Cochin

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Cochin

Description

A scenic city sprawled over a number of narrow islands and a strip of peninsula sheltered within a saltwater lagoon. Coastal Cochin is an intriguing mix of giant fishing nets from China, a 400-year-old synagogue, ancient mosques, Portuguese houses and the crumbling remains of the British Raj.

Cochin (Kochi) is spread across islands and promontories in a stunning location between the Arabian Sea and the Backwaters. The city was founded in 1341 when a flood created a natural safe port which became the principal harbour for Malabar Coast's spice trade. Cochin was on the main trade route between Europe and China. The rulers invited people of various religions to settle here, attracting the Jews and the Christians who built places of worship and their own communities. Kochi better known as Cochin serenades the present with her past.

Her charming old churches, charismatic bungalows and huge Chinese fishing nets against the backdrop of her crimson skies creates a stark contrast to her uber cool atmosphere with trendy teenagers zooming down her roads. Traditional in thought yet flamboyant in appearance makes her the perfect set to experience the best of both the worlds within her.

Arrival text

You arrive today at Cochin International Airport. Once you are done with customs, immigration and baggage collection you will notice our representative waiting for you with a Sita/Distant Frontiers/TCI placard when you are just about to exit the Arrival Terminal.

Sightseeing

Cochin is the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala.

Visit the Dutch Palace (closed on Fridays), which has some of India's most beautiful murals, the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Fridays&Saturdays) in the heart of Jew Town and the cantilevered Chinese fishing nets. See St. Francis Church (closed on Sundays) where Vasco da Gama was originally buried and the Santa Cruz Church with its pastel coloured interior and carved wooden panels. Also, visit the Hill Palace Museum, which displays royal memorabilia, paintings, carvings and arms.

Later in the evening enjoy the performance of Kathakali, the pantomimic dance-drama. It is a combination of facial expressions and body movements, which brings out the thought and emotion of the character. Kathakali is predominantly a male art and the dancing is mostly of the masculine type. The female character is lasya which is gentle and grateful.


Monuments

Chinese Fishing Nets


Description

Chinese Fishing Nets are fixed land installations, which are used for a very unique and unusual method of fishing. The sight of the Chinese nets, suspended in mid-air and standing in line on the beaches, when silhouetted against the sunset is breathtakingly beautiful. It is, undoubtedly, one of the most photographed sights in Kochi.

Chinese Fishing Nets, in use for the last 500 years and one of the tourist attractions in Kerala, line the sea-front and exhibit a mechanical method of catching fish by local fishermen in Fort Kochi. It is believed that the Chinese fishing nets were brought in by the Chinese Explorer from the court of Kublai Khan, a Chinese emperor.

St. Francis Church


Description

St. Francis Church, originally built in 1503, is the oldest European church in India and has great historical significance. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama died in Kochi in 1524 when he was on his third visit to India. His body was originally buried in this church, but after 14 years his remains were taken back to Portugal.

The St. Francis Church (closed on Sundays) was constructed in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan Friars who accompanied the expedition led by Pedro Alvarez Cabral. The church, well-known for its beautiful architecture and ambience, is one of the oldest churches built by the Europeans in India. The history of this Church reflects the colonial struggle of European powers in India.

Jewish Synagogue


Description

Built in 1568, this is perhaps the oldest surviving Synagogue in India and stands testament to the cultural diversity of Kochi. The synagogue still preserves the old testament and the ancient copper plates that recorded the grants of privilege left by the Kochi rulers.

The synagogue is located in the quarter of Old Cochin known as Jew Town and is the only one of the seven synagogues in the area still in use. The interior of the synagogue is adorned with Belgian chandeliers and grand lightings. The hand painted Chinese floor tiles in the Synagogue are worth mentioning, since no two tiles have an identical design. The synagogue is closed on Fridays&Saturdays and Jewish holidays.

Mattancherry Palace /Dutch Palace


Description

Dutch Palace was built by Portuguese in the early decades of the 16th century and presented to the Raja of Kochi as a gesture of goodwill and towards securing trading privileges.

Dutch Palace (closed on Fridays) is a quadrangular structure built in Nālukettu style, the traditional Kerala style of architecture, with a courtyard in the middle. The glory of the palace lies in its mural paintings depicts scenes from Ramayana. The themes from contemporary literature of Kerala are also depicted here. Also on display are royal paraphernalia like weapons, swings and furniture which offer a glimpse of the lifestyle of the royal family.


Experiences

Kerala Kaleidoscope


Description

Kerala Kaleidoscope showcases a medley of various dances and the native martial art techniques of Kalarippayattu.

Showcasing quintessentially magnificent vignettes of Kerala's rich cultural traditions, Kaleidoscope Kerala is essentially an exclusive, uniquely choreographed repertoire of live classical dance and music performed in a heritage theatre with legendary ritualistic folk invocations and martial arts.

Kalaripayattu


Description

Kalaripayattu is the ancient martial art of Kerala. It is believed that this art form originated in Kerala around 3000 years ago. Kalaripayattu evolved and glorified through centuries and is based on the idea of 'A sound mind in a sound body'.

Kalaripayattu the martial art form of Kerala is regarded as the oldest and most scientific of its kind in the world. The training aims at the ultimate co-ordination of the mind and body. Feats like chaattom (jumping), ottam (running), marichil (somersault) etc. are then taught, followed by the lessons in the use of weapons such as daggers, swords, spears, maces, the bow and arrow and so on. This art form is used for self-expression in dance forms, in theatre and in movies.

Cooking Demo with Nimmy Paul


Description

Enjoy this interactive cooking session with Nimmy Paul at their lovely old house in the city, followed by lunch.

Nimmy is a well-known culinary expert of Syrian Christian cuisine famous in this area. Nimmy, a professional cookery instructor for more than twenty years and her stockbroker husband Paul offers food and hospitality to foreign guests. Nimmy and Paul belong to traditional Syrian Christian community in Kerala. In keeping with the tradition of their families they enjoy having guests and serving good food. Nimmy conducts cookery classes. She teaches guests the nuances of traditional Kerala recipes. She is also a food consultant to writers, chefs and magazines. Articles by her and about her have appeared in magazines and newspapers.

Cookery Demo with Nalini Verma


Description

Learn about traditional spices and Indian cooking techniques with an expert in Cochin, followed by lunch or dinner.

Nalini Verma is a famous culinary expert and has authored cookery books. Learn about the finer nuances of traditional Kerala cuisine with her. Guests are also provided the opportunity to enjoy a meal with the family. She has also conducted television shows, judged several cookery contests, conducted seminars and contributed articles to magazines and newspapers.

Motor Boat Harbour / Back Water Sight Cruise by Large Boat


Description

Experience the beauty of Kerala Backwaters and village life.

Cochin is a cluster of islands networked by lagoons and backwaters. This is one of the finest natural harbours in the world and was once a major centre of trade and commerce with the Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and the British. While cruising through the harbour one can see Chinese fishing nets, glimpses of Kerala village life by the backwaters and churches.

Motor Boat Harbour / Back Water Sight Cruise by Small Boat


Description

Experience the beauty of Kerala Backwaters and village life.

Cochin is a cluster of islands networked by lagoons and backwaters. This is one of the finest natural harbours in the world and was once a major centre of trade and commerce with the Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and the British. While cruising through the harbour one can see Chinese fishing nets, glimpses of Kerala village life by the backwaters and churches.


IF YOU WANT TO VISIT THESE PLACES THEN PLEASE ADVISE US

Rediscover Mattancherry with ex Tuk-Tuk driver Markose


Description

An insider take on Mattancherry like never before.

Markose is an ex tuk-tuk driver from Mattancherry, now an English speaking guide. He knows every nook and corner, every alley of Mattancherry by the back of his hand. During the Walking Tour of Mattancherry explore the spice warehouses, artists, painters, photographers, hidden shrines, boutiques doing intricate hand embroidery work, cafes and restaurants.

Discover the Ancient Landscape of Muziris


Description

Learn about Muziris, also known as Jerusalem of the East, is an ancient harbour which is nearly 3000 years old.

The first Jewish, Christian and Islam settlements in India were here during 961 BC, 52 AD and 629 AD respectively. The archaeological and historical data gathering on Muziris provides evidence to show that it was a veritable business and cultural centre, with far reaching international associations.

Presently Kodungallur, located 19 Miles north of Cochin, this ancient port is said to have been first occupied around 1000 BC and continued to be populated till the 13th century. This full day tour is a fantastic insight into what is literally the cradle of several religions. Apart from the first Jews of India, this is the port where the Apostle of Jesus Christ, St Thomas landed bringing Christianity to India much before Europe embraced the religion. It is also the site of Cheraman Mosque, the first Muslim house of worship in India. In addition, it houses a famous Hindu temple, dedicated to the Goddess Bhagavathi.

Demystifying Kathakali


Description

Meet the Kathakali Dance Maestro who introduces the world of Mudras or symbolic hand gestures.

Meet a Kathakali Dance Maestro in his private studio and learn from him that your health is literally in your hands whilst he introduce you the world of Mudras or ritual hand gestures. Kathakali, the dance form native to Kerala, has about 1000 Mudras and learn about 10 of those when performed in our daily lives could result in immense benefit to our health. Best part being – this can be done anywhere, any place; in the bus, in your car while waiting for the red-light to go green, on the train, while on your flight, office or at home. 

Rediscover Kerala's Backwaters


Description

Cruise along Kerala's backwaters to sample a slice of life in harmony with nature that most travellers give a miss.

The Kerala backwaters are a chain of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets, located parallel to the Malabar Coast of Kerala state in southern India. Discover how agriculture is practiced below sea-level, a unique cultivation pattern. The boat rides through the fascinating Kuttanad area of Kerala backwaters allow to sample a slice of life in harmony with nature that most travellers give a miss. Sample some amazing food cooked by women from the households of Kuttanad – Kerala's rice bowl.

Walking tour of Cochin


Description

This walking tour is designed to be an eye opener to the Old towns of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry.

This walking tour is an eye opener to the minute details of Old towns. It definitely pulls you back to 14th century. Fort Cochin is said to have formed in the 1340's due to cataclysmic floods. Fort Cochin being the natural gateway to the Kochi harbour grew in importance as travellers from far and wide came to Kochi. The Arabs, the Chinese, the Dutch&the Portuguese.

The large rain trees, beautiful colonial buildings, streets lined with many shops, dining options, the Chinese fishing nets, the beach area, different community in Mattancherry, local activities, fruit street to name a few make this a very attractive place to be.

Blue Bus Tour


Description

Hop on this tour to experience the life of a common person in Kerala.

A fun tour in Cochin to enjoy all the local vibe done using public transport – Bus, Tuk-Tuk&Ferry.

Tour Duration (Half Day): Starts at 08.00 hrs. The clients are back in Fort Cochin by 12.30hrs.

Highlights

Bus ride from Fort Cochin to Ernakulum

Exploring the colourful Broadway Market in Ernakulum on foot

Coffee at Indian Coffee House – a fascinating story of an employee owned and employee run restaurant chain Ferry ride from Ernakulum to Fort Cochin

Anglo Indian Cooking


Description

Learn about the fusion of Indian and European foods and the cooking methods with an Anglo-Indian family in Fort Cochin.

Anglo-Indian cuisine embraced everything that was Indian and mixed it up with all that was European. Influenced by the Portuguese, British, French cooking styles it changes from one region to another, especially when it comes to spices.

The host for this cooking session of Anglo-Indian Cuisine is Oscar and Jeanette Rozario with Portuguese ancestry. They have a simple, yet cosy home. Get introduced to the two Anglo-Indian classics - Saffron Coconut Rice&Mince Ball curry or 'Bad Word Curry' (the word 'Ball' was considered rude in the olden days, hence the name Bad Word Curry) – a staple during Saturday Lunch in any Anglo-Indian home. The cooking session will be done at the family kitchen.

The clients also get to carry home recipes of the Bad Word Curry and Coconut Rice.