Built in 1568 AD the great scrolls of the old testament and the copper plates granting privileges by the Cochin rulers and the Chinese hand painted tiles are of special interest two hundred years old no two tiles are alike. There are several silver and gold crowns gifted to the synagogue by patrons.
It is the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth. Destroyed in a shelling during the Portuguse raid in 1662. It was rebuilt two years later by the Dutch. Known for the mid eighteenth century hand painted willow patterned floor from Canton in China, a clock tower. Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs.
MATANCHERRY PALACE (DUTCH PALACE)
Raja Veera Kerala Varma was on friendly terms with the Portuguese. The imprudence of a Portuguese officer who plundered the temple near the palace in 1550 led to the Portuguese building this palace for him.
It was presented to the Cochin raja in 1555AD. (built in 155??)
The ruler reacting to the proselytising zeal of the Portuguese surrounded himself with scenes from hindu lore, the work being continued by his successor.
In 1663 the Dutch carried out extensive repairs. The second series of murals here were painted after the rebuilding of the palce by the Dutch. These belong to the 18th century the latest being as recent as 1800.
In the center of the building is the coronation hall. Today it is a portrait gallery of the rajas. The bed chamber and four other chambers contain 17th century murals depicting scenes from the Ramayana and hindu mythology.
There are 45 scenes covering more than three hundred square feet depicting the Ramayana from Dasaratha’s sacrifice to to Rama’s return from Lanka. There are paintings on the Krishna theme also.
The palace also houses Dutch maps of old Kochi.
SANTA CRUZ BASILICA
The church was built by the Potuguese and elevated to a cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. Demolished by the British in 1795. A hundred years later Bishop Dom Gomez Ferreira commisioned a new building in the same site. In 1984 Pope John Paul II proclaimed the church a Basilica.
Built during the 16th century the Vasco House is believed to be have been the residence of Vasco da Gama in Fort Kochi and one of the earliest Portuguese constructions.
The area around the synagogue is known as Jew town It is the center of trade and curio shops.
THE COONAN KURISHU CHAPEL MATTANCHERRY
The Syrian Christians assembled here in 1653 and pledged not to obey the Latin archbishops or be under the Jesuits.
ST. FRANCIS CHURCH
This protestant church was originally built by the Portuguese in 1510 AD, believed to be the first church built by the Portuguese in India. Vasco da Gamma was buried here. Fourteen years later his mortal remains were taken to Portugal.
Site of the Bolghatty Palace built by the Dutch in 1744. Later, it became the seat of the British resident of Cochin, today a hotel run by the KTDC. The grounds have a small golf course, and several vantage points for lovely views of the harbour and the sea.
Named after Lord Willingdon the British viceroy of India. It is a man made island formed from the material dredged while deepening the Cochin port.
Gundu Island is an island with an area of 5 acres, it is the smallest island around Cochin.
Bordering Vypin island, it is suited for swimming, a typical village nearby is an added attraction. Dolphins are seen here occasionally.
THE COCHIN CLUB
PIERCE LESLIE BUNGALOW
THE DUTCH CYMETERY
CHINESE FISHING NETS
The entrance to Cochin Harbour is dotted with Chinese fishing nets called ‘cheena valla’. Large nets hanging from bamboo or teak posts are still used to catch fish attracted by the lights suspended above.
PARIKSHITH THAMPURAN MUSEUM
An archeological museum adjacent to the Siva temple on Durbar Hall road, Ernakulam. The museum features 19th century oil paintings, prehistoric monuments, old coins in a numismatic gallery. Sculptures in stone and plaster of paris, copies of mural paintings etc. and collections from the Cochin Royal family.
THE BISHOP'S HOUSE
Built in 1506as the residence of the Potuguese governor, it stands n a ittle hillock near the parade ground. The building was acquired by Dom Jos Gomes Ferreira the 27th Bishop of the diocese of Kochi whose jurisdiction extended across Burma, Malaya and Ceylon in addition to India.
9kms from Ernakulam it was the seat of the Cochin Raja, Sree Poornathrayesan temple dedicated to Vishnu is a masterpiece of Chola architecture.
The town is associated with athachamayam a spectacular procession which marks the beginning of the Onam festival.
HILL PALACE MUSEUM
13 kms. From Ernakulam, this museum displays the erstwhile wealth and prosperity of the royal family of Cochin including the kings throne and crown. Also on show are the majestic beds, paintings, carvings and samples of epigraphy. The complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional Kerala architectural style and is suurounded by 52 acres of terraced land with a deer park.
Orthodox Syrian Church built in about 1225 has mural paintings depicting biblical themes.
The church of St. Thomas has a wooden panel behind the altar about 24 feet in high and 17 feet wide. Rising in four tiers from the bottom each tier having several spatial divisions. Seperated by ornamental pillars this panel has fine carvings of Christ and his apostles and angels along with floral motifs.
Besides the oil paintings illustrating episodes from the old and new testaments, the most impressive figurative representation here, in wood here is that of the last supper. St. Peter is shown holding the keys of heaven and Judas with the bag of silver coins. Sensing the awful tragedy to come. St. John is prostrating on the left while the compassionate Christ pats his bowed head with his left hand. In his right hand Christ holds a cup of wine symbolizing his bloodhich he offers to his disciples. the carving is bold and unhesitant.
THE MUSEUM OF KERALA HISTORY
8kms from the heart of Ernakulam, important events are depicted here through life-size figures. A one hour recorded commentary in English and Malayalam offers a sound and light show.
COCHIN BOAT RIDES
On the backwaters is a highlight.
Painting of Virgin Mary the wooden statue of St. George.
21 kms from Ernakulam is an ideal place for swimming in the river Periyar The annual Sivarathri festival is held on the banks of the river. The center of attraction is the Sivalingam on the sand river bank.
KORATTY ST. MARY'S CHURCH
The wooden image could belong to the school of Scoenon Madonen (beautiful madonnas) which became popular in the fifteenth century in Central Europe especially in Germany.
Famous for the Vamanamoorthy temple connected with the thiruvanam festival. It is near NAD between Alwaye and Kalamassery.
32kms away formerly known as Muziris. In olden times the premier port on the West Coast. It was the capital of Cheraman Perumal whose famous palace Allal Perumkovilam was situated at the Pagoda near Tiruvanchikulam.
St. Thomas is believed to have landed at Muziris in 52 AD. The Cheramanparambu where the kings palace stood , the ancient Bhagavathy temple, the Portuguese fort and the old mosque (similar in appearance to a hindu temple) believed to be the first mosque built in India are nearby and worth a visit.
Siva Parvathi group of the seventeenth century eighteenth century Nataraja. The limbs flung wide the prabha or halo represents a ring of light with tongues of flame. The eighteenth century figure of a medevial Chera ruler has pomp and circumstance in pedestal and canopy.
45kms from Kochi on the banks of the Periyar is the birthplace of Adi Sankaracharya the great Indian philosopher of the 8th century AD. There are two shrines dedicated to him one as ‘Dakshinmoorthy’ and the other to Goddess Sharada maintained by the Sringeri mutt. There is a spot (Brindaban) where Adi Sankaracharya’s mother Aryamba was cremated. In addition there is a Sri Krishna temple - the family temple of the Adi sankaracharya.
42kms from Cochin is famous for the Catholic church on top of the 609mts high ‘Malayattur perunal’ the annual festival (March - April) has devotees flocking to attend.
One of the largest elephant training centers in south India is on the east side of Perumbavoor.
50kms north east of Ernakulam a good place for a picnic and adventure tourism. It is near Thattekadu Bird sanctuary, Periyar valley and the Idamalayar irrigation project.
25kms south east of Kochi near Piravom. Puzhur is legendary - the Siva temple here is believed to be 1800 years old. The Muvattupuzha river flowing west to east changes direction on reaching the temple. The astrologers here are believed to be blessed with divine powers.
At Chemanganad (30kms north of Kochi) it is located on atop a hill. It is believed that sage Jangaman lived here around 2000 years ago and the place was known as Jangaman which was later changed to Chengamanad.
A famous Lord Murugan temple is located here on the spot where the sage is said to have meditated which was later consecrated by Chattambi Swami in 1898. Another story goes that Lord Murugan, also called as Guhalayam has made this place his abode.
Presents a rare geographical combination of rivers with seven inlets, a hillock and a vast expanse of green plains. It is located 5kms from North Paravur north west of Ernakulam. The place is surrounded by rivers on all three sides.
Chennamangalam was the abode of the famous achans of Palliam, the hereditary prime ministers to the Raja of Cochin, Kotayil Kovilakam.
The hillock presents the unusual sight of a hindu temple, a church and a jewish synagogue all closely located next to each other.
There is a seminary built in 1075 by Jesuit priests. It was here that printing first began in Kerala in 1577.
Another attraction of the place is the malanapara made up of boulders lying one over the other resembling an elephant from a distance.
Is a very tiny hamlet nearly 15 kms from Malayatoor. It is a confluence of the rivers Periyar and Perumthode. The crystal clear medicated waters of the Malampuzha river and the tiny waterfalls of Venanbaravady near Malayatoor is an enchanting scenery believed to have prayed at this shrine???
GURUKULAM KATHAKALI YOGAM
LALIT KALA ACADEMY
MANGALAVANA BIRD SANCTUARY
Located in the heart of the city on Dr. Salim Ali Road near the High Court, this bird sanctuary is a quiet peaceful forest. Many birds seek sanctuary here.
The ancient Orthodox Syrian church is believed to have been built in the 7th century AD. The St. Peters church contains beautiful paintings. The annual feast attracts pilgrims.
55kms from Kochi on the Aluva - Munnar route is known for various ancient churches. The fourteen centuries old St. Thomas church of the Orthodox Syrians and St. Mary’s church are believed to have been designed by the architects of West Asia.
An important center of the orthodox Syrian Christians, the St. Mary’s church here is one of the ancient churches in Kerala. Sculptures and mural paintings brought from Persia and Syria can be seen here.
One of the most densely populated islands in the country. The Vypin lighthouse at Ochanthuruthu gives a breathtaking view of Kochi city and Aluva.
The summer resort of the erstwhile Cochin royal family is on the right bank of the river Alwaye. There is an old palace here. The town is is known for the mat weaving and rattan work.
The Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in the southern state of Kerala in India is spread over the southeast corner of the Western Ghats, and covers a total area of 128 km2 (49.4 sq mi).
Kodaikanal located amidst the folds of the verdant Pali hills is one of the most popular serene hill stations in India...
Places of Interest
The term 'ayurveda' literally breaks up to mean the knowledge (veda) of life (ayu)...