Among all the South Indian states, I hadn’t visited Kerela thus far. Somehow, I never got the chance or plan working to visit this coastal part of India. Finally, Kochi became the destination for our family excursion in March. It was very hot (humid too) there as compared to the last days of the winter in Punjab.
We stayed in Kochi Caprice hotel for 4 days in total. The very first day, we decided to visit Fort Kochi beach because I wanted my niece and nephew to glimpse the majesty of the ocean. Living in Punjab, you covet for the chance to set your foot on the beach. This was their time!
We paid 250 INR for a 3-wheeler who clocked 15.1 Km from the hotel to the beach. Ideally, it should be around 150 INR but the 3-wheeler driver didn’t acknowledge his meter readings. I did not argue much because I had agreed to pay that amount at the beginning.
Fort Kochi is basically a jetty along the seashore where you can stroll and enjoy the beauty of the Arabian Sea. There are 3 points alongside the jetty where you can actually go and touch the water–very small beach-type places but they are good enough to have some fun. The water here is not considered ideal for swimming, so be warned to stay out of trouble.
Contrary to our belief that coconuts will be cheaper as compared to Punjab, we got the shock of our Kerela tour when we asked for the price–they sell it for 40 INR while in Punjab we get it for 45-50 INR. In Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and even in Tamil Nadu, I have had a different experience of enjoying coconuts at almost 20 INR. Anyway, we decided not to drink!
Fort Kochi beach is full of seashells and conchs, and this provided great joy to the kids–they collected a lot of them and thought of carried them back. I would merely playing with the seashells made their day.
Usually, jetty is kept very clean as there are repeated signs of ‘Do not Litter’ in Malyalam and even Hindi (funny spellings used though). There are many popsicle and ice-cream vendors, and some eateries available too. There is a bathroom available just 2-minute walk from the beach. So, overall, it makes a good spot for family outings and time-spending with your friends.
The famous Chinese nets (or Portuguese as suggested by the latest research) can be sighted and touched here on Fort Kochi beach. They are huge wooden structures and remind you of days of the pirates. You would also be able to spot the Brahminy Kite hovering over the water and settling on the gigantic wooden poles of these nets.
There is a museum at the back-side or the side-alley of the beach which I didn’t because we were very tired. However, I did visit St. Francis Church where the tomb of Vasco da Gama was originally built–it is said that his remains were later moved to Lisbon. This area was the part of Fort Emmanuel, and apart from a gun that is visible from the jetty, there is hardly any other construction that you can see from this fort. Fort Kochi is the name but there is no fort as such.
We ate our lunch at Marina Sea-face hotel–it became our favorite spot because children could spot a lot of dolphins while enjoying the lunch. Food is tasty here the price is not very high. So, I would recommend eating here if you are visiting Fort Kochi beach.
On our way back, we took a bus, and it costed us total 70 INR to reach the hotel.
If you can manage the local transport, it is way cheaper, and provide you more options to explore the city.