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Overview of Cochin

When to go

December - March


July - August

What not to miss in Cochin

  • An excellent start is the ‘Walking Tour’ – maps available in most hotels and tourist offices – the Brunton Boatyard is a perfect starting point. 


  • Performance of Kathakali dance and music in your hotel or in the Cochin arts centre, e.g. Malabar House


  • Sunset cruise around the harbour


  • Walk along the north shore to inspect the impressive Chinese fishing nets.  Barter for crfats or fresh fish from the market alongside the nets and have it grilled with sea salt, garlic and lemon (pass on the fried fish as the oiled used may be old). Koder House and Old Harbour Hotel are located only metres away. 


  • Mattancherry Palace (daily except Friday) – a short ride from Fort Cochin.  Confusingly known as the Dutch Palace though actually built by the Portuguese.  The interior is filled with amazing murals from the 16th century, coronation robes, and furniture. 


  • Jew Town and the Synagogue – note the amazing old blue and white Dutch tiles.  Visit the warehouse showcasing all the craftsmanship of India, from gossamer likes pashminas and wonderful silk carpets (from the far north) to large pieces of hand carved furniture.  You will be hard pressed not to wish for a larger luggage allowance.


A delightful ‘East meets West’ old port, full of character. Small enough to feel at home and find your way about on foot or tuk tuk.

Famous For:

  • European influence in its architecture. Quiet narrow streets with pavements of fine houses built by wealthy traders, customs and commercial buildings, open squares, and churches. 
  • The Chinese fishing nets along the north shore which are suspended from graceful arced poles and operated by levers and weights. Each requires 4 men to control it. 
  • Church of St Francis, the first church built by Europeans in India, probably in the 16th century. A local Raja donated the land, and the title deeds, written on a palm leaf, are kept inside. Vasco de Gama was – briefly –buried here. 
  • Kathakali, Kerala’s unique form of spiritualised dance drama 
  • Backwaters – many miles of quiet waterways where time seems to stand still.
Cochin Images