A trip through Fort Kochi’s lanes to witness the bustling energy in this beautiful port city. Get a glimpse of the most iconic and popular places to visit and be introduced to the blend of busy city streets and calm townships.
I stepped into the, ironically narrow, Broadway Market and let the sights, sounds and aromas envelope my senses. I saw people flocking toward sellers giving the best deals and piles of aromatic spices enveloping the streets with their natural perfume while the sun begins to warm you up.
Half-an-hour’s ride and a complete U-turn later, I find myself standing between hungry pigeons, who you can try to feed with peanuts, at the entrance to Jew Town. Its pale walled buildings contrasted the mounds of natural powdered colours being sold by almost every alternate shop, creating a strange calming effect within me. I visited the museums to see historical artefacts like gramophones, furniture, cameras, phones, jewellery and even the antique copies of the Torah and the Quraan. There’s even a letter written by the King of Kochi to his relative there!
St Francis Church
One must-visit place in the same area is Mattancherry Palace, also known as Dutch Place. A gift to the King of Kochi from the Dutch, it projects the grandeur of previously being a royal residence. The clean and polished dark wood creates a strangely cooling effect within the palace, which reminded me of my small home in my native village. A sense of zen within me, I felt like doing yoga at the centre of the room! Leaving the palace, we drove toward two of the famous churches in the area; Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica and St Francis Church. The cathedral was grand and stood out among the . On the other hand, the St. Francis Church was more muted in its architecture and the over all ambience. It had a more historic feeling and it should because it is the first burial site of the renowned explorer Vasco da Gama. It blew my mind that it would be a first burial site; he was buried here in St Francis Church for a few years and then his remains moved back to his home country.
Shops in Jew Town
As the sun began to release its vice grip of heat over our heads, we drove past the Chinese Fishing Nets. It was majestic to see the nets in all their glory, standing ready for fishing. I also saw the fishermen lining the nets onto some of the Chinese fishing nets, preparing for an evening of fishing. Local people flocked toward the area to have ice cream to cool off their bodies in the heat as some watched the nets being prepared. As we took the junk car back toward the hotel from Fort Kochi, we drove by the Vypin Harbour. The artist within me screamed for a half day, beginning from the evening of course, at the bridge to draw the view of the harbour. The colourful fishing boats that were stacked side by side against the glistening water and the dimming skies, was one that had to be captured. It was the best way to end my trip through Kochi’s iconic attractions.