Cochin is not one of the most famous tourist haunts of
India, visitors will find that there are still enough sights
to fill several days with history and culture. More
importantly, the local lifestyle here is still very much
laidback and offers an authenticity that you will be
hard-pressed to find in other areas. Be sure to take in a
couple of palaces and temples while here.
Today the palace functions as a hotel but it was once the
home of the British Resident Representative. The Dutch
created this spectacular work of architecture on the island
known by the same name in 1744.
This area is home to a number of historical monuments,
including the oldest synagogue in the region and the ruins
of a former Jesuit college. The Hindu temple with its
picturesque location overlooking the Pariyar river is a
pleasant place for a quiet stroll; while the nearby mosque
is a prime example of architecture from the 16thcentury.
Chinese fishing nets
Said to be the only ones of their type outside of China,
these nets are interesting example of the ancient,
mechanical method of capturing the local seafood at high
tide. You can just head down to the beach and watch the
fishermen in action.
Dating back to the 10th century, this pilgrimage site still
sees devotees flock to the temple seeking liberation from
torment. The site’s resident goddess takes three forms
daily: goddess of learning in the morning (Saraswathi), the
fierce and destructive mighty one in the afternoon (Bhagavathi),
and divine mother in the evening (Durga).
Coonan Kurishu Shrine
This shrine is a dedication to the 25,000 Syrian Christians
who in the mid 1600s took an oath at the site never to be
bound by the rulings of the Latin archbishop or the Jesuit
This once impressive Portuguese fort was destroyed by the
British upon their invasion of the country. The ruins of the
Indo-European architecture combined with the eerie
loneliness of the once busy settlement give a sense of the
strong European heritage that has long since deserted the
The oldest synagogue in the area was built in the mid 1500s
and is open for two hours in the morning and a further two
in the afternoon each day. There are numerous exquisite
features to be viewed, including scrolls from the Old
Testament, intricate hand-painted Chinese tiles (of which no
two are alike), and ornamental Belgian lamps. This is one of
the most spectacular sights in the whole region of Kerala
and is certainly worth a visit.
Built by the Portuguese in 1555, this palace was later
presented to the gratefully accepting Rajas. Today it is
known as Dutch Palace, a name that came about when Dutch
settlers repaired and extended the palace. Some of its most
interesting features include Ramayana murals and royal
costumes on display around the palace.
This site combines the religious houses of the main secular
groups that very much add to the cultural diversity and rich
heritage found in this region of India. Here you will find a
synagogue, an Orthodox church built by the Syrians and a
Krishna temple, all featuring diverse and beautiful design
St Francis Church
The only Protestant church in the southern Indian region was
built in 1510 by the Portuguese. It was once the burial
place of the renowned traveller Vasco da Gama, whose remains
were later exhumed and sent back to Portugal.