Fort Cochin Walking Tour – Private Tour - Arrival Cochin, Meet you at the cruise ship terminal, Pick-up at hotel
Free for childrens up to 10 years
The port city of Kochi has a very colorful and rich history. It was formerly known as Cochin and used to serve as an important trading center in the ancient times. The city occupies a very strategic position geographically, being flanked by the Western Ghats on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. This walking tour gives you a glimpse into Cochin’s rich history and heritage, showcasing the mixed Dutch, Portuguese, British and Jewish influences that make the city unique.
Cochin Sightseeing Tour (Twice daily)
1st Tour – 9.30 am to 12.30 pm
2nd Tour – 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm
Places covered: Dutch Palace (Saturday Holiday), Synagogue (Friday & Saturday Holiday), St. Francis Church ,Santa Cruz basilica and Chinese Fishing Nets with Spectacular view of Willington Island, Kochi Harbour and Bolgatty Island
To explore the historic town of Fort Kochi, there is no better choice than setting out on foot. Relax, breathe deep and come out in cotton dresses, soft shoes and yes – a straw hat. At each and every nook of this island steeped in history, there is something amusing awaiting you. It is a world of its own, retaining the specimens of a bygone era and still proud of those days. If you can smell the past, nothing can stop you from walking through these streets.
Walking straight through the K. J. Herschel Road and turning left, you can have a glimpse of Fort Immanuel. This bastion once belonged to the Portuguese and is a symbol of the strategic alliance which existed between the Maharaja of Cochin and the Monarch of Portugal, after whom the fort is named. This fort was built in 1503 and reinforced in 1538. Walking a bit further, you come across the Dutch cemetery. Consecrated in 1724 and managed by the Church of South India, the tomb stones here silently remind visitors of those Europeans who left their homeland to expand their colonial empires.
The next spot to watch is the ancient Thakur House, which stands erect as a concrete specimen of the colonial era. The building is simply graceful. Formerly known as Kunal or Hill Bungalow, it was home to the managers of the National Bank of India during the British rule. Now, it belongs to the Thakur and Company, renowned tea trading firm.
Walk on and there is another colonial structure awaiting you – David Hall. It was built around 1695 by the Dutch East India Company. The hall is associated with Hendrik Adriaan van Reed tot Drakeston, renowned Dutch commander, who is more admired for his monumental book on the flora of Kerala namely Hortus Malabaricus. However, David Hall is named after David Koder, a later occupant of the hall.
Walking past the Parade Ground, the four acres of ground where the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British had once conducted military parades, you reach the St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. It has passed through many phases ever since the Portuguese built it in 1503. Now the church is under the Church of South India. By the way, it was in this church that Vasco-da Gama had been buried and his tombstone can still be seen.
The Church Road is a nice place to walk, with the cool breeze from the Arabian Sea caressing your body. Walk down a bit closer to the sea and there is the Cochin Club, home to an impressive library and collection of sporting trophies. Set in a beautifully landscaped park, the club still retains its British ambience.