Indian Railways to Ernakulam
I look forward to the day when Air France will start flying to Cochin from Paris, until then I will Air France from Paris to Bangalore and then take the train ( I really dont wish to fly cheap airlines domestically, such as Air Deccan!) The other pleasant alternative is the one I will do today.
At 9 pm today, I have a reserved ticket on a 2A sleeper class to Ernakulam. the fare is now under 1000 inr ( about 20 usd or 16 euros ). One is able to stretch out and sleep and until Kerala, the train speeds through the sleepy Tamil Nadu. Once the sun breaks the horizon, the train slows down and it is time to enjoy the verdant scenery of Kerala, while the train passes through stations with magical names..
Tea is to be had while the train stops, occasionally one gets idli wrapped in banana leaves. by 11 am, one reaches Ernakulam and I expect to be invited to the buffet, sumptious by any standards, very good Kerala food, my favourite indian food, at the Metropolitan Hotel.
Hag Sameach to all Chaverim Tovim e am israel.. Tomorrow night begins Pesach.
Lunch at Metropolitan Hotel ..full of techies
A buffet dinner..
excellent curries from kerala and a smattering of north indian food but the food is Kerala Spice.. and you would be surprised to know that the chef is from Nepal.. he told me that most of the chefs in this part of the world are from Nepal.. I remember seeing Nepali people cooking at the Fort Cochin area as well.
Suresh took me and Sunil to Lunch. A sumptous lunch, cost us less than 8 usd for three... great value..
Behind the synagogue one can find various tomb stones of citizens of the Jewish community that was buried here. Some of those tomb stones are more than 150 years old. Since the community has become smaller and smaller it is doubtfull if many more will use this graveyard in the years to come.
There are two in Cochin, one here near the Dutch Palace and another near the Princess Street. The selection of books including some in translation into French are varied. The owner is an Englishman with love for India and also literature. The offerings on very Indian oriented, with large section on writers from India. The office manager has been there for a while, and I have dealt with him before.
Todays purchase to which he added a 10 per cent discount
Patrick French The world is what it is: the authorized biography of VS Naipaul 595 INR
Amitav Ghosh Sea of Poppies 599 inr
Paul Scott the Jewel in the Crown 470 inr
Chakoral Radhakrishnan fragments d’ombre
Kamala Das L’Histoire de ma Vie
IDIOM BOOKSTORE THE MAIN BRANCH NEAR PRINCESS STREET
The lady there was very helpful and the selection is rather good and moreover she was able to find out whether the books we enquired were available or not and order them for us
I asked her about Richard Zimlers book The guardian of the Dawn, sure enough they had a copy not in the store but could get one for me..
Quite impressed, a good range of Indian literature and also the usual tea table books of pictures about India and its culture.
She also said she will find out about
Dreams of Rivers and Seas
Two books recommended to me:
Arvind Adiga White Tiger and Kiran Nagarkar Reven and Eddie
I am very satisfied with my BOOK buying experience in Cochin.
Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala.
This lovely seaside city is flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Its proximity to the equator, the sea and the mountains provide a rich experience of a moderate equatorial climate.
Strictly speaking, Cochin is a small town. But, Cochin has outgrown its original bounds and is now the general name given to much of the region adjoining the original town, which now includes Cochin, Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, Ernakulam and many other nearby towns and villages. Cochin is situated in Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala. Ernakulam is also the name of a town - the administrative capital of Ernakulam district - but, for all practical purposes Ernakulam and Cochin, generally, refer to the same place.
Kochi is the arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.
This page is an attempt to capture the beauty and vigour of this city and provide as much information as possible to people who wish to know more or visit Cochin. This page will use Cochin and Kochi interchangeably since they refer to the same place. Kochi is the original name of the city, while Cochin is the colonial name.