A day at Fort Kochi

By Hand On The Hip - 2/26/2018

Hello guys!

To travel is to live and travelling happens to be one of my favorite hobbies. While I have grazed the sands of Dubai desert, climbed to the peak of an ice mountain in Austria, experienced fresh air about 7000 feet above the ground at Grand Canyon (Next travel post, I promise! :D), I have realized that there's so much one can do, so much one can experience in our own country. Kerala, proudly known as God's Own Country, has so much to offer. While there are hill-stations on one side, the coast is full of beautiful beaches worth visiting. Recently I happened to be in Aluva (near Cochin) to visit some family and decided to spend a day at Fort Kochi in Ernakulam.

Beach, shops and cafes

We drove from Aluva to Fort Kochi which took us around an hour. As soon as we reached our destination, there was a lovely beach walkway that we walked on to get to the more commercialized part. We indulged in some street shopping, a much needed tender coconut water break and proceeded towards the streets that had more shops and cafes. After a long walk along the K.J.Herschel Road and exploring the town, we stopped by at Kochi Cafe for some cold coffee and oreo shake. Fort Kochi has a lot of European influence that not many people know about. Fortunately or unfortunately, most parts of this beautiful beach town is more or less a commercial hub. From bags, umbrellas, jewelry with ethnic designs to handmade flowy dresses and scarves to antiques, you will find all of them here at dirt cheap prices.

Colonial architecture

The biggest attraction here are the bright colored houses and buildings that are now converted to cafes, restaurants and home stays. The minute I set foot into this part of the town, I felt as if I had time traveled. I was stunned to see some gorgeous colonial construction all through the town which is supposedly a mix of Portuguese, Dutch and British architecture. Before the colonization of Kerala, Fort Kochi happened to be a fishing village. Once the land was granted to the Portuguese in early 1500s, they built their settlement in Fort Kochi. In 1683, the Dutch took over Fort Kochi and after a hundred odd years, the British attacked and ruled the area till Indian Independence. Well, that explains the diversity in architecture.

Jewish settlement

I had also heard about Jew Town and wanted to visit the Paradesi Synagogue which is now a historical monument that is home for antiques and other artifacts. Fort Kochi is known to be the very first Jewish settlement in India. Cochin Jews, also called Malabar Jews, are believed to be descendants of King Solomon. Although we were a tad bit late to pay a visit to the synagogue, we spotted some boats at the Ernakulam-Mattancherry ferry service and decided to pay the ocean a visit which cost us around 800 bucks for a 30 minute boat ride. If you are a big fan of antiques, then there are some shops which sell them here.

I spotted some lovely home stays that I wished I could have spent a night in. However due to time constraints I had to keep my visit short and sweet. Overall, I had a great time in Fort Kochi. It was one of the must-visit places in my bucket list and I am glad I got a taste of it. Bangaloreans, time for a weekend getaway, don't you think?

Hand On The Hip

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