A jewel in the crown of Kerala, Fort Kochi is located about 13 km from Ernakulam town. With one of the finest natural harbors in the world, Kochi has become a sanctuary for seafaring visitors from all across the world. The European heritage and true cosmopolitan temperament blend to pamper your travel steps and soothe your senses. Kochi is considered to be one of the first European townships in India when the Portuguese settled here in the 15th century. The Dutch seized Fort Kochi from the Portuguese in 1663, followed by the British who took over in 1795. During The latter 17th century, Fort Kochi emerged as a prime commercial center, marking its increasing fame to faraway places. Some significant and striking sightseeing spots at Fort Kochi include the Chinese fishing nets, Vasco Da Gama Square, Santa Cruz Basilica, St. Francis Church, VOC Gate, and the Bastion Bungalow.
Since Kochi was once a fishing town, the Chinese fishing nets constitute the prime attraction of this place. The whole structure of the net stands on teak wood and bamboo poles, working their way on the principle of balance. Records indicate that the nets used by the fishermen were set up at this place between 1350 and 1450. Vasco Da Gama Square is the best spot to view the detailed utilization of the net. Fort Kochi is also home to one of the oldest churches in India, the St. Francis Church. The church was converted from one sect of Christianity to another from time to time, from a Roman Catholic Church during the Portuguese rule to the Dutch Reformist Church to an Anglican Church. Today, the Church of South India (CSI) governs the St. Francis Church. What's more, the great voyager Vasco Da Gama was buried here, but his mortal remains were returned to Portugal, 14 years after his death.
An Indo-Portuguese museum which protects and showcases the cultural heritage of this place is another exciting place to visit in Fort Kochi. The museum is a portrayal of specs of Portuguese elements. Apart from St. Francis Church, Santa Cruz Basilica is worth a visit, adorned with artistic grandeur and gothic architecture. One can also visit the oldest active synagogue in the commonwealth nations, the Paradesi Synagogue, which is a piece of architectural excellence and stores a number of rare artifacts and documents like the Scrolls of the Law, several gold crowns, Belgian Chandeliers, and brass railed pulpit. The Mattancherry Palace, built and gifted to the then ruling king Veera Kerala Verma by the Portuguese, can also be added to your list of Fort Kochi sightseeing destinations.
Read about Fort Kochi in Kerala. Fort Kochi is a storehouse of history and culture.