A day in Jew Town (Kochi)

" There is so much of inspiration in everyday objects "

said someone famous am pretty sure. 

On a sunny weekday, I decided to be a tourist in my own home city - Kochi. I had decided to walk the colourful lane of Jew town, it was one of those things I just had to do when I had the opportunity. Jew town, and the 10 minute away very famous Fort Kochi are on every tourists 'places to visit'. 

Jew town is an antique collectors heaven, from wood, stone, glass and ceramic, and some other material I don't know, you get everything here. As someone who loves art and interiors, I find a lot of inspiration here. There are rich colours oozing from almost every store - even the eateries are done up so well - with random and obscure painting and art objects hidden in every nook and corner.

Visiting a few stores, I felt like a small child, not knowing what to expect, and feeling surprised by the friendly store owner, or the more than amazing paintings painted by local artists. Okay, the prices are also a surprise, might I say. But if you look around, you're bound to find something that is a good bargain, and that'll look lovely in your home.

Strolling through some stores, one might magically come out of an artists block (if there is one) or even a writers block. There's just so much of beauty. Like in the store above, there were so many small artefacts, that I could have well spent an hour or so just admiring each object. Some of them are so old, that when you pick them up, the sales girl would come out of thin air, proclaiming it is an antique piece and one must be careful.
I loved the ladder and wood concept, all the lovely china and small tea sets, and tiny figurines and statues - Okay, I liked everything in here.

Fort Kochi was (and will continue to be) the venue of the international exhibition of contemporary art - called the Kochi - Muziris Biennale. And even after the exhibition closes until 2 years later, you can see a lot of remnants in the streets and some art galleries.

With so many vibrant colours, we just had to stop every now and then, to admire the street graffiti. I loved the freedom the artists had, I just imagine them to be charged with a lot of creativity. I loved the hues of blue and bright pink, the kind of pink I like, and the geometry of course.

Well, if geometry wasn't enough proof of the wonderful remnants, there's some more graffiti - you don't have to try too hard to find these small lanes  as the colours literally scream out to you.

It's not only the remnants of artists, the stores themselves provide you with a palate of inspiration. There are so many lovely artistic items, you'd wish you had a limit free credit card, and you could shop until you realise that there's going to be no more space in your home for the lovely items.

Have you guys heard of a uruli ? It is a traditonal cookware used in Kerala. And sometimes, it's also used as a d├ęcor element. Urulis are often made in stone, and placed in gardens, and they're so pretty to look at. Quite a few stores have different sizes of uruli, and some other interesting stone and metal work too.

There's a lot of grandeur and opulence, a lot of bohemian art and rustic designs. Jew town is an artist's delight, walking through 2 parallel lanes - and surprisingly enough, you'll also find cows. Yes, you read it right - lots of cow heads looking at you.

If you ever want to do up your house with a colonial and hip Spanish accent, you know where to find these door knobs, or wardrobe decorators (I don't have a more apt name, because these will brighten your wardrobe and you can use them as hangers too) or just about any other use you can find  for them. If you're looking for an inspiration for locks, that's here too. This suddenly seems to me to be a place where you can find artistic solutions for pretty much anything.

And before we took a rickshaw and left for Kashi, we also stopped by a small store where they encouraged local artisans to sell their art and craft. We found this very bohemian piece of art - like a dream catcher (below). It was one of my favourite finds :)

A small distance away, there's a small world, of more graffiti, colourful windows and some lovely eateries as well. But before I take you there, and show you a peek into Kashi, where I also incidentally tasted one of the best chocolate cakes TILL DATE ! But more about that in my next blog.
I draw a lot of inspiration every time I visit Jew town, I also shop a bit - sometimes you get a great deal - on say a linen bag or a great painting :) If you ever want some joy and colour, take a trip to Jew town in Kochi and let me know if you liked it !

PS - why it's called Jew town ? Read this little article published recently in Times of Israel.

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  1. Very beautifully written. I feel like visiting this place right now. It is written straight from the heart. Would like to read more.
    Also it'll be great if you would visit Caliedoscope.in which is a cultural magazine that intends to collect interesting experiences and unique information on niche subjects.