Kochi (also known as Cochin) is a city in southwest India’s coastal Kerala state. It has been a port since 1341, when a flood carved out its harbor and opened it to Arab, Chinese and European merchants. Let’s begin!
There are numerous sights and attractions in and around Kochi, but most visitors flock straight to Fort Kochi. This ‘tourist enclave’ is on a peninsula southwest of mainland Kochi and often referred to as Old Kochi. There you can spot old Chinese Fishing nets (cheena vala) that were first introduced by the Chinese in the 14th century!
If you get hungry, there’s a wide range of cuisines from all around the world but they are specialized in the preparation of sea food! Just grab something from the Chinese nets and take it to any restaurant around – they will prepare it in front of you!
You should also visit Princess Street for a lovely walk. The narrow stone alleys are lined with Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial architecture. Fort Kochi is also home to Kochi’s version of Wall Street – The International Pepper Exchange in Jewtown, where you can learn ancient spice trading practices!
I visited a traditional Indian theatre (most famous) where I had the honour of watching artists applying makeup to dancers and then I got to watch a show! I was impressed with their facial art but also, more than anything else, how I could actually understand the story just by body language alone! Highly recommended.
Traditional Indian food is really spicy but I love their sweets! You can get them on every corner and they are really delicious (and cheap). A lot of parents buy them as a treat for their kids.
Visit a typical market in Kochi’s streets. Here you can buy dolls for good luck – they represent characters from traditional Indian dances.
It was a divine feeling visiting the oldest cathedral in India where there’s a tomb of Vasco de Gama! I couldn’t imagine I would ever have the privilege but being a globetrotter has a lot of privileges!
I took a photo with a local beauty – she was selling some amazing pieces of jewellery, all of which were handmade. She barely spoke English but her smile said a lot! After visiting her shop, I left with a full bag of beautiful earrings.
Coming from a European country, it’s not unusual to see female police officers. In India, however, they travel in a cute car and are called ‘Pink Police.’
As you might already know, Indian ladies love jewellery and they take good care of their appearance. On almost every corner you can buy colours for your forehead! They were kind enough to draw one on my face as well – you can see it on the photos!
Families love walking next to the sea in Kochi Fort. You can see lots of kids, adults and animals enjoying the sun and the sound of the waves.
Some interesting facts about Cochin
- India’s first church ‘St. Francis Church’ is located in Kochi
- Vembanad Lake is the longest lake and largest wetland system in India
- Pallipuram Fort in Cochin is the oldest fort built by Europeans in India
- Kochi’s Spice Exchange handles over 90% of the pepper and spice trade of India