Cochin Tour Packages

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Cochin Tour Packages

Are you going to travel to India and plan to discover the city of Cochin? In this guide, we explain what to see and do in Cochin so that you can experience the city's most important temples and monuments and the essential activities.

After getting to know Munnar and its tea fields, one of the places worth visiting when traveling to Kerala, head to Kochi. Another of the colonial cities of South India. Our route leaves behind the mountains' cool climate to return to India's humid heat. Luckily in Kerala, although we were hot, it was never as hot as what we had in Tamilnadu.

Cochin, also called Kochi or Queen of the Arabian Sea, is in Kerala. In the 16th century, Cochin was a nerve center for the trade of spices. It was also the old tributary capital of the country. It is currently a commercially famous port city that has managed to preserve the essence of its rich cultural past.

Would you like to have a more general vision of India? Look at our article Cochin Tour Packages, where we review the greatest cities and the most recommended experiences.

Little about Cochin

Cochin is located in Kerala. This state is located in the country's southwest and borders the Arabian Sea. Kerala has India's highest Human Development Index, so that you won't see misery here. At least we didn't. It has a literacy rate of more than 90%, and generally, the atmosphere is much more pleasant. Although what surprised us the most about Kerala is that they are communists, everywhere you see the hammer and sickle and portraits of Che.

The city of Cochi is one of the most important ports in the country. Did you know…? Malayalam or Malabar is spoken, although some people speak Tamil. Kochi has been known since ancient times as the spice trade center.

The Kingdom of Cochin was born in the 12th century. Although the city is divided into 70 districts, there are three distinct parts: Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, and Ernakulum. The part tourists’ visit is mostly Fort Kochi, as it was the first European settlement in the country. The Portuguese passed through Kochi, then the Dutch, and finally the English. Although it may seem so, Kochi is not the capital of Kerala, but the unpronounceable Thiruvananthapuram, located 220 km.

What to see in Cochin tour:

Tripunithura

About 12 kilometers before reaching Kochi, it is worth stopping at Tripunithura. There we stopped to visit the Hill Palace Museum. It is a somewhat decadent palace complex that was the former residence of the royal family of Cochin. Today the different rooms house furniture, paintings, models, coins, and sculptures. You have to visit it barefoot, and the most interesting thing is the palace itself, the network of corridors, halls, and terraces.

It's a shame the state it's in. With a little effort, they could make it an essential visit. Although few foreigners stop in this place, there are many Indians and especially schools, who seem to visit gardens and palaces frequently. We met a lot of schoolchildren delighted to pose for our camera.

Mattancherry Dutch Palace

The Portuguese built the Dutch Palace of Mattancheery in 1557. It is a palace that also passed through Dutch hands until finally; a Rajah made it his residence.

On its walls, there are murals and paintings of great relevance, which show mythological scenes. Its murals are considered one of the best examples of Hindu art. A visit to these paintings must be included in your list of things to see in Cochin.

The palace is quadrangular and built in the N?lukettu style, a traditional style in the Kerala area. In it, you can also see the influence of the Europeans. Near the palace are small temples dedicated to the Hindu gods Krishna and Shiva.

Fort Kochi

Cochin is a large city comprised of islands and a mainland area connected by bridges or ferries. Undoubtedly the most interesting area for the traveler is the one we chose to stay in since there are the main points of interest, hotels for all budgets, and restaurants.

Our hotel in Cochin, the Fort House, was within walking distance of Fort Cochin and the famous Chinese networks. It is a simple but comfortable hotel where, for spending three nights, they each gave us a massage (which Arturo skipped, and I was delighted to receive it). In addition, every afternoon, there was tea and cakes for the clients.

Once installed in our room and inspected the hotel, we left in the direction of Fort Cochin to start visiting one of the colonial cities of southern India. We needed to be clearer about the distance to the Chinese networks, which the map indicated was the closest to the hotel, and we even doubted whether to take a rickshaw. Finally, we walked, which was a success since the distance was very short, and we could browse other hotels along the way.

We realized that Cochin was more modern, clean, and orderly than other places in India. It is one of those places that you arrive at, and they serve as a pause because there is little traffic and few people, and you can walk peacefully without anyone constantly offering you to buy something. Honestly, it seemed like a perfect place to relax from the hustle and bustle that usually surrounds the traveler in India.

Chinese networks

We got to the Chinese networks, and we have to say that we found everything dirtier and messier than we imagined. And, of course, the photos are just that, photos. They need the smell. We always try to get the best part of each place. But really, the famous Chinese networks of Kochi are not an attraction. They are nets still used daily to fish without having to go out in a boat and throw the nets in the traditional way we know.

Nobody impedes tourists from walking among the fishermen, the nets, and the dried seaweed. Beyond all those impressive nets, other fishermen hand-cast them into the water. It is colorful, especially when the sun begins to fall and dyes everything gold.

Of course, just like the rest of Kochi is quite clean, this part of Fort Kochi cannot boast of the same.

Kochi churches

Right, where the Chinese networks end, Fort Cochin proper begins. There you can visit churches inherited from the passage of the Portuguese through these lands, and in one of which, the Church of San Francisco, you can see a tombstone under which Vasco de Gama was buried after he died in Kochi. There is also a cemetery built by the Dutch, who also left the Mattancherry Palace as an inheritance in the city. Other buildings today have been converted into small hotels, restaurants, or shops. That gives this corner of India the appearance of a colonial city.

The afternoon was beginning to fall when we passed an open church from which the sound of a mass reached the street. We looked at each other curiously and entered the temple. A choir sang, and I would say that the songs were the same as those that can be heard in masses in other parts of the world. The difference is that in that church, the saints wear garlands of flowers equal to those of the gods of the Hindu pantheon, and it is that, after all, it is India.

Jew Town Road, the spice district

To the east of Fort Kochi, near the sea, is this street. It's the one that smells the best in the whole city. We walked through streets with colored doors that led to what was once large merchants' houses and are now warehouses. Walking there is a gift for the nose: it smells of pepper, cardamom, and ginger. Men carry large sacks with one of the treasures of South India: spices.

The Jewish quarter of Kochi

In that same city area, you can also see what remains of the old Jewish quarter of Kochi. It covers a handful of streets at the end of one opening a larger space in which the Pardesi synagogue is located. We intended to visit it, but due to schedules and the occasional misunderstanding, we were left without seeing it.

There are plenty of souvenir shops and some antique shops that hold treasures.

Things to do in the Queen of the Arabian Sea.

Cochin, the commercial capital of Kerala and the most cosmopolitan city in Kerala, is a fascinating mix of cultures. Since immemorial, it has been a favorite destination for globetrotters and explorers. Blessed by one of the best natural harbors in the world, Cochin has been lauded as the Queen of the Arabian Sea.

See a Kathakali show.

Kathakali shows are dramatic performances accompanied by dance. It is a classic show in which costumes are used. Makeup is also very important. You can see a Kathakali show in the theater in the Cochin Fort, one of the city's most lively areas.

Cruising the backwaters of Kerala

If you are interested in what to do in Cochin to live one of the most authentic experiences, you must take advantage of a walk through the Kerala backwaters. Cochin is located in Kerala, in southern India. It is an area known for its backwaters and some lakes where you can navigate and even spend a night on board a houseboat.

It is a good option if you like nature since you can see the natural environment surrounding the backwaters. The boats pass through the narrow canals, surrounded by rice fields and villages.

During the tour, you will see the lifestyle of the locals who live in floating villages in the backwaters. You can also see the sunset from the boat, a photograph image. If you do not have time to spend a night in the Kerala backwaters, also keep in mind that there are half-day excursions where you can sail for a few hours through the backwaters.

Enjoy the beach of Fuertes Cochin

The Cochin Fort has an ideal beach area for walking, sunbathing, or boating. From the beach, especially if you take a boat route, it is possible to see dolphins in their natural habitat. From the Cochin Fort beach, you can lie on the sand and see the famous Chinese fishing nets, one of the most characteristic coastline images. Marina Beach, in Cochin, where you can see the typical fishing nets.

Trekking in Periyar National Park

If you are a person who is passionate about nature and sports, we recommend a day trekking excursion through the Periyar National Park. This park is located approximately 120 kilometers from Cochin.

During your time in the park, you can see its rich flora and fauna. Particularly noteworthy is the presence of tigers – the Periyar National Park is a tiger protection zone –birds (approximately 255 different bird species) and reptiles. In the center of the National Park is Periyar Lake, with an area of 26 km2. With some luck, you will see some of the 40 species of fish that inhabit the area.

So, without a doubt, if you want to know what to do in Cochin and its surroundings to immerse yourself in nature fully, keep the Periyar National Park in mind when preparing your route.

Eating and drinking in Fort Cochin

Sachi Art Cafe

A place with a good atmosphere and style that is also an exhibition hall. At the back is where the tables are, some indoors and others in a pleasant garden. We wanted beers, but they couldn't be. They only serve coffee and natural lemonade. Well, nothing, lemonade for both of us. It is a place that is worth visiting, although all of us who passed by their undoubtedly looked like tourists. And it is that it is in Fort Kochi. Almost everything is thinking for travelers.

Oy's Restaurant

I am still trying to understand why we opted for the restaurant of this little hotel in Fort Kochi. There was a closed part with sofas and chill-out music, but the seats were so low that we preferred to dine on a small patio with a couple of tables. The food was nothing to remember, but we will remember that when we asked for a beer, they served it to us secretly since alcohol is not allowed to be served in many places. So we drank the beer in breakfast mugs!!!

Dal Roti

If our first night in Kochi, this restaurant was open. It is a place with two decorated rooms (a few saris hanging on the walls and some paintings) and an owner who never loses a smile on his face. On its menu is traditional Indian food, but the best is that kind of crepes made with different Indian pieces of bread stuffed with chicken, shrimp, or vegetables—a delight at a great price.

Teapot

One of the nicest places in Fort Kochi is Teapot. A charming cafeteria with an extensive menu of teas and charmingly decorated. It is essential to accompany the snack with a slice of their "death by chocolate" cake.

October and March is the best time to visit India when the monsoon rains have stopped and the country is largely hot and dry.

How to get to cochin sightseeing tour?

Kochi was our first stop on the route through Kerala, and coming from the north and needing more time, we opted for the plane. We did the Jaipur-Kochi route with Indigo. It was a little more expensive for us when we caught it with very little notice, but for $--- you can have one-way tickets.

But don't worry. You can also arrive by India's star transport, the train. However, we have to point out that the stations are in the part of Ernakulum, much more "chaotic" than Fort Kochi. If you want to get to Fort Kochi quickly, go to Junction station (the southern one), and if you stay near the port, you can get to the old part by ferry.

Another option is to arrive by bus. The station is also located in Ernakulum, so take a good look at the time you arrive to decide whether to stay there or go to Fort Kochi at once.

Final Thoughts cochin holiday packages

When we leave the Western Ghats behind, these mountains cover the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu for 1,600 kilometers until Cape Comorin is reached. We have the impression that we have changed countries. What we are seeing has little to do with India. We know towns where all the houses look solid, the streets are clean, and even cars are almost more abundant than bicycles.

We see that here the women have a more modern appearance. Few wear sari, and it is more common to see them with salwar kameez, that clothing made up of pants and a jacket, much more comfortable although less showy than the quintessential Indian garment. We began to discover what we had already read: that Cochin in Kerala is India's most beautiful and that it is easy to find differences from the rest of the country.