It is interesting to note that the
Willingdon Island is not a natural, but a man-made island. The island at Kochi,
named after Lord Willingdon, the Indian Viceroy during the British rule, brilliantly
showcases the human intellect.
The beautiful island is well
connected to various national and also international ports, apart from the
Kochi port. Besides, there are quite a few sophisticated hotels and industries
in the district, apart from commercial complexes.
The island is highly important as
far as Defence is concerned. The the headquarter for the southern naval command of India is
located here. The island lies in between the charmingly beautiful backwaters.
island is known to be a masterpiece of a harbour engineer, Sir Robert Bristow,
the island is highly important from various perspectives. Apart from the Port
of Kochi, and the Kochi Naval Base of the Indian Navy, there is the Central
Institute of Fisheries Technology.
the island is also highly important for all those who feel like picnicking at
the weekends. Far from the noise of the metropolitans, people come here looking
for the solace and the peace. The island, now 82, offers serene, calm and
tranquil atmosphere to people of all ages, who come here.
More on Willingdon
The new Kochi Port was built in the
year 1936. While the Vembanad Lake was being deepened, there were huge
leftovers specifically in the form of soil that was used to construct the
Willingdon Island. The island was named after the then Indian Viceroy, and the
First Earl of Willingdon who had commissioned the mega project highly
Robert Bristow owned the very first
building that now belongs to the Cochin Port Trust and Indian Navy. The first
liner, belonging to the Bibby Line reached here on 9th March, 1935.
Those who desired to relax used to stay at Malabar Hotel.
The period of the World War II (1939-1945)
witnessed the Completion of the island’s basic structure. Very soon, there
were road bridge, rail bridge, naval
works, wharf, and various kinds of infrastructures. Passenger jetty and custom
houses were built by the side of the hotel in the 1940s. There was a passenger
platform as well.
Willingdon Island as a
British Military Base
Due to the flat expanse, the Royal
Air Force used the location to build an aerodrome. Soon, the island was
converted into a military base. The Malabar Hotel was also used as the wartime
quarters. There also appeared an administrative block, an open-air swimming
pool, a bank branch, and a new post office.
Willingdon Island as a
1947 witnessed the island from being
transferred from the British to the Indian rule as India acquired independence.
There was almost double of the traffic by 1960. The modern techniques transformed
the airdrome into the airport. Currently, the airstrip is used as the air
station for INS Garuda. The remaining of the space is used for the commercial
activities at Cochin.
The island is a major link in
between India and various sea ports across the world. Venduruthy Bridge
connects it to the town. The Bridge has railway and roadway links. Apart from
the Indian Army’s
Southern Naval Command, the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industries is also
located here. Yet due to the calm, and various resorts, it attracts visitors
from near and far.
How to Reach Willingdon
Ernakulam South (3 km) is the closest
Railway Station. Cochin International
Airport (26 km) is the nearest airport. Venduruthy Bridge makes it well connected. The
ferries are always there to take you to the island.