Kerala’s prime tourist destination, it spreads across islands and promontories in a stunning location between the Arabian Sea and Backwaters. Its main sections: modern Ernakulam in the east and the old districts of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin on a peninsula in the west are linked by a complex system of ferries.
Prime Attractions of Kochi (Cochin):
Dutch Palace : Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi (Cochin), the palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. On display here are beautiful Murals depicting scenes from the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata and some of the puranic Hindu legends. The palace is open for public viewing from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. all week days except Fridays.
Koonan Kurishu : Koonan Kurishu is much-storied granite cross and a witness to the historic occasion during the seventeenth century when the split in the Christian community of Kerala became public and irrevocable. Koonan Kurishu Shrine which is a small chapel, Jewish Synagogue which has a number of copper plates inscribed in the Hebrew script.
St. Francis Church : Built in 1503 by Portuguese Francisan Friars, this is India’s oldest European church. It was restored in 1779 by the protestant Dutch, converted to an Anglican Church by the British in 1795, and is presently used by the church of South India. Vasco da Gama’s remains were buried here in 1524 and later moved to Lisbon, Portugal but his tombstone still remains.
Bolghatty Palace : A Scenic island near the city of Ernakulam, Bolghatty is famous for the Bolghatty Palace built by the Dutch in 1744 AD. This palace, once the residence of the British resident of Cochin, is now a KTDC (Kerala Tourism Development Corporation) hotel.
Chinese Fishing Nets : These huge cantilevered fishing nets were brought here by traders from the court of Kublai Khan.
Willingdon Island : Named after Lord Willingdon, a British viceroy to India, this man-made island is surrounded by beautiful backwaters. The island is the site of the city’s best hotels, customs and trading centres, the port trust and the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command.
Jewish Synagogue : Constructed in 1568, this is the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth. Destroyed in a shelling during the Portuguese raid in 1662, it was rebuilt two years later by the Dutch. Well known for mid-18th century hand printed willow pattern floor tiles from Canton in China, a dock tower, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, ancient scripts.