An all time tourist favourite, Kochi is the commercial capital of Kerala. It has to offer palaces, forts, beaches, backwaters, old churches, snakes boat races, Kathakali, museums and the convenience of the big city.
Kochi is just about the center of Kerala. It is basically a collection of islands and narrow peninsulas. Ernakulam is the commercial center and forms the mainland. The two main railway stations and the bus stands are located here. Fort Kochi & Mattachery, form an elongated island west of Ernakulam. Willingdon island which houses the Airport, Port & Naval base lies between Ernakulam & FortKochi. Jos junction in Ernakulam is considered as the nerve center of the city.
FortKochi(13 km from Jos Jn): Fort Kochi has probably the best preserved history of the colonial times. Its culture and architectural styles used in its various Churches, Bungalows and Forts reflect the bygone era. The best way to see Fort Kochi is either walking or cycling
Chinese fishing nets :
A legacy of one of the earliest visitor to the Malabar coast, these nets are unmistakable as one enters the harbour. Records show that they were first erected between A.D 1350 and 1450. Constructed out of Teak wood and Bamboo poles, they work on the principle of balance. The best place to watch is from Vasco Da Gama square, a narrow promenade that parallels the beach with little stalls that serve fresh seafood, tender coconuts and so on.
Old harbour house :
Built in 1808 and once as a boat club, this elegant bungalow now belongs to Carrit Moran & Co., a vintage tea broking firm that initially had it's office on the ground floor, but now uses it entirely as a residence.
Koder house :
This imposing building with red colored brick-like facade, represents the transaction from the colonial to the Indo-European period. It was built in 1808 by Samuel S. Koder of the Cochin Electric Company Unique features include verandah seat at the entrance, interior floor tiles set in a chessboard pattern, a collection of wood carved furniture and a quaint wooden bridge running parallel over Rose lane on to a separate structure across the street. The house is at present occupied by the family of Mr. Satu Koder, regarded as the patriarch of Cochin's ancient Jewish Community
Santa cruz basilica :
Built by the Portuguese, the church was elevated to a Cathedral by the Pope Paul IV in 1558. Spared by the Dutch conqueror of Cochin who destroyed many Catholic buildings in 1663, it later fell into the hands of the British who demolished it when they took over Cochin in 1795. For almost a 100 years there was no church on the site, until the Bishop Dom Gomez Vereira commissioned a new building in 1887. Consecrated in 1905, Santa Cruz was proclaimed a Basilica by the Pope John Paul II in 1984
Vasco house :
Along Rose Street stands Vasco House, one of the oldest Portuguese houses in Fort Cochin built in the first half of the 16 th century. Though never fully authenticated, it is believed to have been the residence of Vasco Da Gama. The straight lines of the balcony-cum-verandah with a series of typical European glass-paned windows, are typical area's architecture.
VOC Gate :
Past Vasco House and facing the Parade Ground is a large wooden gate with the initials VOC carved on to it representing the monogram of the once mighty Dutch East India company which had it's office here for almost 150 years. The inscription also indicates that it was built in the year 1740.
Bishop's house :
Standing on gentle hillock near the Parade ground the bishop's house has a circular garden path running up to the main entrance whose front is characterized up to by large Gothic arches. Originally built in 1506 as the residence of the Portuguese Governor, the Dutch occupied it in 1663. At the conquest of Cochin by the British in 1795, it came into the possession of the Vernedes family, from whom it was acquired by Dom Jos Gomez Ferreira, the 27 th Bishop of the Diocese of Cochin, whose jurisdiction ran over Burma, Malaya and Ceylon, in addition to the whole of southern and eastern India. There is a small collection of antiques and the other historic materials preserved here.
The Dutch Cemetery Consecrated in 1724 and now managed by the church of South India, the inscriptions found here are some of the most authentic reminders of the countless men and women who left their European houses behind to play their roles on the colonial canvas of 17th, 18th and 19th century.
St. Francis Church :
Considered India's oldest European church, St Francis was originally roman Catholic during the Portuguese period from 1503 to 1663, Dutch reform from 1644 to 1804, and Anglican from 1804 to 1947. Today it is governed by the Church of South India. The building was originally constructed out of timber and later reconstructed in stone masonry during the 16th century. Vasco Da Gama who died in Cochin in 1524 was buried here before his remains were returned to Portugal 14 years later.
Fort Kochi Beach :
Fort Kochi Carnival on the new years eve is a colourful festival, not to be missed.