I very clearly remember the day I arrived in Kerala 10 years ago in February 2003. I had spent a night in a train from Goa and I was making a trip to Kerala for my first fieldwork there. I remember watching the landscape parade before me with wonderment through the bars of the train window. I was mesmerized by a kaleidoscope of swaying coconut trees, small houses with cream walls and red-tiled roofs, and large hammers painted in red on the white walls of buildings. I remember thinking that this was one of the most beautiful landscapes I had ever seen. And then there was Cochin.
Cochin – an off the beaten track destination
Cochin exhibits an amazing architectural mix. Huge Portuguese buildings and typical British and Dutch cottages, religious buildings which tell you the history of Kerala and its multiple populations, Catholic and Protestant churches, mosques, temples and of course the famous synagogue. All this in the backdrop of the vast Vembanad Lake and the Arabian Sea, Cochin also known as Kochi, is a magical and delightful getaway!
For the visitor, Cochin is full of good restaurants and shopping places. A walk though its promenades is a pleasure. Whether you are looking for Indian, Western or typical Keralan cuisine, or if you fancy a slice of chocolate, anything is possible here. One of the most famous cafes in Cochin, Kashi Art Café, welcomes you to a small shaded courtyard with flowers where you can seek delight in sandwiches, cakes, fruit juice or excellent coffee. It is a perfect place for breakfast or snacks at midday. If an authentic Kerala lunch tempts you, you will have to venture into the streets of the neighborhood of Cherlai, which is less frequented by tourists and find a small restaurant where you can enjoy rice, sambar (vegetable sauce), vegetables, fried decorated coconut and a small dessert. Krishna café is one of the most famous of its kind!
Discovering Cochin on a Trip to Kerala
Cochin also has many off beat places to wine and dine. You can begin your evening by enjoying a glass of wine at Divine, the cozy bar of the excellent Malabar House Hotel. You can then continue to the restaurant of the same hotel, Malabar Junction where you can enjoy cuisine combining fine south Indian and European flavors. You can also choose to get close to the seafront and opt for one of the many restaurants boasting outdoor terraces.
Cochin has something to offer everyone and is one of the most pleasant cities in South India!
Discover Cochin and South India with Yohanna and her team of experts based in Pondicherry http://www.shantitravel.com/en/south-india/