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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What are the popular religious attractions in Kochi?

Vineet Sharma DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Kochi is a beautiful land that is home to people from various religions living here since centuries. The city shelters historic religious places that are highly revered by not just by the people from respective religious community but everyone. The following are the most famous religious places in Kochi:  

  • Poornathrayeesa Temple

    Located at Tripunithura, this majestic temple lies at a distance of about 10 km to the southeast of Ernakulam. The Poornathrayeesa Temple is said to have been built Arjuna, the brave Pandava of the legendary Indian epic Mahabharata. Tripunithura is dotted with a number of temples, hence often called ‘land of temples’ and the Poornathrayeesa temple is one of the most famous among them. The temple is dedicated to Lord Sree Poornathrayeesa i.e Lord Vishnu.

    The annual festivals in the temple are what make it so popular among Hindus in Kerala. Main festival celebrated here is the
    Vrishchikoltsawam. It takes place in the month of November/December. A huge procession of decorated elephants is paraded out on the fourth day of the festival and a golden pot is kept on a raised platform. It is believed that if you make offerings here, you will have loads of good luck in return. Athachamayam is amother famous festival celebrated here. It is held during the harvest festival of Kerala - Onam. Lively processions and traditional music and dance like Pulikkali are performed.

    During the celebration of both these festivals, people from all across Kerala and outside folks to the city to pay a visit to the temple.  

  • Santa Cruz Cathedral

    This 500 year old church in Kochi is one of the eight Basilicas in the country. It is the oldest church in India and one of the significant heritage edifices in Kerala. It is built in gothic style with artistic and architectural brilliance.

    Pope John Paul IV has endowed the Santa Cruz Basilica in Kochi the status of being a cathedral. This chronicled church was built by the Portuguese, who invaded India in the 15th century. Later when the Dutch conquerors started demolishing all the catholic churches in Kochi, this one was fortunately spared by them. This fascinating church has been preserved over the years and is today a monument that has witnessed centuries of history of the state.

    Timings: 7am to 8pm daily.

  • St Francis Church

    It is the oldest church built by Europeans in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the renowned Portuguese explorer, reached India from Europe, fell ill and took his last breath in Kochi. He was buried in this church. Though his remains were taken back to Portugal later on, his burial spot is still clearly marked out inside the church.

    Timings: 7am to 7pm

  • Jewish Synagogue

    Built in 1568 AD, this fabulous Jewish Synagogue or the Paradesi Synagogue is the oldest synagogues in the Commonwealth of Nations located in Kochi. The Malabar Yehudan people or Cochin Jewish community in the Kingdom of Cochin, has built this marvel of a synagogue that speaks volume about the Jewish influence India had in the 15th century.

    The architecture of this Jewish Synagogue in Kochi is another thing that makes it stand out. It is wrapped with painted Chinese tiles of which none resembles the other. In the mid-18th century, the huge clock tower that you can see today was attached to the main building of the synagogue. The interior is adorned with Belgian chandeliers and exquisite lighting.  

    The synagogue has sustained some old copper plates that have souvenirs and records of the privileges bestowed upon the
    Rajahs of Kochi, along with rolls of the Old Testament,. You will also see beautifully carved silver and golden crowns here.
    This place is a heaven for people interested in history and even if you are not this place will not fail in getting your appreciation anyway.

    Timings: Sunday to Friday, open for all visitors from 10am to 5pm. Saturday only open to Jews.

  • St George Ferona Church

    10 kilometre away from Kochi and located in Edappally, St George Ferona Church is a Roman Catholic Church which was built in 594 AD. The King of Edappally donated the part of the land specially for constructing this church. St George Ferona is counted amongst the oldest churches of Kerala.

    For nine days every year the St George Ferona Church festival is celebrated here which is popular both among Christians and non-Christians of the city. This festival begins on the
    23rd of April with a solemn High Mass and Litany. With each passing nine days the festive vibes spreads and rises. The parishioners accompany the devotees in taking the festival gusto to its optimum. On 4th of May, the idol of the God is brought out for a grand procession and the pilgrims throw puri and betel leaves as offerings.

    If you happen to be in the city during these days the festival is worth a visit.  

  • St Mary's Church

    Located on a little islet, Vallarpadam in Kochi St Mary’s Church is a highly revered church in Kochi. The church has the famous Blessed Virgin Mary’s picture. This picture was installed by the Portuguese missionaries, which they brought from their native land. Legend has it that on the same spot use to exist another church known as the Church of the Holy Spirit. However, being destroyed after the flood in 17th century this church dedicated to mother Mary was built here.

These sacred places will offer you moments of serenity and peace. These places must be visited by anyone who visits the city, whether you are a spiritual person or a history buff or just a person looking for peace of mind.

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