have you already been here? Let us know your thoughts in the comments' section below.

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