yatra to kochi

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a short trip to Kochi, the historical city and Port Cochin. what i saw there in two three days stay.

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  • Yatra to Kochi, Kerala, India-

    A Travelogue Trip to Kochi, Kerala, India

    A chance visit to historical city of Kerala, India, Now Kochi, once that was famous Port city of Cochin, vied for by European powers-Portuguese and Dutch then landed in hands of British. This has impacted the city, culture, Architecture, Psyche, and thinking process By Gaurang Katyayan Mishra @kamlesm

    @kamlesm

    @kamlesm @kamlesm

  • @ k a m l e s m

    Page 1

    When I came to know that I have to go to Kochi to attend a workshop, I was

    very excited. Since childhood, I have heard a lot about Cochin. It was INS

    Cochin which I heard first that too from my father. He was in Indian Navy.

    It was a historical place. The Portuguese and Dutch people landed here

    centuries ago i.e. about 14th century. Portuguese had occupied it for about

    160 years. In 1683 the Dutch caught this area and ruled for 112 years, later

    it became a British colony. That was the time all the colonial powers were

    eyeing for our India. They were all dreaming of looting immense wealth. They

    had heard about this land through travellers and thought to occupy it and

    make it their slave. Thus European countries wanted to become wealthy just

    by looting this land. Now they are wealthy countries, if I may say so, they

    have become so after taking away wealth of our countries- those who were

    their colonies.

    I mean it was a historical PORT CITY, since people landed here coming by

    sea route. The name lingered. When we went on LTC tour in 1976 that time

    we could not see much of that part of Keral.

    I searched in google. I came to know there are so many words. Kochi,

    Cochin. Kozhikode etc., I was confused, as to which Airport I should select

    for ticket? since the name of my destination was Kochi, I took ticket for

    Kochi. In kochi itself there were two airports, thanx to the google earth.

    Other was naval area. Why they renamed it as Kochi instead of Cochin?

    On reaching I tried to get the feel of air of Kochi. It was a busy city, bustling

    with lot of activities. It is growing with high pace. Infrastructural projects are

    on rise. The ride from airport to the city is bit long, but adventurous, as I

    felt. So much greenery around, but it was being occupied by concrete. Few

    new roads and high rise buildings are coming up. So it was different from

    image of a historical

    city, it is now a

    commercial city. I

    saw few

    aquaculture fields-

    where prawns,

    shrimps are

    cultured(?). These

    were low lying fields

    lined by high mud

    bunds & symbol of

    Keral-coconut trees

    all around the field.

    At airport I saw lots

    @kamlesm

  • @ k a m l e s m

    Page 2

    of newly wedded couples disembarking from many private airlines. Thus it is

    becoming as a tourist spot also, mostly as a honeymoon spot. In my flight

    few fellow passengers were wearing black cloths. Small kids were also there.

    Later I learnt that they were visiting Sabarimala. That means if I am correct

    it is en-route to a pilgrimage.

    We were put in Abad hotel. Abad means well settled. Road seemed busy

    during evening & night. It has cinema halls, eatery, many shops- garments,

    utility, electronics, utensils, medicines

    and most prominently jewellery shops.

    Towards one end there was an Ayurveda

    clinic, I think of kotakal warrior

    connection??.

    I was desperate to see the sea as my

    father told about his navy days. I was

    thinking to see palaces, temples or fort

    or any such historical thing. Which, I

    came to know through reading books.

    Walking in street in evening I found

    these were busy. We reached at a place

    from where many boats were leaving for

    various destinations. I had read that

    Keral is country of backwater, thus I

    could easily guess people traveling

    through sea route also. This picture

    of a board tells distances of various

    places from that jetty. At first I

    could not believe that people may

    be visiting to such far off places as

    Kolam. But his board tells that it

    was 155 Km from Kochi Or

    Astamudi which was 147 Km and

    people may be visiting?

    Since it was a workshop organised

    by a Ministry. People from all over

    country came to attend workshop.

    A boat was there to carry whole

    team. We boarded the boat.

    @kamlesm

    @kamlesm

  • @ k a m l e s m

    Page 3

    While walking at jetty, I got sight of a tall

    statue. It looked very much pleasing to me.

    I thought this as a pious soul, may be the

    Mother Mary. Only that name I knew?. It

    looks as if saying keep marching ahead

    and do your duty. I clicked few photos of

    this tall statue. The famous words Ekla

    chalo came to mind. See how the Bengali

    words came to mind while I was in Keral.

    At jetty there was a big shopping complex.

    On one side was this jetty and other side

    was a busy road. By now I came to know

    that city has quite a deep influence of

    Christianity. Almost on every road you can

    find either church like signs, or structures,

    or some church affiliated school or hospitals

    etc. another influence is that people speak English. Keral is one of the state

    having highest literacy rates in country.

    Signs of modernity were evident through these high rise buildings. I could

    see lot of experimentation also in architecture. I have observed that in cities

    people do not get influenced by

    religious aspects while choosing a

    flat in multi-storeyed buildings.

    See that building in pic here have

    houses in inclined slope. They

    might be projecting these

    apartments as having sun light or

    separate terrace. On that road

    there were many multi-storeyed

    buildings. I had always dreamt of

    sleeping in terrace under open

    sky moonlight.dreams

    always.

    With so many people living there

    then there must be some

    attraction in it? As our boat

    started moving more symbols of

    developments came in sight.

    There was this huge flyover. It

    takes people from one shore to

    @kamlesm

    @kamlesm

    @kamlesm

  • @ k a m l e s m

    Page 4

    another. There were many such

    bridges at multilevel.

    A succesfull Port should have good

    connectivity. That can be achieved

    through big roads, for cargo

    movement.

    When boat reached further little

    inside the sea I saw some resort

    like structures along the shore.

    Since it is a Port City it

    has floating

    population, either for

    commercial activity or

    tourist. The green and

    big shoreline offers

    great opportunity for

    such tourism related

    endeavours. Kochi is

    making full use of its

    potential.

    But we cannot say full,

    but yes it is bubbling

    with such activities, as

    I saw. With global exposure it is

    now becoming a global hub of

    activities. Recently it was

    famous for a controversy on Art

    activist related activity (Biennale

    of arts).

    Many Boats full of people

    started emerging on both sides

    of sea creek. The guide

    accompanying our team pointed

    towards a large structure having

    several high cranes, stacked

    containers, few ships being

    loaded with those containers

    and few were being unloaded,

    and He said that this is the largest container port in India? Our boat

    travelled past that ship container port. On the other side at far end many

    @kamlesm

    @kamlesm

  • @ k a m l e s m

    Page 5

    ships were there. The boat slightly took a turn towards left and at that point

    I could see one of the largest Naval

    ship. It was there for repairs. In that

    area many big or small ships were

    sailing. Many of them were of Navy,

    coast guard etc.

    On One boat LOTS Bridge was written

    on the body. Was it for making bridge

    across sea channel.

    Suddenly on the right

    side I saw a beautiful

    boat. That was truly a

    boat. It must be a tourist

    boat. It was in kind of round shape. It had eco-friendly material. Bamboo

    thatched mats. It was a fine example of why tourists are attracted to Kerala.

    They always dream to have a boat ride in the back water.

    @kamlesm

    @kamlesm

    @kamlesm

  • @ k a m l e s m

    Page 6

    On the way there were other boats in the sea, shipping, fishing & tourist?

    We travelled towards a place called the Mattanchery. This word sounded like

    mutton to me. The place is famous in history of Keral. The Dutch connection

    was evident.

    When the boat enters a canal,

    on left side I saw naval ships

    lining on the port side and on

    the right side there were many

    houses. Each of these building

    was with architecture of old

    type. I guessed may be that is

    influence of Dutch. Designs of

    old type of inclined and sloping

    roofs are there. This indicates

    the heavy rains in that area.

    We reached the jetty of Mattancherry. Few

    steps ahead just in front was a gate. This

    was gate of that very historical place for

    @ka