June of 2018 saw us make our way to Fort Kochi in Kerala, the southern most state of India. A place almost stuck in time. A perfect place to visit when you want to pause your life for a bit.
Having been under Dutch, Portuguese and British rule at various points, you see remnants of their legacy in the architecture here. With a really calm vibe and extremely friendly people, Fort Kochi is the perfect weekend getaway from Bengaluru.
We went To fort Kochi just before we officially opened Hungry Travellers Cafe. It actually happened that Kabir had a holiday planned with his cousins (yes you read that right) and not one to be left behind we planned our own 2 days escape to this beautiful place where time stands still.
The easiest way to get there is to fly into Kochi and take a taxi to Fort Kochi. It’s about an hour away from the airport.
There is a whole plethora of options in Fort Kochi from the really budget accommodation to luxury resorts. We stayed in the Neemrana property there. Neemrana is a chain of resorts across the country that restores heritage buildings into beautiful hotels. In Fort Kochi their property is a 17th century lighthouse and reeks of history with its old wooden beams, grand staircase and four poster beds. It is surprisingly reasonable to stay at the Neemrana and we were pleasantly surprised at the prices. You must check them out.
Fort Kochi is really small, best discovered by foot. We walked pretty much everywhere. You also have plenty of cycle rickshaws and also Uber if needed.
- Relax in the many number of cafes all over the place. Grab a coffee, eat some banana cake, read a book. It doesn’t get better than this. Our favourites? Qissa cafe, Loafer’s corner and Pepper House Cafe.
2. Watch the sun go down over the Chinese Fishing Nets. Take a sneak peak into how they work while wide toothed smiling old men show you the intricacies of these nets.
3. Take a local ferry and hop over to Willingdon Island. Walk around the perfectly manicured streets and paths of this pretty little island and head over for high tea to the Taj Malabar Resort and Spa.
4. Spend a day exploring the old town – the spice hub of Mattancherry with its palace, the little ‘Jew Town’ where you shop for antiques and wander through a bustling street and the synagogue which has a wonderful charm about it.
5. Eat delicious local fare. We love our seafood and the food in Kerala doesn’t disappoint. Prawn in green mango curry, Crab roasted in local spices and various kinds of fish served with their local red rice. Sigh. Our favourite places to eat ? Fusion Bay and Zamorin. We cannot recommend them enough !
Fort Kochi came at a really great time for us. When we needed a pause, to take stock, to find our way forward, to prepare for the next phase. It was, in all true sense, the calm before the storm.