Situated on the south-west coast of India, Kochi or Cochin is a bustling commercial port city with a trading history that dates back to a minimum of 600 years. This port city was once a centre of the spice trade with China, Europe and Arabia. Kochi has passed through the hands of many colonial powers – Portuguese, Dutch in the 16th and 17th century respectively and then the British in the late 18th century. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama made his final journey here in 1524, after which he was buried in the city’s St Francis Church. Here is our list of best places to visit in Kochi.
List of Best Places To Visit In Kochi
Chinese Fishing Nets
The unofficial emblem of Kerala’s backwaters is also undoubtedly the most photographed object. These fishing nets or cheena vala as locally known is a must-visit attraction in Kochi. There are close to half-dozen giant Chinese fishing nets on Fort Cochin’s northeastern shore. Operated by a team of 4 to 6 people these spiderlike, 10m-tall contraptions rest on teak and bamboo poles. Looking somewhat like hammocks, they are counter-weighed by large stones tied to ropes, making it an ingenious way of fishing
Mattancherry Palace was a generous gift presented to the Raja of Kochi, Veera Kerala Varma (1537–65), as a gesture of goodwill by the Portuguese in 1555. The Dutch renovated it in 1663, hence the chosen name – the Dutch Palace. Though this building combines both European and Keralan styles, the star attraction, however, is the royal bedchamber’s brilliant collection of murals. The murals are executed in the best traditions of Hindu temple art, which are religious and decorative.
Located in the south-western a part of Main Kochi, Fort Kochi transports one to a different era the moment one steps into it… This place still holds on to every single cultural change it has witnessed over the centuries. Though One can see remnants of British rule everywhere in our country, however, this quaint city is dotted with structures which are a reminder to the different influencers in the area. All these colonial powers left behind indelible marks on Fort Kochi’s geography, culture, art and architecture.
Hill Palace Museum
Around 13km east of Ernakulam, this impressive 49-building palace complex was formerly the residence of the Kochi royalty. It now houses the collections of the royal families – 19th-century paintings, old coins, sculptures and paintings, jewellery and temple models. Keep an eye fixed out for the diamond-studded, 1.75kg gold crown – a present from Portugal via Vasco da Gama.
Indian Naval Maritime Museum
In a pair of former bomb shelters, this museum traces the history of the Indian Navy and also maritime trade dating back to the Portuguese and Dutch eras, through a series of rather dry relief murals and knowledge panels. The museum also has a lawn that displays war memorabilia exhibits like huge replicas of naval ships, radars, depth, anti-aircraft guns, torpedoes etc