- Sauvik Biswas / autobot: 54UV1K - https://sauvikbiswas.com -

Day 2: Fort Kochi is no more a fort

Timing is the key

Here is an important information. Most Jewish places are closed on Fridays, the Synagogue is also closed on Saturdays, most museums are closed on Mondays and all the shops are closed on Sundays. This means that you have effectively three days – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – to plan a productive trip in Mattanacherry and Fort Kochi. However, since we had no shopping agenda, Sunday was a productive day for us.

The Jew Town

Mattanacherry’s Dutch Palace is now a museum. Photography is prohibited and hence there aren’t any pictures to post. The Verma kings took either of the three names – Ravi, Rama and Kerala. As a result, these guys are also referred to as the king who died in xyz place, where xyz is a placeholder, in order to distinguish one Kerala Verma from another and one Ravi Verma from another. I am surprised as to why the historians haven’t assigned them numbers – like, Ravi Verma the second, etc.

Outside Dutch Palace [1]

Outside Dutch Palace

A Shiva temple just outside the Dutch Palace [2]

A Shiva temple just outside the Dutch Palace

A few hundred meters ahead is the Jew Street. In the entire island, this was the only area that was doing business on Sunday. In other places, not even a medicine shop was open. The place houses the famous historical Synagogue. It is a serene place. Unfortunately, photography was prohibited here, too, and I do not have images to share. I learned that the biblical name of India was Odhu and was known for its spices, that the middle eastern kingdoms imported.

The entrance to the Paradesi Synagogue. [3]

The entrance to the Paradesi Synagogue.

A clock outside the Synagogue. [4]

A clock outside the Synagogue.

A decoration on Jew Street. There was some art festival going on in this region. [5]

A decoration on Jew Street. There was some art festival going on in this region.

Fort Kochi area

Fort Kochi is no more a fort. I got a surprise look from a local to whom I had asked, “Where is the Fort?”. A few Dutch maps show the outline of the walls that were built. Right now it consists of historical monuments interspersed with settlements. One of the oldest church in this country, St Francis Church is in this place. Sadly, this was the only place of great historical significance in Fort Kochi we couldn’t visit. We did visit the other historically important church, the Santa Cruz Basilica.

Santa Cruz Basilica from the front. [6]

Santa Cruz Basilica from the front.

The inside of the basilica. [7]

The inside of the basilica.

A depiction of The Last Supper was painted high up  on the wall behind the alter. [8]

A depiction of The Last Supper was painted high up on the wall behind the alter.

There were photography restrictions in Indo-Portugese museum, too. I was more intrigued by the medieval books that were kept as exhibits. There was a book of hymns, too, with familiar staff notation.

The information plaque outside the Indo-Portugese museum. [9]

The information plaque outside the Indo-Portugese museum.

The campus of the museum was also the home to the bishop. Outside his quarters was a beautiful garden. [10]

The campus of the museum was also the home to the bishop. Outside his quarters was a beautiful garden.

Fort Kochi also has the Southern Naval Command Maritime Museum. My sister was pretty excited to see the exhibits.

The entrance to the maritime museum. [11]

The entrance to the maritime museum.

A relief comparing medieval and modern shipbuilding methods in Calicut. [12]

A relief comparing medieval and modern shipbuilding methods in Calicut.

Again, timing is everything

Almost all museums and historical places are closed between 12 to 2.30 in he afternoon. This is a good time to have lunch at Tower road and visit the Fort Kochi beach and Vasco da Gama square. We were able to catch a glimpse of fishermen operating the famous Chinese Fishing Nets.

One row of eateries in Tower road serve possibly every kind of dish possible. (None of them must be really good) [13]

One row of eateries in Tower road serve possibly every kind of dish possible. (None of them must be really good)

Fishermen operating a Cinese Fishing Net. [14]

Fishermen operating a Cinese Fishing Net.

These defunct boilers were once used to operate heavy cranes. [15]

These defunct boilers were once used to operate heavy cranes.

This is not an art installation! [16]

This is not an art installation!

Day 3: A backwaters boat ride at Alleppy [17]
Day 1: A leisurely stroll in Kochi [18]