Kochi Tourist Attractions

"Kochi tourist attractions" was last updated on Nov 15, 2013
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Kochi has an outstanding history, unlike any other state in India.

The strong presence of European colonial powers has left a nice foot print in Kochi's architecture, culture and of course history.

I stayed for 3 weeks in Fort Kochi.

When I had a break from the field work, I visited the attractions in Fort Kochi, like the Chinese fishing nets, the churches and the Bishop's House.

I spent one day in Mattancherry with my former class mates from development studies.


We also took a boat trip from Ernakulam, which I'm going to tell you about later.


Chinese Fishing Nets
in Fort Kochi

Chinese fishing nets in Fort Kochi, India

Kochi tourist attractions: Chinese fishing nets

The Chinese fishing nets is one of the things that characterize Fort Kochi. They were introduced, as the name state, by the Chinese.

These fishing nets are lift nets. The net is left for a only a couple of minutes, then lifted. We saw several local men working the fishing nets, and frankly the catch was disappointing.

It's hard to believe that they can sell fish at all. But maybe we were just unlucky on this day.

The best part is the definitely the sunrise. You get beautiful picture like this one! ;-)

Where: Fort Kochi, next to the market

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Paradesi Jewish Synagogue
in Mattancherry

The Paradesi synagogue is certainly beautiful with its glass chandeliers. It also houses the Scrolls of the Law and several gold crowns. Be prepared to share this attraction with dozens of other travelers and tourists at the same time.

This synagogue was built in the 1500s by Spanish and Dutch descendants and also other European Jews.

We didn't stay there long, maybe for 30 minutes. I forgot to read about its history before we came here. So we didn't understand the great importance of this synagogue.

Outside the Jewish Paradesi Synagogue

Entrance fee: Rs 5

Visiting hours: Sunday to Thursday 10 am - noon, 3 pm - 5 pm. Closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Jewish holidays.

Handbags and cameras are not allowed inside the synagogue. They have to be kept in the room below the clock tower.

Where: Mattancherry

The entrance is tucked away in an alley, a few meters from the Spice Market. Any rickshaw driver in Fort Kochi should know how to take you there.

The ride from Fort Kochi to Mattancherry was rather interesting. The transition went from quiet streets and beautiful colonial buildings to the overcrowded streets of central Mattancherry. With a rickshaw it takes 15-20 minutes.

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Spice Market in
Jew Town, Mattancherry

Inside Spice Market in Mattancherry, Kochi
Spices at Spice Market in Mattancherry near Fort Kochi

Kochi tourist attractions: Inside Spice Market

There are plenty of spice markets in Kochi. We visited the one in Jew Town closest to the synagogue.

This spice market holds a large variety of spices and they're fresh. I bought spices for Rs 60 packed in small bags (cinnemon, red chilli, nutmeg, nutface, clove, cardemom, fenugreek, pepper, fennel, star ani seed, mustard seed, ginger, coriander and turmeric).

The aroma is still strong up to today (13 months after purchase).

Outside the Spice Market in Mattancherry near Fort Kochi, India

Where: Mattancherry

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St. Francis Church
in Fort Kochi

St. Francis church in Fort Kochi, India

This church is the oldest European church in India and was built in 1503. Vasco de Gama, the Portugese explorer, died in Kochi in 1524 and was originally buried here. But later his body was transported to Lisbon in Portugal.

You can see Vasco de Gama's gravestone, which is still there.

I didn't go inside the church because of time constraints, but the facade is impressive despite its age.

Where: Parade Road, Fort Kochi

Open: from sunrise to sunset

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Santa Cruz Basilica
in Fort Kochi

Santa Cruz Basilica in Fort Kochi, India

This cathedral is just stunning, especially during the evening.

It's one of the oldest churches in Kochi and India. It serves as a Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Kochi. It was built in 1505 and while the Dutch was occupying Kochi, they used the cathedral as an arms store house.

I went inside and it was really interesting to see Gothic interior. I have never seen churches like this before.

You should really visit. You can probably spend 30 minutes here.

Where: Bernard Road, Fort Kochi

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Bishop's House
in Fort Kochi

Bishop's House in Fort Kochi, India

This is another beautiful building in Kochi, surrounded by a beautiful garden and purple petals on the stair case.

The house was built in 1506 as the residence of Portuguese governor.

The Dutch occupied in 1663, and then later by the British in 1795.

The 27th bishop of Kochi, Don Jose Gomes Ferreira, purchased the building in 1868 and used it as the Bishop's House.

Where: Fort Kochi. It only takes 10-15 minutes to walk from Princess street to the Bishop's House.

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Boat trip from Ernakulam
to Fort Kochi

We read about this boat cruise in Rough Guides, so me and my former class mates decided to try it.

Tickets can be bought at the KTDC office in Ernakulam.

Price: Rs 150 per person

I had high expectations, but was rather disappointed. I will tell you why:

After the boat started to drive, it took one hour before it actually came even close to Mattancherry and Fort Kochi. During this hour, it was driving in a zig-zag. The only view we had were of construction rigs and open sea. That was not interesting at all.

The only good part about this trip was the fresh sea breeze. That's it. Don't recommend it. It's not worth it.

First stop was Fort Kochi, but we had enough and just quit the day. We didn't care about the rest of the cruise trip.

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