Now let’s take a trip around Kochi! | Sunday Observer

Now let’s take a trip around Kochi!

Wanderlust but not sure where to start planning your next trip? The youth observer’s Wanderlust segment will take you to cities and exotic destinations around the world and help you plan the trip of your life. This week’s segment of Wanderlust will hop over across the pond to India, particularly to Kochi, a major but laidback port city on the south-west coast of the country.

The locals often describe Kerala, as God’s Own Country and that too for good reason. In the Indian state which is popular for its swaying palm trees, paddy fields, beaches and silent backwaters, Kochi which has earned the moniker ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’ is perhaps the most densely populated area in Kerala. But unlike the rest of the hustling and bustling India, despite being a sprawling metropolis Kochi is laidback. The city is diverse, right down to its culture and religion. There is a lot to do in captivating Kochi and you will find it very close to our own little island from its Dutch and Portuguese influences to its amazing landscapes. But it also has some unique experiences not found elsewhere to offer up to Asian travelers.

Visa and flights

Sri Lankan passport holders can apply for a visa by visiting one of the three IVS Global Offices which accepts Visa applications on behalf of the High Commission of India.

Their locations are 

Colombo - No. 129, Phillip

Gunawardene Mawatha, Colombo 4

Jaffna - No. 145, Temple Road, Jaffna

Kandy - No. 128, D.S Senanayake Veediya, Kandy

  •  Sri Lankans can also apply for visa online by visiting http://www.ivsvisalanka.com/. Details of all required documentation and other information can also be found on this website.
  •  A single-entry tourist visa valid for 30 days will cost Rs. 2,700
  •  Our national carrier SriLankan Airlines flies to Kochi regularly. Other options include Air India and budget carrier IndiGo.

Accommodation

Cheapest - Once again its AirBnb to the rescue of travelers on a budget. The site is full of charming and colonial homestays ranging from USD 15 upwards per night. You can even find homes facing the beautiful backwaters of Kerala.

Mid Range - When making a reservation through booking.com a number of hotels can be quite affordable due to discounts offered. Kochi Marriot, Le Meridian Kochi, Radisson Blu Kochi are some of the better and affordable midrange options costing close to Rs. 15, 000 per night.

Luxury - Travelers are spoilt for choice in Kochi when it comes to luxury accommodation options. Hotels Forte Kochi and Indy Old Court House are known for their colonial charm and hospitality.

Things to do

Wanderlust’s arduously chosen top 5 things to do and see in Kochi.

1. Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi is similar to Sri Lanka’s own Galle Fort. One can get lost for hours in its narrow alleyways taking in its churches, synagogues, and museums. A prominent naval outpost like Galle, the Portuguese, Dutch and Arabic influences are unmistakable. It also has an Indo-Portuguese museum, a Dutch cemetery, and several beautiful churches to explore such as the Santa-Cruz Basilica. There are also a growing number of art galleries.

2. Kathakali Performances

Kerala’s own style of dance, travelers should not miss a Kathakali performance during a trip to Kochi. Its bright and colourful costumes, the incredible makeup along with the traditional Kerala dance and music is an amazing experience. Visit the Kathakali Centre located near Santa Cruz Basilica, K.B. Jacob Road, Fort Kochi for an authentic experience.

3. Chinese Fishing Nets

One of the most unique sights in Kochi and the whole of Kerala are fishermen using these stationary Chinese fishing nets. A team of six fishermen is needed to lift this gigantic net out of the waters. It is the only place in India that you can witness this novel way of catching fish and all you need to do is visit the docks at Fort Kochi.

4. Wonderla Amusement Park

A visit to Kochi can be an opportunity to visit an amusement park. The Wonderla Amusement park is pretty popular in Kochi, and has a number of land and water slides as well as cinema facilities.

Adult ticket - Rs. 2,000

Child ticket - Rs. 1,600

5. Paradesi Synagogue

For Sri Lankans, a visit to a Jewish synagogue will be a unique experience. Constructed in the 1500s it is one of the seven synagogues belonging to the Kochi Jewish community. The synagogue is located in the quarter of Old Cochin known as Jew Town.

Other interesting sites :

Hill Palace Museum

Willingdon Island

Cherai Beach

Pallipuram Fort

Food to try

Kerala style Thosai

Kerala style prawn curry

Karimeen Pollichathu (Fish fry)

Nadan Beef (Beef Curry)

Thalassery Biryani

Best Places to Eat - There are many cafes lining the streets of Fort Kochi. The Thali served at The Solar Cafe located on Bazaar road is to die for according to travelers. Visit www.authenticook.com to dine with locals and take cooking classes.

Other travel tips

Names of places in Kerala can be confusing as most names seem to begin with a ‘K’ or an ‘M’ making them remarkably similar. There’s also an eclectic mix of old and new names used. Allapuzha is commonly referred to as Alleppey still, whereas Kollam – which was Quillon – universally goes by its new name. Get a guide to help you around!

 

Comments