Kochi (Kerala) – God’s own country Part 2

This is in continuation from my previous post.

23.08.09 (Fort Cochin)

The best way to explore the near by area of Fort Cochin is to take a ferry boat (Passenger Boat) from Boat Jetty – Marien Drive & get down at Fort Cochin. From there walk down to Fort Cochin Beach via Dutch palace / Museum , Jewish Synagogue , Jewish town , Vasco da Gama square, Santa cruz basilica , st. Francis Church.

Kochi

Kochi


Dutch Palace / Museum ( Mattancherry) – The Dutch Palace was originally built by the Portuguese. Later, in 17th century, the Dutch modified it and presented it to the Raja of Kochi. Coronation of many Rajas of Kochi were held here. The palace has a fine collection of mural paintings depicting scenes from the Hindu epics Mahabharatha and Ramayana. The palace is located in Mattancherry.

Vishnu Temple - Inside Dutch Palace compound

Vishnu Temple - Dutch Palace premises

Way to Dutch Palace / Mattancherry

Way to Dutch Palace / Mattancherry

Dutch Palace / Museum - Mattancherru

Dutch Palace / Museum - Mattancherry

Jewish Synagogue – It was built in 1568 & oldest Synagogue in India. The Synagogue was destroyed during the Portugueseraid & was rebuilt by the Dutch. It is decorated by Chinese tiles & Belgium Chandeliers.

It is located nearby Dutch Palace in Mattancherry.

Photography is prohibited inside the Synagogue.

Jewish Synagogue

Jewish Synagogue

Jew town – The township around the synagogue is known for spice trade & curio shops dealing in antiques as well as rear glass & beads

Jews Street - Jews Town

Jews Street - Jews Town

Jews Street - Jews Town

Jews Street - Jews Town

Chinese Fishing Net – The chinese fishing nets are distinctly unique to Cochin. It is believed that traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets here. Oddly, these nets are found only in Kochi, outside China. A whole stretch of the coast along Fort Kochi are dotted with these nets.

Model Chines Fishing Net

Model Chinese Fishing Net

Chines Fishing Net

Chinese Fishing Net

Chines Fishing Net

Chinese Fishing Net

Santa Cruz Basilica Church – 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.

Santa Cruz Basilica Church

Santa Cruz Basilica Church

St. Francis Church. – It is the oldest church built by Europeans in India. On his 3rd visit to Kerala, Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese trader who reached India from Europe by sea, fell ill and died in Kochi. He was buried in the St. Francis Church. Later his remains were taken back to Portugal. In spite of that, his burial spot inside the church has been clearly marked out.

St. Francis Church.

St. Francis Church.

Fort Cochin Beach – The beautiful beach extended from Kamalakada to the entrance of Kochi harbour. Many europian style bungalows can be seen along with shore line.

Fort Cochin Beach

Fort Cochin Beach

Fort Cochin Beach

Fort Cochin Beach

Fort Cochin Beach

Fort Cochin Beach

Fort Cochin Beach

Fort Cochin Beach

Chines Net -Fort Cochin Beach

Chinese Net -Fort Cochin Beach

Fort Cochin Beach

Fort Cochin Beach

Fort Cochin Beach

Fort Cochin Beach

Fort Cochin Beach

Fort Cochin Beach

24.08.09 (MG Road – Kochi , Delhi)

During Onam time all the kerala Shopkeepers offer attractive sales to their customers.

Onam is a state festival of Kerala , which falls in the month of Chingam (August-September) coincides with the month of harvest season.

After the shopping, we reached our hotel, had our lunch & left for Kochi Airport with a promise that we will come back again to visit the beautiful near by areas of Kochi like Munnar (130 km) , Alapuzha / Alleppey (65 kms) , Athirapplly water fall (80 kms) , Kumarakom (78kms).

Kochi Airport - Departure

Kochi Airport - Departure

  • Some of the Important informations

Connectivity

By plane: Kochi International Airport is approx 30 Km from the city. There are flights to and from Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore, Colombo, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Sharjah, Jeddah, Muscat, Kuwait

By train : Direct trains from Thiruvananthapuram , Coimbatore, Calicut, Chennai, Bangalore, Bombay, New Delhi, Hyderabad,
There are two major Rail station in Cochin( Ernakulam Town and Ernakulam Junction, locally known as North and South railway stations).

By Bus : Cochin is accessible from all parts of the state of Kerala, through the extensive state run Kerala Road Transport Corporation (K.S.R.T.C.) bus service.
There also exists daily services to and from other major cities in South India including Mumbai, Bangalore(12 hrs), Mangalore (12 hrs), Coimbatore (4.5 hrs) and Chennai (14 hrs).

By Taxi :Trivandrum to Kochi around 220 km

By Boat : Cochin can be reached by sea in yachts or by occasional cruise ship from Goa or Bombay.

Places for shopping

For Handloom Sarees & Fabrics MG Road (Chennai Silk , Jayalaxmi Sarees)

For Handicrafts (metalware, camel-bone carvings, wood carvings, articles made of coconut shells, bamboo and cane) Shops near by Marine drive

For Spices Fort Cochin/ MG Road

Aromatic oils Fort Cochin/ MG Road

Climate

Kochi’s annual temperatures range between 20 to 35 °C

Languages State language: Malayalam
English is widely understood. Hindi and Tamil are used occasionally.

Cultural Heritage of Kerala

Kathakali

Kathakali

Kathakali – It is a highly stylised classical dance noted for its attractive make-up of characters, their elaborate costumes, detailed gestures and well-defined body movements presented in tune with the anchor playback music and complementary percussion. It is originated in kerala from Ramanattom & Krishnanattom in 16th century.

Kerala Natanam

Kerala Natanam

Kerala Natanam – It is a new style of dance that is now recognised as a distinct art form evolved from Kathakali a form of Indian dance-drama. The Indian dancer Guru Gopinath a well trained Kathakali artist and his wife Thankamani Gopinath who was the first student of Mohiniyattam in KeralaKalamandalam developed a unique structure for teaching and performing classical dance forms of India whose origins are from Kathakali.

Thiruvathira

Thiruvathira

Thiruvathira – It is a very popular dance from Kerala, it is usually performed in connection with the native festival called Onam.
Thiruvathira is essentially women’s festival. Ladies on this day worship Lord Shiva and pray for conjugal harmony and marital bliss.

Mohiniyattam

Mohiniyattam

Mohiniyattam – It is a traditional South Indian dance from Kerala, one of the eight Indian classical dance forms. It is a very graceful dance meant to be performed as a solo recital by women. The term Mohiniyattam comes from the words “Mohini” meaning a woman who enchants onlookers and “aattam” meaning graceful and sensuous body movements. The word “Mohiniyattam” literally means “dance of the enchantress”.

Kalarippayattu

Kalarippayattu

Kalarippayattu – It is a Martial Art originated in Kerala and contiguous parts of neighboring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It incorporates strikes, kicks, grappling, and weaponry, as well as healing techniques.

7 Comments

  • Jerry Jaleel says:

    Mahesh,

    During the Raj period, Kochi was ruled by the Rajas (native princes), and so was Travancore which lies south of Kochi. During the 1950s, Malabar was added to Kochi and Travancore to form the present state of Kerala with Malayalam as the official language. There are 2 top newspapers in Kerala, Malayala Manorama with 1.4 million copies printed daily is the largest circulated regional newspaper in India, and Mathrubhoomi printing over 1 million copies daily to satisfy the readers in this enchanting state which boasts 100% literacy rate.

    Another excellent and concise post on Cochin (Kochi) with beautiful photographs. In the 1960s and 1970s Kochi had a small airport, dominated by small propeller planes operated by Indian Airlines. Now when they expanded it to an International Airport, one can reach Kochi from virtually any parts of the world in various air crafts. Your writing will certainly encourage others to explore Kerala and enjoy the theatrical art of Kathakali and the ancient martial art of Kalaripayattu, both originated in Kerala.

    Best,

    Jerry

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Thanks for appreciation and for sharing such a wonderful information. No doubt about it that Kochi & near by areas like Munnar , Alapuzha / Alleppey , Athirapplly water fall , Kumarakom are one of the best tourist place in India.

  • Sid says:

    Nice post on Fort Kochi. This is what I was looking for since the last post. I forgot to see the title saying Part 1 earlier.
    Very well put together and nice set of pictures as well.

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Thanks a lot for your kind compliments.

  • nandanjha says:

    Thanks for the wonderful information. I didn’t that the great Vasco died here.

    Nice pics.

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    You are welcome , pleasure is all mine.

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