Kochi, or Cochin as it is more commonly named, is one of the most important port cities in India, and its role in history as well as its sources of influence have turned it into an eclectic mix of various cultures. Here can be found Portuguese churches from the 1500s, Chinese fishing nets that dot the piers, and even a Jewish synagogue that dates back to 1567. Kochi is truly a unique and fascinating city, which you can explore in 2015 with our tours and activities packages.
Delve into Cochin culture and food in a tour that brings you on a journey through Muslim, Hindu, and Christian sections of the city. On this tour you will begin in a bazaar, where spice traders have been showcasing their wares for centuries. Have tea and snacks at a local shop, before you travel to the Mattancherry locality, where Muslim food and culture reign, though a community of Paradesi Jews exists in its center, along with the aforementioned centuries-old Paradesi Synagogue. Observe the gradual change in scenery as you proceed to the Hindu parts of the city, where any meat disappears from store shelves and is replaced with fruits and vegetables, as appeals to the completely-vegetarian Hindu community. Finally, transfer to the Christian area, where you will go to a local toddy bar, try local palm wine known as toddy, feast on fresh bar food like sardines and crab, and revel in the fisherman’s culture.
Make your way through the multicultural sights of Cochin with a Fort Kochi by bike tour. Start at Fort Kochi, where the cheena vala, or Chinese fishing nets, are heavily concentrated, and serve as a unique attraction far removed from the nets normally found in India. Enter Kochi’s main bazaar where you can shop for food and goods made by local artisans. Take a ride into history through Bazaar Road, where the spice traders sell ginger, cumin, cloves, and many more. Enter Jew Town in Mattancherry and admire the Dutch Palace and antique shops. See one of the iconic snake boats, then explore the rest of the locality. Enter the Hindu area and visit temples, before cycling down Kochi’s waterfront back to the city center. Visit centuries-old churches and the Dutch Cemetery, the oldest European cemetery in India, where 104 tombs show the intertwined history of the local Indian community, and the Dutch and English migrants.
Explore the famous Kerala Backwaters, one of National Geographic’s Ten Paradises Found. Witness unique geography, verdant foliage, and beautiful scenery. Take a two and a half hour long trip to Kerala, where the vibrant environments present great opportunities for photography. Cruise through the waters on a canoe and learn about local customs and daily life as you are fed delicious food. Enter the house of a local family and have traditional tea with them as you converse and learn about their culture.