Mattancherry Palace - Jewish Synagogue - Fort Cochin & Kathakali Dance Show.
Our Tourist Permit Car / Coach with English / Multi Lingual License Guide will report at your Hotel or Residence at 0900 hrs. Start your sight seeing of Cochin visiting Mattancherry Palace, Jewish Synagogue - one of the oldest in the country & Fort Cochin Beach to see the Chinese Fishing Nets. After the sight seeing drive to Kathakali Dance Theatre & enjoy 1 hour Show of Kathakali Dance Performance – the traditional dance of Kerala. After the show drive back to your hotel/ residence.
Cochin means different things to different people. To some, it is a world-famous port, while to others it is a business centre and a glamorous mirror to Kerala/’s vivid multifaceted personality. To many travelers, however, this natural harbour is synonymous with its famous geographical hallmark—the underwater mud banks of Malabar.
Cochin (also Kochi) has been an important trading port since ancient times. Today, the land of spices that attracted the European traders is a quaint blend of the old and the new, the Indian and the Western. Popularly referred to as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Cochin is today the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala.
Cochin has a moderate climate with heavy rains during the monsoon period from June to August. A visit to Cochin enriches one about the historical and cultural past of Kerala.
Being a major harbour from the times of the British and Portuguese, Cochin has a rich heritage of forts, churches and temples. A visit to these ancient marvels gives you an overview of the political, religious and commercial developments of the city. Some of the major attractions of the city are the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue, Fort Kochi, St. Francis Church, Santa Cruz Basilica, Dutch Cemetery, the Chinese Nets, Willingdon Island, and Hill Palace Museum.
The excursions around Cochin are equally interesting experiences. Some of the well-known places where one can go for daylong trips are Trichur, the cultural capital of Kerala; Pallipuram Fort, one of the oldest existing European monuments in India; Kalady, the birthplace of Adi Shankaracharya; Cherai Beach, an ideal place for swimming; and Chennamanagalam, an important centre of handloom weaving and coir manufacturing in Kerala.
The Dutch palace at Mattancherry was actually built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin Raja in AD 1555. The palace acquired its present name in 1663 when the Dutch carried out some extensions and repairs in it. The main attractions of the palace lie in its wall murals that depict the scenes from the Ramayana.
Founded in 1503, this Portuguese fort is now in ruins. With its European heritage, its air of genteel decay, and stubborn self-absorption, it is a place where history, like a friendly phantom, still stalks the lonely streets. One can see many remains of Indo-European architecture that still exist here. One of the fascinating sights on the Kochi shoreline is the huge cantilevered Chinese fishing nets which were brought here by traders from the court of Kublai Khan.
At the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town lies the synagogue of the white Jews near Mattancherry palace. The synagogue is now a fascinating mixture of shops, warehouses and spice auction rooms. The Great Scrolls of the Old Testament and the Copper Plates recording the grants of privilege made by the Cochin rulers to the Jewish community are displayed here.
The oldest European church in India, St. Francis Church was built in the early 16th century. Today, it stands as the pride of Fort Cochin. It was here that the great explorer Vasco da Gama was first buried in 1562 before his mortal remains were taken back to Portugal by his son 16 years later.
Originally built in 1557 by the Portuguese, the Santa Cruz Basilica was used as a warehouse by the British in the 18th century. The Basilica, with its beautiful carved wooden panels and pulpit, was rebuilt in the early 20th century.
About 12 km south east of Ernakulam, on the way to Kottayam, lies the Hill Palace museum at Tripunithura. The museum houses the collections of the Cochin and Travancore royal families.
Headquarters of the Southern Naval Command of India, this manmade island has the seaport, airport, railway terminus, important offices of the port, and the customs house. Out here the regular ferry services on the lake surrounding the island offer inexpensive backwater cruise. The island is named after Lord Willingdon, a British Viceroy to India. Some of the city/’s best hotels, customs and trading centres are located here.
An important centre of handloom weaving and coir manufacturing, Chennamangalam was one of the chief centres of the Jewish Colony and the seat of Paliath Achan, the hereditary prime minister of the erstwhile state of Cochin from 1632 to 1809. The famous Vaipinkotta Seminary, built in the 16th century by the Portuguese, used to stand in the vicinity of the Jewish Colony. An old Syrian Catholic Church established in 1201 now stands near the ruins of the seminary.
Situated at about 21 km from the city and bordering Vypeen Island, the beautiful Cherai Beach is an ideal place for swimming. One can occasionally see dolphins here. A typical Kerala village with paddy fields and coconut groves nearby is an added attraction here.
Located 45 km from Cochin on the banks of river Periyar is Kalady, the birthplace of Adi Shankaracharya. Shankaracharya was a great Indian philosopher who lived in the 8th century AD. Kalady has two shrines made in memory of Shankaracharya: one dedicated to him as Dakshina Moorthi and the other to Goddess Sharada.
Thirty kilometres from Cochin at Kanjiramattom lies a mosque believed to have been erected over the mortal remains of Sheikh Parid. The great Muslim saint, Bavar is supposed to have prayed here and attained eternal bliss. Thousands of devotees throng this place during the Kodikuthu festival which takes place in December-January.
Situated in the northern extremity of the Vypeen Island and built by the Portuguese in 1503, Pallippuram fort is one of the oldest existing European monuments in India. The fort was captured by the Dutch in 1661 and subsequently sold by them to the State of Travancore in 1789. The Catholic Church at Pallipuram is an important pilgrim centre of the Christians.
Located in the central part of the state, Trichur is also referred to as the cultural capital of Kerala. The city and the area around it have a number of museums, art schools, and institutes, which are dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich cultural traditions of Kerala. One of the most important landmarks of this city is the Vadakkunathan Temple, located on a raised hillock in the centre of the city. The temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is an important pilgrim centre in Kerala.
Cruising in Alleppey Vembanad Lake - Villages - Markets which dots the coastal line of Alleppey.
Our Tourist Permit Car / Coach with English / Multi Lingual License Guide will report at your Hotel or Residence at 0900 hrs drive to Alleppey, on arrival transfer to Alleppey Jetty to board the houseboat cruise taking you to Alleppey cruise in Vembanad Lake, the journey will cruise you through the tropical country-side enchanting backwater of Alleppey to Palm fringed narrow canal winding through the vast expanse of paddy field and the neat tiny hamlet, typical village, regattas - snake boats for which Kerala is very famous. The Deluxe houseboats have Sitting Area, Dinning Area, Sun Deck to enjoy sunset and fishing, Bed room with double & twin bed with attached English toilets and running hot & cold water. Typical Kerala Lunch & High Tea will be served on board the houseboats. You will cruise back to Alleppey Jetty at 1700 hrs, on arrival meet your drive & drive back to Cochin Hotel / Residence.
One of the exotic backwater locales of India’s southern state of Kerala, the town of Allapuzha, or Alleppey as it was called, is famous for its annual boat race that draws thousands of tourists from all over the country and world. Allapuzha is also the headquarters of Kerala’s coir industry and an important place for cashew nut processing. The town is bound by Kochi and Kanayannur in north; Vaikom, Kottayam, Changanassery Thiruvalla, Kozhencherry and Adoor taluks in east; Kannathur and Karunagappallyin in south and Lakshadweep islands in its west.
The Portuguese were the predominant rulers of this place before the Dutch took over. It was only during the reign of Maharaja Marthandavarma that the town of Alappuzha became a busy commercial place.
Alappuzha has a humid climate. The winters are relatively more pleasant and ideal time to visit this place.
Washed by the Arabian Sea and interlocked by a number of canals and bridges, Alappuzha is a pleasant and easygoing destination. A trip to this place during mid-December enables you take part in the festivities at the town temple. A walk through the streets makes you familiar with the Kerala style of architecture. The major destinations in the town include Kuttanad, Alappuzha Beach, Sea View Park, and Pathiramanal
The places around Alappuzha provide an equally interesting experience for the visitor. One gets insight into the region’s past by visiting the palaces built here. Also a visit to the churches and temples gives one an idea of how religion fared in this region over the period of time. Some of the major excursions around Alappuzha are Arthunkal, Edatgya Church, Chavara Bhavan, Krishnapuram Palace, and Ambalapuzha Krishna temple.
A popular picnic spot, the Alappuzha beach is located near to the Alappuzha town. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old. One of the great fascinations for the visitors here is the nearby lighthouse and entertainment facilities at the Vijaya Beach Park. The park offers boating facilities and a children\’s park with toy train and bicycles.
For bird lovers, this small island on the backwaters of Alappuzha is a must visit. About a 1½-hour drive by motorboat from Alappuzha, Pathiramanal is a haven for hundreds of rare birds migrating from different parts of the world.
Pathiramanal is accessible only by boat as it is surrounded by the Vembanad Lake, stretching from Alappuzha to Kochi and the Kayamkulam Lake.
One of the prominent features of Alappuzha is the region called Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala. Sandwiched between the sea and the hills, Kuttanad stretches for about 75 km It is believed to be the only place in the world where farming is done below sea level. SEA VIEW PARK
For those who love enjoying themselves by water, the Sea View Park is a place to visit while in Alappuzha. The park has a swimming pool and offers boating facilities.
A visit to this temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, will enable you to witness the typical temple architecture of Kerala. You can also get the glimpses of the town culture and taste payasam, if you happen to visit this place during the festival time of March.
Twenty-two kilometres north of Alappuzha near Sherthallai lies a pilgrim centre, Arthunkal. The town is known for the St. Andrews Church established by Portuguese missionaries. Every January the feast of St. Sebastian is held here.
About 6 km from Alappuzha and accessible only by boat, Chavara Bhavan is the ancestral home of Kuriakose Elias Chavara. Today it is a holy shrine and spiritual resort where thousands of devotees gather for prayers. A 250-year-old historically important beacon of light is preserved here in its original form.
About 24 km from Alappuzha on the Alappuzha-Thiruvalla Road stands the Edatgya Church. Dedicated to St. George, the church was established in 1810. Pilgrims from all parts of South India visit this church during the annual festival held in the first week of May.
Forty-seven kilometres from Alappuzha lies Krishnapuram Palace, a rare specimen of the Kerala style of architecture. The palace had been the residence of the rulers of Kayamkulam kingdom. It was renovated some time in the 18th century and is complete with gabled roofs, narrow corridors and dormer windows. The palace has been declared a protected monument by the department of archaeology. One of the most fascinating exhibits here is the 49 sq. metre Gajendra Moksham, the largest single band of mural painting discovered in Kerala. The other attractions include a beautifully landscaped garden in the palace compound and a newly erected Buddha mandapam, where a statue of the Buddha is housed.