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kochi, Cochin, kumarakom - Kerala-India
Kochi was an obscure
fishing village that became the first European township in India. The
town was shaped by the Portuguese, the Dutch and later the British. The
result of these cultural influences are seen in the many examples of Indo
European architecture that still exist here. Some of the well known tourist
attractions in Kochi are
The Old Fort, Kochi / Cochin
Vasco da Gama, whose arrival in Kerala about 500 years ago opened up a
new era of trade between India and Europe, died in Fort Kochi on Christmas
eve in 1524. The house where he died is a huge Portuguese-style mansion
on Rose Street, which stands close to the St. Francis Church, the first
European church in India. In accordance with his last wishes, da Gama's
remains were unearthed and send to Lisbon, Portugal, and reburied there
Chinese Fishing Nets/Vasco da Gama Square
These huge cantilevered fishing nets are the legacy of one of the first
visitors to the Malabar Coast, these nets are set up on teak wood and
Pierce Leslie Bungalow
This charming mansion was the office of Pierce Leslie & Co., coffee
merchants, founded in 1862.
Old Harbour House
This elegant old bungalow built in 1808 is in the possession of Carrit
Moran & Co., renowned tea brokers, who now use it as their residence.
The house was once a boat club.
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.
Once a warehouse, this heritage bungalow built in 1808, houses a high
St. Francis Church
Built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan friars, this is India's oldest
European church. This was initially built of timber and later reconstructed
in stone masonry.
Santa Cruz Basilica
This historic church was built by the Portuguese and elevated to a Cathedral
by Pope Paul IV in 1558.
Loafer's Corner/Princess Street
One of the earliest streets to be constructed in Fort Kochi, Princess
Street with its European style residences still retains its old world
Vasco House: Believed to have
been the residence of Vasco da Gama, this is one of the oldest Portuguese
residences in Fort Kochi. Built in the early sixteenth century, Vasco
House sports the typical European glass paned windows and balcony cum
verandahs characteristic of the times.
VOC Gate: The large wooden
gate facing the Parade Ground, with the monogram (VOC) of the once mighty
Dutch East India Company carved on it, was built in 1740.
Parade Ground: The four acre
Parade Ground was where once the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British
colonists conducted their military parades and drills.
The Dutch Cemetery: The tomb
stones here are the most authentic record of the hundreds of Europeans
who left their homeland on a mission to expand their colonial empires
and changed the course of history of this land. The cemetery was consecrated
in 1724 and is today managed by the Church of South India.
Thakur House: This graceful
building holds within itself a reflection of the colonial era. The Bungalow
was built on the site of the Gelderland Bastion, one of the seven bastions
of the old Dutch fort.
David Hall: Though built around
1695 by the Dutch East India Company, David Hall gets its name from one
of its later occupants, David Koder, a Jewish businessman.
The Cochin Club: The club,
with its impressive library and collection of sporting trophies, is housed
in a beautifully landscaped park.
Bastion Bungalow: Built in
the Indo-European style way back in 1667, the Bungalow gets its name from
its location on the site of the Stromberg Bastion of the old Dutch fort.
Mattancherry Palace (Dutch
Palace) (Open 1000 - 1700 hrs. Closed on Fridays): Built by the Portuguese
in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi, the palace
was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch.
Synagogue (Open 1000 - 1200
hrs; 1500 -1700 hrs. Closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays): Constructed
in 1568, this is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth.
Jew Town: The area around
the Synagogue is a centre of spice trade and curio shops.
Cherai Beach: This lovely
beach bordering Vypeen island is ideal for swimming. Dolphins are occasionally
seen here. A typical Kerala village with paddy fields and coconut groves
nearby is an added attraction.
Kumarakom located 16
km away from Kottayam town, is one of well known tourist destination in
Kerala. An enchanting backwater destination, Kumarakom offers visitors
many other leisure options. Boating and fishing facilities are available
at the Tourist retreats in Kumarakom. The village of Kumarakom is a cluster
of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and is part of the Kuttanad region.
The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres is a favorite
haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Egrets, darters,
herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the
Siberian stork that live here in flocks are a fascination for visitors.
The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip
round the islands.
Attractions and Places:
Map of Kerala
Kerala India Tour Packages
7 Days / 6 Nights
Cochin / Munnar / Periyar / Kumarakom
Hotel Brunton Boatyard - Fort Cochin
Online discounted reservation and booking service for star hotels in Kerala and South
India. Kerala tourism service for visitors who want to experience more
of Kerala's culture, people, wildlife, history, Ayurveda, Yoga, Houseboats,
Backwaters, Hotels and Holidays.