Did you mean?Try your search again
When I was Fort Cochin this year I randomly entered Sofi Arts & Crafts, a small shop on Quiros Street. I ended up staying and talking to the owner a long time and I bought some beautiful scarves. The owner, Sofi, is a 28 year old Kashmiri. He surprised me with his honesty and the different (not pushy!) way in which he worked. This was certainly a relief from most shops and sellers!
Sofi is starting up his own business this year. During summer he travelled al through Kashmir and bought his stock directly from the families who make the scarves, wall hangings and other arts and crafts that he wants to sell in his shop.
In Fort Cochin there are a lot of shops selling scarves and other Kashmiri arts and crafts. Why is this one different? Because Sofi is his own boss and is trying to start a business. He does not work for commission and he does not get told of when he doesn't sell anything. Because Sofi only sells quality, nothing bought from factories. And most of all, because Sofi will not lie and rather sells something too cheaply than for a rip off price.
What to pay: Hard to say, Sofi sells small silk scarves for a few hundred rupees, but also beautiful delicate woollen scarves for thousands of rupees.
Written Oct 25, 2011
Address: 1/642 Quiros Street
Phone: +91 9567372393
To start with, the shop is in an old warehouse with a lovely little space to sit outside under a mango tree. Most of the display furniture is recycled using old tyres, wooden doors and window frames, fruit boxes etc.
You will find a nice selection of natural incense, soaps, essential oils, perfumed sachets, anti-mosquito products and Spirulina.
There are bags, raw silk scarves, bangles, bindis, greeting cards and postcards, T-shirts and recycled goods.
You can re-fill your plastic bottles with filtered water for INR 5 per liter to save on that plastic waste.
Some of the products are sourced from NGO’s or associations and a percentage of their sales helps an NGO working to help destitute children.
There is also a giant chess board in one corner of the shop which can be played on.
What to buy: The natural and bio products are always good to buy. If you want to cover your body in mosquito repellent for example, it's better to have a natural product than something chemical even if you have to pay a little extra.
Also most of the products are from South India and use local produce which is good for the environment.
What to pay: I think nothing exceeds about INR 600 and that's for the silk scarves.
Updated Nov 13, 2010
Address: KVA Brothers, Bazar Road, Mattancherry
Phone: 98951 54449
There were plenty of opportunities to shop. I was interested mainly in buying local crafts, spices and textiles. We were strongly cautioned against buying food to eat "on the hoof" but I could not resist fresh coconuts.The milk was deliscious and there were no ill effects.
As well as properly organised road side stalls there were also many hawkers and pedlars selling trashy "gift" items and dubious strings of spices.
We were directed to a busy shopping street on the way to the Jewish quarter where there were lots of shops of all description.
We found a large emporium run by the Kerala Handicrafts Development Society where I found everything I Wantedat reasonable marked prices - no haggling!
Written Jan 1, 2010
There are a whole load of antique shops around the synagogue in an area known as Jew Town. They're more like museums that shops with items such as furniture, ornaments, masks, doors, statues on display. One had a 100ft, 100 year old snake racing boat down the entire length of the shop!
Written Sep 21, 2009
This shop, like Idiom Books, do have a very good selection of books. Books on India, Kerala, Cooking Books, but it seems that they have a very good selection on the Religions practiced in Kerala and Cochin (eg Judaism in Cochin).
Written Nov 1, 2008
Address: Jew Town
There are many shops along Bazaar Rd, selling spices, pulses etc. I found that it was much cheaper to buy here than in Jew Town, where everything is more tourist-orientated.
Some are actually whole-salers, but there are plenty shops selling small quantities.
What to buy: Black pepper, chillies, cardomom, cassia, etc
What to pay: Inexpensive
Written Nov 1, 2008
Warehouses and shops in Jew town are packed to the rafters with antiques and curios.
They attract collectors and interior designers from around the globe as well as the tourist looking for an unusual momento of their visit. Carved panels reclaimed from churches and other grand buildings jostle with pottery and other articles of Chinese/ Portuguese/ Dutch/ British origin.
Spice boxes, jewellery and masks make popular gifts
What to buy: Antiques
What to pay: Bargaining is expected. - as little as You want, to What You and Your Bank Manager are happy with!
Updated Dec 30, 2007
Address: Jew Town, Mattancherry
All the books on India and Kerala you could possibly want. No hassle to buy anything but the owner was very helpful when asked for assistance. You get a nice raffia bag with the shop's logo to take all your purchases home in.
What to buy: I bought a couple of books from Idiom but my best purchase was a print of one of the wall paintings from Mattancherry Palace. The shops had a large stack of prints available from the Palace and it was great to be able to take home one of the paintings I had admired the previous day.
Written May 13, 2007
Indian markets are an experience: bustle, noise, colours, smells, all stronger than you thought possible. I rarely buy anything, preferring to just soak it all in, but Cochin was an exception. The main market area of the Spice Capital of India features many hole-in-the-wall spice shops. No need to look for them, the wafting aromas will guide you there....
What to buy: Star anise, huge blades of mace, big strips of cinnamon, fresh black pepper, big red chillis and exotica like kodampoli (a souring agent used in Kerala dishes - can replace lemon juice or tamarind).
What to pay: Saffron and cardamom are expensive. Compare prices and bargain – traders know what an attraction their spices are to foreigners.
Buy saffron strands, not powdered saffron - it’s always adulterated.
Updated Apr 1, 2007
Address: Broadway street and side streets
There are several shops along MG Road in Ernakulam where you can buy textiles, silk and sarees. There is a much bigger variety compared to Fort Cochin, and also cheaper. It is here where the locals do shopping, thus no inflated prices.
What to buy: Silk and other textiles
Updated Mar 30, 2007
1 Review and 580 Opinions It took our breath away when we first arrived. Stunning. Beautifully restored, it gives the illusion...
2 Reviews and 534 Opinions One type of tourist who come to Cochin is the one who can afford Taj Malabar, which is just about...
1 Review and 220 Opinions We (aged 64 & 61 years old) have just spent several days in Kochi and can highly recommend Brunton...