wanderfirst

Charming Old Streets of Fort Kochi!

A Port, Beach, Old Streets, Beautiful Churches, Vintage Tea and  Coffee shops, High-end shopping centres, Backwaters, and small boat rides- experience it all at Kochi, a metropolis that has still retained its classic charm. This place has been an important port and a centre of maritime trade of spices with the Arabs. It was also the first colony of the Portuguese. Portuguese navigator, Pedro Álvares Cabral founded the first European settlement in India at Kochi in 1500 Later the Dutch and British too made it their important centre. It’s a place where different cultures have left their impressions on the lifestyle of Kochi. The food, architecture and music of Kochini people is a beautiful synchronisation of all these cultures. Take a short trail of Fort Kochi to see this perfect synchronisation of different cultures.

This fort was constructed by the Portuguese in 1503 when the Rajah of Kochi gifted them the land and permitted to construct a small fortress as a gift after Alfonso De Albuquerque helped the Rajah in a fight against the Saamoothiri of Kozhikode. Fort Kochi is an important landmark that you should not miss.

Your short day trail to Fort Kochi will be a gateway to time travel to history, enjoy nature and relish some delicious eat bits.

St. Francis Church,  Kochi: 

This Church was originally built in the year 1503, but it has been repeatedly renovated.This small church is also considered as one of the oldest Christian Churches in India. It also housed the body of Vasco Da Gama, the  Portuguese traveller who set onto to exploring India until it was moved to Lisbon, Portugal.

Mattancherry Palace (The Dutch Palace)

This palace built by the Portuguese is a typical elite class Mansion with architectural styles of Portuguese and Kerala. It was later renovated and occupied by the Dutch hence the popular name. The Palace is situated on a scenic background of backwaters. It is a must visit to see the royal collection of weapons, furniture and murals.

Pierce Leslie Bungalow

a charming mansion was the office of Pierce Leslie & Co., coffee merchants, founded in 1862. It’s a beautiful mansion that shall teleport you back in time. It’s a place that defines class and elegance.

Sant Cruz Cathedral Basilica

 

This Church was constructed by the Portuguese was elevated to be a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558 elevated as a Basilica by the Pope John Paul II in 1984. Constructed in the typical Gothic style of architecture this is one of the beautiful and grand edifices of Kochi. Visit this Church to experience its beautiful interiors and spirituality.

Pardesi Synagogue 

Interior of the Pardesi Synagogue.
source: Wikimedia Commons

 

The synagogue is a prayer house of the Jews (Yahudi). This synagogue is one of the oldest and active ones. It was constructed in 1567 by the Malabari Yehuden or The Malabari Jews who were very much active in the Spice Trade. Pardesi literally means a foreigner in Indian languages, hence the name for the Synogauge.

Pardesi Synagogue

Many people visit this place for the collection of rare antiquities that it possesses.  Some of which includes- scrolls of the law, Belgian glass chandeliers, 1oth century copper inscription given to Joseph Rabban, the earliest known Cochin Jew in Tamil, Another inscription in Hebrew, Oriental rug.

Chinese Fishing Nets

Chinese Fishing Nets, Kochi

These huge fishing nets today have become an identity of Kochi. Did you know these nets are around 500-600 years old?

These nets are also called Cheenavala in Malayalam. They were probably introduced in Kochi by Chinese explorer Zheng He, from the court of the Kubla Khan. The fishing net established itself on the Kochi shore between 1350 and 1450 AD.

Early morning or late evening is the best time to see local fishermen fishing in these waters. Using these nets is a tough skill that very few master. These nets against the beautiful background of sea and sun are breathtakingly beautiful.

Streets 

On your Fort Kochi trail, you will walk through many different old streets like Church Road, Princess Street, K. J. Herschel Road and small squares and corner, each has their own beauty and speciality. These paths have frozen time in their colonial houses and shops. Walk, Observe, Understand, Eat, Talk, Click, Buy on these streets. You will not go back without a heart full of happiness and memories.

P.S: If you are an old school person who loves the elegance of vintage eras. This is the place you ought to add to your #Wanderlist.

 

To experience Kochi beyond regular join us for the #NehruTrophyBoatRaceTour to be held on 11,12,13th August. Brochures for the tour will be out soon. Keep checking our profiles and book your seats asap. (limited seats). Visit www.facebook.com/wander1st  for more details.