Kerala “Gods own Country” which is indeed a treat to ones eye and soul, is my next travel destination.
I boarded the Mangala Lakshadweep SF Express from Goa at 9 p.m. to reach Ernakulam Junction at 12:30, travelling by train not only makes it more economical, but also lets you talk and interact with people. I tried local pazham pori (Kerala version of deep fried banana fritter) for breakfast (my first reaction to it was yummm), at Shoranur Junction railway station when the vendor entered.
Upon reaching Ernakulam Junction, I booked the Uber Cab (Taxi) (one can download the uber or ola taxi app on the phone) and proceeded to Fort Kochi. The taxi took me through the Harbour Bridge and it barely took us 10 min from the bridge to reach the hotel.
My stay was booked at RASA Hotel, Restaurant & Art Space, located at the Quiero Street in Fort Kochi. As I entered the hotel my eyes captured some beautiful art work placed in the walks and on the windows. The Hotel staff helped with the check-in formalities and escorted me to the room.
I spent the next 2 hours, in the room. I freshened up and relaxed.Later headed out to explore the beautiful city of Fort Kochi. I walked through the beautiful streets to reach Kashi Art Cafe located at Burgher Street where I had decided to have lunch.
A simple and elegant art cafe, nestled in a old house with beautiful painting, wall hangings and art work, as I proceeded from the entrance to the restaurant I passed through a courtyard, and the site of sculpture work caught my eye.
They have a limited menu with great breakfast, brunch, fresh juices, and do not forget to try their chocolate cake. My personal favorite was their Spinach mushroom cheese omelet and chickpeas salad. Post the late lunch, I walked to the Tower Road (adjacent to Burgher street) to explore some sites at my vicinity.
I came across the Koder House, a magnificent three-storied brick-red heritage structure. Unaware of the history behind it, I walked to a Tuk Tuk driver stationed besides the Koder House and collected some information. He stated that, it was built in 1808 and was the house of the Jewish family the Koders, of The Cochin Electric Company. This House had been a host to Presidents, Prime Ministers, Viceroys, Ambassadors and other prominent dignitaries.
I walked a few steps further and stood adjacent to the Old Harbour House (Old Habour Hotel) he was kind enough to pass on some more information on the structure as well he said the house was ones used to as a boat club. Built in 1808 by the tea brokers Carrit Moran and Company. It later became the residence of the officials of the tea broking firm before being converted to a heritage hotel.
I walked through the street accompanied by Navas, till the Pierce Leslie Bungalow which is just opposite the Old Harbour Hotel. He gave me a brief information stating that, Pierece Leslie & Co. was founded in 1862, was a trading house of coffee merchants. This magnificent structure reflects Portuguese, Dutch and local influence and exemplifies the Colonial mansions in Fort Kochi.
I bid good bye to Navas (Tuk Tuk driver) and proceeded to the Chines fishing net/ Vasco Da Gama Square. As you walk closed you will notice a lot of fishermen seated at small stall selling their catch of the day.
I spoke to Siraj one of the locals out here and inquired about the Chinese Fishing Nets. He informed me that the nets were erected during his forefather time, which are made of Teak wood and Bamboo poles, and work on the principle of Balance. One net is usually owned by 6-10 people sometimes even more.
I walked further to the Vasco Da Gama Sqaure, a narrow promenade that is paralle to the beach and came across steam boilers of cranes used in Cochin Dry Dock for 20 years from 1956. It used Coke, Coal and Firewood as fuel.
I ended my evening at the Chinese Fishing Net viewing the beautiful sunset and relishing the local cuisine.
Stay tuned and accompany me, in The Fort Kochi Exploration.