First named Cochin in colonial India, this is a major port in southern India that has always been an important spice trading area from the 14th Century. Regarded as the Queen of the Arabian Sea due to its prowess over the sea, it was a strategic location on the trading routes specifically between the Middle East, Europe, Pacific Rim, and Asia. It has had many colonial rulers, but it was the main seat of power in Portuguese India till 1530. But the colonial heritage still stands in Kochi because it had been claimed by the various colonial powers as one of their own. In fact, the English referred to it as ‘Mini England’, the Dutch referred to Kochi as ‘Homely Holland’ and the Portuguese too called the port city ‘Little Lisbon.’ Today Kochi is a southern naval powerhouse of India.
Want to visit this city? Then coming through the Cochin International airport will be preferable. The airport invites all domestic and international flights so securing tickets won’t be an issue. With best service providers and with some advance booking, you might be able to get the cheapest Dubai to Kochi flights or Kathmandu to Kochi flights, Spain to Kochi flights and more.
Surely you would like to know what’s in the city that is worthy of your attention? Here’s a brief list:
- Get enthralled by a Kathakali dance performance: This is a dance form that actually originates from Kerala and is famous due to its colorful and fascinating costume. The themes are taken and enacted from Hindu epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana as well as from folk tales. There are regular performances atmany centers and you can even go backstage to look into how the makeup and costumes are put on.
- Explore the fascinating Paradesi Synagogue: Kochi is a colonial hub where people of all religions live together. The Jewish Synagogue here is the oldest in the Commonwealth nations. Built in 1568, the structure had gold pulpits and willow pattern floor tiles which were hand painted and exported from China. But its main charm is the gorgeous Belgian chandelier which lights up the synagogue like no other.
- Play with baby elephants at Elephant Training Village: Baby elephants are loved by all and all the action goes down in Kodanad which is a small village area on the riverside of the Ernakulam district. Here both adult and baby elephants are trained and washed. We would recommend coming here for a day trip so as to take in this unique experience and maybe even get doused by the elephants themselves. Do remember to come over here early in the morning.
- Visit the St. Francis Church: Built by the Portuguese in 1503, it is one of the oldest standing churches in India. That fact alone deems lit a visit, at least from the history buffs. This church was also the original place where Vasco De Gama was buried in 1524.
Kochi is a city which has carved out its own place and is now a beautiful amalgamation of the best of both worlds- colonial and Indian.