Before I started writing on Kerala experiences, I wanted to introduce Kochi to all my dear friends which groomed me in my younger days since birth. But as I was under heavy urge to publish my post before it was too long, I postponed it .This place is full of history and has a rich cultural heritage Now I feel is the right time and here it goes...
Welcome to Kochi.
Kochi, is an old town, I mean the old Cochin comprising of Mattancherry and Fort Kochi. This place has retained its magical charm with out changing its landscape by modern constructions. The town is beautiful with its palatial houses built by Europeans, very old churches, Palace of Kochi Raja, also known as Dutch Palace, Jew town, the first Synagogue in India , temples and the Cochin harbour a natural port. This was once a bustling commercial centre for spices and traders from various countries visited this place. Portugese, Dutch and English established their colonies here and left an indelible mark in the history of this place. The beautiful beaches and lagoons with the famous Chinese nets definitely adds a unique charm to the place I belong to. Finally I want to add a special mention about the hospitality of Malayalis who welcomed people from various cultures including Gujarathis, Goans(Gowda Saraswaths Brahmins) Jews, and Anglo-Indians. I feel proud to be known as a Kochiite.
This time you are going to visit the famous St. Francis church in Fort Kochi. This is the first European church in India.This was built first by the Portuguese in 1498, when they landed in Kochi via Calicut. The Kochi King allowed them to construct a small shrine.When the Dutch arrived they destroyed all the places of worship except this church. Later when British captured Kochi they allowed the Dutch to retain the church but later they handed it over to Anglican Communion. This church is under the Archaelogical Survey of India and under the category of protected monument.
Vasco da Gama the Portugese explorer, died in Kochi and he was entombed here but his remains were later shifted to Portugal. We can still find the place inside the church where he was laid to rest. Religious services are still conducted in this church. There is a plaque outside the church which mentions it was renovated in 1779. There is monument in front of the church , in memory of the Kochi residents who fell during the Great war of 1914-1918 and with in a Kilometer from this church is the old Dutch cemetery.
1.St.Francis church, 2.&3 War memorial, 4. History of Church, 5&6 Inside the church, 7.&8 Beautiful chandelier, 9 Vasco da Gama, 10. Slab from his grave, 11, Another slab mounted on the wall. 12. The first resting place of Vasco da Gama