A slow paced cycling tour of the iconic Fort Kochi area. Our tour guide will accompany you and introduce you to the sights and sounds of this nostalgic part of Cochin city. Guests will be provided cycles, helmets, water bottle and snacks.
Active - Easy
Tour Starting Point
Kochi Head post office (In Front of Entrance Gate)
Tour Ending Point
Kochi Head post office (In Front of Entrance Gate)
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The satellite town of Fort Kochi, a major tourist destination of the Cochin Islands, it has an easy paced, whimsical vibe to it. A historic trading port, it still retains an old-world charm which can transport you to centuries ago. Narrow cobble stone streets, cafes that open for business only in the late mornings and fishermen that line the coast with their Chinese fishing nets blend in the jigsaw of contrasting activities with ease. Most of all, Fort Kochi and its Siamese chunk of old city, Mattancherry are best explored on cycles. This refreshing morning ride is infused with colourful stories from the glorious past of Cochin that will make you experience the city from a local perspective.
07:30am - Meeting the guest and start cycling Total distance of riding: ~13 km. Area we ride through: Chinese fishing nets, Churches of Fort Kochi,different communities quarters of Old city Mattancherry, Bazar road ( traditional Spice market area), Jew town, Mattancherry Palace, Hindu temples, Washerman place(Dhobi Khana). Please note that we don't enter into any of the museums / temples / churches In between 10:00 & 10:30am - End of tour
Chinese fishing nets
Chinese fishing nets (Cheena vala) are a type of stationary lift net in India. They are fishing nets that are fixed land installations for fishing. While commonly known as "Chinese fishing nets" in India, the more formal name for such nets is "shore operated lift nets". Huge mechanical contrivances hold out horizontal nets of 20 m or more across. Each structure is at least 10 m high and comprises a cantilever with an outstretched net suspended over the sea and large stones suspended from ropes as counterweights at the other end. Each installation is operated by a team of up to six fishermen. While such nets are used throughout coastal southern China and Indochina, in India they are mostly found in the Indian cities of Kochi and Kollam, where they have become a tourist attraction. This way of fishing is unusual in India and almost unique to the area, as it was introduced by Chinese explorers who landed there in the 14th century. Indeed, one interpretation of the city name Kochi is ‘co-chin', meaning ‘like China.’ The Chinese fishing nets have become a very popular tourist attraction. Their size and elegant construction is photogenic and the slow rhythm of their operation is quite hypnotic. In addition, catches can be purchased individually and need be taken only a short distance to a street entrepreneur who will cook it for you.
Earlier, Mattancherry was the trade link to Ernakulam. Main trade was of spices such as pepper and turmeric. Tea is also traded. This place had its best time when the majority of trade was through waterways. Mattancherry deteriorated mainly due to the increased movement of goods through rail and roads directly to all parts of Kerala. Moreover the narrow roads in Mattancherry was not compatible to accommodate the big containers and lorries. This place lost its prominence in trade also due to tensions between merchants and porters. Slowly, the traders moved to Ernakulam as Mattancherry proved to be costly.
St. Francis Church
St. Francis Church, in Fort Kochi (Fort Cochin), Kochi, originally built in 1503, is the oldest European church in India and has great historical significance as a mute witness to the European colonial struggle in the subcontinent. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama died in Kochi in 1524 when he was on his third visit to India. His body was originally buried in this church, but after fourteen years his remains were removed to Lisbon.
Bazaar Road is where you would see most of the shops advertising wholesale, commission or retail goods. Spread over a two kilometre stretch of road from Cochin to Mattancherry, Bazaar Road is famous for its reasonable, good quality spices and pulses.
The Mattancherry Palace is a Portuguese palace popularly known as the Dutch Palace, in Mattancherry, Kochi, in the Indian state of Kerala which features Kerala murals depicting portraits and exhibits of the Rajas of Kochi. The palace was included in the "tentative list" of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Palace was built and gifted by the Portuguese as a present to the king of Cochin around 1555. The Dutch carried out some extensions and renovations in the palace in 1663, and thereafter it was popularly called Dutch Palace. The rajas also made more improvements to it. Today, it is a portrait gallery of the Cochin Rajas and notable for some of the best mythological murals in India, which are in the best traditions of Hindu temple art.
Dhobi Khana at Veli in Fort Kochi, is where the Tamil-speaking Vannan community carry out laundry works, the profession practiced by the community traditionally. This practice of the Vannan community has been traced back to the colonial period. Story goes that the Vannans were brought by the King of Kochi from Coimbatore and Tirunelveli to wash the army uniforms of the Portuguese or the Dutch. In 1975, with the support of Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA), Vannans established a ‘Dhobhi Khana’ at Veli near Fort Kochi, a place specifically set aside to wash and dry clothes. This was set-up in the form of a sangham or a society. Prior to that, they carried out their work near the ponds at Veli. It is said that there were 70 ponds in 13 acres of land which were owned by the Vannans.
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Cycle with Helmet
Transportation to Fort Cochin from Hotel
Anything not mentioned in the Tour Program and inclusions
Breakfast is not included
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