Discover the rich European legacy and historical charm of Kochi. Walk along its streets and explore all its highlights, from the beautiful natural harbor to the Portuguese and Dutch heritage sites.
Brunton Boatyard Hotel
The Brunton Boatyard Hotel is our attempt to distill an aspect of this heritage. And to bring colonial Cochin alive for the contemporary traveler. The lobby is a vault of sunlight and air, framed by arches and overhung with punkahs - enormous, old-fashioned fans of Indo-Portuguese origin. A rich, and colourful history marks the corridor, once the century old boatyard of Geo. Brunton and Sons.
A short saunter down the corridor brings you to a little doorway. Pass through and suddenly, the whole vista of Cochin harbour opens up beyond the pool's inviting waters. Work on your tan and watch the ships sail by, so close you can almost reach out and touch them. Brunton Boatyard Hotel's 22 rooms overlook the sea, and so, by happy circumstance, do the en-suite bathrooms. Few pleasures rival a long hot soak in your tub of an evening, watching the dolphins play tag with the trading ships of the globe.
To the basic melody of black pepper, ginger and cardamom, each group that came to Kerala added a counterpoint of its own. The Portuguese came to trade in spice, but left behind the ' Indian' red chili. The Syriac Christians brought a variety of meat dishes, that co-incidentally, tasted fabulous with the native string hoppers. The Jews found coriander both Kosher and delicious, so into the pot it went. And Dutch puddings were found to benefit greatly from a spot of fresh cinnamon.
It was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Kochi in 1555. The palace is famous for its stunning murals portraying scenes from Hindu tales, such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
In the Jewish Quarters next door is the Paradesi, a 16th century Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in South India. Admire the ornate brass pulpit, the Belgian glass chandelier and hand-painted Chinese porcelain floor tiles. Wander around the neighboring Jew Town, a central location for the spice trade, and inhale the aroma of ginger, cardamom, turmeric and cloves.
Chinese fishing nets
See the Chinese fishing nets introduced by traders from the court of Kublai Khan They first made their appearance in 1350 AD and their much-photographed preying mantis shapes form one of the city's most enduring images.
Back water cruise
A 1.5-hour journey from the hotel takes you to the backwaters of Alleppey, famous for its labyrinth of waterways spanning 559 miles (900 km). On arrival in Alleppey, board your private Kettuvallam and feast on a mouthwatering Kerala-style lunch. Enjoy savory dishes such as sambar, a hearty vegetable stew, and avail, a vegetable and coconut curry. Tickle your sweet tooth with pappad, a South Indian wafer, and payasam, a rice pudding flavored with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashew nuts and pistachios. As you cruise along, witness life in the backwater villages of Alleppey. Travel down the canals dotted with houses, paddy fields, coconut trees, market places and temples. See local people engaging in a variety of activities from fishing to daily chores. Soak in the beautiful scenery from your thatched-roof boat and relish the serenity of this river town.
See a dramatic Kathakali dance performance, a 17th-century classical dance drama that originated in Kerala and is famous for its elaborate costumes and makeup.