Kochi, formerly Cochin, is considered the Queen of the Arabian Sea as it was one of the first European settlements in India, due its ideal positioning for trading. Kochi has always been at the heart of the Indian spice trade.The Portuguese first colonised Kochi in the 16th century, before the city was conquered by the Dutch in the 17th century and the British in the 19th century. The city’s architecture has been shaped by its colonial rulers, yet today it remains a vibrant and busy commercial center with a multicultural atmosphere and a cosmopolitan heart. As well as showcasing Kerala’s traditional dance and martial art forms throughout the year, Cochin plays host to several annual celebrations, including the Cochin Carnival every December, and the colorful contemporary art festival, Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

Highlights

  • Fort Kochi Harbor
  • Matancherry
  • Pardesi Synagogue
  • St. Francis Church

 Places to stay

Hotel-India-Cochin-Brunton-1

Brunton Boatyard

Hotel Style: Boutique

The magical appeal of the Brunton Boatyard lies in its unparalleled dominance of the waterfront at Fort Kochi.  See Hotel

The dining room at Eighth Bastion hotel in Cochin, South India

Eighth Bastion

Hotel Style: Boutique

Legendary tales claim there were 7 bastions in Fort Kochi built by the Portuguese and strengthened by the Dutch.  See Hotel

Evening at Malabar hotel in Cochin, South India

Malabar House

Hotel Style: Boutique

The Malabar House is a slice of heaven with its old temple carvings, turquoise and white walls, 'Eden' like courtyard, vanilla creepers and a petal-sprinkled plunge pool.  See Hotel

Hotel-India-Cochin-OldHarbour-1

Old Harbour

Hotel Style: Boutique

At the heart of ancient Fort Cochin, the Old Harbour Hotel exudes history and culture.  See Hotel

Room at Tea Bungalow in Cochin, South India, India

Tea Bungalow

Hotel Style: Boutique

The Tea Bungalow is a charming mansion style boutique hotel with an elegant design and high level of comfort that fits in perfectly with the heritage of Fort Cochin.  See Hotel

 Things to do

Ayurveda massage at Brunton, a 45 min Guest specific

Shirodhara Ayurveda Massage at Brunton Boatyard in Cochin, 45 min

Visit to Dhobi Khana at Cochin

This once pulsating activity at Fort Kochi..the ‘dhobi khana’ (est. 1975)..is now just a trickle of a nearly extinct industry, presenting a shadow of its former self. Nestled in a corner of Veli maidan in Fort Kochi, a group of washer-folk yet continue to practice this traditional way of washing clothes in concrete water tubs lined in rows..pressing them..then home-delivering. This washing community was formed during the British rule, where washer-men were brought in from various Tamil Nadu villages to do their laundry. These folk were nomadic..with no definite place to work/stay. The same work was passed down generations..thus the ‘Dhobi Khana/Ghat’ came about. Visit also a ‘Halwa Centre’, where sweet items like Kerala’s famous banana chips and jackfruit, yam, tapioca chips are made.

Kodanad Elephant Camp at Cochin

Kodanad Elephant Camp on the south side of the Periyar River, is a countryside village in Cochin. It is known for elephant rescue, as a care centre, and a mini zoo; as well as the largest elephant training centre in south India. Experience a morning hands-on bathing and massage of an adult and baby elephant by the riverside..under the supervision of its ‘mahouts’. Venture on an elephant safari in the main park area. Watch the feeding of elephants… up to about 80% of an elephant’s day is spent on feeding! Be amazed by how elephants feed themselves amid their natural environs. Enjoy watching baby elephants washing and splashing..it is a delight to see them during their early training years of life just beginning for them.

City Highlights of Cochin

Kochi, formerly Cochin, is a vibrant, engaging city to explore, from the absorbing views of Fort Kochi harbor with its huge Chinese fishing nets to ancient mosques, Portuguese architecture and the crumbling remnants of the British Raj. Explore Matancherry where you can observe murals and antiquities at the Dutch Palace and Cemetery, and the 400 year old Pardesi Synagogue in the Jewish quarter. Visit the grave of Vasco da Gama in St. Francis Church. Discover the Hill Palace and Tripunithura and browse the spice and antique markets. Enjoy a traditional Kathakali dance performance or the captivating display of Kalaripayattu, a 3,000 year old martial art form.

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