Fort Cochin, Kerala, India

Fort Cochin is
a quiet, pretty island offering fine architecture, some modern & traditional Kerala life and
some good backwater
experiences.  Fort Cochin offers a welcome escape from the hectic mainland
of Ernakulam. There is a 500 year old church, cantilever Chinese fishing
nets, a Jewish community with a 16th century synagogue, and a Portuguese
palace. 

There is a small market area near the Vypeen Island
jetty, where you can buy fruit and street-side snacks.  The ticket offer
here also allows safe storage of

luggage.

There are lots of Internet places in town, but all are
packed by evening, so morning is the best

time.

Activities in Fort

Cochin

  • Backwaters
    – Fort Cochin is a good place for a backwater experience, although you’ll
    find better between Alleppey and Kollam.  The
    Tourist Desk Information Counter run a good day trip with a morning on a house
    boat, and an afternoon in canoes for INR550, including lunch, water and hotel
    pickup.

  • Mattancherry Palace
  • Pardesi Synagogue & The Jew
    Town

  • Chinese fishing nets – See the traditional nets being used to catch fish.  There
    are thousands of these nets in the south of Kerala, but it’s rare to see them
    being used there.

  • St Francis Church
    The oldest European built church in India.  Built in 1503 by Portuguese
    Franciscan friars.

  • Santa Cruz Basilica
    – Impressive Catholic building with a striking pastel colored interior.

  • Seafood dinner
    buy your choice of seafood or fish from the fish mongers and have it cooked at
    a shack.  Much cheaper than inflated restaurant prices.

  • Kathakali

    – see the traditional Keralan play.
    Very dramatic, with drumming, singing, headpieces and stunning

    makeup.

Accommodation in Fort

Cochin

There are lots of home stays around.  Those in you
guidebooks have

probably jacked up their prices.  Try the Fort Nagar area, where
there are loads of cheap home stays and

guesthouses.

Fort Coch Inn
t: 9846345414
e: [email protected]
Nice, good
value and friendly home stay.  Rooms are clean, with tiled floors, white
walls, mosquito nets on the windows, wardrobes and furniture.  The
bathrooms have hot water showers all day long!  A little north of the Ham
Dale Inn signpost on KB Jacob Road.  They also have an extensive travel
agents. They

have a single room with shared bathroom (INR200), double room with
shared bathroom (INR300) and a en suite double

(INR500). 

Eating in Fort

Cochin

Unfortunately the restaurant situation is not good in
Fort Cochin.  Prices are

high and good quality hard to come by.  The
flash fish restaurants charge typically INR400 for a fish dinner, and few are
very good.  It’s better to buy the fish of your choice from the
fish mongers at the fishing nets at the north of the island, and take it
to the nearby shacks which will cook it for you.  There are some other traditional Indian
eateries around if you look, although some are a little overpriced.  Many
restaurants serve beer in teapots, to avoid the licensing costs and hassles.  The
street-side vendors at the Vypeen Island jetty offer good food at very low
prices, especially good for

breakfast.

Getting to and
from Kochi and Fort

Cochin

There are regular
buses and trains to the major towns in Kerala, and other interstate destinations,
including Chennai, Delhi and

Mumbai. 

Many Indian domestic flights operate
out of Kochi airport.  There are several daily flights to Singapore.  A taxi
to the airport costs

INR550. 

There are some boat services to Kochi from other
places, such as Alleppey, but you’ll need to ask around and double check. 
Some advertised services seem

fictional.

Getting

around

Fort Cochin can easily be explored by
foot.  The best way to get to Fort Cochin from Ernakulam is
by ferry , which is very cheap (INR5).  Tuk-tuk and taxi rides are
quite long and cost

INR180.

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