Cochin or Kochi happens to be the biggest city in the state of Kerala and one among its most popular tourist destinations. It has some interesting getaways and hideaways, which are a hot favourite with the holiday crowd.
From historical buildings to scenic locations, Kochi has something wonderful to offer to anyone. Here is a list of must visit locations in Kochi usually included in tour packages in Cochin:
Chinese fishing nets: it is one of the most prominent symbols associated with Kochi. It is a legacy of Chinese visitors in the 14th century. You can get local fishermen to demonstrate how they work, for a small fee. You can head to the shore of the Arabian sea in the evening and view the nets lining it. Buy some fresh fish and enjoy it, after getting it cooked in a local shack.
Jew town: It is the centre of spice trade and has been down the centuries. Bearing the unmistakable scent of spices, the lanes and streets are worth exploring. It is a very fruitful area for photography and buying antiques. Nowadays the traditional Jewish shopkeepers have been replaced by Kashmiri vendors who sell their handicrafts to tourists. The crowning glory of the area is the Jewish synagogue- which happens to be the longest active one in the Common wealth. It has magnificent interiors with imported floor tiles, gold pulpit and chandeliers.
Mattanchery: It is an ancient neighbourhood, filled with colonial buildings. It is a hotfavourite with history buffs. The central attraction is the Dutch palace, constructed as per the Portuguese. It was presented in 1555 to the Kochi Raja. It underwent in 1663 renovation in the hands of the Dutch. It does not have the grandeur of a major palace. But it has a museum and a collection of art including paintings of kings and murals derived from scenes of the Hindu epics. Today, this is a must visit spot for holiday packages for Cochin.
St. Francis Church:This huge Church happens to be the oldest church built in India by Europeans. But its source of fame is mainly that it once housed the mortal remains of Vasco Da Gama, the first of the European explorers to set foot in India. He died in Fort Kochi in 1524 but his remains were transferred to Portugal at a later date. The Church was built in 1503, by the Portuguese and was taken over by the Dutch and British after which it was handed over to Indians.
Princess Street: It is one of the most happening streets in Kochi with art galleries, souvenir shops, cafes and book stores. One of the oldest streets of Kochi, today it is a tourist hub. It is a great place for an evening stroll as well as to pick up essential groceries from local shops.
Folklore Museum and Theatre:Located on the outskirts of Kochi, this privately owned property is a must visit for those interested in exploring the rich cultural heritage of Kerala. Spread over three floors, the museum cum theatre complex showcases a rich collection of artefacts. It boasts of magnificent architecture and its entrance is composed of exquisite carvings. Stage performances of traditional Kerala art forms like Kathakali are organized every evening.
These are some must-visit spots in Kochi or Cochin.