Official language: Hindi, English
Time zone: UTC +5.5
Currency: Indian rupee (INR)
In South-West India you will have, probably one of the few, opportunity to see how pepper and tea grow. With a bit of luck, you'll also be able to witness the work on their collections!
In Kochi is located the oldest Catholic church in India, the temple dedicated to Saint Francis. There is a huge tombstone of the discoverer Vasco da Gama.
The best month to go to Kochi is December, during which the most events and local holidays take place, for example the local carnival, and the inhabitants have fun.
Kochi is a city located in the southwestern part of India, on the Arabian Sea; it is one of the most important ports in the country. It has belonged to India only since 1947, before it changed hands. It was the first Portuguese, and at the same time the first European, colony in the country, then it went under the Dutch and British rule.
Kochi is a place that has been attracting merchants and travellers for centuries. It is always associated with the best quality of spices and the sandalwood, that grows there. It is also a real mix of influences – you will see there, occupying huge spaces, networks of Chinese fishermen from ancient times, that are more of an icon now, a four-hundred-year-old synagogue, ancient mosques, as well as colonial houses from Portuguese and British times.
Another element that affects the unique atmosphere of Kochi, is the smell of incense sticks, which the inhabitants set alight all the time and almost in every corner, lingering everywhere. The smell is a bit irritating, but certainly also very pleasant.
Being in this unique place, be sure to try the typical mean of transport – tuk-tuk, the famous Indian train and local bus. Each trip provides impressions of a different kind, but one thing is certain - it will be loud, because the horns are in use all the time. Residents drive quickly and carelessly, which probably caused a faster heartbeat for unaccustomed to this tourists, but undoubtedly also provide them with memories for a very long time.
When choosing to go to India, one of the most important points of your trip should be to try the local cuisine. In Kochi and its surroundings there will be plenty of places where you can do it. For instance, Farmers Cafe restaurant on Ridsdale Street and, located in the city of Maradu (only six kilometres away), Mosaic in the Crowne Plaza Kochi hotel, or the Sky Grill on the roof of the hotel, are very popular.