A vibrant potpourri of art, culture, food, carnivals and festivals, Kochi, sprawled along a gorgeous estuary in Kerala, is a fascinating tourist destination. Skirted by the emerald-blue Arabian Sea that laps at its golden sun-kissed beaches, the city remains suspended in time, with its colonial charm merging seamlessly with its artistic aesthetic. Established around Fort Kochi, which is the cultural nerve of the city, Kochi remains in a festive mood throughout the year. It turns into an art wonderland during the four-month-long Kochi Biennale, the largest art exhibition in India, where vibrant colours, striking images and eloquent patterns greet you at every turn. Intriguing boat rides, spiritual Onam, grand Shivaratri celebrations and the opulent Cochin Carnival, draw visitors from far and wide.

Sitting on the Malabar coast, historically, Kochi has been India's connect to the rest of the world. It was here that the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama first arrived, paving the way for European colonisers. The city remains steeped in its heritage, which is reflected in various Portuguese, Dutch and British forts, palaces and bungalows that are scattered throughout.

Kochi is an eclectic mix of diverse cultures, where you can sample a bit of everything. Head to the narrow alleys of Jew Town and watch the city race by you as you slowly fall in love with Jewish culture and stock up on rare antiques and exquisite handicrafts. Relax at the artsy cafes as you dig into authentic dishes, while looking at the bustling market below.

Skirted by the pristine borders of Kerala, Kochi enjoys a paradisiacal setting, making it a delight for tourists to explore. Cruise along the tranquil Vembanad Lake in Alappuzha or sail into the sunset as you admire the southern fringes of the city. You can also take a pit stop at the scenic Willingdon and Vypeen islands, which are linked by bridges and ferries to the city.

Immersive Experience