Sightseeing In Cochin
Cochin- also known as Kochi-is the biggest city of Kerala. It is famously known as the commercial capital of Kerela. Besides being an important commercial city Cochin is also a big tourist attraction. The place has contributed significantly to tourism in Kerala.
Apart from being a popular tourist place Kochi is also a gateway to Kerala. Cochin is the doorway to number of tourist attractions such as the hill station of Munnar, Periyar National Park, Thiruananthapuram and the backwaters of Kerala.
Some of the important tourist attractions in Cochin are:
Mattancherry Palace: Also known as Dutch palace, it was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Kochi in 1555 AD. The palace came to be known as Dutch Palace after 1663 when the Dutch carried out extensions and repairs in the palace. Its interiors are decorated with murals from the Ramayana and there are some lively displays of royal costumes and palanquins.
Bolgatty Palace: This former Dutch palace is situated on the Bolghatty island. Now it has been converted into a hotel. The island has a fine golf course and offers panoramic view of the city.
Jewish Synagogue: Located near Mattancherry Palace, the synagogue was built in 1568. It is beautifully decorated by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. Giant scrolls of the Old Testament can be found here.
St. Francis Church: It is the oldest church built by the Europeans in India. The remains of the legendary Portuguese traveler Vasco da Gama were initially buried here and 14 years later, his mortal remains were taken to Portugal.
Chinese Fishing Nets: The Chinese fishing nets dot the sea front adjacent to St. Francis Church. The Chinese fishing nets found here are the only ones of their kind in India.
Santa Cruz Basilica Church: This beautiful Roman Catholic Church is located close to St. Francis Church. The church is decorated with some beautiful paintings.
Willingdon Island: Willingdon Island is a man-made island situated between the main land Emakulam and the old town Mattancherry and separated by the backwaters. The island is home to some important government offices such as Southern Naval Command Headquarters, Kochi Port Trust, Customs house etc.