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  Cochin : -
 

Cochin is the oldest European settlement in India, the history of European involvement in Cochin from the early 1500s onward is dominated by aggression of Portuguese, Dutch and British who successively competed to control the port and its lucrative spice trade. Layered impressions - Chinese, Arab, Jewish, are contained within its environment. Giant Chinese fishing nets that billow from massive teak and bamboo poles dot the entrance to the harbour. Silhouetted against the setting sun, they present a magnificent sight at the waterfront. Kochi is arguably the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala, rated in the top three tourist destinations by the World Travel & Tourism Council and featured in National Geographic Traveler's '50 greatest places of a lifetime'.

The eventful history of this city began when a major flood in AD 1341 threw open the estuary at Kochi, till then a land locked region, turning it into one of the finest natural harbours in the world. Its main Sections - Modern Ernakulam and the historical town of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry. Spice market, Chinese fishing nets, a synagogue, a Portughese palace can all be found with in an easy walk

 
     
  Around Cochin :-  
 
Cheraihotel.com - BluewatersresortsJewish Synagogue : The synagogue, built in 1568, is magnificently decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here. It is located near the Dutch Palace. Built in A D 1568. Great scrolls of the Old Testament (Bible) and copper plates in which the grants of privilege to Jews from Cochin rulers were carved are preserved here.
 
     
 
Cheraihotel.com - BluewatersresortsSt. Francis Church : It is the oldest church built by Europeans in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco De Gama, the legendary navigator from Lisbon, died at Kochi during his second voyage to Kerala. He was laid to rest in the St. Francis Church on Christmas eve 1524. Years later, his mortal remains were taken back to Portugal. The sepulcher is still preserved in the church hall and is open for visitors.
 
 
The Dutch Cemetery : The tomb stones here are the most authentic record of the hundreds of Europeans who left their homeland on a mission to expand their colonial empires and changed the course of history of this land. The cemetery was consecrated in 1724 and is today managed by the Church of South India.
 
     
 
Vasco House : Believed to have been the residence of Vasco da Gamma, this is one of the oldest Portuguese residence of Fort Cochin. Built in the early 16th century Vasco House sports the typical European glass paned windows and Balcony cum Verandas characteristic of the times.
 
     
  Santa Cruz Basilica: The original church, situated in Fort Kochi, was built by the Portuguese in 1505 and named as a cathedral in 1558. The British colonists destroyed the cathedral in 1795. The current structure was built in 1905 and raised to the status of a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984.  
 
Mattancherry Palace : Also known as Dutch Palace. Built by Portuguese and handed over to Cochin Raja in 1555 AD and the was renamed as Mattancheri Palace in 1663, when the Dutch spruced up the palace. However, neither the Portuguese nor the Dutch stayed in the palace.The centre of the building has a Coronation Hall where Cochin Rajas investitures were held. Today, it is a portrait gallery of the Rajas. Rooms adjacent display 17th century murals depicting scenes from the epic,Ramayana. Open for visitors. 10 am to 5 pm Closed on Fridays, national holidays.
 
     
 
Cheraihotel.com - BluewatersresortsChinese Fishing nets: The huge, elegant Chinese fishing nets lining the northern shore of Fort cochin add grace to water front view and has a photographic image of Kerala. you can buy fresh fish from the tiny market here and have it grilled with seasalt, garlic and lemon at one of the stalls nearby.
 
  Kochi - Accomodation
 
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