Nestled on the northwest tip of Cochin’s peninsula, Fort Cochin is a quaint coastal region with strong links to its colonial history. The Western Ghats sit to the west while the Arabian Sea flows out from the east, making this a beautiful and relaxing place to spend a few days.
Having been under the rule of the Portuguese, Dutch and British, the town has a distinctly European feel. Colonial relics are scattered throughout Fort Cochin, from the remains of Fort Immanuel and St. Francis church, both built by the Portuguese, to the Dutch cemetery.
Fort Cochin has long been a hub for trade. Arabian and Chinese traders flocked here for pepper, cinnamon, cardamon and cloves which are still known for their quality today. This is a bustling town, but it also has a very relaxed side to it with locals and visitors taking to the beach to enjoy the water lapping at their feet.
One of the town’s most unique features are the Chinese fishing nets that line the seafront. The nets reach around 10m in height, are set on poles and operated from the shore. Small teams of fishermen will lower the nets into the sea for a short period of time, hauling up the catch which is quickly snapped up by passers by.
Much of Fort Cochin’s charm is experienced by winding your way through its streets and along the beach, listening to the rustle of the palm trees swaying in the wind. Enjoy delicately spiced seafood and fresh coconut juice while soaking up the unique atmosphere. It is also one of India’s art hubs and a great place to experience kathakali dance.
When to go
The best time to visit is from November to March.
What to do
- Explore the town's European architecture
- Watch a Kathakali dance performance
- See the catch of the day at the Chinese fishing nets that line the shore
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