I tried to make the most of my two-week winter break in December, and ended the year with a vacation in Kerala. Essentially, my friend and I were visiting Kochi for the biennale, but after overcoming some rather poor planning and a constant state of indecision, we managed to get ourselves to Varkala – which is by far, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited.
We spent 5 nights in Fort Kochi, primarily to get the feel of the biennale – where we could take it all in at our own pace and not rush through. The Kochi Muziris Biennale is an international art festival held every other year in Fort Kochi, and this time, it’s on for 108 days (starting December 2016). There are about 8 main venues for the biennale, though several cafés and local shops around Fort Kochi have collaborated with the festival as well.
Fort Kochi is a rather tiny haven of all things arty and picturesque – I’m glad that we spent just the ideal amount of time to get to explore every corner of it. Here are some of the highlights.
We missed out on the Virtual Reality tour at Aspinwall House in Fort Kochi, which is one of the biggest venues for the biennale – though it’s highly recommended by everyone who experienced it!
Other cultural activities to take part in Fort Kochi:
Visit Jew Town – and the oldest synagogue among the British commonwealth nations;
Squeeze in a day trip to Allepy if you’re up for it
Visit Dutch Palace
Visit Mattancherry Palace
Visit St Francis Church
We took a bus from Kochi to Varkala, a temple town that’s a couple of hours from Trivandrum. We spent 2 nights in Varkala, and it was nowhere near enough. I doubt the pictures do justice, Varkala is a unique experience in itself.