Chinese Fishing Nets, Kochi

Chinese Fishing Nets, Kochi

Chinese fishing nets Kochi are the most iconic and popular attractions of Kochi. They play a significant part in the life of the fishermen of Kochi and they were once a cultural symbol of Kerala. Chinese fishing nets add additional beauty to the beaches and the mundane waters of Kochi. Dawn and dusk are the best time to see these fishing nets in action. The Vasco da Gama Square is the best spot to get the perfect view of these massive structures. Locally known as Cheenavala, these huge cantilevered fishing nets are believed to have brought to Kochi by the famous Chinese explorer Zheng He from the court of Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan. They became one of the most significant symbols of an exchange of culture and ideas. Another narrative is that these nets were brought to Kochi from Macau by the Portuguese who colonized both Kochi and Macau in the 16th century. Fishing by Chinese nets is a very different concept.

These Kochi fishing nets are fixed land installations that work on simple physics much like the sides of the weighing balance which go up and down according to the weights placed on it. These huge cantilevered fishing nets are set up on bamboo and teak poles and held horizontally by huge mechanisms, which lower them into the sea. They look like hammocks and are counter weighed by large stones tied to the ropes. The entire structure of the Chinese fishing nets is about 10 meters in height. Each fishing net spreads to about 20 meters over the water body and is operated by a team of 4 - 6 fishermen. The system of counterweights is most ingenious and the rocks are suspended from ropes of different lengths. As the net raised these rocks, one-by-one, come to rest on a platform thereby keeping everything in balance. All the fishermen involved have to maintain an equal balance while bringing up the net from the water. Each installation has a limited operating depth and a net cannot be repeatedly operated in tidal waters. There are different fishing nets for operation, depending on the state of the tide.

The mechanism of fishing nets Kochi is such that the weight of a man walking along the main beam is sufficient to cause the net to descend into the sea. It's an ingenious fishing technique that allows one single fisherman to operate a 20 meters wide fishing net by himself. The net is allowed to remain underwater for about 4 - 5 minutes before it is raised back by tugging the ropes and fishes are caught in the net that was submerged. This design is so unique, enabling only one person pulling at the main plank to be able to drag it into the sea. Some teak poles have lights on them to attract fish and the fish caught in the net is sold immediately to the locals and tourists. Watching these nets being suspended in mid-air is truly spellbinding experience. The water surface covered with these nets at the time of sunset makes a bewitching and pleasant scene to the spectators. The silhouette against the sunset creates a breathtaking view and this is one of the most photographed sites in Kochi.

To enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of Chinese fishing nets in Kochi contact Indian Visit and plan your trip. Indian Visit is sure to make your trip a memorable one.

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