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Fort Kochi Travel Blog, India, Kerala

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Fort Cochin in Kerala is also known as Kochin, Kochi or Cochi, I’ve seen it written every-which-way during our time here. It is a historic jewel of southern India. People visit for Fort Kochi itself, a region in the city of Kochi and also known as Old Kochi. It is famous for history, spice, kathakali dancing, and those iconic Chinese fishing nets. It’s one of the nicest places in the whole of India, we think. This Fort Kochi travel blog was written to reflect our time in Kochi, but we also include points of interest and things to do in Kochi.

Godowns Fort Kochi Kerala
Wonderful Fort Kochi, Kerala. It’s a really nice place to visit in India.

Fort Kochi Travel Blog

This is post 6 of our random, hectic, unplanned India travel blog. If you haven’t been following so far, blogging time is very short, my usual highly polished posts have been abandoned in favor of diary-style updates.

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Fort Cochi Kerala India photos

In part 5 I was having tantrums and swearing I’d never set foot in India again, Cochi (Kochi) soothed my tattered nerves and made us all very happy.

Part 7 will be Kovalam Beach, Kerala, another few days of total loveliness on Kerala’s amazing beaches before we fly out of India to Kathmandu.

Kathakali performers getting ready in Fort Cochi India
Part of the Kathakali show is watching the performers get ready. This includes elaborate make-up, putting things in their eyes to make them turn red, and gluing on various parts of their new persona.

We’ve had some fantastic experiences in India and at this point I don’t want to leave, but Nepal is a fabulous country, we have plenty more adventures to look forward to in coming months. You can see our Nepal travel blog here.

If you need our full India Travel Blog with guides and tips for travel in India, you’ll need this link.

Fort Cochi Kerala Cochin


Luxury Accommodation in Fort Kochi, Cheap Price, No Worries

Budget luxury hotel in Fort Cochin. This is the life!

The boys and I fell in love with the first guest house we looked at in Fort Kochi.

It held a prime location, right on Vasco Da Gama square ( which has a great playground for the kids), just steps away from the iconic Chinese fishing nets and was in a beautiful, old, colonial-style building.

We looked at other guest houses and homestays, they were all of a great standard and beautifully furnished, but Fort Bridge View won our custom for its air-con, deluxe bathroom with rain shower, TV, delicious rooms and included breakfast.

This was the first time we’ve not had a bucket and scoop bathroom in India.

How much did this slice of luxury set us back? Just 2300 Rps, 23 pounds. Expensive by Indian standards, we normally pay around 800Rps, but this was a special treat and the price was on a par with those of say, Bangkok or Malaysia.

Of course, when breakfast is included, you can deduct at least 5,000Rps from the hotel price as what we would have spent anyway.

Breakfast included, and very good it was too, western and Indian style.

The hotel and food worked out brilliantly, we loved our stay at Fort Bridge View Guest House and Restaurant, ( click through and you’ll see our room, top right).

If you’re looking for accommodation in Cochi / Kochin, check Agoda, it’s or most trusted, preferred booking engine for Asia and don’t forget the reward points, we just cashed ours in for a bargain stay in Chennai.

History, Art, Culture and Enjoyment in Fort Cochin

Hauling nets Kochi
Chef helping fishermen haul in the Chinese fishing nets back in 2001. They’re still much the same, but the guys will want money for a photo now.

We had a really packed 2 days on Kochi, there is so much to do on the island ( it’s not an island, but feels like one) and on Ernakulum, the mainland ( it’s not the mainland).

Obviously we had to look at the Chinese fishing nets, stroll under the beyond-huge rain trees and just soak up the historic and architectural appeal of this historic spice trade town, but there are quite a few must-dos to get through in Kochi too.

Kathakali Dancing in Fort Kochi

Kathakali performers apply their elaborate stage make up in Cochin.

A traditional Keralan Kathakali performance should be high on anyone’s list.

The green faced anti hero with his red stained eyes looked a bit freaky to my younger child, so D ( age 10) and I went to the performance alone.

Chef and I had seen a show 15 years ago, he was happy to opt out.

The Old Synagog and Jew Town Kochi

The old synagogue, Fort Kochin, you have to pay to get in and no photography allowed, which is annoying.

Jew Town and the old synagogue are a 30p rickshaw ride away from Vasco Da Gama square.

This part of town is very up-market, plenty of well-heeled package tourists visit and prices and standards are high. We enjoyed a luxurious nimbu pani in a fancy little cafe and browsed shops and warehouses full of antiques and artifacts.

The spice trade is still alive and strong, the spice warehouses or go-downs are packed with exotic smelling hessian sacks in some parts of town.

Spice Warehouses – Go-Downs of Kochi

The spice trade still exists in Fort Cochin.

The Indian Coffee House

James and I had to make a pilgrimage to the Indian Coffee House in Ernakulum, just paces from the ferry port.

We stayed in a guest house a few doors up in 2001 and ate our breakfast here every morning.

Delicious dosa, idly and vada served by splendidly liveried waiters.

The kids enjoyed the experience and it gave me a chance to point out Nehru and Indira Ghandi hanging on the wall along with the megastar Mahatma of the same name and a 4th portrait, the revered founder of the Coffee House chain.

Make sure you visit a branch of The Indian Coffee House while you’re in India.

The Largest Shiva Temple in Kerala

A short walk up the road is the largest Shiva temple in Kerala. It actually was’t that large, but a neat place to visit.

The Ferry

The ferry itself is a must-do too, I have never taken one of these boats and not seen dolphins. It also gave me a chance to queue jump, the ladies only line was much shorter than the men’s.

At 16p for 4 tickets, how can you not go?

Lining up for ferry tickets from Cochi to Ernakulum. The ladies’ queue was much shorter than the men’s.

The boys made a new friend on the boat, a young music shop owner, they chatted about harmonicas and D has been teaching himself to play from You Tube ever since.

Cochi ferry Kochin
Bonding over a harmonica on the ferry. That socialisation thing that homeschoolers supposedly don’t do.

The Grave of Vasco da Gama and St Francis’s Church

Vasco da Gama is a constant companion of ours on our travels. Along with St Francis Xavier ( whose mummified body we saw just a few days ago in Goa), our journey has crossed their historic paths many times.

In Kochi the two meet, the original grave of Vasco is in St Francis’s church under the punkas, originally pulled by punka wallahs for the Catholic congregation.

St Francis Xavier church, home to the original grave of Vasco da Gama and punkahs.

Kochi Street Art

As we rode around Kochi in tuk tuks we spotted some amazing street art, I need to Google and find out more about it, but it was so good I stopped to take pictures.

Great Worldschooling!

So even the cynical can see how much school-type learning we did here.

The spice trade, exploration, history, religion and how it spread around the world ( both the Jews and the Catholics).

There is a large Muslim population in Kochi, too, so if my kids didn’t know a lot about that faith already, they could have brushed up.

All that and art, dance and culture, the Indian epic Mahabharata, so much crammed into 2 short days. All these jigsaw pieces fit beautifully together with what we have learned in other ports on the spice route and back home in London. We liked Fort Kochi a lot.

Fort Cochi Cochin India

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Fort Cochi Kerala Cochin

As always, I’m in a rush, most of these places will get detailed posts later. You cannot run a professional travel blog and travel full time, don’t believe the hype!

We liked Fort Kochi a lot. Thanks for reading, hit like or share to make me happy, leave a comment to show me you care. You can find more posts on destinations in India below, or head back to our main India Travel Guide at the link above.

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

ARK Hotel & Convention Centre

Saturday 21st of May 2022

Wonderful narration about Cochin.

Thanks and Regards,

ARK Hotel and Convention Centre, Palakkad

Hurandrarai Shah

Thursday 11th of February 2021

Delighted to read a well written but brief report on Fort Cochin and surroundings. You missed out mentioning the settled Gujarati community in Mattancherry, Kochi, just a few minutes from Fort Cochin. Though a passing indirect reference is made, a little more on the Palace Museum at Aanavathil gate in Mattancherry and reference to Gujarati and a few popular small hotels for some excellent Kerala/Gujarati food would make the article complete. Hopefully you will do needful in future. All in all, a good written report.

Alyson for World Travel Family

Friday 12th of February 2021

Yeah... Maybe we'll be able to add more when we're allowed to travel again. Right now we've been stuck behind closed borders in Australia for what feels like forever. I am losing my sanity being stuck here. No vaccines yet either.

SUHAIB Mohamed

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

Great Article, even though being a native of Kochi. I find this article really intuitive.

Chitra Pandey

Sunday 28th of April 2019

Nice Blog!! Very beautiful places! Pictures are great and the blog is very easy to read.


Thursday 11th of April 2019

Ernakulam is the District & Cochin or Kochi is the name of a place in this District.

There are many other lesser known places in Ernakulam District like Vytila, Kaloor etc.

But the Name of the place Cochin is famous & well-known.

Many traveling to Cochin Enquire about Cross Massage in Cochin

Where a Female Therapists gives an Authentic Full Body Massage with Medicated Herbal Essential Oils.

All Spas do not have such Facility & rare to find.

I & my friend had a Very Good Cross Gender Massage in Cochin.

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