Cochin is a bustling city on the eastern coast of India, blending in the old world charm of the modern age. As a historical port city, you can see how various cultures influenced the essence of the city. Cochin was the gateway to the colonization of India, with numerous European styled palaces, churches, and forts. With its numerous attractions, you can never be bored with the plethora of history, culture, and food. A city that can appeal to any type of tourist, it is truly a special place to visit.
1. Spending a day at Fort Kochi (Ernakulam)
Not an actual fort, Fort Kochi hosts a number of attractions you can visit. The Dutch had built Fort Emmanuel on the land granted to them by the Rajah of Kochi in 1503 AD. The ruins of the majestic fort can still be seen around the area. You cannot miss the Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi. The unique appearance of these fishing nets, rumored to be from China, are an amazing and captivating sight. If you are passionate about history, you should drop in at St. Francis Church. As the first church built by Europeans in India, you should not miss having a look. Another thing you would want to do is take a boat ride which takes you around the area.
2. Visiting the Hill Palace of Tripunithura
As the largest palace museum in South India, the Hill Palace is one thing you must not miss out on. During the time when Cochin was under the rule of the Rajahs, this used to be their administrative building. Now it has been turned into a museum hosting numerous artifacts. With its beautifully decorated gardens and the deer park, you can spend a lot of time outside the palace. Inside the palace, you get to see the various objects owned by the Cochin Royal Family. The main attraction of the museum is the Cochin Royal Crown.
3. Strolling around Willingdon Island
You would not want to miss out on visiting the largest man-made island in India when you are at Kochi. Willingdon Island is home to one of the largest ports in the country, as well as an Indian Naval base. It is a perfect place to come out of the city and relax in, with its quaint houses and quiet roads. If you are hungry, The Rice Boat is the place to go for a scrumptious meal. Walking at the edges of Vembanad Lake while watching ships is a perfect way to spend the evening.
4. Relive the days of colonialism at Mattancherry
Matancherry neighbors Ernakulam, and colonial buildings are abundant in this area. If you are interested in the colonial history of India, you would want to visit this neighborhood. Walking around the neighborhood during the evening is a great way to spend your time, and will increase your appetite. With its numerous cafes, Matancherry can satisfy your hunger. The Matancherry Palace, built by the Dutch as a gift to the Rajah, houses a small collection of artifacts for you to see. It is a must visit if you want a glimpse into the history of Cochin.
5. Escape to Vypeen Island
Take a ferry from Fort Kochi to this little island located just 5 kilometers away. You can relax at the beautiful Cherai Beach, known as the best beach in Cochin. Going to the top of the lighthouse at Puthuvype must also feature on your to-do list. There you can get a nice view of the main city and also the Arabian Sea. Visiting the numerous churches on the island is also fun. The small Pallippuram Fort is a great place to learn more about the Colonial past of India.
6. Buy souvenirs on Princess Street
Near the Chinese Nets in Fort Kochi, Princess Street is brimming with little shops and is the perfect place for you to spend the evening. It is a great place to relax and enjoy a great cup of tea. With the smell of baked bread and the Dutch style buildings, you will feel like you have traveled into the past. The restaurants can satisfy your appetite, while the cafes are perfect places to unwind. There are souvenir shops where you can buy trinkets to take home.
7. Explore the culture of Kerela at Greenix Village
Missing out on a Kathakali performance while you are at Kochi would be a shame. As one of the prominent dance forms of India, it is a must watch. The perfect place to see this dance performance would be Greenix Village. Here you would also find a cultural museum and you can witness one of the oldest martial arts of the world, Kalaripayattu. With such an immense array of historical and cultural knowledge stored here, this would be a great place to visit. Greenix Village is a great way of learning more about god’s own country.
Cochin, with its endless beauty and rich history, is sure to captivate you. Filled with colonial buildings which you can explore for days, and cafes and restaurants to keep you fueled, you would fall in love with the city.
Rohit is a passionate traveler and he loves to share his enthusiasm about traveling to unique destinations all around India. Catch up with him on his blog TransIndiaTravels.com to get a glimpse of his exciting journeys.