Tourist Attractions in Cochin
Tourist Attractions in Cochin
The main tourist attractions in Cochin are Willingdon Island,
Jewish Synagogue, St. Francis Church, Santa Cruz Cathedral, Bolghatty Palace, Chinese fishing nets, Hill Palace Museum,
Chinese Fishing Nets
The Chinese fishing nets are located along the shore in the
Fort Cochin area. These huge cantilevered fishing nets are the
legacy of one of the first visitors to the Malabar coast.
These fishing nets were erected here by the traders from the
court of Kublai Khan between 1350 and 1450 AD. These nets were
set up on the teak wood and bamboo poles. The best place to
watch the nets being lowered into the sea and catch being
brought in is the Vasco da Gama square.
Mattancherry Palace or Dutch Palace was built by the
Portuguese in 1557 and presented to the Raja Veera
Kerala Varma of Kochi. The palace was later renovated in
1663 by the Dutch and came to be known as Dutch Palace.
It has a large central courtyard and a temple. In some
of the rooms there are beautiful murals which depict
scenes from the epics Ramayana
and Mahabharata and old Hindu legends. The
little museum at the palace has a collection of costumes,
palanquins, Dutch maps of old Kochi, and period furniture.
Santa Cruz Cathedral
Santa Cruz Cathedral was built by the Portuguese and elevated
to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. This church is one of
the colourful church in the Fort Cochin area and has some
beautiful paintings on the ceiling of the church. In 1795,
this church fell in the hands of the British when they took
over Kochi, and was demolished. About a hundred years later
bishop Dom Gomez Ferreira commissioned a new building at the
same site in 1887. The church was proclaimed as a Basilica in
1984 by Pope John Paul II.
St. Francis Church
St. Francis Church is located at the Fort Cochin. This
church is one of the India's oldest European church.
This church was established by the Portuguese Franciscan
friars in 1503. This church was restored in 1779 by the
Protestant Dutch and thus became a Protestant church.
Later in 1795 this
church was converted into an Anglican church by
the British. Now this church is used by the Church of South
India. In 1524, the remains of the Vasco da Gama was buried in
the churchyard of this church and later moved to Lisbon,
Portugal. His tombstone still remains in the church.
The Jewish Synagogue is located very close to the Bolghatty
Palace. This synagogue was built in 1568 and is the oldest
synagogue in the subcontinent. This church was destroyed in a
shelling during the Portuguese raid in 1662, and was rebuilt
two years later by the Dutch. This simple building at the end
of a narrow lane has a marvelously rich interior. There are
clusters of coloured glass lamps hanging from the ceiling and
the floor has 18th century hand printed, willow pattern tiles
which were brought from the Canton in China. In the synagogue
are the clock tower, carefully preserved land deeds inscribed
on copper plates and Hebrew inscription on stone slabs.
Bolghatty Island is famous for the Bolghatty Palace. Bolghatty
Palace is located on the tiny Bolghatty Island amidst shady
flowering trees. This simple and elegant palace was built in
1744 by the Dutch, and was later taken over by the British.
This palace is now converted into hotel, and a marvelous place
to stay with a small golf course and special honeymoon
Loafer's Corner / Princess Street
One of the earliest streets to be constructed in Fort Kochi,
Princess Street with its European style residences still
retain its old world charm. The best view of this quaint
street can be had from Loafer's corner, the traditional
meeting place and hangout of the jovial fun loving people of
The Cherai beach is the lovely beach which border Vypeen
island. This beach is ideal for swimming. Dolphins can be seen
occasionally at this beach. A typical Kerala village with
paddy fields and coconut groves nearby is an added attraction
of this beach.
Vasco House is believed to have been the residence of Vasco da
Gama. This is one of the oldest Portuguese residences in Fort
Kochi and built in the early sixteenth century. The Vasco
House supports the typical European glass paned windows and
balcony cum verandahs characteristic of the times.
Willingdon island was named after Lord Willingdon, a British
Viceroy to India. This man-made island is surrounded by
beautiful backwaters. The island houses the city’s best hotels
and trading centres, the port trust and the headquarters of
the Southern Naval command.
Pierce Leslie Bungalow
This charming mansion was the office of Pierce Leslie & Co.,
coffee merchants, founded in the 1862. A representative of the
Fort Kochi colonial bungalow, this building reflects
Portuguese, Dutch and local influences. Characteristic
features are wood panels that form the roof of the ground
floor, arched doorways, carved doors and sprawling rooms.
Waterfront verandahs are an added attraction.
This magnificent building constructed by Samuel S. Koder of
The Cochin Electric Company in 1808 is a supreme example of
the transition from colonial to Indo-European architecture.
Features like verandah seats at the entrance, floor tiles set
in a chess board pattern, red color brick like facade,
carved wood furniture and a wooden bridge connecting to a
separate structure across the street are all unique to this