Monthly Archives: June 2012

Kochi- rest of the trip

The rest of the day was spent visiting Mattanchery where we went to the Dutch palace, the  Paradesi Synagogue and a walk through the shops of the Jew town.

The Mattancherry palace was built by the Portugese traders for the then King of Kochi, Veera Kerala Varma in 1555 AD. The palace was later renovated by the Dutch in 1663 AD and hence called also as the Dutch Palace. The palace is an absolute beauty in its architecture based on the traditional Kerala ”Nallukettu” style of architecture. The walls of the palace contains a lot of paintings depicting scenes from the Hindu epics of “Ramayana” and “Krishna Leela”. Also, the detailed paintings showing the development of today’s Kochi from the times of ancient Rajas of Kochi to the visit of the Portugese, the Dutch and the British can be seen. Amongst the other exhibits in the palace are an ivory palanquin, a howdah, royal umbrellas, ceremonial dress used by the royalty, coins, stamps and drawings. The palace is now a protected monument under the Archeological Society of India.

Nearby is the Paradesi Synagogue built in 1568.The Paradesi Synagogue has the “Scrolls of the Law”, several gold crowns received as gifts, many Belgian glass chandeliers, and a brass-railed pulpit. It houses the copper plates of privileges given to Joseph Rabban, the earliest known Cochin Jew, dating from the 10th century, written in Tamil on the two plates, by the ruler of the Malabar Coast.The most visible part of the synagogue is the 18th century clock tower.Alongside are the antique shops in the meandering alleys of Jew Town. The area is full of shops attracting tourists hunting for mementoes to carry back home.

Situated in between the Mattancherry Palace and the Paradesi Synagogue is the “Pazhayannur Bhagavathy Temple”, the ancestral deity of the Cochin Royal Family. The temple with royal patronage shares its wall with the Jewish synagogue and the Mattancherry Palace.

All these places are great to visit, but no photography is allowed inside the Palace or the Synagogue.

Our final stop was the Marine Drive, where we took a stroll along the Marine Walkway and at either ends of the walkway , we had a scenic look at the Kochi coastline by climbing over the Chinese fishing net bridge and the Rainbow bridge. The place also has a lot of shopping malls for those planning for a quick purchase.Finally, it was 6:30 pm and we had to rush back to our hotel room to pack our baggages and catch our bus from Woodlands junction, Kochi at 08:30 pm. Relaxing in the bus, heading back home to Chennai, I decided to make sure to take more time during my next visit to Kochi to enjoy the full flavour of Kerala. The memories of Kochi is sure to last for a long time with me:-)