Tuk-tuk drivers will be waiting by the port gate to take visitors for a tour of the old town. They are reluctant to take you anywhere else other than on this tour.
Plenty of taxis and tuk-tuks will be around, if you do not opt for a cruise excursion. Expect to haggle! To organize a private tour with one of the taxis is easy and not expensive. Taxis are a bargain.
Our DIY tour in Cochin:
Demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes
In a major step to check undeclared black money, the Government of India on the 8 November 2016 announced demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes.
Watch out for ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes - the notes showed at the left are not valid any more - click to see larger picture .
A newly redesigned series of ₹500 banknote, in addition to a new denomination of ₹2000 banknote is in circulation since 10 November 2016. On the new redesigned notes the picture of Ghandi is to the left.
Bank notes from ₹1 to ₹100 are still the old series. The new redesigned series is also expected to be introduced to the banknote denominations of ₹100 and ₹50 in the coming months.
Ferry to Fort Kochin
There is a ferry pier north of Ernakulam wharf (Embarkation Jetty) that can take you to Mattancherry/Fort Kochin. Ferry service will takes around 20 minutes. The first service starts at 6am and the last one is at 9.10pm. Only a few Rupees.
Most of the sites in Cochin can be found in the Fort Cochi area.
Kochi is traditionally not a pedestrian friendly city, considering the humid tropical climate, poor state of pedestrian walkways and reckless traffic. Fort Kochi is one of the better places to walk, with elaborate colonial-style stone pavements. There are many attractions in Fort Kochi which you can walk between.
- Chinese Fishing Nets (Cheenavala), Fort Kochi Beach, Beach Rd (Next to Fort Kochi Bus stand).
- Dhobi Gaht (outdoor laundry)
- Jew Street and Paradesi Synagogue, - This old jewish quarter now is home to shops and markets (Spice).
- Princess Street (Loafer’s Corner), Fort Kochi.
- Santacruz Basilica, Cathedral Grounds,Fort Kochi.
- St. Francis Church (CSI Pally), Church Rd, Fort Kochi.
- VOC Gate, Fort Kochi (opposite the Parade grounds).
- Bastion Bungalow, Fort Kochi.
- Dutch Palace, Fort Kochi.
There are markets by the fishing nets and handicraft stores on Jew Street.
Here you can also buy the finest ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric and pepper, also known as black gold.
Cafes and restaurants may provide free wifi for customers.
Merchants in Cochin began trading in spices such as black pepper and cardamom with the Arabs, Dutch, Phoenicians, Portuguese, and Chinese more than 600 years ago. This helped Kochin to prosper and to become the gateway to old India. It was from Cochin that the colonization of India started. Portugal was first to establish its base in Kochin, followed by the Dutch and English. The Anglo-Dutch treaty of 1814, compelled the Dutch to hand over Cocin to the British in exchange for Bangka Island in Indonesia. The British managed to establish their influence over Cochin, limiting their direct administration to a small enclave of Fort Cochin and British Ernakulam with their capital at Bolgatty Island.
The foundations of modern Cochin city started when Sir Robert Bristow, a senior Royal Navy Engineer felt the need of a modern large port after the opening of Suez Canal. This made creation of the largest man-made island of the country, the Willingdon Island to house new Cochin Port.