Fort Cochin is an old port city and relic of the days of sailboats and spice trading. Located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, it is still a major port of India and regarded as Kerala’s commercial capital. Despite this, it is has a laid-back atmosphere and leisurely pace.
Shipyards and heritage hotels are testament to over 600 years of traders and visitors stopping over, and the many influences in architecture and culture range from European to Chinese.
Roam the meandering streets and discover Catholic churches, a 16th-century synagogue, ornate mosques and the crumbling residue of the British Raj. Museums, galleries, antique shops, old signs and ancient tiles add to the old-world splendor. The city revolves around the seafront where the picturesque giant Chinese fishing nets still move dreamily up and down, and fresh fish is on sale at the market. At night elaborate Kathakali musicians and dancers perform stories dating back to the 17th century.
Cochin is a fascinating port town linked by a lattice of islands, peninsulas, bridges and ferries to mainland Kerala. Nowadays, in addition to spices, it trades on tranquility and history – a chance to touch times gone by.
Visit Vasco Da Gama’s original (now empty) grave at St. Francis Church | Photograph the Chinese fishing nets against a pastel sky on a sunset boat cruise | Take a tour of Mattancherry Dutch Palace | Browse for antiques | Enjoy the 400-year old willow-pattern tiles of the Jewish Synagogue | See how spices are prepared at one of the trading houses
− One of the world’s finest natural harbours
− While he was originally buried here, Vasco Da Gama’s mortal remains were later returned to Portugal by his son