Cochin Tourism

Cochin is the natural harbor created by the famed underwater Malabar mud-banks whose quality ensures that the rougher the seas are outside calmer the waters are within the Harbor. Cochin offers all the attractions of Kerala in a concentrated package. Besides Hindu temples, the spirit of the Jews Synagogues, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the English Churches lingers in the narrow streets and the architecture of the house as it does in the fine old Church of St. Francis, where Vasco da Gama, who placed the city on the world map, was buried in 1524. Willington Island is sandwiched between two channels of water that separate it from the busy city of Ernakulam on the east and Cochin on the west. The principal festival is Onam, around the month of August-September. On the final day there are boat races that pitch one village against the other. The men race their beautifully decorated “snake boats” swaying to the rhythmic cries of the cox and urged on by spectators lining the banks. Watch the Chinese Fishing Nets. Evening can be spent watching Kathakali dance performance.

Kochi (Cochin), a natural harbour created by the famed underwater Malabar mu-banks. Its quality ensures that the rougher the seas are outside the calmer the waters are within the harbour. It has rich historical background and fascinating traditional Kathakali dance form. It is also called the spice capital of India. The Chinese, Arabs, British, Dutch and Portuguese helped Kochi to emerge as a bustling centre of commercial activity, connecting the mainland to the rest of the world. Kochi owes a lot to great travelers, scholars and traders like Fa Hien, Vasco da Gama, Sir Robert Bristow under whose supervision Kochi was developed into a major harbour and the Willington Island was created. 
 

 

The backwaters separating Ernakulam from Fort Kochi and Mattanchery are dotted with many small and big islands. A ride through the backwaters is an unforgettable experience. The places of tourist interest in and around Kochi include:-
 
Bolghatty Palace
This Dutch palace is situated on the Bolghatty island. At present it is being used as hotel. The island has a fine golf course and the panoramic view makes it an attractive picnic spot. Frequent boat service is available from the mainland. 
 
Fort Kochi beach
A stroll along the beach, particularly at sunset with the Chinese fishing nets and sailing ships in the background, is a fine experience. Many European style bungalows can be seen along the shoreline.
 
Chinese Fishing Nets
The Chinese fishing nets found here are the only ones of its kind in India. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here.
 
Dutch Palace
The Dutch Palace was originally built by the Portuguese. Later, in 17th century, the Dutch modified it and presented to the Raja of Kochi. Coronations of many Rajas of Kochi were held here. The place has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting the scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana.
 
Hill Palace
Built in the 19th century by Raja of Kochi, the Kochi province was ruled from here. The palace has been converted into a museum displaying a fine collection of articles used by the Rajas of Kochi apart from many archaeological findings.
 
Palliport Fort
It is the oldest European fort built in India.
 
Jewish Synagogue
The synagogue, magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers, was built in 1568. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. It is located near the Dutch Palace.
 
St. Francis Church

It is the oldest church built by European in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that the exact place where he was buried has been marked out inside the church.

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