Located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, Ernakulam district is a cluster of islands networked by lagoons and backwaters. Kochi (Cochin), one of the finest natural harbours in the world, was once a major centre of commerce and trade with the Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and the British. The commercial capital and the most cosmopolitan city of Kerala, Kochi is also known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, Once a major centre of commerce and trade with the Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and the British, all these foreign traders have left their mark on this beautiful island. Half the fun of visiting Kochi is moving around in the local ferries. A conducted cruise on the Kochi backwaters will take you to several quaint spots.
Fort Kochi (Beach)
Access: Backwater ferry / bus / three-wheeler auto rickshaw. A leisurely walk through the city is the best way to discover historic Fort Kochi. Once an obscure fishing village that became the first European township in India, Kochi has an eventful and colourful history to tell. Its reputation as a seafaring commercial town was such that Nicolas Conti, an Italian traveller of the Middle Ages remarked: If China is where you make your money; then Kochi surely is the place to spend it. The town was shaped by the Portuguese, the Dutch and later the British. The result of these cultural interfaces is seen in the many remains of Indo-European architecture that still exist here. The huge cantilevered Chinese fishing nets which were brought here by traders from the court of Kublai Khan, are a fascinating sight on the Kochi shore line.