fort kochi

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fort kochi overview

fort kochi
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Mattancherry, Ernakulam, Kochi (Cochin), Kerala, India
visit duration
Around 3 to 4 hours

about fort kochi

This is the best part of Kochi- Fort Kochi, home to some interesting history, lovely old buildings and streets, and those iconic Chinese nets. Kerala Tourism has brought out a useful walking tour map and guide for it, which you can get at the Tourist Desks. Following are few of the major attractions in the Fort Kochi area.

Chinese fishing nets - The graceful huge, bamboo-and-teak nets are really fixed installations attached to the land. A system of wooden beams, working on a cantilever principle, holds out a huge net some 20m or more across, hanging over the sea. Large stones are suspended from ropes as counterweights at the other end. You can jump aboard to join the fishermen in hauling the net in. Do tip them. Due to pollution, the resultant reduction in fish numbers and the expense of maintaining the nets, only 11 of these nets are left.

Waterfront - Watch the nets in action early morning, take long walks along the Beach Road as the sun sets, sit and watch the ships, sit by the side of some stall and have fresh catch made to your specifications. Grilled fish, fried fish, prawn, lobster

Princess Street and around - Princess Street was perhaps the earliest to be built in Fort Kochi and is lined with colourful European-style buildings. Some have stucco walls and almost all have flowerpot-laden windowsills. The bakeries or the ambience at places like Kashi Art Café enrich the area. Many wonderful old homes like the Koder house, Old courtyard and Old Harbour are now heritage hotels. Peter Celli Street also has many old bungalows.

The churches  - First built by Portuguese Franciscan friars in 1503, the simple St Francis Church on Church Road is said to be India’s oldest European church. Vasco da Gama was buried in this church in 1524, before his remains were moved to Lisbon, Portugal. The giant hall has 17th-century gravestones that have now been affixed to the walls. In contrast to St Francis, Santa Cruz Basilica, also built by the Portuguese, is grand and impressive in an ornate way. Check out the stained glass windows, arches and charming confessional boxes.

Mattancherry Palace - Also called the Dutch Palace, this palace was built by the Portuguese in 1555 as a gift for the Maharaja of Kochi, and renovated by the Dutch in 1663. The name comes from cherry meaning town in old Malayalam, while maad means cow. The palace now houses rare regalia — coronation robes, weaponry, wooden palanquins, maps drawn by the Dutch, oil portraits and some vivid murals. Don’t miss the Ladies’ Chamber below, and the explicit mural of Krishna cavorting with gopis.

Pardesi Synagogue - Don’t miss the 400-year-old Pardesi Synagogue, built in 1568. Its interior is lush with curved brass columns, a carved teak ark, Belgian crystal chandeliers and Torah crowns of gold set with gems. The floor is studded with antique, white-and-blue, hand-painted porcelain tiles from Canton, each with a different weeping willow pattern. The synagogue’s prized possessions are two copper plates with details of privileges granted to the Jews during the reign of Bhaskara Ravi Varman.

Dutch Cemetary - The oldest European cemetery in India, Dutch cemetery is a solemn reminder of the hundreds of Dutch and English soldiers and merchants who lost their lives in their attempt to expand their territory. The cemetery is more than 280 years old and was consecrated in the year 1724. Amongst the 104 tombs, lie the names of some of the eminent Europeans who had a major hand in changing the history of not only Kochi, but of the whole world.

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Fort Kochi traveller reviews

1 Fort Kochi review
Rajnish Kumar
Rajnish Kumar
Mar 28 2014
Most touristy part of Kochi where you can also find the Chinese fishing nets the popular beaches and a cathedral which is another tourist attraction.