- Benjamin John
Exploring Cochin like a local on a ferry
The port town of Cochin also referred to as the Queen of the Arabian sea, is a cosmopolitan city on the southwest Malabar coast of South India. The city is the commercial capital of the state of Kerala where a lot of people come over for business, trade, education, and tourism. Being the case, you can find a large number of floating population in Cochin. Cochin is divided into two: The Old Kochi which is often known as Fort Kochi where the colonial powers had their settlements and the new part of the city often referred to as the Ernakulam city. Ernakulam city works more kind of a commercial capital for trade and business whereas Fort Kochi was the commercial capital of the colonial powers as they had the port in Fort Cochin. However today Fort Kochi acts more of a tourist destination with these old colonial mansions still existing in the streets of Fort Cochin.
The real port of Cochin exists between Fort Kochi and Ernakulam city; a manmade island called the Wellington Island build in the 1940s. All of the ships that come to Cochin, dock in the Wellington Island and the Port Trust office is also located at the end of the Wellington Island. Further to Fort Kochi, on the opposite banks is the Vypin Island which is a very long narrow strip of land located in the Arabian sea. The Vypin Island is supposed to be the highest densely populated island in the world. So if you have a broader aerial view of Cochin, you will get to understand that Cochin is a combination of many islands, lagoons and backwaters and each island is known to have a prominence in one way or the other. Having so much of exposure to the sea one could easily see a beautiful sunset on the Malabar coast from all of these places. The best time of the day in Cochin would be something starting from around 5 pm to 5:45- 7 pm. Cochin has some of the fascinating points and places like the one called Marine drive in Ernakulam, Fort Cochin, Vypin Island, etc. All of these places are lovely places to enjoy the sunset in all its beauty.
I have worked in Cochin for six months, and Marine drive is one place where I used to go every evening to enjoy the beauty of the backwaters and the sunset. Marine drive in Ernakulam city is a typical favorite spot where a lot of people come for evening hangouts, and it is relatively a crowded place. Fort Cochin is another place where you can enjoy the beauty of the sunset, but it is as crowded just like Marine drive especially the Fort Cochin beach from where you can evidently see the sunset.
The cheapest way to explore the sunset of Cochin is to take a boat from Ernakulam boat jetty to Fort Cochin and further to Vypin Island. The Kerala Water Transport Authority has frequent ferry boats commuting through all of these islands, and the ticket range starts from Rs 2 and goes all the way to Rs 15. To go to Vypin island, you need to get a 5 Rupee ticket, and that is going to be the cheapest way to explore the sunset of Cochin. Hop on to a boat from Ernakulam jetty, it will take you through Wellington Island to Fort Cochin, and there you can get down. Fort Cochin, however, is going to be a crowded beach. If you want to have a peaceful sunset, you can further move to Vypin Island. Vypin Island is going to be the end after which you don’t have a land. You can walk by the shores where the place is going to be little less crowded, and there you can see a beautiful sunset.
Planning for the Sunset Cruise in Kochi
You should be boarding a boat from Ernakulam jetty to Vypin Island at 5:30 pm. By the time you pass by Fort Cochin to Vypin Island, you will already start to get a feeling of the twilight which makes the ambiance beautiful. And if you have an interest in photography, you shouldn’t miss that click for anything in the world. This might not work in the monsoon or a cloudy evening. Once you land at the Vypin boat jetty, you have to walk around 300 meters to reach the Vypin beach. By the time you reach Vypin beach it's going to be 6:15 pm and Voila, there you are already experiencing the moment of a beautiful sunset.
Sunsets are always pleasing to the eyes, but some days, the sun in all its magnificence flaunts its ethereal beauty as it appears like a pale red ball changing its color to dark orange color and sinks down into the sea and the last rays of the day hit the land. If you are lucky enough you can also see dolphins at the estuary where the backwaters and the sea join. You can see dolphins coming down from the waters and having a jump over the water. The reason why we say you should be going to the Vypin Island is that the Marine drive and Fort Kochi are going to be crowded places. It is a local hangout spot, and It is tough to find less people on the beach. On the other hand, Vypin is relatively calm and silent and is less crowded.
After the real moments with the sunset, you can slowly walk towards the north of the Vypin Island through the shores of the sea, where you can find the lighthouse, a church, a few Chinese fishing nets here and there and local fishermen trying to get that little catch by evening. All of these are exciting local things to see around in Vypin Island. Vypin Island is the highest populated island in the world. It is around 35 kms in length, and you get to see and experience a lot of beaches on that shoreline. Towards the end of the island is an estuary known as Munambam where river Periyar joins the Arabian sea. Other beaches on the island include Puthuvype beach, Cherai beach, Kuzhupilly beach. All of these are local tourist attractions and local hangout and picnic spots as well.
The water channel between Vypin Island and Fort Cochin is the route to the Wellington Island. So all of the ships, boats and even the warships of the southern naval command which is also located in the Wellington Island has to pass by this water channel to reach the place where they can dock the ship. So during the evening, there is every chance you can see small boats passing by here and there especially fishing boats and if you are lucky enough you can see a ship moving out or coming in, in this twilight. Google ‘Sunset in Vypin Island or Fort Kochi’ and you will find at least one photograph of a ship moving by in this water channel.
So that’s the blog all about. If you are on a budget and if you want to experience a cheaper way of enjoying the sunset cruise, try doing this. You will not regret it. Don’t go alone take along someone with whom you can spend a great evening. Hope you guys enjoyed reading the blog. Check out our website and the list of packages on offer. We can organize something like this for you in case you are booking Kerala tour with us. Follow us on social media, Facebook and Instagram.