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Famed for its natural harbour, one of the finest in the world, Cochin has earned the sobriquet "Queen of the Arabian Sea." Cochin is one of India's most interesting cities. Here you can see the oldest church in India. The ancient temples, churches and synagogues in this district are of special interest to the archaeologists and historians. From tome immemorial, Arabs, Chinese, Dutch, British and Portuguese sea fares followed the sea route to Cochin and left their impressions on the town. A Jewish community with roots going back to 1000 AD, a 16th Century synagogue, and a palace built by the Portuguese and given to the Raja of Cochin which was later renovated by the Dutch are part of Cochin. Cochin port is one of the largest in India. All the islands i.e. Willington, Bolghatty, Gundu, Fort Cochin and Vyppin are connected by Ferry. Bridges are road connect Ernakulam with Willington Island are the Fort Cochin / Mattencherry. The Portuguese Fort is situated on the northern end of Vyppin Island at Pallipuram. You can see the Chinese fishing nets in Fort Cochin. Cochin Airport is Just 4 kms. from the Railway Station.
The Dutch palace or Mattancherry palace was originally built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Cochin, Veera Kerala Varma in 1555. It was later taken over by the Dutch who improved it through extensions and repairs in 1663.Since then it came to be called the Dutch Palace though at no time did the Portuguese nor th Dutch stayed there. Today it is a portrait gallery of the Cochin Rajas. The double
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storied quadrangular building surrounds a central courtyard containing a Hindu Temple. In the centre is the coronation hall where the Cochin Rajas held their ceremonious coronation. On display here are the dresses, turbans, weapons and palanquins from that era. The highlight of the palace is the 17th century mural paintings of mythological figures and scenes from Ramayana in the tradition of Hindu temple art. The floor of the palace reveals the unique traditional Kerala technique of achieving a polished black surface by combining egg white, coconut shell, charcoal and lime and accomplishment worth admiring Timings: 10 am to 5 pm. Closed of Fridays and National Holidays.
The Synagogue at Mattancherry built in 1568, The Great Scrolls of the Old Testament, the Copper Plates on which the grants of privilege made by the Cochin rulers were recorded and the exquisite Chinese hand-painted tiles are of interest, is the oldest Synagogue in the Common Wealth Countries. It was partially destroyed in the war of
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1662, but was rebuilt by Dutch. In the mid 18th century the clock.tower was added. Its floors are paved with exquisite had painted blue-willow tiles imported from China. Of these no two tiles are alike. The great scrolls of the old testament the copper plates in which the grands of privilege made by the Cochin Rules were recorded and the exquisite Chinese and Painted Tiles are of great interest. The Synagogue is open from 10 am to 12 noon and 3 pm to 5 pm on all days except Saturdays and Jewish holidays. The boasts of Rabbi gives visitors a full account of the synagogue and the history of the Jews in Kerala. Although this ancient community of Cochin has new dwindled to Hebrew language remain in Jew Town.
Reputed to the the oldest church in India built by the Europeans (The Protestant church was built originally by the Portuguese in AD 1510 and is believed to be the first church built by Europeans in India).It is situated in Fort Cochin 10 km. away from style and renamed St. Francis of Assisi Church.Vasco Da Gama the Governor of Portuguese territories in India was buried in here before his mortal remains were
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taken to Portugal, fourteen years after his death.But the original tablet still remains here. Old records of the Church can been seen here. The most important one is the "Doop Book" of the Dutch Baptismal register maintained till 1804. Some old cadjan leaf manuscripts preserved in the church give information about the life of the Portuguese and Dutch settlers here. Grave stones from the graves of Vasco Da Gama and Portuguese and Dutch are embedded on the walls of Church. Brass tablets in memory of many Europeans especially the English are also embedded on the walls.
This Roman Catholic church is situated near the St. Francis church and is worth a visit. It is a specimen of Portuguese architecture built in 1503. ‘Frescoes’ and mural paintings decorate the ceiling and interior parts of the church. The gothic architecture and the lofty spires gives it a unique grandeur
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Bolghatty palace built by the Dutch in 1744. Later it became the seat of the British Resident of Cochin. Today it is a hotel run by K.T.D.C. The grounds have a small golf course & several vantage points for lovely views of the harbour & the sea.
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Connected to the mainland by road-cum-railway Venduruthy Bridge, Willington Island is named after the former Viceroy of India, Lord Willington. It is a manmade Island created from the materials dredged while deepening Cochin Port. Willington Island sites some of the district’s best hotels, Trading and industrial offices. Besides the airport, ship building yard, wharf, the Southern Naval Command Head Quarters, the
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customs house and the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industries, the government of India Tourist Information office is situated here. Many offices, branches of national and international banks, travel agencies, souvenir shops warehouses can also be found here.
It is the smallest island around Cochin with an area of only 5 acres. There is a coir factory here where coir is made into rope manually and carpets are manufactured by looms by hand.
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This temple is situated in the centre of the town close to the Cochin Cultural Centre, very near the Durbar Hall Ground. The presiding deity is Lord Siva and the annual festival in the temple is conducted for 8 days during the month of January.
ernakulam siva temple cochin
Kalady is the birth place of Adi Sankaracharaya the great Indian Philosopher who lived in the 8th century is 45 Kms from Cochin. It is situated on the banks of river Periyar and there are two shrines in memory of Sree Sankaracharaya. One dedicated to him as Dakshina Moorthi and the other to the Goddess Sharada. Adi Sankara's Shrined in Kalady are open to all pilgrims irrespective of Religion and caste.The spot
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were Adi Shankara's Mother was cremated is called Vrindavan. Nearby is an old Krishna Temple, the family temple of Sankaracharaya. Another Temple known as Sri Ramakrishna International Temple was built in 1976 with the hope that it would ultimately become a temple for all religions and an abode of peace.
A legacy of the trading connections between China and India many centuries ago. The long rows of Chinese Nets silhouetted against the sunset present a spectacular sight of Cochin's waterfront. These are large nets which hang from bamboo or teak posts, still to be in use by the local fisher folk of Fort Cochin. Cochin Boat Rides The highlight of Cochin is a boat ride through all the islands. The city face a broad
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expense of backwaters studded with palm-flanged islets.
This mangrove forest is a small bird sanctuary ,located in the heart of the town behind the High Court of Kerala, attracts a large number of tourists. Vyppin light house : The biggest Island, situated between the sea and the backwaters of Cochin. It is 24 km long and 2 1/2 km wide. There is a light house at Ochanthuruthu which is open to
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tourists from 3 pm to 5 pm. The Island can be reached only by water transport provided by boat services and Junkar. There are bus services on the Island.
Pallippuram fort was built by the Portuguese in 1503. It is one of the oldest existing European monuments in India. The Dutch captured the fort in 1661 and sold it to the State of Travancore in 1789. This fort is situated in the northern extremity of the Vyppin Island at Pallippuram. The catholic church at Pallippuram is an important pilgrim centre of the Christians.
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53 km. from Cochin, 8km. From Kalady. Situated on a small hillock, it attracts thousands of devotees who undertake a trip to the shrine to participate in the annual festival, Malayattoor Perunnal (March/April) St. Thomas is believed to have prayed at this shrine.
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Though recently established Thattekad is one of the most important bird sanctuaries in South India. A boat cruise from Bhoothathankettu to Thattekad is an unforgettable experience through the evergreen forests nesting migratory and indigenous birds. The birds commonly seen here are Malabar Grey horn bill, Great Indian horn bill, Grey
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jungle fowl, Heron egret, Parakeet and numerous other rare species. Thattekad is also accessible from Kothamangalam (20 km). For further details, contact Divisional forest Officer, Kodanadu P.O. Kodanadu.
21km. An ideal place for swimming in the river Periyar. The annual Sivarathri Festival is held on the banks of the river and is a colourful celebration. The centre of attraction is the Shiva Lingam on the sand bank.
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See India Foundation is located at Kalathiparambil Road, near the Ernakulam Junction Railway station. The daily show begins at 6.45 p.m. The Cochin Cultural Centre is situated on Manikath Road, behind Medical Trust Hospital. The daily show begins at 7 pm Art Kerala, the third one is situated at Kannanthodathu lane Valanjambalam.
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Kerala Kathakali Centre functions at Fort Cochin near the Chinese Fishing Nets. Ticket Charge at all the centres is Rs. 50 per person.
Kalaripayattu is one of the oldest living tradition of martial training and physical culture in the world. In the present context it means training in the traditional style of combat. The aim of Kalaripayattu is not only self defense and offence, but also the strength of mind through physical exercises.
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There are three important museums in and around Cochin.
It is an archeological museum adjacent to the Shiva temple in Durbar Hall Road,Ernakulam. This museum features collections of the 19th century paintings , Pre-historic monuments , Old coins in a numismatic gallery, Scriptures in stone & Plaster of Paris, Copies of mural paintings etc & the collection from the Cochin royal family.
the pareekshith thampuran museum cochin
In the earlier days the museum was the Durbar Hall of Cochin Rajas where guests were welcomed, and where official ceremonies and meetings were held. Now under the State Archaeological Department, it has been named after Rama Varma Pareekshit Thampuran, the Family’s last ruler.
The largest archeological museum of Kerala , Hill Palace Museum is 13 Kms from Cochin. It displays the erstwhile wealth and prosperity of the royal family of Cochin, including the King’s throne and crown. Paintings, carvings, etchings are displayed in the museum which is located on the Ernakulam - Chottanikkara route. Also on show .
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are other trappings of royalty like majestic beds ,weapons and samples of epigraphy.
Important scenes of Kerala history are portrayed through through Sculptures. Greeting the visitor outside is a statue of Parasurama ,the mythological safe who is said to have created Kerala. The other places worth visiting are Alwaye, situated 20km north of Ernakulam on the banks of river Periyar, Chottanikkara Bhagavathy
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temple which is an important pilgrim place for Hindus Kalady, Malayattoor which is located on the slopes of the Western Ghats & is an important Christian pilgrim centre, Bhoothathankettu, Thattekad Bird Sanctuary etc.

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