Presenting an intriguing and unique mix of medieval Europe and India after years of intense activities by Portuguese, Dutch and Britain, Kochi has rightfully earned the epithet- ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. From a precious 400 years old synagogue and ancient mosques to busy ports and sprawling beaches, Kochi has it all.
Best Time to Visit
The months between October and March are the best time to visit the coastal city. The weather during these months is pleasant. The monsoon months between July and September are ideal for those seeking a quiet holiday in the lush green blanket of nature.
The average summer temperature is 24°C-37°C; while the average winter temperature range from 17°C-33°C
Places to Visit
The country’s largest port city is home to many palm fringed coastlines, ancient and historical monuments, religious sites and museums.
Being a coastal city, Kochi abounds with sprawling shores and beaches. The Cherai Beach is one of the most popular and clean beaches of Kochi with a coastline stretching up to 15 kms. Its clear waters are ideal for swimming and surfing. Many dolphin sightings are often reported in the area making it truly unique. The Fort Kochi Beach is ideal for those seeking some quality ‘me time’ away from the populous streets and beaches.
(i) Built in 1568, the Pardesi Synagogue is a prime attraction in Kochi. Featuring an ornate gold pulpit, hand-painted Cantonese floor tiles and sparkling Belgian chandeliers and laps, the synagogue is a spectacle to behold. A clock tower was also incorporated into the complex in the year 1760 adding further charm to it.
(ii) The St. Francis Church is significant for being the first European house of worship in India. The church interiors include beautifully engraved Dutch and Portuguese tombstones
(iii) The Santa Cruz Basilica is another historically religious site. Set in spacious grounds, its interiors are colorfully painted with scenes and decorations.
Kochi has an abundance of museums making it every art and history lover’s ultimate paradise.
(i) The Kerala Folklore Museum has a unique three-tiered structure exhibiting different architectural styles on all three levels houses over 4000 artifacts.
(ii) The Hill Palace Museum in Tripunithura houses the precious collections of the royal families along with 19th century oil paintings, sculptures, paintings and jewelry.
(iii) The Indo-Portuguese Museum stands in the garden of Bishop’s House preserving the heritage of one of the earliest Catholic communities in India. The museum valuables include silver processional crosses and altar-pieces.
(iv) The murals and information panels at the Maritime Museum in Kochi trace the entire history of the Indian navy and the maritime trade dating back to the Portuguese and Dutch.
(v) Built in 1555, the Mattancherry Palace houses rare Hindu murals depicting the scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharatha in very intricate details.
Where To Eat
The indigenous Kochi cuisine is characterized by an abundance of coconut and spices rendering a distinct flavor to the dishes.
- Sri Krishna Café at Mattancherry.
- Kashi Art Café at Fort Kochi.
- Kayees Biryani at Mattancherry
- Malabar Junction at Fort Kochi
- Chai Nation at Kakkanad
- Fusion Bay at Fort Kochi
Where To Shop
Shopping in Kochi is akin to exploring the city. To get a taste of Kochi’s culture, a visit to its indigenous markets is a must.
Broadway Market: Several wholesale and retail shops line the market street. From shoes and bags to traditional jewelry and handicrafts; from nuts and spices to oil and utensils, this market sells an array of products. The building’s sloping roofs are reminiscent of its old-world charm.
Spice Market: Kochi has retained its status as an important center of spice trade. The strong odor of the finest spices- ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric and pepper emanates from the spice warehouses and blends with the air.
Jew Town Market: If you are a history lover and an antiques hoarder, Jew Town is undoubtedly the place for you. The market is dotted by shops and warehouses housing nothing but fine antiques within. You will also find antique jewellery and other curios in these shops.
Despite years of European colonisation, Kochi’s vibrant culture still reflects its indigenous and traditional beauty, right from its festivals and events to everyday life.
Come and explore the old world charm of Kochi, the Jewel of Arabian Sea.
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