Cochin - 'Queen of the Arabian' Sea is the commercial capital of Kerala. Cochin has one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Cochin was once the major center of commerce and trade with the British, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch etc.
Reaching Cochin: Cochin is well connected by air and Rail from all major cities in India.
Places to see:
Built in 1503 by the Portuguese Franciscan Friars, it is India's oldest European Church. Vasco da Gama's remains were buried here in 1524 but later the remains were taken to Lisbon, Portugal.
Chinese Fishing Nets:
These huge cantilevered fishing nets were brought here by the traders from the court of Kublai Khan.
(Dutch Palace) (Open 1000- 1700 hrs daily except on Fridays)
Built by the Portuguese in 1557 and presented to Raja Veera Kerala Varma of Kochi, the palace was renovated in 1663 by the Dutch. Mural Paintings depicting scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and some of the Puranic Hindu Legends are a real attraction. The palace also houses Dutch maps of old Kochi, royal palanquins, coronation robes of former Maharajas of Kochi as well as period furniture.
(Open 1000 - 1200 hrs and 1500 - 1700 hrs- closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays)
Constructed in 1568, this is the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth. The Dutch rebuilt it in 1664. The main attractions include the hand painted, willow patterned floor tiles from Canton in China, a clock tower, Chandeliers, the great scrolls of the Old Testament, ancient scripts on copper plates etc.
Hill Palace Museum, Thripunithura :
(Open 0900 - 1200 hrs and 1400 hrs to 1630 hrs- closed on Mondays)
10 Kms from Kochi, Hill palace was the official residence of the erstwhile Kochi royal family and was built in 1865.