A collection of tiny islands and peninsulas along the shore of the Arabian Sea, steeped in glorious history, shaped and nurtured for centuries by foreign powers like the Arabs, Dutch, British, Chinese and the Portuguese: welcome to Kochi. This port city is the biggest city in the state of Kerala, and is a must visit for people who travel to India to learn the rich history of colonial India and its trading prowess.
Mattancherry Palace, located in Palace Road and built by the Portuguese as early as 1557, is considered to be one of the important places to visit in Cochin in 1 day. Popularly known as Dutch Palace, it has the style and architecture that resembles a typical traditional Kerala house with four individual wings and a patio in between.
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
This biosphere reserve located at Central Cochin is a natural habitat to many endangered and regular species of local and migratory birds, as well as mangrove vegetation. The sanctuary encircles a tidal lake which is connected to the backwaters and one of the imperative places for sightseeing in Cochin, especially for nature lovers. It is also home to several species of fishes.
Watch a Traditional Dance Performance
Kathakali is a very unusual and ancient form of dance-drama that’s traditional to Kerala. The movements of the dance are subtle, yet they tell a meaningful mythological story, while the look of the performers, with red bloodshot eyes, borders on horrific. The performers are required to undergo intense training, including hours of eye exercises, when learning the art of Kathakali.
Chinese Fishing Nets
Locally known as Cheena Wala, the Chinese fishing nets is quite popular sight to witness around the beaches of Kochi. These nets are fixed at a particular location from the shore which are used through mechanical contrivance from across a distance of 20m across. This unique fishing style was introduced in the 14th century by the chinese traders. Capture the beautiful sight of the sunset to the backwaters while the sea and river waters offers a panoramic view at one of the top tourist places in Kochi.
Shop for Spices
In the heart of Mattancherry, between Mattancherry Dutch Palace and the Pardesi Jewish Synagogue, is a quaint area known as Jew Town by the locals. It’s the center of the spice trade in Kochi, and the air is filled with the heady waft of masala. These days, you won’t find many Jewish people there. The local Jewish population has been outnumbered by an influx of Kashmiri shopkeepers who hawk their wares to tourists.