Chinese Net Fishing and Other Kochi Things

13th May 2014

Fishing with Chinese nets

Photo of Fishing with Chinese nets by Four Blissful Feet

Lovely evening at the Cherai Beach

Photo of Lovely evening at the Cherai Beach by Four Blissful Feet

Cherai Beach

Photo of Cherai Beach by Four Blissful Feet

The Fisherman and his catch

Photo of The Fisherman and his catch by Four Blissful Feet

Fisherman of Kochi

Photo of Fisherman of Kochi by Four Blissful Feet

Jew Town

Photo of Jew Town by Four Blissful Feet

Mattancherry Palace

Photo of Mattancherry Palace by Four Blissful Feet

Paradesi Synagogue

Photo of Paradesi Synagogue by Four Blissful Feet

St Francis Church

Photo of St Francis Church by Four Blissful Feet

The trip began with a bit of skepticism and I did not know what to expect while traveling alone in a city where (I believed) language is a bit of a barrier. But by the end of that single day, I was a happy lady!

I spoke to a local photographer at the airport and he told me it was recommended for a solo woman traveler to be back to her hotel by 9 pm because Kochi sleeps early and there is not much of a night life in Kochi. Though he did not mention any safety concerns for women, he very slightly hinted that it was accepted custom here for families not to stay out too late. I made a mental note to myself not to stay out too late.

On reaching out hotel ‘Holiday Inn’, I called the reception to book a vehicle for the whole of next day. “Madam, there is a taxi and bus strike in Kochi city tomorrow. Our hotel will only provide drop-off and pick-up to and from the airport.” said the receptionist. I just could not believe what had just happened. I had just this one day to explore Kochi. We were supposed to return back the next day! I still asked the receptionist for some taxi operator contact details and thought of trying my luck. I just could not give up so easily.

The hotel receptionist gave me details of three taxi operators. After calling up and getting turned down by two operators, the third gave me a positive response. To my surprise, they did not quote any increased rates although they knew that other taxis were not operating! I was completely prepared to pay extra because I did not have much of a choice. Alhough I knew that taking the buses and ferries would have been a better experience, I had only one day and I was skeptical of the language barrier. Hence I was wary of taking the buses and ferries.

Next day, the cab arrived on time and the driver was very nice. I told him which places I wanted to see and he took care of planning the most optimum route.

This blog was first published on Four Blissful Feet

This is a Dutch Palace built by the Portuguese and gifted to Raja Kerala Verma. The palace houses some great paintings, murals, wood carvings and furnitures. Photography is not permitted inside the palace.
Photo of Mattancherry Palace, Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala, India by Four Blissful Feet
I was excited to see the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth Nations, but unfortunately it was closed in lieu of a Jewish holiday. But, do visit it in case you are around! But I did get to witness people of the Jewish town dressed in their Jewish finery, having meals in their home. Unfortunately I could not take any pictures as I did not want to intrude in their private moment.
Photo of Paradesi Synagogue, Synagogue Lane, Jew Town, Kappalandimukku, Kochi, Kerala, India by Four Blissful Feet
The town was pretty empty as people were inside with their families, celebrating their holiday. But the shops were open. Most shops have “Hassle free” written beside their names. And yes, the shop owners are very sweet and do not pester you much.
Photo of Jew Town, Kappalandimukku, Kochi, Kerala, India by Four Blissful Feet
From outside this looks like any other local church, but inside lies the first tomb of Vasco da Gama. He was first buried here in 1524 and lay here for the next 14 years until he was shifted to Portugal in 1539.
Photo of St. Francis Church, Valummel, Kochi, Kerala, India by Four Blissful Feet
It was a very long drive from the ferry stop to the beach, and we drove through a road with no other car on it. I grew vigilant and kept my phone in my hand just in case I needed to make an emergency call. But this path was much more green than any other part of Kochi, and we passed through several backwaters, and I really enjoyed the whole drive. To save on car parking charges my driver dropped me off on one end of the beach, which was a bit remote. All I could see was two fishermen tending to their boats and net. It took me some time to reach the crowded section of the beach.
Photo of Cherai Beach, Vypin, Kerala, India by Four Blissful Feet
Taking a stroll in the Fort Kochi area, revealed around a dozen chinese fishing net lined on the banks of the sea. It was off-season so none of the fishermen were getting much of a catch in their nets. I decided to stroll on to the deck of one of the fishing nets and started clicking a group of fishermen tugging at their net. They were a group of 6 men, and in any other place I would not probably have strayed into a shed with 6 men. But these guys were really pleasant and happy to be pictured through my lens. So they asked me to join as well! And I said yes! After a lot of heave and ho, we managed to get the net up! Two of them helped me to tie the ropes as two others rushed to get a look at their loot.
Photo of Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, India by Four Blissful Feet