Willingdon Island is an artificial island, situated at a distance of 8kms from Kochi city. Now it is a landmark destination and commercial hub of Kochi.
The Willingdon Island is the home for the Port of Kochi and its office Cochin Port trust, as well as the Kochi Naval Base (the Southern Naval Command). It also houses custom office, business establishments, export- import offices, warehouses, travel agencies, souvenir shops, industrial headquarters and district’s best hotels. It is connected to the mainland or the Ernakulam District by Venduruthy Bridge and railway.
The Island has a significant spot in tourism map as it is surrounded by backwaters makes it a tremendously beautiful location.
Name and History
The island was created in 1933 by the sand dredged out while deepening the Vembanad lake to accommodate the Cochin Port. It is named after Lord Willingdon, the erstwhile governor of Madras who had a hand in the project. Robert Bristow was the Engineer for the project who owned first building the island. Today the entire land belongs to Cochin Port and Indian Navy.
Malabar hostel was actually a port hostel which was built to accommodate passengers who wished to stay in the island. The basic port structure was completed in 1939 just in time before the World War II commenced. A rail and road bridge to the mainland and a deep wharf, a passenger jetty and customs office were added together with a passenger platform and a rail sliding.
Willingdon Island was home to the airport for a long time before it was shifted to its present location in Nedumbassery.
There is a children’s park in this island where there are many modern amusement facilities for the children. The other attractions here include the Cochin harbour, St. Francis church, Fort Kochi etc.