Here’s 6 things we love about Kochi.
In the bylanes of Kochi, with sun-dappled trees and the scent of sea in the breath, history sleeps silent in the ancient buildings. In the deep waters of the Vembanad, a thousand sprinkles of light glisten. Ships lie in anchor, waiting to offload goods and people. Chinese fishing nets dip and rise with the pull of the tide. There was a time when Kochi-Muziris, was the subject of a thousand hopes and dreams, its streets filled with the scent of sandal, pepper, cardamom and spikenard. It attracted visitors from Arabia, Rome, Greece, Egypt, China, Portugal, Netherland and England for trade. Today a different set of people visit Kochi, attracted by the verdant green of Kerala and its pristine beaches, but more significantly, by the emerging art scene. For us Kochi is home, inspiration, muse and much more.
Here’s what we love about Kochi.
1.Backwaters, Boating & Chinese Fishing Nets.
Kochi is fringed with the beautiful Vembanad Lake, You can take a leisurely boat trip on a lazy morning or in the late evening, see the Kochi skyline from the waters, spot the churches on the shoreline, catch the Chinese fishing nets, in action from the water or watch the sun go down on the sea. Join the locals on the ferry for the local flavor, or go on a date on a private yatch.
2.Heritage & Buildings
The best place to go for a heritage walk, are the bylanes of Fort Kochi. Grab an umbrella or wear a sun hat and go explore the nooks and crannies of Fort Kochi. From the Mattancherry palace, the St Francis Church, Koder house, to the Jewish “Paradesi” Synagogue there are lots of interesting buildings to see and explore. If you love seeing old buildings and a slice of history, then Fort Kochi is the place to go. Plus they make fantastic photo opportunities.
3.Kochi Muziris Biennale.
If you are lucky to visit Kochi during biennale year, or if you live here, then you get to enjoy one of the best Biennales in South Asia. The brainchild of Riyas Komu and Bose Krishnamachary, it has become a show case of world and Indian art and art forms. Paintings, Performance Art, Installations, Sculpture, and Wordplay, all form a part of the biennale. Having run for the past 6 years biannually, the city has witnessed works from diverse artists like Anamika Haskar, Anish Kapoor, Ai Weiwei ,Ernesto Neto ,István Csákány among others. Get a glimpse of the previous editions at Google Art Project.
Kochi has a vibrant antique scene with shops that showcase the best of antiques from around Kerala and India. They house everything from wooden doors, jalliwork, lanterns, antique jars, four poster beds, sofas, wardrobes, old photographs and more. Like a huge playground of beautiful things, it is easy to lose one’s time in one of the warehouses showcasing these antiques. Pick one up and they will pack and send it to your location. If you are in the process of remodeling or in the process of doing up your house, do drop in.
5. Spices & Food
What would Kochi be without spices, the original lure that drew maritime visitors to Kerala. Aromatic and fragrant, take your pick from cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and more at either Jew Town Market or at Broadway. If you are famished after all that walking, step into one of the many cafes or restaurants that line the road. From boutique hotels to street food, every type of food experience can be had here. That fresh backwater is teaming with seafood. For a one of a kind experience, choose a fresh fish caught in the Chinese fishing nets and they will cook it right in front of you.
Kochiites are fiercely political, highly educated, and a cosmopolitan mix of different cultures that settled here over the years. Modern mentality jostles with traditional values and Kochi seems to have a found a sweet spot by accommodating both. Warm and friendly and generous of heart, if you dig a little deeper, you just might find an “athma suhurth” – a soul friend, ever ready to help out and share your sorrows. We heart Kochi and Kochiites.
Whether you are in the spring of life or if autumn is shading your life, Kochi has a place for you. Be it taking a break in its pristine waters, enjoying its antiques and spices or wondering at the artistic works in the biennale, Kochi has much to offer for resident and visitor. The choice is yours, Kochi awaits you.