Kochi [also known as Cochin] is a jewel in the crown of Kerala with its European heritage and true cosmopolitan temperament. A leisurely walk through its streets is one of the best ways to discover all that the city has to offer – it’s natural harbour and historical sites. A boat ride across the breathtaking blue lagoons and backwaters offers a glimpse of kochi’s rural life and its true beauty.
Places Of Interest
Chinese fishing nets, Fort Kochi Beach
Chinese traders from the court of Kublai Khan are believed to have introduced these huge cantilevered fishing nets in the late14th century. The nets are built of teak wood and bamboo poles. They can best be seen at sunset, on the north end of the promontory, a few metres from Fort Kochi, or from a boat tour of the harbour.Vasco da Gama square just behind the nets is an ideal place to sit and savour the delicious seafood freshly caught in the nets, catered by the stalls here.
The Cochin Club
Formerly known as the English Club, this club stretches majestically between the Fort Cochin Commandant’s house and the ancient Governor’s residence. The club with its high roofs and arch styled windows is housed in a beautifully landscaped park and has an impressive library and a collection of sporting trophies.In the early 19th century when the club was established by the British, admission was restricted to them and men only.
Earlier known as Kunal Bungalow or Hill Bungalow, this graceful building reflects the colonial ambiance of the bygone era. This graceful building reflects the colonial ambience of the bygone era. It was built on the land of the sea facing Gelderland Bastion, one of the seven bastions of the old Dutch fort in the late 1700s. It was home of the managers of the National Bank of India during the British reign. The present owners of the Thakur house is the tax trading firm Ram Bahadur Thakur and Company. The building has large rooms with wooden floors and bay windows, tables and shelves adorned by sparkling crystal and earthen pottery, and ancient glass lamps hang from the roof beam. The Bungalow has a beautiful view of the Arabian Sea stretching away to the horizon.
Old Harbor House
This elegant old bungalow built in 1808 is in the possession of Carrit Moran & Co, renowned tea brokers, who now use it as their residence. The house was once a boat club.
Pierce Leslie Bungalow
Founded in 1862, this elegant colonial mansion was the office of the coffee merchants, the Pierce Leslie and Company. The structure is a blend of Portuguese, Dutch and the native building style. The mansion has arched doorways, wood panels on the roof of the ground floor, carved doors, sprawling rooms and waterfront verandahs.
This fort built by the Portuguese in Kochi was a symbol of the important alliance between the Maharajah of Kochi and Manuel I, the monarch of Portugal. It was named after Manuel I, who was a great patron of art and exploration. Built in 1503, the fort was reinforced in 1538. By the early 19th century, the Dutch had partly destroyed it. Later, the British pounded down most of the fort walls and its bastions. Now, only a part of the remains of this once imposing structure can be seen along the beach.
The large wooden gate facing the Parade Ground, with the monogram (VOC) of the once mighty Dutch East India Company carved on it, was built in 1740.
The Dutch Cemetery
The tombstones here are the most authentic record of the hundreds of Europeans who left their homeland in a mission to expand their colonial empires and who changed the course of history of the land they conquered. The cemetery was consecrated in 1724 and is today managed by Church of South India.
Santa Cruz Basilica
This church was built by the Portuguese and elevated to a Cathedral by Pope IV in 1558. In 1795 it fell into the hands of the British when they took over Cochin and it was demolished. Over 100 years later, Bishop Ferreira commissioned a new building at the same site in 1887. Pope John Paul II proclaimed it a Basilica in 1984.
This street located in Fort Kochi has European-style bungalows and houses. Loafer’s Corner, a popular hangout of the area, gives the best view of this quaint street. Some people here might even allow you to take a look inside the house.
St Francis Church
Built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan fathers, this is India’s oldest European church. This was initially built of timber and later reconstructed in stone. It was restored in 1779 by the Protestant Dutch, converted to an Anglican church by the British in 1795 and is at present governed by the Church of South India. Vasco da Gama was buried here in 1524 before his mortal remains were moved to Lisbon, Portugal. The tombstone still stands within the churcha.
Jewish Synagogue at Mattancherry
This imposing structure was built in 1568 when the Jews settled in Mattancherry. Ezekiel Rahabi built a clock tower near the synagogue 40 years later. The floor of the synagogue is paved with with 18th century hand-painted willow-pattern tiles from China. The most important relics here are the impressive copper plates recording King Bhaskara Ravi Varma’s 4th century decree that guaranteed the Jewish settlers’ domain over Cranganore (Kodungalur) as well as the Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, and the great scrolls of the Old Testament.
Kerala Tour package with Fort cochin
Cochin – Muuar – Madurai – Periyar – Houseboat – Marrai beach – Cochin/ Kovalam