Fort Kochi is a neighbourhood of Kochi city in Kerala, India, that has a rich and diverse history and culture. It was once a fishing village in the Kingdom of Kochi, and later became a strategic port for the Portuguese, Dutch, British and Chinese traders who left their mark on its architecture, cuisine and lifestyle. Fort Kochi is a place where you can experience the charm of the past and the vibrancy of the present. Visit during One day Kochi Local Sightseeing. Here are some details that will help you plan your visit to Fort Kochi:
Location of Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi is located on the south-western coast of India, about 10 km from the mainland Kochi. It is part of a group of islands and islets that are collectively known as Old Kochi or West Kochi. Fort Kochi is connected to the mainland by bridges and ferries.
Timing/Entry Fees Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi is open to visitors throughout the year. There is no entry fee to visit Fort Kochi, but some of the attractions may charge a nominal fee for entry or photography. For example, the Fort Manuel of Cochin, which is the first European fort on Indian soil, charges Rs. 5 per person for entry and Rs. 25 for photography. The Mattancherry Palace, which is also known as the Dutch Palace, charges Rs. 10 per person for entry and Rs. 20 for photography.
Best Time to Visit Fort Kochi
The best time to visit Fort Kochi is from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and dry. The temperature ranges from 20°C to 32°C during this period. You can also enjoy various festivals and events that take place in Fort Kochi during this time, such as the Cochin Carnival, the International Film Festival of Kerala and the Biennale.
How to Reach Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi can be reached from Ernakulam by road or water. You can take a bus, taxi or auto-rickshaw from Ernakulam to Fort Kochi. The bus fare is around Rs. 15 per person and the taxi fare is around Rs. 300 per trip. You can also take a ferry from Ernakulam Jetty to Fort Kochi Jetty. The ferry fare is Rs. 4 per person and the journey takes about 20 minutes.
Things to Do/Must See Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi has many things to do and see for travellers of all interests and tastes. Here are some of the must-see attractions in Fort Kochi:
- Stroll along the Fort Kochi Beach and watch the sunset over the Arabian Sea. You can also see the iconic Chinese fishing nets that are unique to this region.
- Visit the St. Francis Church, which is the oldest European church in India and the burial site of Vasco da Gama, who died in Kochi in 1524.
- Explore the Mattancherry Palace, which was built by the Portuguese in 1555 and gifted to the Raja of Kochi. It has a museum that displays paintings, murals and artifacts related to the history and culture of Kochi.
- Shop for spices, antiques, handicrafts and souvenirs at Jew Town, which is a narrow street that has shops run by Kashmiri traders. You can also visit the Paradesi Synagogue, which is the oldest active synagogue in India and has a splendid interior with chandeliers, tiles and scrolls.
- Experience the art and culture of Kerala at Kerala Folklore Museum, which showcases various items such as masks, costumes, puppets and musical instruments that represent the folk traditions of Kerala.
- Enjoy a cultural show at Kerala Kathakali Centre, which offers daily performances of Kathakali, a classical dance-drama form of Kerala that combines music, costumes, makeup and gestures.
- Savour the local cuisine at one of the many restaurants and cafes in Fort Kochi. You can try dishes such as appam (rice pancake), stew (coconut milk curry), fish molee (fish curry), karimeen pollichathu (fried fish) and puttu (steamed rice cake).
Significance of Fort Kochi
Fort Kochi is significant for its historical, cultural and architectural value. It is a place where you can witness the influence of various cultures and civilizations that have shaped its identity over centuries. It is also a place where you can enjoy the beauty of nature and relax in a peaceful atmosphere.
Q: What are some of the other attractions near Fort Kochi?
A: Some of the other attractions near Kochi are:
Bolgatty Palace, which is a palace that was built by the Dutch in 1744 on Bolgatty Island. It is now a heritage hotel that offers a luxurious stay with a view of the backwaters.
Marine Drive, which is a scenic promenade that runs along the backwaters of Kochi. It is a popular place for leisure and recreation, where you can enjoy boating, cycling, walking or just relaxing.
Hill Palace Museum, which is a museum that was once the official residence of the Maharajas of Kochi. It displays various artifacts, paintings, weapons, coins and furniture that belong to the royal family of Kochi.
Wonderla Amusement Park, which is an amusement park that offers more than 50 rides and attractions for all age groups. It has water rides, dry rides, thrill rides, kids rides and family rides.
Q: What are some of the best places to stay in Fort Kochi?
A: Some of the best places to stay in Kochi are:
Forte Kochi, which is a heritage and luxury boutique hotel that offers elegant rooms and suites with modern amenities and antique furniture. It also has a restaurant, a bar, a pool and a spa.
Brunton Boatyard, which is a colonial-style hotel that offers spacious rooms and suites with views of the harbour and the sea. It also has two restaurants, a bar, a pool and a library.
Old Harbour Hotel, which is a 300-year-old building that offers charming rooms and suites with balconies and garden views. It also has a restaurant, a cafe, a pool and an ayurvedic centre.
The Malabar House, which is a boutique hotel that offers stylish rooms and suites with contemporary art and design. It also has a restaurant, a bar, a pool and an art gallery.
Q: What are some of the best souvenirs to buy from Fort ?
A: Some of the best souvenirs to buy from Fort are:
Spices, such as pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, that are grown in Kerala and have a rich aroma and flavour.
Antiques, such as brass lamps, wooden carvings, metal statues and jewellery boxes, that are sourced from various parts of India and have a vintage appeal.
Handicrafts, such as coir products, bamboo products, pottery items and paintings, that are made by local artisans and reflect the culture and tradition of Kerala.
Textiles, such as cotton sarees, silk scarves, handloom fabrics and kasavu mundu (white cloth with gold border), that are woven by skilled weavers and have unique patterns and colours.
Fort Kochi is a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you are interested in history, culture, art or nature, you will find something to enjoy and appreciate in Fort Kochi. It is a place where you can experience the past and the present in harmony. The Fort is a place that you should not miss when you visit Kerala.