Biennale in Fort Kochi (Kerala, India)

Journey: After two nights in Amma’s Ashram between Kollam and Alleppy we take a rickshaw to the Kayamkulam station (about 280Rs) 12km away through the villages and along the coast. We buy train tickets at the counter, smaller distances in Kerala and Goa usually you don’t have to reserve. Even sleeper tickets available, so I can sleep half the track (we need 3 hours for a little more than 100 km) and stretch out my legs while my mother chats with our seat neighbors. Arrived at the station Ernakulam Town we take a prepaid rickshaw to Fort Kochi, which is about 12 km (again about 300 Rs). The ride is wild, I’m nearly ready to stop the driver.. That is why we will take the ferry on the way out – cheaper, faster and more beautiful.

We booked a double room in a homestay online, it was quite centrally located near the Njaliparambu Junction and so we can visit Fort Kochi in all directions on foot.

Kochi-Muziris Biennale: The Biennale places are quite scattered, but much can be done on foot. We were totally impressed: Great old partially decayed buildings with impressive art exhibitions from artists from all over the world. Installations, video art, films, art projects that have been created on site. On Mondays the entrance is free and others days it costs only 100Rs per day. With words the whole is hard to describe, Fort Kochi is already so worth seeing, with the Biennale one could enjoy the place for weeks!

Delicious food and drink (rather snacks) can be found in the nice Café Loafers Corner, I loved the sprout salad. Best of all I found the Celestial Café, during the day there have wonderful cakes, healthy food and great shakes! They also offer yoga and dance classes.

One evening around 5:00 pm you should definitely go to the famous fishing nets and then enjoy the sunset on the beach, there are countless annoying sellers at the fishing and coastal promenade, but it is nevertheless beautiful!

The Dutch Palace and the Jewish synagogue were not to be missed, both very cheap and entertaining, very interesting! Anyway, you can spend an afternoon in the old Jewish quarter (Mattancherry or Jew Town), some Biennale places are there, as well as many antique shops, cafes and shopping opportunities. Back we walked the entire Bazar Road, a very interesting street with countless stores and more Biennale places.

On the last day, we were finally persuaded by a rickshaw driver to a small tour. These guys take almost nothing for the tour,  but persuade you then on the road to stop in a few shops stop where they get a commission, therefore the price. He shows us the nice Sikh temple and the washing place and in the end, of course we buy something in a totally overpriced shop, against these ingenious sellers you can hardly resist…



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