Our quick introduction to Fort Cochin, the colonial heart of old Portuguese Kerala and still a thriving commercial hub.
Fort Cochin is the home to some of the oldest European architecture in India and has been a significant settlement ever since Cochin Harbour was discovered. Unlike the bustling Ernakulum, the twin cities of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry have preserved an extraordinary wealth of early colonial architecture spanning the Portuguese, Dutch and the British eras- a crop unparalleled in India. A day spent wandering the streets of Fort Cochin will be well spent. Some of teh significant landmarks include Vasco da Gama's supposed house and several traders' residences.
The district where tourism has made its most discernible impact is Fort Cochin, the grid of venerable old streets where the Portuguese erected their first walled citadel, Fort Immanuel. Only a few fragments of the former battlements remain; however dozens of other evocative Lusitanian, Dutch and British monuments survive ranging from stately tea broker's bungalows to Bishop's palaces and the gabled facade of the oldest church in Asia.
Fort Cochin has a small but active arts scene based around the popular Kashi Art cafe( daily 8.30am -7.30pm) on Burgher Street.
For Kathakali and other traditional forms of ritual dance and drama, you have a choice of venues staging daily tourist shows including Ernakulam kathakali club, which stages night long plays onc eeach month, either at the TDM Hall or at the Ernakulathappan Hall. Kerala Kathakali centre opposite [|Brunton Boatyard]
Kochi offers an exciting ensemble of dining options from the rustic fish fry stalls next to the Chinese nets to fine hotels with harbour views.