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Old 26th June 2013, 18:48   #16
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Default Re: Photologue : Fort Kochi without visiting a fort

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Originally Posted by lloydofcochin View Post

It is a lovely town and I miss it so much when I'm here in Bangalore and that is a reason enough for me to drive / take a bus to visit my home at least once a month
Next time you drive, please do let me know
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Old 26th June 2013, 18:57   #17
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Default Re: Photologue : Fort Kochi without visiting a fort

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Next time you drive, please do let me know
Sure Lalu. Next time for sure I will let you know. But be warned that most of my drives happens just like that without proper planning & all. If I feel like going home over a weekend I just drive
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Old 27th June 2013, 22:57   #18
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Default Re: Photologue : Fort Kochi without visiting a fort

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Originally Posted by lloydofcochin View Post
Jacs,

Superb log covering my Hometown. I'm from Fort Cochin and all these places that you have visited are just 1-2km from my house.

The Ferry & Jhankar were my commuting options daily since I did my schooling for 8 years in Vypin.

It is a lovely town and I miss it so much when I'm here in Bangalore and that is a reason enough for me to drive / take a bus to visit my home at least once a month

Pls continue. My 5 stars added.
Thanks man. Glad that you got a quick tour of your childhood. I am ready with the next batch of posts.
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Old 28th June 2013, 07:11   #19
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Originally Posted by lloydofcochin View Post
Jacs,

Superb log covering my Hometown. I'm from Fort Cochin and all these places that you have visited are just 1-2km from my house.

The Ferry & Jhankar were my commuting options daily since I did my schooling for 8 years in Vypin.

It is a lovely town and I miss it so much when I'm here in Bangalore and that is a reason enough for me to drive / take a bus to visit my home at least once a month

Pls continue. My 5 stars added.
Is it not a great pity that they stopped that old Harbour Terminus train?

I saw it recently looking all run down and disused and overgrown with weeds and plants...
Why are we unable to do anything properly for heritage?
Anywhere abroad, they would have spruced up an old steam engine added a couple of classy bogies with aircon and picture windows, all disguised in semi- 'period' livery and done the Ernakulam Station to Harbour Terminus run as a 'scenic tour' of yesteryears...
It is a lovely scenic route.

Then consider poor old Bolghatty Island golf course. The course is ruined, the cottages in ghastly architecture and colours are everywhere and the whole place is full of halfwitted mooning couples wandering about the erstwhile fairways and greens of that defunct golf course. Anywhere else in the world they would have created a luxury golf resort with an Island and Water surround ambience and they would have put the old ferry to good use, to bring tourists to the golf course from the Willingdon Island or Ernakulam or Mattancherry or wherever...

I went for the Biennale recently and was shocked at the state of ruin of many of those lovely buildings along Fort Cochin, near the beach, near the Synagogue and Aspinwall etc...even the Fort Cochin beach could have been significantly better looked after and maintained. Of course some of those which have been converted to hotels are very well kept indeed but there are many which are ignored too.

I am not taking away anything from 'Gods Own Country' and their fantastic success in building tourism. It is just that if the powers that be were to get out of their 'communistic and holier-than-thou' mentality, they could do so much more with what has been left to Cochin as a legacy....

Encourage public private partnership...give that Bolghatty course and other places on long 99 year lease to the Taj, Oberoi, Leela or Casino Groups, encourage more luxury tourism, profit, employment and everything else...

Last edited by shankar.balan : 28th June 2013 at 07:13.
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Old 28th June 2013, 08:17   #20
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Default Re: Photologue : Fort Kochi without visiting a fort

“You're never alone when you're reading a book.” ― Susan Wiggs. A pre-owned book stall, I found a variety of books here starting from adventure series to Yoga. If you decide to spent your noon in the hamock of your resort, 100 bucks can get you something to flip through.

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Window shopping can include some fancy handicrafts too. These tiny elephants would no doubt greet your guests when hanged along your door.
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These cute fans could be a light on your pocket and baggage but a takeaway for your near and dear ones.

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Enjoying the small roadside shops, I reached a small park. How to turn a tree to a piece of art? A work from Muzris Biennale; food for thought while relaxing.

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You need not have a steady hand for creating some art. Here is a stencil to make your life easier if you are bitten by the art bug. I remember owning one in my childhood

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Why should I narrate while its written in plain English. However I did not click the Anchor leaving something to look for while you visit.

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Art of life. This gentleman was not around while I passed by. If you like his work, do help this young talent to fund for a new set of brushes and colors.

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Biennale did not even left a stone untouched. Look how creatively are these rocks painted. I am impressed.

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A turn back to from where I walked realized that this is a well paved walkway. And some comfy garden benches for you to relax in the morn or eve; certainly not around noon on summer else you will be sold as grilled steak

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(to be continued…)

Last edited by jacs : 28th June 2013 at 08:21.
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Old 28th June 2013, 08:56   #21
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Default Re: Photologue : Fort Kochi without visiting a fort

Excellent travelogue and great snaps as usual jacs. Thanks for sharing with us.

I recently bought the catch from one of the Chinese fishing nets. It is relatively expensive but very fresh. And is a nice experience.

Last edited by deetjohn : 28th June 2013 at 08:57. Reason: typo.
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Old 28th June 2013, 09:02   #22
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Default Re: Photologue : Fort Kochi without visiting a fort

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Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Then consider poor old Bolghatty Island golf course. The course is ruined, the cottages in ghastly architecture and colours are everywhere and the whole place is full of halfwitted mooning couples wandering about the erstwhile fairways and greens of that defunct golf course. Anywhere else in the world they would have created a luxury golf resort with an Island and Water surround ambience and they would have put the old ferry to good use, to bring tourists to the golf course from the Willingdon Island or Ernakulam or Mattancherry or wherever...
The last time I went to Bolghatty (and I admit its been at least a couple of years), the hotel had been tastefully rebuilt. Didnt get to look at the Golf course because thats a sport thats never caught my fancy - but I get your point. Remember, this is not just any other part of the world, it is a place full of Comrades. They believe that any progress is bourgeoisie, and hence should be opposed at any cost.

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I went for the Biennale recently and was shocked at the state of ruin of many of those lovely buildings along Fort Cochin, near the beach, near the Synagogue and Aspinwall etc...even the Fort Cochin beach could have been significantly better looked after and maintained. Of course some of those which have been converted to hotels are very well kept indeed but there are many which are ignored too.

......
Encourage public private partnership...give that Bolghatty course and other places on long 99 year lease to the Taj, Oberoi, Leela or Casino Groups, encourage more luxury tourism, profit, employment and everything else...
The success of Fort Cochin as a destination has been due to small & medium private enterprises and not large hotel chains. CGH Earth (a.k.a Casino Group) has so far outdone any of the large chains with their resorts and boutique hotels, and several small(ish) entrepreneurs have contributed to the restoration of many old buildings in F Cochin - many that you see in decrepit condition have already been snapped up and are in the process of restoration. The Pepper House is an example of this work-in-progress.

Fort Cochin has been an example of tourism successfully promoted by small and medium scale operators. Therefore each place has its own quirks and charm - the ultra-modern and chic co-exist side-by-side with the old, run-down places that still hold on to their past with some pride.

I would hate to see the place be overrun by the large hotel chains and converted into a sanitised, standard set of resorts - all of which look and feel exactly the same, insulating their occupants from the real feel of the destination.
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Old 28th June 2013, 09:58   #23
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Default Re: Photologue : Fort Kochi without visiting a fort

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The success of Fort Cochin as a destination has been due to small & medium private enterprises and not large hotel chains. CGH Earth (a.k.a Casino Group) has so far outdone any of the large chains with th the real feel of the destination.

I agree about Casino Group, not least because I know and love what they've done at Brunton's Boatyard which is a completely new place but looks so much in character with Old Colonial Cochin.

I would however, venture to state that so does the Taj Group and the Oberoi Group, both of whom I have worked for, preserve as much of the local feel as possible in restoring and maintaining the heritage properties. They are highly socially reponsible corporates both.

Look at any of the old Spencer Hotels Properties now owned and run by the Taj - Malabar is one such or West End in Bangalore or Savoy in Ooty...all lovely.
Oberoi's have their Wildflower Hall, The Cecil the Oberoi Maidens and the Clarke's Hotel etc all of which are beautifully looked after...
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Old 28th June 2013, 22:39   #24
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Default Re: Photologue : Fort Kochi without visiting a fort

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Excellent travelogue and great snaps as usual jacs. Thanks for sharing with us.

I recently bought the catch from one of the Chinese fishing nets. It is relatively expensive but very fresh. And is a nice experience.
Thanks Deepak. The so cold fishing using Chinese nets is a sinking business and they would not invest further in repairing them.

Steeroid and Shankar - What I noticed is the overall cleanliness has improved in these areas as the feedback was very bad earlier when my wife visited. But Government is somehow not ready to step to next level. Like you said a fancy steam train ride would attract tourists any day. Private groups are no doubt exploiting the possibilities of this area but they have a good share in bringing tourists here. Now with this heavy monsoon, Puthu Vypeen beach is almost gone; we do not know whether any efforts will go towards damage control. We common people also can do many a things atleast to ensure we do not litter on streets or damage any public assets.
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Old 29th June 2013, 01:41   #25
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Default Re: Photologue : Fort Kochi without visiting a fort

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Is it not a great pity that they stopped that old Harbour Terminus train?

I saw it recently looking all run down and disused and overgrown with weeds and plants...
Why are we unable to do anything properly for heritage?
Anywhere abroad, they would have spruced up an old steam engine added a couple of classy bogies with aircon and picture windows, all disguised in semi- 'period' livery and done the Ernakulam Station to Harbour Terminus run as a 'scenic tour' of yesteryears...
It is a lovely scenic route.

Then consider poor old Bolghatty Island golf course. The course is ruined, the cottages in ghastly architecture and colours are everywhere and the whole place is full of halfwitted mooning couples wandering about the erstwhile fairways and greens of that defunct golf course. Anywhere else in the world they would have created a luxury golf resort with an Island and Water surround ambience and they would have put the old ferry to good use, to bring tourists to the golf course from the Willingdon Island or Ernakulam or Mattancherry or wherever...

I went for the Biennale recently and was shocked at the state of ruin of many of those lovely buildings along Fort Cochin, near the beach, near the Synagogue and Aspinwall etc...even the Fort Cochin beach could have been significantly better looked after and maintained. Of course some of those which have been converted to hotels are very well kept indeed but there are many which are ignored too.

I am not taking away anything from 'Gods Own Country' and their fantastic success in building tourism. It is just that if the powers that be were to get out of their 'communistic and holier-than-thou' mentality, they could do so much more with what has been left to Cochin as a legacy....

Encourage public private partnership...give that Bolghatty course and other places on long 99 year lease to the Taj, Oberoi, Leela or Casino Groups, encourage more luxury tourism, profit, employment and everything else...
Shankar, I agree with you 100% on preserving the heritage and I rue the fact that there has been a lot of missed opportunities. Poor maintenance of facilities is our country's biggest bane. Every project starts with a lot of hoopla but once the initiators get their cut the project becomes an orphan.

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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post

The success of Fort Cochin as a destination has been due to small & medium private enterprises and not large hotel chains. CGH Earth (a.k.a Casino Group) has so far outdone any of the large chains with their resorts and boutique hotels, and several small(ish) entrepreneurs have contributed to the restoration of many old buildings in F Cochin - many that you see in decrepit condition have already been snapped up and are in the process of restoration. The Pepper House is an example of this work-in-progress.

Fort Cochin has been an example of tourism successfully promoted by small and medium scale operators. Therefore each place has its own quirks and charm - the ultra-modern and chic co-exist side-by-side with the old, run-down places that still hold on to their past with some pride.

I would hate to see the place be overrun by the large hotel chains and converted into a sanitised, standard set of resorts - all of which look and feel exactly the same, insulating their occupants from the real feel of the destination.
100% in agreement with you. I would hate to see the charm of the place being lost due to crass commercialization and we have umpteen examples of that like Ooty, Shimla etc.

In fact the Tourism development in Kerala is a great example of successful and thriving private promoters who strive to do their best to ensure that their guests are happy. Apart from the branding push and some minor things the Govt has not done much to promote tourism. A case in point is the sad state of the road infrastructure.

Fort Cochin still has the potential to become a star destination if the Govt too lends a helping hand to the private promoters. The major stumbling block they would face is some shady business men with vested interests & some politicians who are hand in glove with them.

I seriously wish that there is a time where people realize the beauty & practicality of the colonial architecture which suits Fort Cochin to the tee. You still don't need a Fan in one of those intelligently & practically designed colonial era bungalows even in the sweltering summer
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Old 29th June 2013, 22:54   #26
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At around 11:30AM, the shacks and shops near the beach are yet to wake up. May be their business is focused on evenings. Muzris Biennale did touch all possible walls in Fort Kochi.

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As we approach the beach, there is a small bridge to step close to the waves without dipping your feet. I decided to get portrayed with the help of a passer-by and he captured pretty well including the waves scattering after hitting the rocks.

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This is Fort Kochi beach. Being a working day not crowded at all. Very few ventured in the water while most of them decided to stay away from the mid noon sun. This is just one perspective of the beach; one can walk around and reach the main road.

Photologue : Fort Kochi without visiting a fort-8b.jpg


As the heat gets unbearable, I decided to retire from the beach after gulping a sweet tender coconut juice. Took another route while returning to Jetty. A very shady street it was and saw this wonderful hotel on the way. A pristine vintage Mercedes Benz parked in front to welcome the guests.

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My tummy is burning with hunger and you know what? May be I am the first guy on earth to visit Fort Kochi and opt a 100% veg lunch. I walked straight to this Hotel New Ananda Bhavan run as an ancestral business by a Swami who received me with his innocent smile. I am hungry but did not want to fill my tummy with sumptuous unlimited meals so ordered a Masala Dosa and Coffee. Not in past 1 year I had such a genuine ghee flavour, tasty sambhar and chutney. Bill was less than around 50 bucks as I recollect. Swami thanked me for visiting them as business is very dull as most people opt sea food while in Fort Kochi. My recommendation for this small but hygienic place.

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Walked fast to Boat Jetty to escape from the noon sun. Next boat is just 15-20 minutes away and I enjoyed watching the fishing boats passing by.
Green initiative? Why waste fuel of two boats when no payload is there. One boat pulling the other.

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Kurishinkal or Crusade in English

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How about a quick race?

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My boat is approaching and quickly looked at the Jetty clock; it’s needle less virtual clock.

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(to be continued…)
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Old 3rd July 2013, 14:23   #27
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While waiting for the boat, “Dutch fort” came to my mind but had no energy left to go there in the burning mid noon. I got into the very next boat came around 1:30PM which goes via Wellington Island. I could see the large cruise ship which is seen in my second batch of clicks more closely.

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As we approach the Port Trust office, noticed a huge ship anchored near Willington Island. Shall share you a closer shot from my return journey later.
What a size? Very elegant in white.

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Wellington island jetty came and I decided to off board there to chill out with the happy hours of Hotel Trident till sun is down. It was a good decision. Trident’s durbar had a very relaxed ambience and I spent about two hours there recapping the overall trip. Happy I am.

Took a bus back to city to catch the passenger train back to Kottayam. I am sure National Permit truck intends to help Kerala Tourism but if it was in English.

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What is written in Malayalam says “Are you coming to see Kochi?”

Let me sign-off with this note. However I would be posting couple of more random shots from the collection. Sincere thanks to all for stopping by my photologue.

Last edited by jacs : 3rd July 2013 at 14:25.
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Old 8th July 2013, 10:12   #28
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Some random shots as promised.


Dry dock!
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Enroute home after trolling
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Not so simple as we see
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Retired for the day but still some pending tasks
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Crabs from the catch, unlike fishes they are amphibians and hence strapped with rubber bands to avoid escape
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The Junkar
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Another perspective of Trivandrum Lodge
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Pilot boat
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Transport boat
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Dredger ship....Bull dozers of water!
Photologue : Fort Kochi without visiting a fort-10i.jpg
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Old 23rd August 2013, 19:07   #29
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Default Re: Photologue : Fort Kochi without visiting a fort

Jacob, sorry for not checking this thread a month back, although you messaged me the link. Every action has a reaction, so my reaction is an inspiration to visit the same places as a school boy one more time, after the rains. But I would prefer early morning or late evening for the same. Your images would have been greatly different if the time of visit was chosen differently. If you want to join in, welcome to do so. We will plan something and execute. Thanks for the thread and pics. See you soon
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Old 2nd January 2014, 15:39   #30
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Default Re: Photologue : Fort Kochi without visiting a fort

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Jacob, sorry for not checking this thread a month back, although you messaged me the link. Every action has a reaction, so my reaction is an inspiration to visit the same places as a school boy one more time, after the rains. But I would prefer early morning or late evening for the same. Your images would have been greatly different if the time of visit was chosen differently. If you want to join in, welcome to do so. We will plan something and execute. Thanks for the thread and pics. See you soon
Hey Shaju,

Yes, lighting is very critical and my visit was in the noon hours when sun was harsh. Your Kochi visit is long pending now. Christmas and new year was awesome in Fort Kochi especially the illumination and fireworks, saw some clicks from Kochi friends.
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