12 Offbeat Reasons to Re-visit Kochi

If you thought Alleppey/Kumarakom is ‘the’ place to visit the backwaters in Kerala and if you have already seen the Chinese fishing nets/Dutch palace/Jewish Synagogue on your last trip to Kochi then read on to know these 12 offbeat reasons to re-visit Kochi.

  • Visit the backwaters of Kochi that no one knows of

As you discover more of Kochi, from the busy streets to little lanes leading to the local villages around Kochi, you realize that Kochi is blessed with a network of splendid backwaters that crisscross the city and probably even beat the ones in Alleppey.

Backwaters around Kochi PC: Nisreen Akolawala
  • Learn about fish & prawn farming from locals

Fish farming is a big source of income in the villages off Kochi and what’s more, you get a chance to study and learn how the locals indulge in this practice to make it their livelihood. Go visit the backwaters and quaint villages off Kochi and learn how the locals do fish & prawn farming.

Fish Farming in Vypin PC: Nisreen Akolawala
  • Visit Jewish town and bazaar road

A visit to the Jewish town, located in the bustling port area and a haven for spice trade will enchant all your senses. The air is filled with an aroma of flavours as you walk past the little lanes surrounded by multi-coloured old architectural buildings on both sides. The vibrant markets lined up around the Dutch palace and synagogue also sell colourful antiques and tourist curio shops selling spices and other handmade stuff that is worth a buy.

Jewish town Kochi
Jewish town Kochi PC: Nisreen Akolawala
  • Take a ride in the age-old ferry from Fort Kochi

An exciting way to tour around Kochi is by the local government ferry. At Rs 4 per ticket and a relaxing scenic ride of 30-40 minutes, you are reminded of the days of the past, where tickets cost just a few rupees. Ferries operate from 6am to 10am daily and connect Fort Kochi to the Ernakulam city and nearby islands.

Ferry ride in Kochi PC: Tripadvisor
  • Hire a bike to explore Vypin Island

Hire a bike/cycle and head off to Vypin Island where you can ride amidst backwaters, colourful villages, and unexplored beaches. What’s better is that you get to have a taste of authentic coastal Kerala cuisine at a local fishermen’s dwelling off Cherai Beach.

Exploring Vypin Island on a bike is the best thing ever PC: Nisreen Akolawala
  • Explore the Muslim areas in Mattancherry

Walk amidst the Muslim market and settlement in Kochi near Mattancherry, where you can also see the local Masjid and historic architecture around it. Kutchi Muslims have been known to inhibit Kochi since 1815 when Kutch was affected by severe drought. Though is also a sizeable number of Muslims that have migrated to Kochi from West Asia, in lieu of the spice trade. You must try the Kayees Mutton biryani while you are there!

  • Visit the 100-year-old Jain temple and feed the local pigeons there

There is a vast amount of Gujarati/Jain population settled in Kochi that not many know of. And in fact, there is a specific area having Jain temples and restaurants where the locals Jain’s/Gujarati’s live and thrive. Go visit the 100-year-old Jain temple and the nearby pigeon feeding areas when you are near Dutch palace next time. Pigeon feeding happens every noon and it is said that it is auspicious to spot a white pigeon while you are there.

PC: Priya Ganapathy
  • Visit Athirampally waterfalls, a few hours from Kochi

Athirampally waterfalls, a few hours from Kochi is where you should head for a day out in the Monsoon. It will never fail to delight you.

Athirampally falls PC: Panoramio
  • Take up an authentic Keralan cooking lesson

Take up a home cooking tour in Kochi to learn how the locals cook the feisty dishes that Kerala is well known for. There are many local families in Kochi who are pleased to share their culinary skills with tourists.

Authentic Kerala Cooking lesson PC: Tripadvisor
  • Visit the Ecotourism village Kumbhalangi

Visit Kumbhalangi, the eco-tourism village off Kochi and learn how the locals live by taking a day package. It is home to fishermen, farmers, labourers, toddy tappers and coir spinners all alike and is known to be the first model fisheries and tourism village of India which has its own tradition and culture.

Kumbhalanghi village tour  PC: Soul Indian Journeys
  • Cycle around the villages of Kochi

Take an adventurous cycling tour to the quaint villages located near the backwaters around Kochi and also take a canoe ride while you are at it.

PC: Art of Bicycling trips

Do you have any more offbeat things to do in and around Kochi? Please do write in the comments below.

Author: nisreenakolawala

I am a former Architect who left her career to follow her heart and passion, which involves travelling, photography and Social media marketing. I have stayed in a rustic village of Eastern Himalayas, swum with colorful fishes and corals in Fiji, lived with gypsy Banni villagers in Western India, interacted with Kenya’s Masai tribe, river rafted in the freezing cold river in Ladakh, lived and explored a quaint beach town of Tanga in Tanzania, took a 48 hour camel safari in the Thar desert of Rajasthan, sailed on a felucca on the mighty Nile river in Egypt and chilled with the Kangaroo’s in Australia. Needless to say I am always adding more experiences and places to the list.