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In Cochin (Kochi), dawn is not often a thing of breathtaking beauty, but just a careless smear of tinted light where sea and sky unite. Daybreak is full of indeterminate promise. A slow lividness at the mist-obscured harbor mouth meets the swelling untamed surge of the ocean. Cargo-laden barges or country boats move, ponderously slow, over the sprawling vastness of the Vembanad Kayal, Kerala's largest lake that spreads full bosomed and silver gray in the sultry sun.

Cochin Tourist Attractions
Fort Cochin

St. Francis Church is the oldest existing European church in India. The church began life as a wooden structure built by the five friars who accompanied the Portuguese to Cochin in 1503. The Franciscans, followers of St. Francis Xavier who visited Cochin in the early 16th century, raised the present edifice.

St. Francis Church

This five storey edifice with its hundreds of window achieves something of a Georgian effect. The Haveli is beyond an archway at the end of a narrow laneway.

The Dutch Palace

The Dutch Palace at Mattancherry was actually built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin ruler Vira Kerala Varma in 1555 as an act of expiation for the plunder and desecration of a temple near the Raja's palace by a hot-headed young Portuguese officer.

Parishath Thampuram Museum

The Parishath Thampuram Museum in Ernakulam has a large collection of 19th century oil paintings, old coins, sculptures, Mughal paintings and temple models.

Cherai Beach

This lovely beach bordering Vypeen Island is ideal for swimming. Dolphins are occasionally seen here. A typical Kerala village with paddy fields and coconut groves nearby is an added attraction of this beach.

Willingdon Island

Named after Lord Willingdon, a British viceroy to India; this man-made island is surrounded by beautiful backwaters. The island is the site of the city's best hotels, customs and trading centres, the port trust and the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command.

Jewish Synagogue

Constructed in 1568, this is the oldest synagogue in the commonwealth. Destroyed in a shelling during the Portuguese raid in 1662, it was rebuilt two years later by the Dutch. Known for mid 18th century hand printed, willow pattern floor tiles from Canton in China, a dock tower, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs, ancient scripts on copper plates, etc.

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