Fort Cochin.. the place in Kerala (the southern state of India)..The varieties of cultures and rulers that came to strive and takeover this place in meantime gave this place a prime place in the history of Kerala..
The place went through the reigns of the Rajah of Cochin, then the Portuguese, inturn to The Dutch, then the British and it continued to be under British till India got her independence...The place is one of the main tourist attractions in the state of Kerala due to its historical importance and the remnants from the history still preserved..
The churches and the buildings in this small Fort township tells you a lot about the variety of cultures it had witnessed in the journey from the past...
The Maharajah of Cochin welcomed the Portuguese in 1500s as a means to get support to defy the Zamorin who ruled Calicut..The Rajah of Cochin gave the place today known as Fort Cochin to the Portuguese to build their fort for trading..The Portuguese built up a fort named Fort Emmanuel and they settled down around the fort..
As the clock ticked the Rajah got his power weakened and Kochi became the first European colony in India..The rule of the Portuguese was a time of great sufferings for the small jew community of Cochin and also to the Syrian Christians who were living there for more than a 100 years... The time witnessed merging of the traditional Syrian Christians to Latin Christian community..
Nevertheless of timely factors Cochin remains the source of spices like pepper,cinnamon,cardamom,cloves,sandal wood etc to the European countries..The Arabs traders first came to know about our Spicy Cochin, and in a matter of time the Portuguese and dutch followed them to Cochin..It has many spice traders in the place and also you can see many spice shops in the Jew Street of Mattancherry near Cochin..
Presently the corporation of Cochin consists of three municipalities...Ernakulam, Mattancharry and Fort Kochi..
Hey what about a walk together through the streets!!..... I wanna show u something..
These metal structures are placed by the beach side of Fort Cochin..Want to know about them.. Let me read the inscription in the black marble plate fixed under them for you..
"Steam boilers of the cranes used in Cochin dry dock for 20 years from 1956. It used coke, coal, and firewood as fuels. Notable use of these cranes included attending annual repairs of dredger Lord Willingdon and Lady Willingdon"
You may know the importance of 1956 with respect to the Kerala state which was formed as a union of Malayalam speaking places..Its in this year the first free elections were held and the communist party came into power in Kerala to make the Government..The peculiarity is, it's the first freely elected communist Government in the world........
The Life After Retirement!!!!!
One of the anchors of the dredger Lord Willingdon which sunk in an accident..
You may be interested to know the inscription under on the black marble plate... here you go....
"One of the four Anchors of the first Dredger Lord Willigdon. Lord Willingdon was the principal instrument in the execution of Sir Robert Bristow's brilliant design of making Cochin a world class port. Lord Willingdon, which was brought from Scotland in 1938 had distinguished dredging career upto 1979 in which year she sunk in the outer channel of Arabian sea in an accident"..
This church was founded by the Portuguese in late 1500s when they landed here..Lots of tourists are visiting the church as it is the oldest church ever built by Europeans in India.. The church has undergone various face lifts since it was founded..
Initially the whole church was made of wood, which was done in rocks later...Eventhough the rule passed from Portuguese to Dutch and to British, the church was preserved but rituals changed to protestants...
The church is a protected monument under the archaeological survey of India, but owned by the north Kerala Diocese of Church of south India.. On week days the church is open for tourists and have services on Sundays and other religious days..
Just by the right side of the gate there is an information board giving you light into the history of the church..Let me quote something form that for you.. Am afraid its going to be a bit lengthy one...
"St Francis church was the first European church to be built in India within the oldest European settlement of Fort Kochi..Presumably it owes its origin to the Franciscan priests who accompanied the Portuguese expedition in 1500 AD.
Originally it is said to have been erected of wood but later rebuilt in stone and roofed with tile by 1516 ad and dedicated to St Antony. It remained in the order of St Francis till 1663 AD. When it come under the control of the dutch who reconditioned and converted into a protestant church.
Again during 1779 AD it was renovated as indicated by a tablet fix over its face but continued in the possession of the dutch even after the British control over Cochin in 1795. Till it was voluntarily surrendered to the angelical communion in 1904 AD.
Presumably it was renamed after the patron saint during the later half of the 19th century. At present it has been taken over by the church of south India.
Submounted by a bell-turret over the gable front, the church,facing west has an impressive facade with arched entrance and windows flanked by stepped pinnacles..
Here in this church,Vasco DA Gama, the first European navigator from Portugal to India was laid to rest in 1524 AD until his remains are removed and taken to Portugal in 1538 AD.
The grave stones of the Portuguese and dutch which were removed from the floor of the church have been refixed respectively in the northern and southern side walls. The oldest among the Portuguese gravestone dates back to 1562 and Dutch to 1664"....
Oh ma God am tired of writing... There was a few lines more, but not that significant.. hope you got an idea of the church now...
The things there are mostly in wood and the decorative lights hanging down adds beauty and simplicity to the place..There were tourists groups all around with guides..The guides were keeping their groups informed about each parts of the church...
It is not the Portuguese who bring Christianity to kerala..Long before St Thomas apostle, one of the 12 disciples of Christ came to Kerala by AD 5o s..He preached Christianity and attracted people to the religion..He started the beginning of Syrian Christianity in Kerala..
By the time the Portuguese came here the Christians were living closer to the Hindu culture with more over similar rituals like Mantravada (black magic) and similar things done by Hindus..
The Portuguese where of Latin Christians and they didn't liked people of Kerala in Syrian Christianity and they started converting them to Latin Christians....Things became controversial in later periods and huge protest from the syrian Christians broke out..
Just took at the time of ma friends looking for some lockets and chains.. these people had many handcrafted goods which draws our attraction to them.. But the prices are also Marvelous.. No problem.. you can bargain..
The largest ship building yard of India..The photo is just of a small portion of the yard as seen from our boat. The place also gives training in marine engineering etc.. Apart from building ships repairing of all kinds of ships are undertaken..
The on going projects includes, building India's first indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) which was inaugurated by laying the keel by India's Honourable Defence Minister AK Antony by February 28 2009....... Lets wish Good Luck.............
Belived that these fishing nets called as Cheena Vala in Malayalam is introduced here by the Chinese spice traders... These are construction marvels of fine balance. Usually the neat can have an area of 20 or more. the nets are immersed horizontally.. The nets are operated by men, using a cantilever like mechanism of huge timber logs assembled in some balance manner....
The nets are suspended in water for some time and raise eventually.. The catch won't be much huge but enough to meet the needs of waiting customers.. The fish are sold out there itself to people and in Cochin their are places where you can get them cooked up right after buying...
During nights the nets are immersed in water and left after hanging a glowing bulb over the water, which attracts fishes to gather over the net and are pulled up by people in the early morning next day, which may give them a better catch..These fishing nets are much eye catching to see with the setting sun.... We were in the place by noon and am not that glad for i missed the great evening charm of the place..
The Cannon... Remaining of Fort Emmanuel..
You may be remembering about fort Emmanuel, the first fort built by the portuguese for their trading needs.. Let me read the writings on the marble plate..
"Part of the Fort Emmanuel, where the Gunnary, fitted with powerful guns to keep a check on the in-coming ships was located"
You know it was the Chinese who used cannon for the first time. Europeans started using them by 13th century...The theory was 'the longer the barell, the longer the range'...The technology kept improving and people started using small numerous maneuverable cannons instead of big ones.. In World War1 the majority of deaths were caused by cannons..They were widely used in world war 2 also with improved accuracy...
If you are a tourist visiting Kerala you shouldn't miss Cochin, for the place has many palaces like the Dutch palace, Hill palace, old cathedrals, museums, jaina temple, the oldest jew street and synagogue etc etc..
The photos here are taken using Mobile phone SonyEricsson w810i..
Cu soon ... with love
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