Fort Kochi is the main tourist attraction of the metropolitan hub, Kochi. The island is located towards the South west part of the natural harbour and known as the “Gateway of Kerala.” The charming tourist destination is blessed with varied cultural influences; Dutch, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese and British. The historic city with eclectic architectural monuments marks this place as one the famous fascination to tourists worldwide.

Kochi, the region that was once water land later formed a beautiful coastal area as it was raised from level. It resembled more like China during the Chinese settlement which led to the installation of the captivating Chinese fishing nets, seen as a string along the shore of Fort Kochi beach. If you need to explore the city, you need to set your foot on this European heritage centre.

Sunset at Fort Kochi

Sunset at Fort Kochi

As you step in the island, each and every corner has stories to tell of the bygone era; something amusing to offer the visitor. The proud jewel crown of Ernakulam city, Fort Kochi, will definitely be a place to smell the past and cherish the vacation.  The St. Francis Church, one of the oldest European churches built in India, Santa Cruz Basilica, the Portuguese church, Fort Kochi beach,  backwater cruises, multi-cuisine restaurants,  Chinese fishing nets, Kerala Kathakali Centre, Agastyatheeram Ayurvedic Centre are enchanting options that draw people to the land.

Since the island was under the rule of Portuguese, a stroll along the alleys is almost enough to take you to an entirely different world. The silence of the streets gives you warm feelings of the past. The architectural elegance and buildings gives out a distinct look on the city from other urban towns of God’s Own Country.

Fort Immanuel at Fort Kochi was the bastion of Portuguese built in 1503. It symbolises the strategic partnership between the Monarch of Portugal and Raja of Kochi. It is from the name of the fort that Portuguese built, “Fort Kochi”, the first name of the city came into existence. This age-old structure can be spotted along the beach. Behind this fort is the main Portuguese structure, the very famous St. Francis Church, one of the oldest churches of the Europeans in India, and counted as a major attraction for tourists. The church is known for its ambiance and elegant architecture. The world renowned explorer Vasco da Gama was buried in this church and the spot marked out as a major lure for visitors.

The Dutch cemetery of the St. Francis managed by Church of South India (CSI) is one of the oldest cemeteries built by Europeans in India, reminds the colonisation rule by the British in the city.

Thakur House, which was formerly the Kunal or Hill Bungalow is a well-established tea trading company situated at Gelderland Bastion, Fort Kochi. The architectural building stands simply stylish, reflects the princely rule.

The Dutch architectural sophistication can also be seen on the popular David Hall built by Dutch East India Company during 1695, towards the northern side of Parade Ground, Fort Kochi. The beautiful monument is closely related with the well famous Dutch commander, Hendrik Adriaan van Reed tot Drakeston, respected by his epic book on  Hortus Malabaricus, which tells about the Flora of Kerala. The hall was later resided by David Koder, a Jewish business man and thus the name given. The exquisite beauty and charm of the hall attracts visitors to enchant the historical and architectural magnificence. Currently, the hall falls as the great venue for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, woos crowds to witness the art gallery.

Santa Cruz Basilica, one of the eight basilicas of India and the honoured heritage edifice, droves visitors to entice the grandeur of the church which is endowed with radiance of the gothic style.

This article is authored by Ajith Thomas who is one of the authors of the blog GreatBackwaters, you can find him at Google+

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