We visited Kochi in April 2018.
Kochi (also known as Cochin/Fort Kochi) is a city in south India’s coastal state ‘Kerala’. It has been a port since 1341, when a flood carved out its harbour and opened it to Arab, Chinese and European merchants. Sites reflecting those influences include Fort Kochi, a settlement with tiled colonial bungalows and diverse houses of worship. Cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, typical of Kochi, have been in use for centuries.
Kochi can easily fit in as a 2 Day Itinerary of your travel. Kochi is widely used as an entry point by all tourists because of the connectivity of flights from ‘Cochin International Airport.’ Also I have seen many tourists using this as a transit place for travelling to other regions like Munnar. If you have more days in your trip I would suggest spending 2 days here in Kochi and move to Munnar or Alappuzha based on your choice.
Jew Street/Jew Town
This is the oldest settlement of Jews in India. It is a narrow street between Mattancherry Palace and the Paradesi Synagogue.On both sides of the road, you will find shops that are selling spices, antiques, colourful shawls and handicrafts.It’s a very nice place to wander and a great place to shop for souvenirs.
Fort Kochi/Chinese Fishing Nets
I felt like the parking options are slightly less compared to the number of people who visit this place. The boats between Kochi-Vypeen starts and ends here. It’s a Government run boat and the ticket price is less than 5 rupees. We were lucky enough to see the new boat (Jangaar)in service between Fort Kochi and Vypeen, that was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Kerala the same day.
There is a path way available in FortKochi. You can also enjoy the Sunset view from here.
The Chinese Fishing Nets are the most famous sight here. Chinese nets (Cheenavala) is an interesting way to catch fish from the shore, it takes about 3-5 men to pull in the net using a pulley system made of rope, rocks, teak, and bamboo. This is slowly missing its popularity as people started using boats for catching fish. After a few years, I am sure people won’t even remember/know that such a technique did exist.
The main thing that needs improvement is cleanliness. Government has to take some steps here regarding cleanliness. It is very important for any place, to attract the tourists.
LuLu International Shopping Mall is a shopping mall located in Kochi, Kerala. It is the largest shopping mall in India in terms of total area. With an average daily footfall of more than 80,000, it is one of the most visited places in Kerala.
Kochi Metro is the first metro in the state of Kerala. It was opened to the public within four years of starting the construction, making it the fastest completed metro project in India until the Lucknow Metro overtook it. Kochi Metro was lauded for its decision to employ Kudumbashree workers and also members of the transgender community
Sunset Cruise from Marine drive
Sunset cruise is another interesting thing to do in Kochi. It’s a great way to see the Chinese Fishing Nets from the water and to enjoy the Cochin backwaters at a leisurely pace. It is also the perfect opportunity to spot dolphins! It lasts for around 1.5 – 2 Hours. Sorry to say that you cannot enjoy this ride fully, because of the mosquitos.
Bolgatty Palace is located on an island of the same name, Bolgatty Island. It is one of the oldest Dutch palaces outside of Holland built by the Dutch. It was the residence of a number of British governors, but after independence the state turned it into a heritage resort. It’s another great place to wander around and to enjoy a cup of tea!
We again witnessed another inauguration here.
Lulu Bolgatty International Convention centre and Grand Hyatt Hotel was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Kerala the same day, a few hours back. The view of the convention centre from the cruise boat was amazing.
Other Places nearby
Dutch Cemetery and St. Francis Church: At this church, explorer Vasco da Gama was buried for 14 years before being dug up and taken back to Lisbon. It’s also the oldest European church in India.
Vasco Da Gama Tomb
MattancherryPalace (Dutch Palace)
Sant Cruz Basilica
You can also watch a Kathakali Performance or go for an Ayurveda Massage.
There are accommodations that suit all budgets, available in Kochi.
We stayed in Ramada Resort Kochi.
If you’d like to stay away from the hustle and bustle, then consider staying at Ramada Kochi Resort. A littleaway from Fort Kochi, it’s a place of peace and it has everything you need to relax after a well explored day. It has Kerala’s Biggest pool, multiple restaurant choices. All this right by the edge of the Kochi Backwaters. I would recommend staying in one of the Cottage Rooms, with a balcony overlooking the longest pool you have ever seen. Please note that there are many rooms that doesn’t have any views. Such rooms won’t be worth your money.
Don’t forget to have some sea food before you travel back from Kochi.
How to Reach
Cochin International Airport is an hour by taxi from Fort Kochi, and traffic jams are a regular occurrence, so try and get an air-conditioned car and make yourself comfortable.
Kochi is connected to all other regions across Kerala by Bus. The KSRTC(Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) bus stand is also within the city limits.
Kochi also have 2 railway stations – North Railway station and the South Railway station.