Sightseeing tour of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry. Walk along its street and explore all the main attractions from the Chinese fishing nets to the Jewish Synagogue.
What to Expect
Start your private walking tour at Fort Kochi visiting Chinese fishing nets, which were introduced by traders from the court of Kublai Khan in the 14th century. Kochi fishermen still use these fishing nets to earn their livelihoods.
Continue your stroll down to St Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. The church was constructed in 1503 by Portuguese friars and is now the burial place of Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese explorer who led the first ships that sailed directly from Europe to India. The church has a large cemetery that serves as a resting ground for many Portuguese army officials and soldiers.
Next, see Santa Cruz Basilica, one the largest and most impressive churches in India. The church has two soaring spires and a bright, white-washed exterior. Inside, you will find walls decorated with frescoes, murals, and large paintings depicting scenes from the life of Jesus Christ.
Visit the Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese and presented to the Raja of Kochi in 1555. The palace is famous for its stunning murals portraying scenes from Hindu tales, such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Next door is the Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in South India. Admire the ornate brass pulpit, the Belgian glass chandelier, and hand-painted Chinese porcelain floor tiles.
Finish by wandering around the neighboring Jew Town, a central location for the spice trade, and inhale the aroma of ginger, cardamom, turmeric, and cloves.
Know Before You Go
• The Jewish Synagogue and Dutch Palace are closed on Fridays, Saturdays, and Jewish Holidays
• This tour will not be provided to Cruise ship passengers