Cochin

Cochin, one of the finest natural harbors on the Arabian Sea coast, Kochi, earlier known as Cochin, has been a port of all for foreign traders from early times. Its cosmopolitan character is reflected in the buildings and structures representing different regions of the world. A city of peninsulas and islands, today it is Kerala’s commercial hub. CHINESE FISHING NETS at the entrance of Cochin harbor are a fascinating sight. BOLGATTY ISLAND houses BOLGATTY PALACE, built by the Dutch in 1774, which is former residence of the British Resident of Kochi.

 

Highlights

Bolgatty Palace

This old Dutch palace is located on Bolgatty Island which is a brief boat ride away from the mainland. In fact, boat rides are available at regular intervals all day long. This building may have been a royal palace in the past, but in modern times it has been converted into a very good quality hotel. It is now run by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) and there is a tiny golf course located in vicinity.

There are also panoramic views of the port and the harbor from almost any vantage point on the island. The breathtaking views make the Bolgatty Palace a popular picnic spot as well.

 

Greenix Village

Located a distance of around 8 km from Ernakulum town is the Greenix Village, a cultural art centre which aim at promoting various art forms of Kerala under a single roof. Kathakali, the famous dance drama of Kerala is performed every evening at Greenix Village. Other programs such as Kalaripayattu (a martial art form), audio-visual history at the in-house museum and classical Indian music are also conducted every evening at the centre. Every morning, the centre also conducts yoga training. There is also an art gallery restaurant, a

curio shop, book shop and rooms for those who like to stay and interested in researching as well as learning the art form of Kerala. It is a great place to experience the culture and tradition of Kerala.

 

Jewish Synagogue

The Jewish synagogue built in Jew Town in 1568 is a beautiful structure. This place of worship attracts numerous visitors every year because of its impressive furnishings. There are splendid Chinese tiles and impressive Belgian chandeliers that have been used to decorate throughout the entire synagogue.
On top of the exquisite decorations in the synagogue, giant scrolls of the Old Testament can

be found here. Even though it seems a little unusual for a Jewish place of worship to be found in India, Jews actually started to live in the area beginning in around 700BC. This particular Jewish synagogue can be found near the Dutch Palace in Mattancherry.

 

Kaladi

The city of Kaladi is located in the region around Kochi. This small city is the birthplace of the famous Hindu philosopher Sri Adi Shankaracharya. He lived in the 8th century AD. On his travels throughout India, he spent his time debating with scholars and spreading his theory of monotheism or Advaita. The Adi Sankara shrine and the 8-story painted Adi Sankara Keerthi Sthambam are popular sites to visit in the area. The location of Adi Sankara shrine is on the bank of the river Periyar. Samadhi of the mother of Aryamaba, Shankaracharya is also

enclosed in the temple. The location where young Sankara was held by a crocodile on the river bank can also be seen in the vicinity. Sankaracharya's story is told with the help of paintings found on the walls inside at the monument of Adi Sankara Keerthi Sthambam.

 

Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace)

The Mattancherry Palace is a beautiful palace that was originally built by the Portuguese. It was only during the 17th century that the Dutch took it over, modified it and then presented it to the Raja of Kochi. Because it was gifted by the Dutch hence it started being referred as the Dutch Palace. The coronations of many Rajas of Kochi were held here throughout the years.
The main attractions here are the outstanding collection of mural paintings found inside. These murals beautifully depict scenes from the Hindu epics of Mahabharata and

Ramayana. The paintings are colorful and artistic in their representation and are truly remarkable to look at.

 

Fort Kochi

Fort Kochi is a small village located near the large city of Kochi. There are picturesque beaches along this part of the coast line. Scattered throughout the beaches are many famous Chinese fishing nets as well as many sailing ships. The effect created by such fishing necessities is quaint and relaxing.
Many European style bungalows can be seen along the shoreline, since this location was where the first European settlement in India was located. This particular stretch of the coast

also contains numerous small stalls which sell delicious traditional cuisines using freshly caught fish right on demand.

 

St Francis Church

The St. Francis Church is the oldest church in India to have been built by the Europeans. The famous Portuguese trader Vasco da Gama is well known for reaching India from Europe by sea instead of by the usual overland route. The church is famous for being the initial burial place for Vasco da Gama.
Later his remains were eventually taken back to Lisbon in Portugal. In spite of that, his burial spot inside the church has been clearly marked out and many people still visit this church to see this marked spot.

 

Sunset Cruise

Kochi, an idyllic retreat on the Arabian Sea has a lot to offer. While visiting the place one should not miss the sunset cruise journey. Starting from the Marine Drive in Kochi, the non-stop boat rides during the time of sunset takes you to see around the spectacular Fort Kochi, Chinese fishing nets, Mattancherry, Bolgatty Island, Willingdon Island and the Cochin shipyard.

   
 

Hotel in Cochin

 
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