Visiting “God’s own Country’ was always on my bucket list and thanks to Neemrana Hotels it has come true.
If you haven’t checked out my previous post about Neemrana, then you can check it here.
The bright blue sky with lush greens and large structured Portuguese buildings, I was welcomed to Fort Kochi.
If you ignore the electric pole lines, then most of the buildings date back to the 17th century and give a certain primitive feel.
We were unsure of the plans for the day, but our hotel manager sorted all out for us and also arranged a tuk-tuk service to drive along the place.
The rickshaw is the easiest way to travel within the city. Because of the language barrier, the drivers can be a little stubborn when it comes to bargaining a price.
But you need to strike a balance and get away with it.
The Jewish Synagogue:
It is situated at the end of the Jew street. This synagogue was built in 1568 by the Malabar Yehuda or Cochin Jewish community.
Clicking pictures inside the place is not allowed but once you enter one’s eyes would quickly go to the glass chandeliers and blue Chinese floor tiles. The light falling on the chandeliers through the large windows make it very appealing.
The Jew street has many shopping stalls, art cafe and antique stores flanked on either side of the road wherein you will find the locals doing hand embroidery and many Kashmiri artefacts.
The Spice Market:
The spice market is spread across the parallel lanes from Jew street and was considered the central hub for spices back then. Our driver took us to this place to witness firsthand on how the spices are dried and prepared.
The moment you enter the lanes your senses are penetrated with the fragrance of the spices. Once it was a centre for turmeric, ginger, and pepper.
St. Francis Church:
The church is just a 5 minutes walk away from our hotel.
The church looks humble at appearance but has a great historical significance. This was the first European church built in India.
Vasco da Gama the Portuguese explorer, died in Kochi and he was entombed here, but his remains were later shifted to Portugal.
Fort Kochi beach:
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica:
The church is almost 500 years old. During the Dutch conquest, many churches were demolished except few and Santa Cruz Cathedral unscathed.
The Chinese fishing nets:
The nets are unique installations used for fishing. It is the most popular sightseeing one must visit.
The Dutch Palace:
The palace is a good gesture by the Portuguese which was presented to the Raja of Kochi. It is a beautiful mixing of Dutch and Kerala style architecture.
It also has a temple for goddess Bhagwati in the courtyard. The palace has many artefacts of the late Raja, murals of ancient history.
We wanted to visit the folklore museum on our last day of the trip, but unfortunately, because of the untimely demise of the owner, the museum was shut down.
Since we didn’t have any other agenda for the day, we went to the nearby Ernakulam market which didn’t have much to my taste.
We later went to take a ferry back to Fort Kochi. It was during the golden hour, and it was magical.
There are jetty services for every 20-25 minutes from the main Ernakulam jetty service. And the last jetty leaves at 9:15 pm.
As we walked along the narrow vintage lanes of Fort Kochi, you will find graffiti walls which were an outcome of an International Art festival in 2012. It gave a new dimension to the city.
We didn’t indulge in local cuisine or different food cafes as the hotel we stayed at made sure we were pampered with whatever we needed. But there are many cafes along the street to try out and we have heard that Fort Kochi offers some amazing food for all the food lovers.
Whenever I visit a new city I make sure to taste the local pani-puri and sweet pan there.
But we made sure to pick up the yummy banana chips on our way back.
Right from the moment, we put our foot down in Cochin- we absolutely loved everything about it. The breathtaking views, the lagoons, backwaters, the weather was just perfect with enough cool breeze and sunlight.
No wonder it is known as God’s own country. I would love to visit the state and explore more!
Until next time,