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Cochin, also called Kochi, rests on the Lakshadweep Ocean, and is among the biggest multi storied ports in India. Cochin is composed from the Ernakulam area around the Malabar Coast in addition to a number of natural and man-made islands based in the Mattancherry Peninsula. The town is outlined by its tremendous geographic and cultural diversity. Christian believers, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews all call Cochin home, and also tourists visiting this port city will enjoy the sights and points of interest this multi-faceted destination provides. If there's one thing you must pick up, it has to be the varied spices for which India has always been the most sought after ancient colony. 

Cochin continues to be continuously lived on because the times of antiquity, yet it continued to be a sleepy fishing village for hundreds of years, until discovered through the Portuguese within the 16th century. Vasco da Gama arrived in Cochin in 1502 and established a Buying and selling outpost within the city, getting an abundance of spices or herbs, silks, and capuccinos towards the region. A stroll through downtown Cochin will still reveal many Portuguese influences around the landscape, including remains of European architecture and native infrastructure. Today, Cochin remains a significant economic center of shipbuilding, fishing, and coconut oil production.

If you have never visited India, brace yourself. Frightening does absolutely nothing to describe individuals first couple of moments whenever you leave the main harbor, whether inside a tuk-tuk, vehicle or coach, and uncover that things on the highway are less than as you are accustomed to in your own home.

Cochin is thought to possess had trade links with China and Arabia for just two,000 years five centuries ago the Men and women showed up. First were the Portuguese, when Vasco da Gama discovered the ocean path to India and generate a buying and selling station in 1502. In 1503, Fort Cochin, the very first European fort in India, was built.

The British showed up in 1635 but were forced by the Dutch in 1663. However, they came back in 1791 and remained until independence in 1947.

The tourist going to Cochin will enjoy going to the Cochin Museum, featuring breathtaking collections of Indian artwork. A stroll with the Dutch Structure is a fantastic way to know Cochin's European roots. When sunset over this scenic seaside city, have a fine meal in a single of Cochin's scrumptious worldwide restaurants, and finish the night in the Cochin Cultural Center, watching a performance from the Kathakali Ballroom dancers, famous through the Indian subcontinent.

The town is split into two halves -- Mattancherry around the south side and Fort Cochin. (You will see a place which was inside the fort, instead of battlements.) Ernakulam would be to its northern border. You will find museums, shops, restaurants and Hotels in Ernakulam, but basically, it is a contemporary city. Site visitors usually stick to the south side, as that's the best looking historic part of the city.

Docking & Local Transportation

Cruise ships pier in the Port of Cochin situated on Willingdon Island. Taxis is going to be waiting to consider you to definitely your destination within the city.

Cochin is offered with a system of non-public city buses which takes you all over the city. Remember that throughout peak hrs, these buses are extremely crowded, and pickpockets will always be looking for vacationers. Rickshas are the most popular choice in Cochin. They're affordable and could be praised from most street corners. Additionally, taxis are available all around the city. Lastly, if you want to rent a vehicle whilst in the city, contact Avis (484/667-172) to set up for any quality automobile.

Where You are Docked
Cruise ships pier in the port on Willingdon Island, a peninsula jutting out beside Mattancherry and Fort Cochin. It might be quite ten or twenty yards to Mattancherry should you could walk over the water, but alas, the direction to get there's extended. Don't even think about walking.
Making Your Way Around

It's your choice: tuk-tuks or taxis. The previous -- basically small, three-wheeled automobiles which are operated by motorbike engines and also have sufficient room for any driver and 2 people -- are less costly and much more fun, but it is unfortunate you need to encounter taxi motorists before you decide to achieve them. All costs are negotiable, and just what you have to pay is dependent how good you're at bargaining. Like a rough estimate, you are very likely to pay for Rs 250 for any tuk-tuk ride in to the city, with two hrs waiting time before returning. Exactly the same trip inside a taxi costs about Rs 750 for any taxi. Clearly if you wish to spend longer within the city and have the motive force demonstrate around, you have to adjust the costs accordingly. Remember always to include a little extra to help you out.

Be Careful For hassle. Sadly, you're going to get this just about everywhere, especially while you leave the main harbor to locate a cab or tuk-tuk.
Automobiles appeared to become parked inside a special order, which most likely offers quite a bit related to just how much the motorists tip the males in control. Probably the most costly taxi motorists using the best cars are immediately outdoors the main harbor gates. Walk on the little, and you will find the older and cheaper taxis. Farther away, you'll arrived at the authorized tuk-tuk motorists. Finally, you will find things i suspect would be the wildcat tuk-tuk motorists, that do not pay any backhanders and, therefore, charge the cheapest costs.

Motorists is going to do everything to obtain a fare. I had been accompanied the street by one taxi driver who drove past me several occasions after which switched and parked, facing me. So, inevitably, I stored entering him, and he'd start harassing me again.
Although Cochin felt safe, you need to stick to the usual rules much more a community. Make certain Cash is shackled by you and also difficult prey in your wallet, don't put on costly watches or jewelry, and do not expensive large wads of money before residents.
Trying some local food from the street vendor may be tempting but is most likely not smart, because the cuisine will probably cause you to sick. Also, People in america should keep in mind that, in India, people drive on a single side from the road because the British.

Shoreline Activities
The very best things you can do in Cochin will be to explore Fort Cochin and cruise the Kerala Backwaters, so most activities really are a variation on the theme -- Fort Cochin having a boat trip or Fort Cochin having a Kathakali dance show. Average trip occasions have to do with four hrs. Perfect for a little of Fun: Should you fancy a ride inside a tuk-tuk but can't bear the idea of all of the hassle and bargaining, this is actually the answer: Fort Cochin by Tuk-Tuk as organised through the ship. It will be a little of the whirlwind tour and price greater than five occasions the cost to do it on your own, but it is the safe option, and you will see guides on the way to make certain all is alright.

Perfect for Finding Cochin: Pull out your walking footwear, and hang served by helpful tips for uncover all there's in Fort Cochin. You will see a great deal of walking, but you will see everything, including St. Francis Chapel, the Santa Cruz Basilica, china fishing nets, the Nederlander graveyard and also the Vasco House.

Perfect for Entertainment: This trip combines sightseeing in Cochin having a Kathakali show. The sightseeing may be by coach or boat and can you need to be a short peek at the city -- most most likely china nets and St. Francis Chapel -- since the show may be the highlight. The costumes, hairpieces and masks are vibrant and flamboyant, the dance performance very dramatic. Look at individuals eye expressions to comprehend the grandeur of the art. 

Perfect for Tranquility: An trip towards the Kerala Backwaters needs to function as the highlight associated with a cruise to Cochin. Following a 90-minute drive along streets teeming with cars, bicycles and individuals -- all apparently having a dying-wish -- you'll get to Alleppy, board your boat and go into the sublime realm of the backwaters. The cruise takes about two hrs. On the way, consider water buses that transport people round the area, residents doing their washing, houseboats and even perhaps a marriage if you're lucky.

Fort Kochi
Even a casual stroll through Fort Kochi located in the port city of Kochi in Kerala is enough to make you feel transported to another world and time. The architectural style of the buildings and the town layout easily make Fort Cochin distinct from other cities and towns of Kerala. Since Fort Cochin was under the possession of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British at different points of time, the region still bear the influence of European architecture.
 
Bolgatty Palace
The splendid Bolghatty Palace is located on the Bolghatty Islands, in the Cochin city of Kerala. The appeal of the palace lies in the fact that it is among the oldest existing palaces built by the Dutch in India, during the pre-British times. More.
 
Chinese Fishing Nets
The Chinese Fishing Nets, undoubtedly Kochi's most recognizable sight, have been there since the 14th century and are remarkably still in use today. The Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi, located in the Kochi city of Kerala, make up a very popular tourist attraction. Local fisherman will show you how they're operated in return for a small fee. In the late afternoon head to the waterfront where the nets line the shore, buy some seafood from one of the fishmongers there, get it cooked at a nearby shack, and enjoy eating it as the sun sets.
 
Cochin Backwaters
With coconut trees lining the pellucid lake waters for kilometers at a stretch …the backwaters of Cochin proffer one of the most enchanting sights to tourists. Apart from the numerous ancient monuments, like the Jewish Synagogue, Fort Kochi and the Mattancherry Palace, built during the pre-British times, the backwaters in Kochi city of Kerala is just another reason why hundreds of tourists flock to this beautiful port city the whole year round.
 
Mattancherry Palace
Mattancherry is another old neighborhood full of colonial buildings. You'll find it fascinating if you're into history. The main attraction there is the Mattancherry Dutch Palace, built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Kochi in 1555, then renovated by the Dutch in 1663. It lacks the grandeur that you'd expect of a palace. Yet, there's a small museum and some rare art inside, including paintings of previous kings and some beautiful murals from the Hindu epics.
Marine Drive
Marine Drive is a beautiful promenade in Kochi (Cochin), Kerala state of India. The Marine Drive is built facing the backwaters of Kochi. It is a popular hangout for the local populace as well as the tourists.
 
Jew Town
Aromatic Jew Town is the center of spice trade in Kochi and the air is filled with the heady waft of masala. Spend some time wandering through the streets and lanes, and exploring the antique stores. It's a fabulous neighborhood for photography. These days, you won't find many Jews left there though. They've been replaced by an influx of Kashmiri shopkeepers who hawk their wares to tourists. However, the Pardesi (Foreigner -- White Jew) Synagogue remains in use and is the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth. Its interior is resplendent with chandeliers, gold pulpit and imported floor tiles
 
Pareekshith Thampuran Museum
Pareekshith Thampuran Museum is a very good archeological museum located near the Shiva temple, on the Durbar Hall Road at Ernakulam. This museum boasts of an impressive collection of 19th century paintings, ancient monuments and coins, scriptures made in stone and Plaster of Paris, murals as well as memorabilia belonging to the Cochin royal family.
 
St Francis Church
This landmark church in Fort Kochi is believed to be the oldest European-built church in India. However, it's most famous for the fact that it was once the burial site of explorer Vasco de Gama, who died in Kochi in 1524 (his remains were later taken back to Portugal). The church was originally built by the Portuguese in 1503, and was subsequently claimed by the Dutch and British, before passing into Indian hands
 
Willingdon Island
The Willington Island contains the modern port serving Cochin city of Kerala. The island is an artificial man-made island created from the sand dug out while deepening Kochi port.
 
Museum of Kerala History
Do not take the Museum of Kerala History in the Cochin city of Kerala as any ordinary museum. The significance of this 'live' museum lies in the fact that it recounts the history of the land through magnificent and informative light and sound shows.
 
Princess Street
The happening Princess Street is the place to go for people watching, cafes, restaurants, bookstores, tea shops, art galleries, and souvenirs. It's one of the oldest streets in Fort Kochi and has become the main tourist strip. You'll also find grocery stores there, so you can to restock on any essential items. It's a great destination for an evening walk
 
Kathakali Performance
Kathakali is a very unusual and ancient form of dance-drama that's traditional to Kerala. The look, with its red bloodshot eyes, borders on grotesque. The movements of the dance are subtle, yet they tell a meaningful mythological story. Performers are required to undergo intense training, including hours of eye exercises, when learning the art of Kathakali
 
Local Interests
The Dutch Palace, situated on Bazaar Road (484/222-6085), is really a highlight associated with a visit to Cochin. It's an ornate structure built through the Portuguese within the 16th century, and provided to the rajas (Indian princes and chiefs) of Cochin a while later. Featuring an remarkable mixture of European and Indian architecture, the Dutch Palace is open Saturday through Thursday, 10am to 5pm.

The Jewish Synagogue of Cochin has made it because the 16th century and it is the only real synagogue around Kerala. Jews migrated to Cochin starting in the sixth century BC, and much more arrived the first century AD to flee Roman persecution. The synagogue is proof of their storied and tumultuous history in Cochin, and also the intricate tapestries and scroll work available here are specifically memorable. The synagogue is closed to site visitors throughout the Jewish holidays.

Cochin, and also the surrounding region of Kerala, is known for its Kathakali Dance shows, which feature elaborate costumes and superbly choreographed dance programs. Contact the Kerala Kathakali Center for additional information on a Kathakali show playing in Cochin throughout your stay.
 
Beaches
Fort Cochin Beach may be the nearest towards the city and it is frequently very crowded with vacationers in addition to local beachgoers. If you maintain Cochin throughout New Years, you will be treated towards the fabulous Fort Cochin Circus held only at that beach yearly on New Year's Eve. If you're searching for a far more secluded beach with tranquil seas and scenic splendor, mind to Cherai Beach.

Eating Out
If you want Indian food, lunch ashore is a real treat. You will find some fabulous restaurants with sights within the water -- all connected to the city's top hotels, so that you can trust the hygiene -- serving dishes that take full advantage of all of the spices or herbs from the area. You will find, obviously, curries, lots of seafood and lots of chicken.
 
Cochin cuisines comprise an impressive assortment of mouth-watering vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, having a distinct taste and flavor. And there are many good restaurants in Kochi serving these. Try out 'pachadi', 'thoran' or 'kaalan', while eating out in Cochin. As bananas are found in abundance here, it happens to be a very crucial ingredient in the majority of Cochin cuisines. Kallappams or Vellayappams are traditional rice flour pancakes eaten during meals in Cochin.
 
Being a port city, Cochin also offers a variety of rich non-vegetarian cuisine comprising of an impressive range of seafood delights like 'Meen vevichathu'. There's also a host of dishes made of chicken, lamb and fish. The rich base of coconut makes Cochin cuisine very delicious and gives it a special flavor of its own. Apart from these, there are also many fast food eating joints in Kochi like Pizza Hut, Chic King, Hot Breads et al. Or you can also try out the multi cuisine restaurants, where they also serve continental, Thai and Chinese.
 
Some regular restaurants serving local dishes are: Sri Krishna Cafe (Gujerati road, Mattanchery) They serve amazing Stuffed Parotta & Vegetable Masala Dosa.
Art Café Here, you get really delicious Banana and Chocolate cakes. The coffee served at the café is also pretty good.
Arya Bhavan All kinds of basic Tamil food is served here
Palms Restaurant (Metropolitan) It is bit expensive, but the menu includes really authentic and sumptuous local cuisine.
Some other good restaurants in Kochi are Salt N Pepper, Solar Café, Fort House Restaurant and Kashi Art Café.
 
Eat at multi-cuisine restaurants in Kochi like:
Pandhal on MG road is a family restaurant. They also have an attached pastry counter.
Renaissance on MG road offers Continental, Chinese and Thai food, apart from Indian dishes.
Tharavad is located on Willingdon Island. This is Casino hotel's coffee shop and a variety of cuisines are available here throughout the day
 
 
Dining at Brunton Boatyard (00 91 484 3011568) is much like going for a step in time. Your accommodation is just a couple of years of age, nevertheless its elegant colonial looks are similar to Dutch and Portuguese architecture. In case your cruise ship is remaining overnight , try the Terrace Grill, which specializes in sea food. For those who have only here we are at lunch, dine in the Cafe, that have an Indian-cum-Italian menu with curries and pasta dishes. A curry costs Rs 700.

District at Anchor House (00 91 484 2223115) on Bazaar Road includes a sublime location through the water's edge. You will find preparing salads and pastas, however your best choice would be to try the neighborhood food: chicken marinated in spices or herbs and fried, vegetable pakoras and Kerala crab. Prices vary from Rs 120 for any starter to Rs 1,250 for any sea food platter.

The Travancore Restaurant in the Trident Hotel, Willingdon Island (00 91 484 266 9595), lacks in location in comparison towards the others but greater than comprises for your using its food. It specializes in local curries (traditional Kerala vegetarian thali for Rs 525, gem let's eat some onions with roasting coconuts and Kerala spices or herbs for Rs 275) but additionally serves good-old seafood and chips and pizza for individuals feeling unadventurous.
 
Grain Boat (484/266-6811), situated in the Taj Malabar Hotel on Willingdon Island, features scrumptious sea food main courses in the backdrop of an attractive and romantic setting. If you are searching for a menu having a huge assortment of worldwide cuisine, take a look at Pandhal (484/367-759), situated at MG Rd. Wonderful beef, Chinese, Indian, along with other multicultural dishes are available here. Bookings are strongly suggested, as Pandhal is called the area to dine for miles around!
 
Shopping
If you are confused over what to buy for yourself as souvenir or a gift for someone back home, then visit the enchantingly quaint little curio shops in Kochi city of Kerala. These shops sell small knick-knacks, which are characteristic of the South Indian city. Since Kochi is well known for its handicrafts, you will find a unique assortment of items like figurines, colorful bead jewelry, mat, bangles et al made from coir, wood, bamboo, shells, brass, ivory and sandalwood.
 
In all probability, your predicament over what to buy in Cochin should end here. Though the concept of shopping malls is relatively new in Kochi / Cochin, yet there are a number of places here, where you can find branded goods and garments. If you have a specific item in mind, better find out from a local person once you reach Kochi. 
 
Kairali situated on MG Rd., is a superb shop to buy hands-crafted souvenirs and mementos. The Indian Arts and Curios, situated on Jew Town Rd., includes a wonderful number of shops and stalls selling a number of exquisite brass and glass-blown pieces of art. Additionally, the Kashi Memorial, available on Bazaar Road (484/215-769), features wonderful pieces of art by local Cochin builder.
 
Tips on what and where to shop in Kochi:
At the beautiful Marine Drive, you can shop for perfumes, watches, bags, suitcases, music cassettes and CD's.
The Penta Menaka complex has a number of duty free shops that sell electronic items and mobile phones.
In case, you do not have time to visit many shopping places in Cochin, then just head for the famous MG Road, where you can buy various kind of goods like textiles, readymade garments, jewelry, toys, home furnishing, handicrafts, decorative items etc.
Broadway is famous for its clothes and spices.
The area around the Synagogue in Mattancherry is a major center of spice trade.



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