Cochin Travel Guide

Health & Safety

Kochi is one of the safest cities in India with excellent police coverage. Common sense is of course required when being alone at night.

Late night life is not common in Kochi. If you are planning on clubbing, make your own transport arrangements before hand, very few buses ply after 9.45PM, and none after 10.30PM. You can find autos and taxis, but only near railway stations or major bus stands. Be wary of eve-teasers, especially drunkards.
Kochi is infamous for mosquitoes, due to presence of large water bodies across the city. Make sure any room you book, has mosquito repellents or at least a mosquito net. Its always better to have any anti-mosquito creams or spice oil extracts like lemongrass oil to ward off mosquito bites.
Crossing roads - unlike in the other cities in India, vehicles do not tend to stop when you initiate crossing; so wait till there is a comparative lull in the traffic - the oncoming vehicles will slow down for you.
Be wary of Private Line bus and KSRTC bus drivers on the roads. Pedestrians live a hard life especially during peak hours in Kochi. There are many cases of road accidents and hit-run cases involving private buses and pedestrians, thus earning them the nickname, Red Killers. Take extra care, while crossing the roads. If difficult to cross then do so only at major signal junctions or seek assistance of local traffic policeman.
Kochi lacks good pedestrian walkways, though many are being rebuilt now, along with the roads. Beware of walking on these walkways, especially during night. Jaywalking may be safe in the nights in sub-urban roads, but with the coming of better roads and with an increasing traffic, avoid walking on the roads in the city, especially in the daytime.
Kochi is located only a few metres above the sea level, so a few roads in the arterial city tend to flood during rainfall. Its better to avoid such roads while raining. When the these roads are flooded it may be difficult to distinguish whether you are walking on road or walkway, which sometimes can land you inside drainage holes. However, these floods do tend to drain off quickly after the rain. Flood prone roads are - Edapally Junction, roads leading to Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Station, South junction (in front of Hotel Woodlands)
Public smoking bans are strictly enforced in the city more so than in other regions. The High Court of Kerala has decreed a public smoking ban across the state. Smoking on the roadside, in shopping complexes, restaurants, and parks is illegal and police can charge 500-1,000 for breaches. No shop that sells loose cigars or tobacco is allowed to provide lighters. Provision of lighters to customers may lead to a 150 fine being imposed upon both the supplier and the purchaser.
Prostitution is illegal in Kochi, as elsewhere in Kerala and India. However there is every good chance, you will likely encounter street prostitutes and their agents, who may try to lure you. Beware of such offers, as many of such prostitutes are affected by HIV. Being illegal, they have no access to medical controls or treatments. As it is a criminal offence to commit adultery, regular police raids occur in local cheap hotels to catch prostitutes and their clients.
Emergency support & assistance

For any emergency support of Police, ☎ 100 for Flying Squad or ☎ 1090 for Crime Stopper. The city has around 16 Police Station zones.

Kochi Central Police StationOld Railway Station RdPhone: +91 484 2394500Hours: 24 hoursThis is the main police station and it houses the offices of the Asst. City Commissioner as well as Ernakulam City Circle officer.
Kochi Women Police StationPhone: +91 484 2394250Hours: 24 hrsFor any assistance to women travellers. This all-women police station.
Kochi Tourist Police StationPhone: +91 484 2224055Hours: 24 hrsThis is the country's first and only tourist police station. Assistance for tourists including visa and immigration information can be provided. There is a small police museum here. Check for the difference of police uniform here. The Tourist Police wear a blue shirt and khaki pants.
Foreigners Registration Office-FROPhone: +91 484 2394651Hours: 10AM-5:30PMThe city commissioner is the FRO, who has powers and authorization for any immigration issues. For any visa conversion, loss/theft of foreign passports, extension of visa, overstay of visa, immigration clearance, reporting a missing foreigners then report at this office.
Sailors & Seaport Users Registration OfficePhone: +91 484 2666027Hours: 24 hrFor sailors or ship crew, their registration and embarkation/disembarkation order has to be issued for this office. The DySP has authorization to issue landing permits for yachts, private boats as well as foreign ships and allow its passengers to board down for 72 hours without visa. Travellers arriving on cruisers and yachts should report at this office for any transit visa or short term visa required.

source: Wikivoyage

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