Kochi

Kochi, aka Cochin, is a seaside town, which is located around 10 degrees north of the equator. With a climate that is going to be slightly cooler, a high of around 25°C (77°F), it is going to be a great place to cross the finish line of the Rickshaw Run!!!

With the start coming ever closer, my mind starts to wander to the inevitably to-soon-to-arrive end of the Run.

Kochi has an extensive history, having been a major spice trading centre of the Arabian Sea from the 14th Century, it was occupied by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British before becoming a princely state.

With such a diverse history, it is probably not a surprise that a lot of the main things to visit in Kochi are Temples, Synagogues and Churches. The Pardesi Synagogue was built in 1568, but destroyed in 1662 by the Portuguese, only to be rebuilt again a couple of years later by the Dutch. This synagogue is apparently the only one of seven in the area that is still in use today. The Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple is around 25kms outside of the city and is a very old Hindu Temple dedicated to the Bhagavati form of the feminine Divine. A visit to the temple is said to “bring relief to them from the overburdening anguish and agonies of material life”. With apparently bad traffic and roads, and not a huge amount of non-Indians, this could be a great Temple to visit.

St Francis Church was built in 1503 and is believed to be India’s oldest European-built church. The history of the church reflects the colonial changes over the centuries. The church is located in the fort Kochi, which is a hive of things to see and do, like Chinese fishing nets, the only place outside of China they are found. Believed to have been introduced by the Chinese (from most of what I have read!) though there is some information stating they were introduced by the Portuguese…to me it seems a no-brainer, but stranger things have happened at sea! The fort Kochi beach – where the fishing nets are located – is apparently worth a stroll especially at sunset. With Vasco house, believed to be one of the oldest Portuguese houses in India and the Santa Cruz Basilica, built by the Portuguese in 1505, the Kochi Fort has plenty to fill in some time in Kochi.

For those who, like me, are in touch with their inner child, there is also the Wonderla Amusement Park! Always a fun way to pass a day. If I have a chance, I will definitely spend a day here!

Kochi has a lot more to see and do and if we end the run within a decent time, I will hopefully have a chance to see everything that Kochi has to offer before boarding the big bird in the sky and heading back to the real world!!!

It’s getting closer by the day,

Sacha