Fort Kochi has a quaint ambience and the colonial buildings, telling the tales of centuries-old cultural and commercial interaction with the colonial powers of the West, makes a big impression. The history of Fort Kochi is fascinating with various European powers - the Portuguese in 1500, the Dutch in 1663 and the British in the 18th century – invading, controlling, and looting and at the same time enriching the place. Fort Kochi owes its grace and old-world ambience to the old buildings and worshipping centres there.
Proceed for the guided tour of Fort Kochi. Visit St. Francis Church, well-known for its beautiful architecture and ambience, is believed to be one of the oldest churches built by the Europeans in India. Visit Santa Cruz Basilica, though Fort Kochi is full of monuments that throb with history and have an unmistakable old-world charm, the Santa Cruz Basilica, one of the eight basilicas in India, makes an indelible impression on visitors. The church, which is more than 500 years old, has an eventful past going back to the arrival of the Portuguese in 1500. Visit Dutch Palace, though the Dutch Palace has been named so, it was the Portuguese who built it. What the Dutch did was merely cosmetic renovation and repair. The Dutch palace has a fascinating collection of mural paintings and antique royal regalia including furniture and weapons. Also visit Synagogue, the Synagogue, in a corner of Jew Town, is more than a hundred years old and houses many rare antiques. The synagogue, that woos many visitors, adds to the quaint charm of Mattancherry. The Jewish synagogue was built in 1568, almost 1500 years after the beginning of the Jewish connection with Kerala. The synagogue, the oldest in the Commonwealth, was built by the Jewish community of Cochin. Also visit Jew Town which is famous for the antique shops all along its sides. The colonial buildings lining the street add to its old-world charm. The Spice Market, though Jew Town has lost much of its earlier glory, it has retained its status as an important centre of spice trade. The exotic odour of the finest ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric and pepper, also known as black gold, emanate from the spice warehouses lining the street and fills it. Visit Chinese fishing nets. The huge cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that droop towards the waters like over-sized hammocks have become a hallmark that represents Fort Kochi on the tourist map. Chinese fishing nets is believed to have been introduced in Kochi by Chinese explorer Zheng He, from the court of the Kubla Khan. The fishing net established itself on the Kochi shores between 1350 and 1450 AD. The sight of the Chinese nets, suspended in mid air and standing in line on the beaches, when silhouetted against the sunset is breathtakingly beautiful. The walking tour takes you through these sights and ends by 1730 Hrs at a kathakali centre where you will see the traditional Kathakali dance seeing first the applications & dressing of the artistes which itself is quite an experience followed by the dance.