Things to do in Cochin
To explore the historic town of Fort Kochi, there is no better choice than setting out on foot. Relax, breathe deep and come out in cotton, soft shoes and yes – a straw hat. At each and every nook of this island steeped in history, there is something amusing awaiting you. It is a world of its own, retaining the specimens of a bygone era and still proud of those days. If you can smell the past, nothing can stop you from walking through these streets.
Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi, the Palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. The palace with a Bhagavathi Temple in the central courtyard is built like the typical Kerala style mansion – the Nalukettu – the home of the aristocracy, nobility and upper classes, with four separate wings opening out to a central courtyard.
Fort Kochi, the place not far away from the city of Kochi can ideally be termed as a cultural melting pot of Kerala. This small geographical entity is perhaps unique in the world due to its cultural representations. Be it for people from other parts of India or those from far off lands like those in the Middle-East and Europe, Fort Kochi at various stages of time in the past welcomed them all to settle down and lead a life in harmony with the native folks.
It’s almost a walk down the lanes of antiquity. The Jew Street is lined with shops that sell curios, antique pieces of crockery, carved wooden furniture, bronze and brass sculptures, remnants of traditional houses, and jewellery. The antique sellers of these streets are the descendants of a fast dwindling population of Jews who settled down here in AD 52. Every piece that they sell has its own tale to narrate – of a palace or a home of the nobility, of travels across many lands and ages.
Marine Drive in Kochi, is a popular hangout and this scenic stretch offers a spectacular view of the backwaters and the Kochi Harbor. Shopping malls, cinema halls, restaurants, cafés and supermarkets line the drive. The Rainbow Bridge and the International Tourism Boat Jetty Complex are other attractions here.