You would nurture the perspective required to understand and appreciate a unique culture such as Kochi’s when you have been to these places. Most people who come here are chasing history, looking for a time gone by amidst the fishing nets and backwaters. But while time and settings have chiseled its very heart, Kochi still has a lot of special experiences to offer. And that’s the lure of a city that promises experiences for the true adventurer. If you were thinking that Chinese fishing nets and Jewish synagogues are all Kochi has to offer, you would change your mind after reading this! Here is a list of 5 things that makes Kochi a favorite port city.
A galore of Exotic cuisines
Being the queen of Arabian Sea has its pluses, doesn’t it? The renowned spice coast city boasts of the world’s leading colonial cuisines which brings a fusion of cultures right on your plate! From the Portuguese influenced coconut milk dishes to the Jewish Appams, Kochi enjoys the confluence of Malabar and Mediterranean flavors like no other city in India. How can one forget the Syrian Christian Duck Molee, Kayees’ Mutton Biryani and the humble fish curry that our fishermen’s nets rustle up from the seas?
Unique Cafés and Bistros
The Kashi art café in Fort Kochi is one place you wouldn’t want to miss. With a vibrant café scene, this place offers a great treat, both to your mind and being. It has a great décor and atmosphere, where you get fresh French pressed coffee, cakes and pastries. Check out Teapot on Petercelli Street; catch a performance at Café Papaya’s Under the Tree in Ernakulam or Springr Café & Studio in Mattancherry.
Ferry trips to Ernakulam from Fort Kochi are the most comfortable and rapid method of transport. The boat jetty is located at River road. As there are different destinations, make sure that you hop on to the correct boat. Cut down travel time like the locals by ferry-hopping from Fort Kochi to Ernakulam and visit places like Bolgatty palace, Vypeen and Willingdon Island. There are two boat jetties in Ernakulam: High Court Jetty in the north, and Main Boat Jetty in the southern part of the city which is more suitable for going to most destinations in the center of the town. The spacious ferries loads two-wheelers, cycles, four-wheelers and lots of people in an organized way, before beeping their horn and sailing across the backwaters. Ferry services are start at 6 am and ply until 10 pm and the timetables and fares are listed at all boat jetties.
Be amazed by the Biennale
You have got to experience this phenomenon called Kochi-Muziris Biennale that happens every year in Kochi. Each visit gives you an insight on the artist’s perspective of art and creativity. All the art installations are unique, with a clear stamp of contemporary thinking paired with simplicity in them. The setting is fascinating, with a perfect view of the Fort Kochi beach as it meets the Arabian Sea with grace, beautiful skies and a lot of fishes swimming into eternity. The streets of Kochi are literally a gallery where walls act as canvases and beachside rocks and trees are reclaimed as artworks. Local artists hailing from Fort Kochi and Mattancherry often squat by the roadside, drawing and painting old buildings or picturesque lanes.
Take a Heritage walk
From witnessing the world’s largest ‘Uruli’ (a huge brass vessel) at one of the antique shops to experiencing the aroma of the overpriced spices sold at the Jew town, a walk down the ancient streets of Fort Kochi offers a unique experience. Start at Vasco Da Gama Square, where a tapered promenade runs in parallel to the Chinese fishing nets. An artificial island created was named after the erstwhile governor of Madras, who commissioned the project – The Willingdon Island. You can then walk past the relics of Fort Immanuel and the Gunnery and follow the Dutch Cemetery Road to the oldest European cemetery in India which is dated back to 1724.