I've listed this under 'Off the Beaten Path' as this museum is sadly largely ignored by visitors. When I enquired about going, I was told that it wasn't really worth the visit. What a shame; I'm so glad I ignored the advice because the Indo-Portuguese Museum is a great little museum, quite obviously maintained with love and care.
The Portuguese had a significant influence in Kochi (Cochim in Portuguese), and if you have any interest in that at all, the museum is instructive. It was quite special to see the religious objects that make up the bulk of the collection, so familar to anyone who's been in any part of the world with a Portuguese connection, in this place that is so far away from Lisbon.
The collection is largely composed on highly colourful altar pieces, statues of a multitude of saints and related religious imagery, but there is also good information on the Portuguese in Kerala. It's a small museum, linked to Lisbon's Gulbenkian Foundation, and is housed in a very pretty villa away from the bustling centre of Kochi. Appropriately for the subject, there is a real sense of calm, and the displays are artfully done.
The guestbook reveals that most of the visitors and indeed Portuguese and I found it quite touching to see the reconnection of these cultures. Eu adorei este museu!
As a person, who has a professional interest in the lives of Indigenous peoples of the world, it was emotional and gratifying for me to meet Adivasi or the Original people or the Forest People of Kerala. I will write a separate travelogue about this remarkable encounter in the forests near Athira pilly about two hours by car from cochin
Toddy bars can be found in and around Kochi. Liquor made from coconut palm is served here. It is best to ask a local to accompany you to one of these. It is not particularly easy on the palate, but a nice way of mixing with the locals.
If you happen to be in Kochi sometime in the second half of Febraury, you're in time for ALUVA SHIVARATRI. It's a sacred day for Hindus. Take a local bus to ALUVA, and head for the sand banks of ALUVA RIVER.
If you're into photograpghy, you will LOVE it.
P.S. Careful about your belongings. Expect a huge crowd.
Along the harbour of Cochin there are these huge nets which they lower into the water and then lift up. These are Chinese fishing nets. These nets are like a trademark of the island.
Try to buy some fresh fish from the fishermen. We bought some fish and ask the owner of a small restaurant to cook it for us.
If you visit the Synagogue, don't miss the chinese hand painted tiles on the floor. There are no 2 tiles alike!!