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Important Places


Marine Drive

Also called as Shanmugham Road, Marine Drive is a long gracefully curving road along the buttressed seacoast of Kochi City. The view of the backwaters and the harbor from here is really breathtaking.

The Walkway here, along the edge of the backwaters starting from behind the Children's Park to the end of the Shanmugham Road, has become popular with both locals and tourists. The 140-metre walkway is paved with black-dotted, red-carpet ultra tiles. Cast-ironed, wooden benches, weather-proof seating on ash grey tiles and the breeze blowing in, provide recreational relaxation. Film music filters through the speakers fixed at the Renewable Energy Park, in the walkway area behind the Park. Now there are two beautiful bridges along the walkway. At the other end of the walkway, a number of country boats and motor boats are parked which are available for rides in the backwaters.

At night, twinkling lights of ships anchored at the harbor is beautiful. There are a number of buildings along the Marine Drive which are good examples of modern architecture like Asoka Apartments, Taj Residency, etc. The famous shopping centers GCDA complex and the Pioneer Towers at the Marine Drive houses many showrooms and restaurants. The surrounding area of the marine drive has become a favorite location for shooting sequences for movies.

Jewish Synagogue at Mattancherry

This imposing structure was built in 1568 when the Jews settled in Mattancherry, after their expulsion from the Rahabi. They built a clock tower and paved the floor of the synagogue with 18th century hand painted willow pattern tiles brought from China. Its most important relics are the impressive copper plates recording King Bhaskara Ravi Varma's 4th century decree that guaranteed the Jewish settlers domain over Cranganore (Kodungalore) as well as the Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, great scrolls of the Old Testament etc. The Synagogue itself is elaborately decorated with crystal chandeliers and carved wood with blue and white ceramic tiles. Located in Jew town, Mattancherry, the synagogue is open from 10 am to 12 noon; 3 pm to 5pm and closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays.

Dutch Palace, Mattancherry

Built by the Portuguese in the middle of the 16th century, this palace was taken over in 1663 by the Dutch, who added some improvements before presenting it to the Rajas of Cochin. The rajas also made more improvements. The palace is notable for some of the best mythological murals in India, particularly in the bed chambers. In that room one can see the entire story of Ramayana on the walls. The palace also houses Dutch maps of Old Kochi, royal palanquins, coronation robes of former maharajas of Kochi and displays an example of traditional Kerala flooring, which looks like polished black marble but is actually a mixture of burned coconut shells, charcoal, lime, plant juices and egg whites. It is situated at Palace Road, Mattancherry. Open to Tourists - Saturday to Thursday from 10 am - 5 pm, Closed on Fridays and National holidays. More details...

Chinese fishing nets, Fort Kochi Beach

Chinese traders from the court of Kublai Khan are believed to have introduced these huge cantilevered fishing nets in the late14th century. The nets are built of teak wood and bamboo poles. They can best be seen at sunset, on the north end of the promontory, a few metres from Fort Kochi, or from a boat tour of the harbour. Vasco da Gama square just behind the nets is an idle place to sit and savour the delicious seafood freshly caught in the nets, catered by the stalls here.

The Bishops House

Built by the Portuguese in A.D.1506 as residence of the Portuguese governor, Bishop house is the oldest Catholic Dioceses in India located near the Parade ground, Fort Kochi. A prominent heritage of Fort Kochi, it is characterised by large arches in Gothic Style and has circular garden path winding up to the main entrance. The building was acquired by Dome Jos Gomes Ferreira, the 27th Bishop of the Diocese of Cochin whose jurisdiction extended over Burma, Malaya and Ceylon in addition to India. Inside the Bishop's house there is a parlour room with large walls. These walls are painted in bright colours-telling the arrival of Portuguese, the origin of Christianity in Kerala and the establishment of the Diocese. The Indo Portuguese Museum within the palace compound has some historically significant invaluable collections. There is also the dinning area, known as Dr. Mario Sorais Hall, senate hall, teak staircase, large attics, collection of Portuguese maps, small collection of antiques and the other historic materials preserved here.



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