Kochi was our entry point to Kerala and stayed there for 2 days.
We took a direct flight from Mumbai to Kochi and it took 2 hours to reach there. Kochi Airport has prepaid taxi facility, a little on the expensive side but very safe. We booked a non ac prepaid taxi to our hotel at M.G. Road, Erankulam and it cost us ₹830 for the 35 km trip and it took us close to 1 hour to reach the hotel.
The weather was hot and humid I would say slightly more humid than Mumbai.
We had booked our rooms via Oyo at Grand Hotel, M.G. Road. When we reached, we were told our booking was of standard room but were being upgraded to Execute room, WOW! The room was clean and spacious.
After checking in, we had our lunch in Grand hotel itself. We were really excited to try Kerala cuisine, so we ordered a Vaza Ilayil Pollicha Meen and a Kerala Chicken Thali. As the quantity of an individual thali would have been too much for me, we thought we will share it, but were told sharing a thali is not allowed in restaurant. Then the waiter himself suggested that along with one chicken thali you order one plate plain rice then you both can share gravy but not rice. After some time, we got to know that they provide unlimited rice with thali that’s why sharing is not allowed
M.G. Road is the city center of Kochi, where you’ll see everything from Government Offices, High Court to local and branded stores. So, in evening we headed to see Marine Drive which was just 15 minutes’ walk from the hotel. The real surprise for us was that maximum shops closed after sunset
We decided to explore the history and heritage of Kochi and headed to Fort Kochi. It was a 30 minutes’ drive from the hotel and Uber was our ride.
Our first stop was Mattancherry Palace also known as the Dutch Palace. It’s maintained as a museum and has a nominal entry fee, but photography is prohibited inside the palace. It was like an oven inside the palace and we sorely missed some sort of fan, wish we had bought one from the vendors selling it right at the entrance.
Next stop was Jewish Synagogue a.k.a. Paradesi Synagogue. It’s just a 10 minutes walking from Dutch Palace, but when we reached there, we found that it was closed because of some Jewish holiday 🙁
Next destination was Fort Kochi Beach, around 4 km from Jewish Synagogue. So we decided to take rickshaw. Initially the rickshaw driver demanded ₹200, but after a bit barging he got ready take us to Fort Kochi Beach in ₹50, but on the condition that he’ll halt at two shops on the way, one would be a spice shop and another one a clothes shop on the pretext that he gets points for halting at those shops even if we don’t buy anything and those points help him supplement his income. We made it very clear that we don’t want to buy anything and set off. Unfortunately, I end up buying dress 🙂 and the rickshaw driver would have pocketed a decent commission for the same.
On reaching Fort Kochi Beach, we were expecting that we’ll get to see some sort of fort but unfortunately all we got to see was a lone Gunnary of the Fort Emmanuel and Steam boilers for Cranes.
Apart from that you will get to see Chinese fishing nets (Cheena vala). The friendly fishermen were more than happy to explain it and also gave us a demo, it was great fun. But since this wasn’t fishing season, we were only able to catch two small fishes and a small crab which we let go. So was this all free? Nopes. Towards the end of the demo they start talking about how tough life is in the off season and we tourist are their only source of income. They never quote a sum as to how much we should give and are grateful to whatever we give.
Post lunch we headed to Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica Church and from there hailed an Uber to get back to the hotel and call it a day.
Well we gave theses a miss, but if you are interested you can also head to the museum near the shore or the Vasco da Gama Church, which is right in front of the museum.
|Grand Hotel, M. G. Road, Ernakulam