Fort Kochi the seaside town is known for Dutch, Portuguese, and British colonial architecture and Chinese fishing nets on the beach has many sites to explore. The port town is pretty small and three to four days are good enough to explore the place on foot. Here are things to see while in this cultural hub:
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1. Behold the Chinese fishing nets
The elaborate fishing nets on the beach are this town’s most visited. It’s believed that they came from Emperors Kublai Khan’s court and were introduced in the 14th century by explorer Zheng He. Since then they have been in use. Hang around the beach around sunrise and you can see the catch being reeled in. The fish can be bought and then given to be cooked by locals who run shacks along the beach.
2. Visit Mattancherry Palace
Built-in 1555, the palace was constructed by the Portuguese as an appreciation token to the Raja of Kochi, Verra Kerala Varma. Thanks to renovation and extensions done by the Dutch in 1663, the palace is called Dutch Palace. With wooden balconies, the palace is home to paintings and murals that are exhibited as is the history of this place.
3. Pray at Pardesi Synagogue
The town has a Jewish place of worship called the Jewish Synagogue which is the oldest in the Commonwealth. The place is a must-visit with meaningful history explained by the Jews who maintain it. It had a gold pulpit and hand-painted, willow pattern floor tiles that have been imported from China. There’s also an exquisite Belgian chandelier and clock tower that is a hallmark of this structure.
4. Watch a Kathakali performance
One of the most fascinating things to do in Kochi is to watch a traditional dance. There are a number of places where the dance form is explained and performed. The entry fees for these are steep but every rupee spent is worth it.
5. Sit on the beach sands
There are a couple of beaches like Mahatma Gandhi beach and Fort Kochi beach. These offer a nice spot to watch the waves lash as well as the ships come to port.
6. Check out the Indian naval museum
The museum has some great history of the Indian Navy displayed. There’s also information about Kochi and the people on display.
7. See the Indo-Portuguese museum
Home to some interesting Catholic historic religious articles, the Indo-Portuguese museum in Fort Kochi is a good place to visit. One can see the growth of the religion in the state through the items here.
8. Catch a ferry from Fort Kochi ferry station
The ride by a ferry is a great experience. It allows one to admire and appreciate the wonder of the coast of Fort Kochi. The cost is also economical. The view from the station as well as onboard the ferry is breathtaking.
9. Spend some time in the churches
Fort Kochi is home to some wonderful architectural marvels when it comes to the churches here. The indoors are prayerful and spiritual stirring, a perfect place to sit down and connect to God. A must visit is Santa Cruz Basilica.
10. Savour the tastes
The food of Fort Kochi is amazing from the desserts which are authentic Keralite to the cuisine. Depending on your budget, you can choose where to dine and you will be sure that you won’t be disappointed.
11. Pay a visit to the police museum
The museum is a must-see when in Kochi to explore the history of the cops in the southern town. There are very nice crime archives and stories that explain the men in khaki and how they have cracked the cases. The weapons used by the police over the years are also on display here.
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