Kochi is one of the most interesting destinations in Kerala with a glorious past that is steeped in colonial history. Nurtured and shaped over centuries by many foreign powers such as the Dutch, Arabs, Chinese, British and Portuguese, Kochi has over the years developed its very own cultural identity. No visit to Kerala is ever complete without a visit to Kochi. The unique artistry, culture, lifestyle, and cuisine of Kochi work together to create a great vacation. Here are some of the things to do in Kochi, Kerala that can make your trip a wonderful experience.
Try these things on your trip to Kochi to make it memorable
1. A visit to Mattancherry Palace
One of the best things to do in Kochi is to pay a visit to the Mattancherry Palace, which includes Kerala murals showing exhibits and portraits of Rajas of Kochi. The Palace was originally built by the Portuguese in 1555 and presented to Verra Kerala Varma, the Raja of Kochi, as a grand token of appreciation. Later in 1663, additional restorations and extensions were carried out by the Dutch, which is why it is also known as the Dutch Palace.
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2. See the gorgeous sight of Chinese fishing nets
The Chinese Fishing Nets in Kochi are often regarded as one of the most picturesque sights in Kochi. Legends tell that these nets were originally brought down from the royal courts of Kublai Khan, the great Chinese emperor and introduced in 14th century by Zheng He, a Chinese explorer to the local fisherman in Kochi. You can also buy fishes from the fishmongers and get them cooked in some local shacks.
3. Play with elephants at Elephant Training Centre
Kodanad is a relatively small riverside village in Ernakulam district in Kochi. It is also the home to an elephant training center where the baby and adult elephants are washed and trained. You can come to Kodanad for a day trip and be a part of this unique experience and watch the elephants early in the morning. Watching the elephants roll and play in the water is fun.
4. Explore the gorgeous Paradesi Synagogue
The Jewish Synagogue in Kochi is the oldest of its kind in Commonwealth of Nations. It is locally known as Paradesi Synagogue since it was mostly visited by Jews from the Middle East and Europe, who were deemed as foreigners or pardesi. The synagogue was originally built in 1568 and later restored by the Dutch. The synagogue has a gold pulpit as well as hand-painted, willow-pattern floor tiles that were imported from China. An exquisitely beautiful Belgian chandelier illuminates the synagogue and the unique clock tower further adds to its charm.
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5. Pay a visit to St. Francis Church
You should definitely include the St. Francis Church in your Kochi sightseeing tour as it is among the oldest churches in India, built by the Europeans. It was built by the Portuguese in 1503 as Roman Catholic Church. However, later in 1864, it became a Dutch Reformist Church and then an Anglican Church building in 1804. This church became the original burial place for Vasco De Gama after his death in 1524 even though his remains were removed to Lisbon fourteen years later.
6. Watch a Kathakali dance performance
Kathakali is a classical dance form originating in Kerala and is quite well known for its fascinating and colorful costumes. The dance form presents themes and stories that are derived from Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana as well as many other folk stories. The Kathakali Center in Kochi runs regular performances as well as offers a backstage look at the artists as they prepare for the classical dance events.
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7. Visit princess street for street shopping, handicrafts, cafes and more
Princess Street, also known as Loafer’s Corner is widely hailed as among the oldest locations in Kochi, which is why it is often loved by tourists. If you are looking for fun things to do in Kochi, then you should certainly visit the Princess Street. It offers the perfect amalgamation of traditional and modern world. The influence of colonial heritage is strong here as you can see numerous homes and buildings on both the sides of Princess Street that have European architectural styles, mainly British, Dutch and Portuguese. The place is notable for cafés, street shopping, books stores, handicrafts and souvenir shops and vibrant people.
8. Head to Indo-Portuguese Museum
The Indo-Portuguese Museum is located in the garden of Bishop’s House. It preserves the classical heritage and legacy of one of the earliest Catholic communities in India, including silver processional crosses, vestments, and altarpieces from Cochin diocese. When you are here, do visit the basement of the Indo-Portuguese Museum to explore the remnants of the Fort Immanuel. This is a must-visit destination for any history buff.
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9. Relax and have a great lunch at Kashi Art Café
Located at Fort Cochin, the Kashi Art Café is known for its casual vibrations, Zen-like calmness, and an elegant semi courtyard space that are covered with many solid wood tables. If you want to have some nice western breakfast menus and a great lunch, Kashi Art Café is the best place to be. The coffee served here is quite strong as well, which should appeal to ardent coffee lovers. A small gallery here presents works created by local artists.
10. Stay at the unique and incredible Ginger House Museum Hotel
The Ginger House is an elegant waterfront restaurant that offers some of the most heart-filled Indian snacks and dishes such as ginger ice cream, ginger prawns, and ginger lassi. The location of the restaurant is unique as well. You will need to walk past Heritage Arts showroom that offers glimpses of amazing antiques and sculptures as well as explores the giant, one of a kind snake-boat canoe.
If Kochi is on your bucket list on your trip to Kerala, these are some of the must-do things that’ll make you fall in love with God’s own country. Want us to help you plan your holiday? Creatie your own Kerala tour package right away.
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