KOCHI (also known as Cochin), a city in India’s coastal Kerala state, has been listed in the top ten cities to visit in 2020.
The ranking was released by Lonely Planet in its Best in Travel 2020 book, an annual publication of its top 10 countries, cities, regions and best-value destinations for the year ahead.
“This nicely chilled city in southern India has seen the light. Grafted onto the tropical Malabar Coast in Kerala, Kochi has become a shining example in renewable energy in recent years, launching the world’s first fully solar-powered airport, which snagged it a UN Champions of the Earth award. But that’s just tip-of-the-iceberg stuff,” Lonely Planet wrote.
“With boho cafes, intimate homestays hidden away in lazy, colonial-era backstreets, and a raft of forward-thinking galleries, this city keeps a tight grip on its heritage while wholeheartedly embracing its newfound cool. In 2020, street art comes to the fore at Kochi-Muziris Biennale, putting India firmly on the contemporary arts festival map,” it added.
What makes Kochi unique is that it was once the centre of the Indian spice trade. Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, Greeks, Romans, Jews, Arabs and Chinese all traded here and all left their influence on the city is a collection of religious establishments, architecture, products and even fishing styles.
Wonderfully, many have survived the passing of the years and today there are still Portuguese churches, Chinese fishing methods, a Jewish synagogue, various spice markets and a Dutch palace. Most of these are located at Fort Kochi and Mattancherry.
Take a look at why Kochi has become a major tourist destination in south India:
Fishermen at work
Indian bracelets at a market
Palm tree tropical forest in backwater
The Jew Town
Traditional Kathakali dance
A serene temple complex
Colorful statues on display
Shri Cochin Swetambar Murtipujak Jain Temple
Getting there: The Cochin International Airport is well connected to major cities all across India and the world.