The amalgamation of past and present is represented so well in Kochi. One of the most popular destinations of Kerala, Kochi is multicultural and is rooted with rich heritage and history. The city is called ‘Queen of Arabian Sea’ and true to its name you can experience vivid shades of Arabian Sea in Kochi. There’s so much to do in Kochi, yet it has that laidback feel. Chinese Fishing Nets are one of the main tourist attractions. Watching the locals marvel this art is such an interesting experience. You can also visit the beautiful cafés, explore the mighty Kochi fort, experience history come alive in palaces and museums, or shop for local handicrafts. Walk through the sprawling coffee plantations or relax by the beach, Kochi surely is love at first sight.
Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Ernakulam, Vypin, Fort Kochi Palace
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Located on India’s south-west coastline, Kochi (also called as Cochin) in Kerala state is a commercial port-city. This city has a long-standing trade history that dates back to 600 years. Popularly referred as, “the Queen of the Arabian Sea” by locals, this port-city is the commercial, financial and industrial hub of Kerala. Inter-connected by ferries, this array of islands is a cosmopolitan town with many upmarket stores, art galleries & museums, coffee shops and some of the finest homestays & heritage properties for stay. Dotted with pubs, bars, eateries, and shopping arcades crowd Fort Kochi, Ernakulum, and Jew Town. Also temples, churches, palaces, beaches and several heritage sites mark their presence here, making Cochi a true vintage-meets-future destination.
It is said that Kochi is a city, which took birth in storm, matured & grew amidst rivalry and established itself as battling zone for European empires. This description is so apt to understand Kochi, which was once established as an early port city after the 1341Great Floods of river Periyar. Post partition of 14th century Chera Kerala Empire, the region was controlled by a new dynasty of the local feudal lords. Later colonization took place & Kochi was the 1st massive battle ground of all European powers. However, this made least impact over Kochi’s fortune. Before all these, the merchants of Kochi initiated trading of black pepper and cardamom with Arabs, Phoenicians, Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese almost 600 years ago and this helped Kochi to prosper, making it the ancient gateway to old India. It was from Kochi where the colonization of India started and Portugal established its base here in Kochi in 1500, further followed by the Dutch & then the British.
Kochi is a place to relax and enjoy the weather, the greenery, the sprawling plantations, the homestays and the food and if you are a sightseeing buff, then go around and enjoy those popular sightseeing options here. Visit the Chinese Fishing Nets (Cheenavala), which are a testimony to the age-old relation between the Kochi Kingdom and ancient Chinese Empires, as these were gifted by China to Kochi way back in the 14th century. See the Hill Palace Museum, erstwhile Kochi Maharaja's palace, which has paintings and epigraphy of the royal families of Travancore & Kochi. There are many beautiful churches here like the Santacruz Basilica - first European Church in Asia built in 1502, and the St. Francis Church of 1503 and also the burial place of Vasco da Gama, so when here enjoy the old world charm in those churches. Other places of sightseeing in Cochin includes VOC Gate – the only remains of the office of Dutch East India Company, David Hall – a 315 years old Dutch bungalow, Bastion Bungalow, Dutch Palace, Jew Street and Paradesi Synagogue, Princess Street, Chendamangalam Palace Fort etc. There are a number of museums & galleries, eco-tourist village, beaches like Cherai Beach & Fort Cochi Beach, here for tourists to see. When in Kochi do not miss to enjoy Ayurvedic massages & treatments and spend some time at this center for Keralan arts and see Kathakali and Kalarippayat.
Cochin experiences high footfall of tourists in winters generally, owing to the good weather and also for the Cochin Carnival (Dec 20-Jan 2). This is a real big carnival festival in the city that started sometime in 1582 as Portuguese New Year's celebrations. Once can see a spellbinding array of colorful tabloids, rallies, fancy-dress parades, bike races, beach games, theme festivals, music concerts, performing bands, dances, fireworks and much more. The night beach parties during the festival attracts crowd from far & near. The carnival closes with the Grand Parade on 1st January. Kochi is also known for its wonderful homestays and heritage accommodation.
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