Kochi is rewarded as the top trending destination across the world in 2020 by TripAdvisor, the world leading travel platform. Fort Kochi is known for the beaches and historic monuments.
Fort Kochi is simply another world. It has genuine historic samples that were left behind by the Portuguese, the Jews, the Dutch and the British. A walk through the streets of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry will make you believe that you are in another country.
Kochi is a potpourri of various native as well as international ethnic communities. Syrian Christians were the first to reach the place, followed by the Jews, the Arabs and the Europeans. Over the centuries, this influx of cultures has left its marks in the place and it is literally a cultural museum in itself.
Heritage and Culture:
Fort Kochi and Mattancherry are best to explore on foot as each nook and corner holds something special for a tourist. There are some must- sees in this place that should never be missed on any account.
St Francis Church:
Built in 1503 by the Portuguese, St Francis church is considered to be the very first European Church in India. It is also famed as the first resting place of Vasco-da-Gama in 1524, before his remains were moved to Lisbon 14 years later. In 1804, this church was handed over to the Anglican community by the Dutch. The church holds many historical wonders including the mechanical fans that were operated by hands in its time.
Chinese Fishing Nets:
The Chinese fishing nets are Kochi’s most recognizable sight. It is present in its place from 14th century and is still in use today. For a small fee, the fishermen will show you how these operate and give you a chance to check out for yourself. Sunset is the best time of the day to visit the place, especially for those who love photography. The sea, the orange setting sun and the Chinese net make a beautiful view to be savoured.
Also known as the Dutch Palace, it is a mix of Dutch as well as native architecture. It houses Kerala murals, temple arts and exhibits of Rajas of Kochi. There is also a temple attached to the palace.
Temples of Mattanchery:
For those who love to walk, Mattanchery is the place for you. The little town is riddled with temples in every nook and corner of it. There are temples of Punjabis, Gujaratis, Konkinis, and many other ethnic groups. The streets and roads are relatively free and your walk may be interrupted only by an occasional auto rickshaw or a car. It is best to start your walk by 3 in the afternoon and you can round up seeing the whole place in a couple of hours.
Jewish Synagogue and Jew Town:
The Jewish in the Jew Town in Mattanchery are considered to be the oldest Jewish settlers in India and they are said to have immigrated in the 12th century. There are no more than 13 left in the place now, as most of them have migrated back to Israel. They were known as Paradesis or Malabar Yehudans and built their place of worship in the Jew town in 1568. This Jewish synagogue is considered to be one of the seven synagogues of the Malabar Yehudans in the old Kingdom of Cochin.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica:
Originally built by the Portuguese, the Santa Cruz church was elevated to the status of a Basilica by Pope Paul IV in 1558. It is counted in as one of the eight Basilicas in India. The church’s artistic and architectural grandeur along with the colours of gothic style make it a place worth visit.
Fort Kochi Beach:
Beautiful during the early morning and in the evening, the beach at Fort Kochi is as romantic as it can get. The waves are comparatively calmer and it is the perfect spot for a swim. It is a romantic spot to take a walk holding hands with your loved one or one can simply plop on the sand, open a book and be blissfully lost.
The Fort Kochi culture:
When in Kochi, never miss the younger essences of the place. The cafe culture is growing steadily here and it is hard to walk a street without inhaling the whiff of coffee.
Never miss out on the famous Kashi Art Cafe in Burgher Street which showcases a small art gallery by local artists. Another favourite place for coffee is the Teapot at Peter Celli where you can see 100 different types of teapots as you savour a cup of coffee.
Another attraction is the Princess Street where an amalgamation of new and old times can be seen. It is the perfect place for cafes, restaurants, bookstores, tea shops, art galleries, and souvenirs. It's one of the oldest streets in Fort Kochi and has become the main tourist attraction.
In case, you are looking for local flavours the first place to visit is the Kayees Biriyani Shop in Mattanchery. Their mutton biriyani is much famed and many flock even from far off to have a taste. Dal Roti on Lilly street is another favourite restaurant for those who want to munch on Kati rolls and sip delicious lassi.
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