Cochin City Tour: Meet the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’ and discover one of the most majestic cities in India. Kochi boasts a magnificent setting on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas on the southeast coast, and blends Christian, Islamic, Hindu and Jewish traditions.
Explore the fascinating older parts of the Fort Kochi area, which more or less exists as it used to be a thousand years ago. This district reflects an unusual blend of Portuguese, Dutch and English colonial architecture grafted on to the tropical Malabar Coast. See the 16th century Mattancherry Palace, a restored colonial fort with elegant buildings and interesting historical collections from the region.
The standout feature of Kochi is the unexpected and isolated Jewish community, whose origins date back to 52 AD. It is self-contained and has its own synagogue. The area around the synagogue, known as Jew Town, is one of the main centres of the spice trade. Scores of small firms trade in old, dilapidated buildings and the air is filled with the aroma of ginger, cardamom, cumin, turmeric and cloves.
See Kochi’s fishermen, who still use ancient cantilevered fishing nets, which are fixed to long bamboo poles on the shore. When fishing, the poles with the nets are lowered by a primitive fulcrum mechanism. Then the pole and nets are lifted along with the catch. There is also the possibility of a visit to a coir (fibres from coconut husks) factory.
Meeting/pick-up point: Collection from hotel.
Start/opening time: 8.30am.
End/closing time: 4pm.