Miscellaneous Information

There are many things that one can buy from Cochin, the list would probably be topped by handicraft, spices and nuts. Handicrafs include a wide range of products made from coir, wood, shells, brass, ivory and sandalwood. Kairali Handicraft Emporium (+91 484 2354507) and Surabhi (+91 484 2360598) located on MG Road near Jos Junction sells quality handicraft products. Small amounts of spices and other small items can be picked up from Broadway, which ironically has the narrowest streets are largest crowd in Cochin. The entire stretch of MG Road is lined with shops selling a variety of things from clothes, handicrafts and jewellery.
Broadway MG Road

Pookalam (Floral carpet) Onam is arguably the most festive period for the people of Kerala as a whole. The exact dates of the festive period vary depending on the Malayalam lunar calendar, but invariably its a 10-day period between mid-August and mid-September. This marks the beginning of the harvest season and is a period of exuberance and cheerfulness. Shopping, traditional food, trade fairs and temple festivals add to the colour of the celebratory mood. Legend has it that Onam marks the period when the good-hearted and generous asura (demon) king Mahabali visits his subjects after he was pushed underground by Vamana (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu). The period is marked by colourful and intricate pookalams (floral carpets) laid out to greet the king.

The other major festivals and events celebrated in Cochin include Christmas (December 25), Vishu (April 14), Mahasivarathri (February/March), Bakrid (January), Idul Fitr (October), Vallamkali (or snake boat race) at Alapuzha (Alleppey), Aranmula, Ambalapuzha and Cochin (July/August).

India follows a decimal currency system. 100 paise (singular 1 paisa) = 1 Rupee. The current exchange rate can be found using the currency conversion tools listed below. But, roughly £1=Rs80; $1=Rs45 and €1=Rs50. Most credit and debit cards are accepted in large shops. ATM machines can be found dotting all major roads and shopping centres.
» Exchange rates from x-rates.com
» ATMs: Centurion Bank | Citibank | Federal Bank | HDFC Bank | South Indian Bank |
            State Bank of India
Note: India's largest bank, the State Bank of India, has the most extensive network of ATMs and branches.