The epithet ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’ is appropriate for every aspect of Cochin. Better known as Kochi, the place is famous as spice trading hub on the west coast of India. You can still witness Fort Kochi keeping the charm of old legacy with the wreckages of history.
Once you decide to visit Fort Kochi, you need to know some of the interesting facts about the place. Since the destination keeps a lot of heritage spots, prepare your itinerary well to include all those historical places. Every city has its own beauty; and, Fort Kochi has its own mystique power.
The crux of Kochi lies in the fusion of cultures. You may wonder how Kochi has got these numerous traditions. Before you fly to Kochi, read these interesting and funny facts which reveal the unidentified facts about the city:
You may be confused between the name Cochin and Kochi. Which is the right one? Cochin was the colonial name and Keralites localized the name as Kochi. In 1996 the name Kochi was declared as the official name of the city. Make sure that you are planning to have a trip to Kochi in Kerala instead of Kochi in Japan! There is an eponymous city in Japan. But both cities are culturally related.
When you take the history of Kochi, you can understand that the city has the background of many foreign invasions. Kochi firstly occupied by Portuguese in 1503 and under them, the centre had a thriving growth in trade and other activities. The Portuguese rule was followed by Dutch invasion in 1653. During Dutch rule, Kochi has got many archetypal benefits but then the city was conquered by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. In 1814, India was seized by British rule and gradually Kochi became the part of British domain. The influence of Arabs and Chinese can also be found in Kochi.
Built in 1503, St. Francis church in Fort Kochi has historical significance because it is here the gravestone of the renowned explorer Vasco Da Gama situates. The body was taken back to Portuguese, but the cenotaph is still kept here. The CSI church was later occupied by Dutch and converted into the protestant church. The architecture of the church has superior charm and it reflects the old Portugal civilization and architecture.
The Jew town and Paradesi Synagogue is the fascinating part of Fort Kochi. When you enter the Jew Street, you can find shops of ornaments and garments with a Jewish touch. Every nook and corner of the area proclaims the remaining Jewish presence. The first settlement of Jews was in the 12th century then they were merged into Kerala community and built a synagogue here. Now the insufficiency of Jewish inhabitants to conduct rituals made this synagogue just a historical attraction. The famous clock-tower is the part of the synagogue. Stroll through the ancient colony of Jews and you will get a picture of the Jewish community from the guide.
The narrow alleys of Fort Kochi and Jew Street offer you plenty of things to buy as reminders of your trip. The colorful shops here will bring your shopping spirit outside. A wide range of products ranging from spices to fragrant perfumes can buy from these shops. Also, colorful of garments can be the part of your shopping. The antique things related to the different cultures of people in Fort Kochi are displayed throughout the street shops. With your limited time, indulge in active shopping.
The narrow streets of Fort Kochi hold numerous hidden treasures and you can explore it on foot or with a bicycle. The striking street art conveys several meanings with its color and form. Even a single glimpse to these arts grabs your mind with curiousness to look back again. Moreover, you may see the restaurants and hotels in Fort Kochi as the replication of the foreign architecture.
Each tomb of this ancient Dutch cemetery has a story of the expansion of trade and their exploration of the world. The cemetery was consecrated in 1724 and constructed in Dutch architecture. The cemetery is the oldest one in the country and cradles the remains of 104 people belonging to Dutch and British nationality. Now, the graveyard is managed by St. Francis CSI church. The cemetery is opened on the request of the visitors; it is not open to visitors on a daily basis.
A delight for foodies awaits in Fort Kochi as the place offers myriad of delicious food. Enliven your taste buds with the different savors from here. One of the restaurants in Fort Kochi, Kashi Art Café gives you scrumptious cuisine and you can enjoy it in the artistic ambiance. The contemporary art done by various artists are exhibited here. The concept of you buy we cook is available in Fort Kochi; in this, you can buy from the fishermen and the restaurant will cook for you. Try all these for your three meals of the day.
It is believed that Chinese explorer Zheng He established the fishing net; ‘cheenavala’ in Malayalam. It was between 1350 and 1450 AD He introduced Chinese fish net in Kochi. The breathtaking sight of the fishing net can be best enjoyed from Vasco Da Gama square. The Chinese fishing net can only be seen in Kochi. The beauty of the fishing net is ultimate at the time of sunset.
One of the three main formations of the Indian Navy, Southern Naval Command, situates at Kochi. Being the headquarters of Southern Naval Command, Kochi has a wonderful maritime museum at INS Dronacharya. You can see the history and evolution of the Indian Navy from 1612. The ancient maritime records are presented there. Exciting shipbuilding activities in India, trading with Arabs, legendary maritime hero Kunjali Marakkar, and everything related to Indian Marine is demonstrated at the maritime museum.
If you found these things fascinating, then book your ticket and pack your bag to Kochi. The more you explore Kochi, the more it will enthrall you. Get ready for a disporting getaway.
Also See: Best Locations for a Day Trip from Kochi
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