A private tour of tranquil Cochin on the tropical Malabar Coast. For well over 600 years travellers and traders have been visiting this intriguing metropolis to explore and just relax in its exquisite beauty.
Due to its various occupations over the years it is now an incredible mix of English village, medieval Portugal and Holland living side by side in an ever-growing sprawl.
A place for exploration on a guided private tour or relaxation - you choose. Swaying palms surround this sleepy city and picturesque port once home to massive Chinese fishing fleets.
Nowhere else in India can you find ancient mosques on the same streets as a synagogue dating back 400 years and charming decorative Portuguese houses.
The architecture of this thriving city is breathtaking, and the last remaining remnants of the British Raj lay crumbling on every corner a sad reminder of its once great heritage here. Visit one of the many surrounding secluded islands by a local ferry and get away from the maddening crowd. Read More...
Private Guided Tours of Cochin Picturesque Port of Chinese Fishing Fleets
The Bishops House offers a look at life in Indo-Portuguese Catholic times and the Cochin Diocese
The Kochi Royal Family's former residence with its round design of the spectacular museum is original and eyecatching
Fabled Cantilevered Chinese Fishing Nets still operational today and in use daily to catch fish.
Spooky Dutch Cemetery and its many tombs and graves dedicated to the soldiers and citizens of Cochin
Make a private tour of the Folklore museum and see over 4,00 artefacts spanning many years and many occupations.
Trace the route of maritime trade at the Maritime museum situated in a former bomb shelter.
Top 10 Things to Do in Cochin
Kerala Folklore Museum
This amazing museum houses over 4,00 artefacts and spans three very different architectural styles. Its owner, an antique dealer, has collected over time, a vast amount of Keralan style objects from ancient Temples and traditional old houses here. Take a guided tour and see some fabulous ritual costumes as well as the most fantastic example of 17th-century woodwork in the theatre.
Take a private guided tour of the Maritime Museum, a definite for anyone with an interest in military history. Tracing the history of maritime trade here when the Dutch and Portuguese ruled as well as the Indian Navy this museum has many artefacts dating back hundreds of years. Its unique housing in a former bomb shelter adds to the interest factor as do the pair of battleship models in the garden.
In the cooling lush gardens of the Bishops House is the Indo-Portuguese Museum. Here can be found some of the unique heritage of one of the first Catholic communities in India. It includes items of interest from the Cochin Diocese such as silver processional crosses, vestments and altar pieces. In the building's basement , you can find a display of remnants from the original Portuguese Fort here.
St Francis Church
Believed to be Indias oldest Church this fabulous white structure is typically Portuguese in design. It was built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan Friars and was originally a wooden building and then again from bricks and tiles. During the Dutch invasion, this is the only church that survived their destruction and is now a protected monument. Take a culture tour of this fantastic example of the early Roman Catholic religion.
Hill Palace Museum
A former residence of the Kochi Royal Family the splendid Hill Palace Museum complex consists of over 49 buildings. Its unique rounded design with hundreds of white columns is in need of renovation but must have been truly spectacular in its day. Now, this museum exhibits paintings from the 19th century, sculptures, coins and jewellery from days gone by. The gardens too are a bit neglected.
A custom tour of Paradesi Synagogue and its elegant clock tower takes you to this fine example of Orthodox India. Constructed in 1568 it was destroyed in 1662 by the Portuguese during their invasion. It was rebuilt by the Dutch years later and features intricate willow patterned, hand painted floor tiles from China. An upstairs balcony allowed women to worship separately.
Chinese Fishing Nets
Probably the most amazing and photographed constructions here are the fabled cantilevered Chinese fishing nets dating back some hundreds of years. Requiring four people to operate them these humungous contraptions are the unofficial emblem of Kerala. On the northeastern shore of Fort Kochi they still supply the majority of the fish you will find on sale here.
A traditional Dutch designed Palace it was built by the Portuguese as a gesture of Goodwill to safeguard ongoing trade. A sightseeing tour to this whitewashed two storey Palace will show you some quite erotic murals in the Royal bedchamber that are most interesting. Its traditional floors of coconut shells give the impression that life was not so luxurious then. In the grounds is a small Royal Temple.
Santa Cruz Basilica
Escape into the peace of Santa Cruz Basilica a stunning Portuguese Church gleaming white in the Indian sunshine. Its traditional architecture is aesthetically pleasing and intricately carved and has been well maintained. Inside you immediately feel the spiritual warmth envelope you and there are some amazing ceiling paintings, colourful and detailed you may want to sit a while longer.
Every tombstone tells its own story of lives lost in the quest for trade in Cochins historic past. Blackened stones and pyramid-shaped tombs make a macabre spectacle but an interesting part of the town's history. Mostly overgrown now the gates are almost permanently locked, and there seems to be no maintenance at all. Here lie the remains of the many soldiers, officers and governors of Cochin.
Travel Tips for Cochin
Best Time To Visit
Make a private guided tour between October andFebruary when the weather is pleasant, and temperatures hover around the mid-30s. From March to June it is the beginning of summer, and temperatures slowly rose to around 40º. From July to September is monsoon season and the city comes alive again washing away the dust and becoming green again.
India can be one of the cheapest holiday destinations with regard to costs while there. On custom tour typical daily prices we found were around 950 RS for accommodation and 460 RS for food. This was eating at mid-range cafes and try to negotiate a price before you order. Travel is inexpensive with trains being the cheapest but the most overcrowded. Always best to book train journeys in advance if possible.
Know Before Visiting
Remember to dress appropriately and respect the locals and their beliefs. Make sure you consult your Doctor to find out what vaccinations or boosters you may need before you go. Take medicines with you for sickness and the dreaded Dehli Belly although rare it can be unpleasant and draining. Eat street food when prepared fresh in front of you, drink plenty of bottled water and apply sunscreen even on cloudy days
Weather in Cochin in monsoon season in July to September is a good time to visit as you can pick up good deals on hotels and although wet showers are relatively short lived. October to Februarys sees the best time to visit with pleasant weather and temperatures of between 17 and 33º. From March to June it is the beginning of summer and temperatures can rise to 37º. Take plenty of sunscreen at these times.