Travel Diary

  • Forte Kochi – a heritage hotel in Fort Kochi
    Forte Kochi – a heritage hotel in Fort Kochi

    The Paul Hotels & Resorts , dedicated to creating unique luxury experiences in the hospitality industry has unveiled yet another gem of a boutique hotel.

    This 5-star hotel “Forte Kochi” is steeped in the luxurious past of its namesake town.

    A breath-taking amalgamation of Portuguese, Dutch & British architecture, the originalbuilding used to be the abode of an eminent Jewish family. The beautiful structure was originally built by the Portugese, the mansion presents a medley of Portuguese, Dutch and British ...

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  • Forte Kochi - a luxury heritage hotel from the creators of Kumarakom Lake Resort.
    Forte Kochi - a luxury heritage hotel from the creators of Kumarakom Lake Resort.

    Forte Kochi sits on the popular Princess Street in Fort Kochi - one of the world's oldest cosmopolitan port cities, and a melting pot of cultures from across the world, and offers a glimpse into the colonial heritage of Kerala.

    Believed to be built by the Dutch, in the 1860s, the structure of Forte Kochi was once a part of the palatial home of an eminent Jewish family of Kochi. The architecture and the heritage aesthetics are a seamless blend of Portuguese, Dutch and British influences.

    Now restored to its past glory, the hotel enchants visitors with glimpses of life once known and lived, centuries ago. ...

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  • Toadies of toddy rejoice
    Toadies of toddy rejoice

    The toddy shop is as singular to Kerala as the bistro is to France. Over the centuries, the thatched huts of toddy bars that dot the idyll of God’s Own Country have evolved their own cuisine: mostly the poor man’s drinking snacks made from tapioca, fish and pork. The inaugural edition of the Toddy Shop Festival at Forte Kochi Hotel that continued over two months served both Indian and foreign patrons and guests the gastronomy of the countryside bars.

    F&B Manager Harikrishnan Kaniyarakkal says, “The first edition of the festival was a hit among people. To cater to the variety of clientele we get - Europeans, Americans, Asians and North Indians - we decided to reduce the spices to suit everybody’s palate.” ...

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  • 15 Things to do in Beautiful Fort Kochi
    15 Things to do in Beautiful Fort Kochi

    If you have already done all the cliché weekend getaways near you, Fort Kochi is a beautiful place to explore all through the year, and especially in the winter months. This alluring city with a beautiful history makes for a perfect trip with friends or family. Just an hour’s drive from Kochi Airport, Fort Kochi is a water-bound region also called Old Kochi.

    Kochi has historically managed to mesmerise the Portuguese, Dutch and the British who made it their port of call and subsequently their home. This resulted in a city which is home to an amalgamation of a multitude of cultures. All of this set on the Malabar coast gives you the perfect reason to pack your bags and plan a 3 day holiday to Kochi. ...

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  • The Dutch Palace, Fort Kochi
    The Dutch Palace, Fort Kochi

    Fort Kochi's imperial Dutch and Portuguese buildings give us a glimpse of the invasions and settlements in the spice-trading city, which happened over the course of centuries. The city's historically rich past and the remnants of history in the form of beautiful buildings make it an attraction for history lovers and tourists alike.

    The Mattancherry Palace is one such elaborate property, which was given as a gift from the Portuguese to the Raja of Kochi, Veera Kerala Varma as a gesture of goodwill in 1555 after the Portuguese ravaged a temple nearby. The Dutch later renovated the palace in 1663 following which it became popularly known as the Dutch Palace. This awe-inspiring palace today stands as one of the finest museums in India from historical, cultural and architectural perspectives. ...

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  • Paradesi Synagogue, Fort Kochi
    Paradesi Synagogue, Fort Kochi

    The beautiful city of Kochi has always been a shelter for many generations of visitors, especially refugees. It has always welcomed people with generosity, humility and with open arms. One fine example of this hospitality is the Mattancherry Synagogue. More popularly known as the Paradesi Synagogue, it is the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth of nations.

    To better serve the Jewish community which was growing in number, in 1568, the Paradesi Synagogue was constructed in the Mattancherry area of Cochin. The Raja of Cochin Rama Verma generously allotted land to the Jews in Cochin da Cima, or Upper Cochin, next to his own Dutch Palace . ...

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  • Saint Francis Church
    Saint Francis Church, Fort Kochi

    Kochi, a city in the southwest corner of India has historically been a shelter for Arab, Chinese and European explorers who have left their influences on its palaces, synagogues and forts.

    FortKochi, a water bound region towards the south-west of mainland Kochi, houses most of the historical marvels created by these explorers. One such marvel is the St Francis Church, which is one of the oldest European churches in India.

    St Francis Church is a must visit when you are on a weekend trip to Fort Kochi. The church, known for its structural design and ever-charming ambience, is highly influenced by Dutch and Portuguese styles of architecture. ...

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  • Gourmet Secrets by Karen Anand, Savouring Beef Ularthiyathu at Forte Kochi, Kerala.
    Gourmet Secrets by Karen Anand, Savouring Beef Ularthiyathu at Forte Kochi, Kerala.
    Author: Karen Anand, Hindustan Times, India.

    The zest and pungency of Kerala cuisine can be sampled in a special dish, and here’s how you can make it too.

    The cuisine of Kerala is inseparable from its climate. The warm, green-lashed Malabar Coast has, for centuries, been the major center of the world’s spice trade, first with the Arab spice traders and then the Portuguese, Dutch, French and British. This state is the home of abundant fields of black pepper, cardamom and a variety of fragrant spices. These lend their zest and pungency to Kerala’s cuisine.

    The coastal area of Kerala, which has been subjected to foreign influences for thousands of years, is a strong fish and meat-eating region. Jewish settlers came to Kerala as long ago as AD 7, bringing with them the notion of slaughtering livestock as humanely as possible, so that the meat was acceptable or kosher. Soon after, Syrian Christians settled in Kerala. ...

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