Kerala, also known as "God's Own
Country" is one of the most popular tourism destinations
in India. It's tropical climate, beautiful palm-fringed
beaches with pristine stretches of sand, the serenity of
the backwaters and the clear blue Arabian Sea, make Kerala
one of the most beautiful destinations in India.
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Ernakulam (Cochin) is located on the coast of the Arabian
Sea with Kumarakom and Allapuzha districts on the South,
Idukki on the East and Thrissur on the North. The commercial
capital and the most cosmopolitan city of Kerala, Kochi, in
Ernakulam, is also known as the Queen of the Arabian
Sea. With one of the finest natural harbourís in the world,
this was once a manor center of commerce and trace with the
British, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, and Dutch etc.
Bolgatty Palace: This Dutch palace is situated on the
Bolgatty Island. At present it is being used as hotel. The
island has a fine golf course and the panoramic view makes
it an attractive picnic spot. Frequent boat service is
available from the mainland.
Fort Kochi: A leisurely
walk through the city is the best way to discover historic
for Kochi. An obscure fishing village that became the first
European township In India, Cochin has an eventful and
colorful history. The town was shaped by the cultural
influences, the Dutch and later the British. The result of
these cultural influences are seen in the many examples of
indo European architecture that still exist here.
Chinese Fishing Nets:
These huge cantilevered fishing nets are the legacy of one
of the first visitors to the Malabar Coast. Erected here
between 1350 and 1450 ad by Traders from the court of Kublai
khan, these nets are set up on teak wood and bamboo poles.
The best place to watch the nets being lowered into the sea
and catch being brought in is the Vasco da gama square, a
narrow promenade that runs along the beach.
St. Francis church:
Built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan Friars, this is
India's oldest European Church. This was initially built
of timber and later reconstructed in stone masonry. It
was restored in 1779 by the protestant Dutch, converted
To an Anglican church by the British in 1795 and is at
present governed by the church of south India. Vasco da
Gama was buried here in 1524 before his Remains were
moved to Lisbon, Portugal.
Pierce Leslie Bungalow:
This charming mansion was the office of Pierce Leslie &
Co., coffee merchants, founded in 1862. A representative
of the Fort Kochi colonial bungalow, this building
reflects Portuguese, Dutch and local influences.
Characteristic features are wood panels that form the
roof of the ground floor, arched doors and sprawling
rooms. Waterfront verandahs are an added attraction.
Mattancherry palace (Dutch Palace):
Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera
Kerala Varma of Kochi, the palace was renovated in 1663 by
the Dutch. On display here are beautiful murals depicting
scenes from the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, and some of
the Puranic Hindu legends. The palace also houses Dutch maps
of old Cochin, royal palanquins, coronation robes of former
maharajas of Cochin.
Santa Cruz Basilica:
The Portuguese and elevated built this historic church
to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. in 1795 it fell
into the hands of the British when they took over Kochi,
and was demolished. About a hundred years later Bishop
Dom Gomez Ferreira commissioned a new building at the
same site in 1887. Pope John Paul II proclaimed the
Church a Basilica in 1984.
Hill Palace: Built
in the 19th century by Raja of Kochi, the Kochi province
was ruled from here. The palace has been converted into
a museum displaying a fine collection of articles used
by the Rajas of Kochi apart from many archaeological
Cherai Beach: This lovely beach near
Kochi, bordering Vypeen island which is a major center
for commerce, is ideal for swimming. Dolphins are
occasionally seen here. A typical Kerala village with
paddy fields and coconut groves nearby is an added
attraction of this beach.