ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Willingdon Island The Largest Man Made Island in India

Updated on April 23, 2020
Chinese fishing nets in Kochi
Chinese fishing nets in Kochi

The heart of God's own country, Kochi is a city of dreams endowed with natural beauty. Bordered with a network of islands opening up to the cool breeze from the Arabian Sea and the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets all ready to catch its prey gives a flawless picture of Kochi. The large ships and cruise are no stranger to this place. And so is the Willingdon Island, the largest man-made island in India to the people of Kochi.

Robert Bristow - The Harbor Engineer of Willingdon Island

Sir Robert Bristow, a British harbour engineer best known for his contributions to the development of the port of Kochi (Cochin) in India.
Sir Robert Bristow, a British harbour engineer best known for his contributions to the development of the port of Kochi (Cochin) in India.

Looking back, the origin of this beautiful island took place during the British rule, thus making it a bequest of British in India. During the early 20th century, trade at the port of Kochi had increased substantially. And the ships that headed to Cochin port were anchored in open sea because of the poor design structure of port. Thus a strong need for development was felt.
The port, which was under British rule since 1795, had seen little buildup, despite its illustrious maritime history. So to nail the spot, the then Governor of Madras, Lord Willingdon appointed one of the famous British engineers, Sir Robert Bristow. Bristow aimed to construct an approach channel from the deep sea to the inner harbor that would help ships to enter the safer harbor rather than being vulnerable to the harsh sea waves from the open sea, where they are currently berthed while loading and unloading cargoes.

Buildings seen on the island while traveling towards the island.
Buildings seen on the island while traveling towards the island.

With his arrival in 1920, Kochi was all set to optimize its commercial potential. The next two decades saw him design and supervise the construction of this 3.12 sq. km island and port at a considerable distance from the sea. The challenges faced for the creation of the port was not small. The ships required more than 8 feet of water to access the harbor. But the compactly packed sand and silt barrier endured the opening of the backwater, blocking the pathway of the ships to the inner harbor. Excavating the sand bar seemed to be impracticable for the engineers. Besides, the environmental impacts of such removal of the sand bar on the nearby islands (Vypeen island/ Vembanadu lake) were untold. After wholly analyzing the circumstances and surroundings, Bristow realized that it is possible to create a safe harbor in Kochi by making an inner channel for ships to enter. Also, the enigma associated with the erosion of Vypeen foreshore was resolved through innovative ideation and an intelligent explication of placing rubble granite groynes parallel to the shores.

Aerial view of Willingdon Island showing the commercial side.
Aerial view of Willingdon Island showing the commercial side.

Willingdon Island, named after the then Governor of Madras, Lord Willingdon welcomed the first major ship, the steamship Padma, sailing from Bombay on 26 May 1928, to enter the newly constructed inner harbor of Kochi. Further, he built a road and a railway line to facilitate traffic of goods to and from the new port. And also an iron Irish to allow free passage of ships. There is even an old airport close to the Naval Base of Cochin.

During the second world war, the Willingdon island became a massive army camp. The British Military used the airport and seaport as a camp to push back the Japanese. Even after Indian Independence, the port played an important role in the development of Kerala. The island has now grown into an international-commercial center with the active presence of Port-trust, Customs house, many business outlets, and famous hotels.

A Tourist Guide

One can reach Willingdon Island with a leisurely car drive or by enjoying the backwater ride in government-owned boats. Boats are available in every 10- 15-minute interval and cost just a few pennies. Not only tourists but regular workmen can also be seen traveling in this boat. Board the trip from Boat Jetty and arrive at the Willingdon Island. The picturesque ride with winds brushing through your hair and face is a memorable one. And note that the best time for this travel is in the month of August and September, soon after the rains are done.
On reaching the Island, one can walk through the roads or rent a bicycle to witness the roadside shops of antiques, species, and clothes, and to explore the most scenic spot of Cochin, the Willingdon Island, a must-see for eyes. And don't forget to taste the authentic roadside that you see in your travel way.

A total of 5 bridge ways along with the boat service and the Cochin Harbour Terminus Railway Station open up to Willingdon island.

The railway station and airport is currently not in use.

A roadway leading to Willigdon Island.
A roadway leading to Willigdon Island.

© 2020 Eesha

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • emge profile image

      MG Singh 

      5 weeks ago from Singapore

      Very interesting article but you didn't mention about the Naval base. I have been so many times there. Its the seat of the Naval Southern command.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 weeks ago from UK

      You have added a lot of interesting historical background to this article.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)