God’s own country

Kochi, a flight away from the hussle of Delhi… And yet, a whole other world of backwaters, palmtrees and fishnets

 

A client shoot brought us to Kochi, a city in south India.  It proved to be a little confusing at first, but once we were told that Fort Kochi is the old city and the new city is Ernakulam, about 10km from Kochi. Fort Kochi is beautiful in an antique kind of way with its narrow lanes, old buildings and churches…

 

An early morning showed us to the Chinese fishing nets, a real wonder! The Chinese fishing nets (Cheena vala) are fishing nets that are fixed land installations for fishing. They are commonly known as “Chinese fishing nets” in India. Such nets are used throughout coastal Southern China and Indochina, in India they are mostly found in the Indian state of Kerala, where they have become a bit of a tourist attraction.  The common name arises because they are unusual in India and different from the usual fishing nets used in India.

On our trip around Kochi, we found ourselves at St. Francis church. The church is the first European Church that was built in India. It reflects the colonial struggle of European powers in India between the 15th and 20th century. A Dutch cemetery caught our eye, as we were looking for a cool place with shade from the midday sun. This cemetery is more than 280 years old and was declared in 1724. It is considered the oldest European cemetery in India.

A meal of typical Keralian food, served on banana leaves, proved to be a highlight: we ate sambhar, rice, rasam, sabzi, papad and butter milk.

The streets took us to the New Castle gallery in Mattencherry, a shop famous for its ethnic collection. Little reminders of a time gone by. But the day wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Fort Kochi beach to watch the sun set on this day… A clean, clear beach with a history, the fort Kochi beach is not only known for its cleanliness but also its location.

The next day we walked down to the ferry service, taking a ferry to Vypeen Island. The aim:  visiting the Cherai beach. Cherai beach is a beautiful piece of earth. Backwaters on one side and the sea on the other. One side of Cherai had calm backwaters, while on the other side waves were crashing on the beach. After the beach we briefly visited the Munambam harbour and the boat yard.

 

A trip to Our Lady of Hope church took us to the northern most boundary of diocese of Cochin.  It happens to be one of the oldest churches in Cochin, built by the Portugese in 1605.

 

A worthy trip to Kerala, a long way from Delhi and different in many ways. Kochi was friendly, a great way to explore and truly worthy of its name “God’s Own Country”.

 

The Church of Our Lady of Hope – Roman Catholic church in Cochin

View of Arabian sea from Fort Cochin beach

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