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Cochin Travel Guide







Fort Cochin

Fort Kochi Of Ernakulam


Fort Kochi or Fort Cochin was the first European fort built on the Indian soil in 1530 by Portuguese with the permission of its then ruler. It was then known as 'Manuel Kotta'. Dutch gained its possession in 1663 until British wrested it from them in 1795. Situated on one of the finest natural harbors of the state, it houses first European township that soon became an important commercial centre and trade centre that flourished under the British. It soon became a major military base, cultural hub, shipbuilding centre and centre for Christianity, all in one. The highlights of this fort are VOC Gate, Bastion Bungalow, Jewish Synagogue, Bolgatty Palace and Chinese Fishing nets.

While the tourists throng to Vasco da Gama Square, where now-obsolete Chinese fishing nets are still in use, the stalls surrounding it coin the opportunity by making fresh delicious seafood and tender coconut available to them. The Portuguese originally built Dutch Palace within the fort. It later passed on to Raja of Kochi through the hands of Dutch, who placed high value on it and it was here that many coronations of the ruler of the region took place. Leslie Bungalow from the 19th century belonged to the coffee merchants who traded off in the name of Pierce Leslie & Co. and enchants one with its beauty that has distinct Portuguese, Dutch and native influences on it. Typical wood panels and waterfront verandahs make it all the more endearing to the visitors. The church of Santa Cruz Basilica, the Hill Palace museum, the Jew Town, Museum of Kerala History, Cherai Beach and St Francis Church, the oldest European church of India are other architectural delights of the region.

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