Cochin Shopping Guide
The handicrafts offered in Cochin include coconut-shell crafts, woodcarvings, metalwork, camel-bone crafts, grass mats and an affordable selection of handmade jewelry and accessories. Of the many craft shops in town, Cinnamon is the most interesting.
The best volume and selection of antiques is available in Jewtown, Mattancherry. Antique shops are found hidden down side streets and in massive buildings like the group of five warehouses at Crafters. Jewtown is also the best place to peruse works of art, many of which reflect a unique combination of Jewish and Hindu influence.
Mattancherry/Jewtown/Galleria Synagogue Art Gallery
This unique gallery features work produced by artists from the local Jewish community. Prices are reasonably low and there is an excellent selection of artwork to choose from.
Mattancherry/Synagogue Lane/Lawrence Art Gallery
Also in Jewtown, this art gallery features a similar selection to Galleria Synagogue. The major difference is that this shop also boasts a collection of appealing antiques. The smash of cultures in Cochin has left antique shops with a few real gems that are unlike anything shoppers are likely to find elsewhere.
Mattancherry/VI 141, Jewtown/Crafters
Crafters are the leading antiques shop in Cochin. The two main draws at crafters are selection and convenience, and staff members are well versed in shipping merchandise abroad. Prices are not unreasonable but don’t expect to secure any serious bargains.
Cochin/1/658 Ridsdale Road/Cinnamon
This modern design shop specializes in the kind of homegrown merchandise that shoppers never knew they wanted until they laid eyes on it. Popular products include traditional prints, quirky accessories and traditional apparel with a modern update. It is located in the Trinity Hotel on the ground floor.
Cochin shopping tips
When shopping for antiques and handicrafts, bargaining is an integral part of the process. Shops in central Cochin aren’t liable to give way, but the smaller establishments in Jewtown and environs are usually more willing to meet in the middle. More often than not, settling on 75 percent of the asking price is appropriate, but this depends on the merchant.
It is worth mentioning that many of the so-called antiques sold in Cochin are actually replicas. Shopkeepers typically know the value of their merchandise, and if it’s sold at cut rate, then it’s either an abundant piece or a convincing fake.
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