Kochi is a bustling commercial port city on India’s south-west coast with a trading history dating back at least 600 years. This port city was once a hub of spice trade between China, Europe, and Arabia. Kochi has passed through the hands of several colonial powers, including the Portuguese, Dutch, and British in the 16th and 17th centuries, respectively, and the British in the late 18th century. Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer, made his final journey here in 1524 and was buried in the city’s St Francis Church. Here is our selection of the top places to visit in Kochi.
6 Must Visit Places While You Are In Kochi
- Chinese Fishing Nets
The unofficial symbol of Kerala’s backwaters is also the most photographed object. These fishing nets, or cheena vala as they are known locally, are a must-see attraction in Kochi. On Fort Cochin’s northeastern shore, there are nearly a half-dozen massive Chinese fishing nets. These spider-like, 10-meter-tall contraptions are operated by a team of 4 to 6 people. They resemble hammocks and are counter-weighted by large stones tied to ropes, making it an ingenious method of fishing.
2.Palace of Mattancherry
Mattancherry Palace was a generous gift given to the Raja of Kochi, Veera Kerala Varma (1537-65), by the Portuguese in 1555 as a gesture of goodwill. The Dutch renovated it in 1663, thus the name “Dutch Palace.” Though this structure combines European and Keralan styles, the royal bedchamber’s brilliant collection of murals is the main attraction. The murals are created in the best Hindu temple art traditions, both religious and decorative.
3. Kochi Fort
Fort Kochi, located in the south-western part of Main Kochi, transports visitors to another era the moment they step inside… This place has retained every cultural change it has witnessed over the centuries. Though remnants of British rule can be found throughout our country, this charming city is dotted with structures that serve as a reminder of the various influencers in the area. All of these colonial powers left indelible marks on the geography, culture, art, and architecture of Fort Kochi.
4.Museum of Hill Palace
This impressive 49-building palace complex, located about 13 kilometres east of Ernakulam, was formerly the residence of Kochi royalty. It now houses the royal families’ collections, which include 19th-century paintings, old coins, sculptures and paintings, jewelry, and temple models. Keep an eye out for the 1.75kg diamond-studded gold crown, a gift from Portugal via Vasco da Gama.
5. Maritime Museum of India
Through a series of rather dry relief murals and knowledge panels, this museum traces the history of the Indian Navy and maritime trade dating back to the Portuguese and Dutch eras. The museum also has a lawn with war memorabilia exhibits such as massive replicas of naval ships, radars, depth, anti-aircraft guns, torpedoes, and so on.
6. Willingdon Island
Willingdon Island, India’s largest man-made island, is one of the top Kochi tourist attractions for a relaxing vacation. The island, named after Lord Willingdon, serves as a vital link between Fort Kochi and the city’s other airports. In this tranquil city of Kerala, you can find some of the best beach resorts and hotels in India.
Apart from being a tourist destination, the island is home to some important landmarks such as the Indian Navy’s Kochi Naval Base, the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, and the Port of Kochi. Explore every nook and cranny of the island to admire the spectacular architecture and other attractions built here, such as museums and forts.