Apart from being an active industrial port, Kochi is an exceptional tourist destination, with its monuments full of stories, its various shops, gourmet stopovers and its beautiful beach.
Cochin became famous at the dawn of the 15th century, after the decline of the city of Cranganore, capital of Chera dynasty, before becoming a small kingdom. With the permission of the rajas of Cochin, the Portuguese who had landed on the coast of Malabar, led by the illustrious navigator Vasco de Gama, installed a trading post in the heart of the city.
In 1544, the city hosted a mission initiated by Saint Francis Xavier. In those days, the Jews who lived in that area did not live well in the Portuguese period.
Arriving on the coast of Malabar in 1595, the Dutch took control of Cochin in 1663. The Dutch period brought a new era of prosperity to the city, until the invasion of the British in 1795. The British- Dutch treaty of 1814 marked the end of Netherlands in Cochin, who received, in return, the control of the island of Banca.
Long after, in 1995 the city was renamed Kochi.
Kochi is the largest agglomeration in the state of Kerala. Situated on a privileged position on the coast of Malabar, the city harboring one of the main ports of India is divided into three parts : Fort Cochin situated on the Mattancherry peninsula and considered as the heart of the historical city, artificial island of Willingdon, and city of Ernakulum on the mainland. You can even find two small islands nearby: Bolghatty and Vypin.
A walking tour is the best choice to discover the charms of the city of Kochi. Prepare yourself as the city and its monuments will provide various offers of sightseeing. Relax, breathe in fresh air, put on light shoes, put on your straw hat and go on an adventure! The wonder is waiting for you at every end of the street in the heart of this city full of history.
Start your sightseeing tour by visiting the Fort Emmanuel located at the edge of K. J. Marshal Street. This Bastion dating from 1503 proves the strategic alliance between Monarch of Portugal and Maharaja of Cochin. If you go a bit further, you will find Dutch cemetery where tombstones pay tribute to the European explorers who once abandoned their native land to set out to conquer the world.
The next attraction to discover is the old Thakur House which dates back to the colonial period. Formerly known as “ Kunal or Hill Bunglow”, this graceful abode housed an officer of Indian National Bank during British Era. Today, the establishment is run by the tea business company "Thakur and Company". Continue your tour to Kochi via David Hall, erected by Dutch East India Company in 1695. This building is linked to the illustrious Dutch commander Hendrick Adriaan van Reed tot Drakeston, well known for his military status as for his research on the flora of Kerala.
Past the parade alley, the place where once Portuguese, Dutch and British soldiers marched, you will reach the church of Saint François. Built in 1503 by the Portuguese, it is the oldest European cathedral in India. The remains of Vasco de Gama and its tombstone are carefully preserved there. At the edge of the street of the churches, the Bastion Bungalow proudly raises its facade to the Indo-European architecture. Formerly attached to the Stromberg Bastion of the Old Dutch fort, the establishment dating from 1667 now houses the sub-collector.
You will find the Vasco de Gama square nearby. Enjoy the calm environment to catch your breathe. Give yourself a gourmet break on stands dotting the site. Seafood and coconut dishes will not fail to titillate your taste buds. Relish your meal while admiring the view of the sea and spectacle of Chinese fishing nets. It was the traders of Kublai Khan who installed these nets, between fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
Once refreshed, go to Pierce Leslie Bungalow, which was once the office of coffee merchant Pierce Leslie and Co. The verandas of this charming residence offer a stunning view of the sea. Not far from the residence, make a detour to the florist on Princes Street. You will find here a variety of fresh flowers ideal for souvenirs.
Other historic monuments in Kochi include the Santa Cruz Basilica, the Delta Study bungalow, the Vasco de Gama house at Rose Street, the Ridsdale Road and its VOC door, the Bishop house built in 1506 and so on.
Apart from the picturesque buildings, Kochi also has a beautiful beach suitable for water leisure and relaxation. After completing the tour of historical sites, treat yourself to a relaxing stay in the water, relax in peace on the shore and let yourself be lulled by the cool breeze emanating from the Indian Ocean.
Situated in savannah climatic zone with dry winter, the city of Kochi has much more precipitation in summer than in winter. Throughout the year, the temperature shows an average of 27.5 ° C.
How to reach there
One of the industrial and commercial centers of the Sub-Continent, Kochi is well-connected by airways, roadways, railways and waterways. Among other operational infrastructures in the city are an international airport, a road network, two stations and a port.
How to get around
When travelling by road, you can choose between bus, taxi and rickshaws. Ferry is considered to be the most economical way to reach different islands, although private services are also available.
What to do in Kochi?
- Visit different historical monuments
- Relish the sea food of this region.
- Buy souvenirs from shops lining the streets of the city.
- Enjoy water sports on the beach.