Cochin, Tourist Attractions in Cochin, Cochin Tour
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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, Mattancherry Palace.

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.

Chinese Fishing Nets, Cochin
Mattancherry Palace
Mattancherry palace, Cochin

Mattancherry Palace was built by the Portuguese for the Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi in 1555 at Mattancherry. 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 a Basilica in 1984 by Pope John Paul II.

Santa Cruz Cathedral, Cochin
St. Francis Church

St. Francis Church, Cochin

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.

Jewish Synagogue

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 bas blue willow patterned tiles which were brought in the 18th century from the Canton in China. In the synagogue are the carefully preserved land deeds, inscribed on copper plates and Hebrew inscription on stone slabs.

Jewish Synagogue, Cochin

Bolghatty Palace
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, a marvelous place to stay with a small golf course and special honeymoon cottages.

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 area.

Cherai Beach

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
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
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.

Koder House
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 coloured brick like facade, carved wood furniture and a wooden bridge connecting to a separate structure across the street are all unique to this bungalow.

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