Kochi.The New York of South India! Things to do while you're here
January 1, 1970
by Kafeela Parvin
Just like Macao is the Venice of the east, I would say, Kochi is nothing less than the New York of South India. The comparison might sound implausible considering the scale difference between both the cities and the economic gap between the countries they are situated at.
New Yorkers say that the place isn’t just about a piece of land with skyscrapers all around, but it’s more than that. It’s a feeling. It’s a belief that you would make it in the big city. It keeps you going. Kochi is no different. It’s a feeling. It’s a belief that you’re part of something big.
Small cities can sometimes offer bigger experiences and Kochi is indeed capable of surprising you in that way. If you are planning your next holiday destination, Kochi is a must visit. And while you’re here;
Here are the best cafes in Kochi!
There are multiple cafes are all around the city. But these are my favorite places to hang out either with a book in hand or with friends.
Loafer’s corner café
Beautiful café with an exquisite atmosphere. Don’t forget to claim the window side seats if observation makes you happy
Would you like a quiet place with warm ambiance, young crowd and open 24/7? Then this is your place! Are you going there on a major football premiere league night? Well, Not so quiet then, but exciting!
Kashi Art Café
Excellent café exhibiting local artists and their works along with some great recipes.
Hungry? These are the top restaurants in Kochi
I say, when you’re in Kochi, it is unforgivable not to experience the authentic Kerala food with an ornate layer of spices. But you can find a blend of different flavors from all around the world in the Kerala platter.
This Indian restaurant will tell you generations old famous biriyani tales through the tasty food.
Anything you order here is dreamy! And yummy!
Want to try Italian? Well, this place offers the best in Kochi.
You get a fine blend of Kerala Puttu in different flavors here, which the food critics highly recommend.
This place offers French dishes along with Indian cuisine. The ambiance of this place is astonishing.
Best shoping spots for you in Kochi!
Kochi is Kerala’s shopping destination. From international shopping malls to flea markets, you get everything here.
Lulu mall is the biggest mall in India, situated at Edappally, the heart of Kochi. With an area of 2,500,000 Square feet and a Marriot and State Metro connected to it, the mall is indeed a mini Wayne enterprise of Gotham city. With the retail outlets in Oberon, Central Square, Bay Pride, and Grand malls, the city fulfills your brand needs.
Broad Way is the favorite shopping destination of Kochites which in fact is comprised of short and narrow streets. Ironic isn’t it? MG Road, Bazaar Road, and Jew Town serve as good street shopping spots too. But Jew Town is all about antiques and rare items if you have the time to sort out the best from scrap.
Must see beaches in Kochi!
A pause from the chaos of daily life! This is what a long walk in the beaches, staring at the sea and enjoying the wind kissing on your cheeks can offer to you.
Facing towards the Arabian Sea and surrounded by historical sights, Fort Kochi beach is a beauty. Vypin beach resembles much of the Coney Island beaches of New York. The ethereal white sand and manmade buildings around paint a very beautiful picture.
Fascinated by History? Here are the best historical attractions in Kochi!
I have always felt that the history of a place contributes to building an emotion on it forever. Kochi is an amalgamation of rich cultures from Indian, Dutch, Portuguese, Persian and Chinese invasions and trade.
The Dutch Palace was originally built by the Portuguese and renovated by the Dutch. Now, it is a museum of art, murals, and antiques of historical importance.
Kerala Folklore Theatre Museum
If you are curious about Kerala culture and traditions, this place is a must visit. Live performances, wooden carvings, rare artifacts, and paintings, portray the cultural heritage of Kerala.
This street is lively and lovely at the same time. Cafes, bookstores, restaurants and art galleries here give you a western feel with an Indian touch.
The palace was built in Kerala style and is the first heritage museum of the state. This establishment is spread over 49 buildings around and exhibits a wide variety of antique pieces including contemporary and traditional art, pottery, weapons, and jewelry.
St. Francis Church
This church was built by the Portuguese and was the burial site of Vasco de Gama, the explorer who put Kerala in the commercial map of the world.
Want to meet a bunch of awesome people in Kochi?
‘Eat Kochi Eat’ is a group of foodies in Kochi and their language truly is food. Still, if you ask them anything about the city, there’s always somebody to answer. Having over 2 hundred thousand followers, they’re the flag bearers of Kochi.
The exclusive things to do in Kochi!
There are some unique experiences you wouldn’t want to miss while you are here.
Cochin Carnival is extravagant. This two-week-long festival in December is a tradition, followed by the Portuguese New Year celebrations during the colonial days at Fort Kochi. The carnival includes art shows, competitions, food festivals etc.
Another thing of my choice is the Kochi Biennale. It is the biggest art festival in Kerala exhibiting contemporary art from all over the world. Biennale has paintings, sculptures, films, performance art, seminars, music workshops and what not!
You can also experience a live Cricket or Football match at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, spend a day at Wonderla water theme park, get refreshed with an Ayurvedic treatment, or watch Kathakali, an unusual art form of telling stories through expressions.
Beyond this list, there are trifles which I find valuable while I’m here. An enchanting night drive through the airport road, an early morning ride through the container road when it is drizzling, a walk through the marine drive at midnight, jumping out to the street vendors for panipuri or momos, and the list goes on. To me this is Kochi.
While Kochi has its own unique attributes, the similarities it has with NYC are uncanny. While NYC is the financial capital of the world, Kochi is the financial hub of Kerala. It is breathtaking to look at the view of the Atlantic meeting Hudson River in New York. It reminds me of the pleasant sight of the Arabian Sea meets the Bay of Bengal. There’s Vypin Island which is very similar to the Coney Island. Both cities cannot survive without seafood. Be it oyster or shrimp. The sight from Exchange Place gives you a 180-degree view of NYC from a water cross distance and in Kochi, you get that from Thoppumpady.
I can undoubtedly adhere to this comparison, as I have wandered around the streets of NYC searching for resemblances of my small city, in the greatest metropolis of the world. After all, we all seek the traces of home in the places we go!