Mattancherry Palace Trip
Distance : 10km from
¤ Dutch Palace
The credit for constructing this impressive palace around a.d 1555
goes to the Portuguese who presented it to Vira Kerala Verma, the
ruler of Kochi, in exchange of trading rights.
However, it is popularly known as the Dutch Palace because during
their short-lived regime, the Dutch were responsible for renovating
brilliantly executed mural paintings, depicting scenes from the
Puranas (ancient Hindu scriptures) and the two Hindu epics,
Mahabharata and the Ramayana, are the highlights of the palace.
The tempera style of painting was used in the murals. The coronation
of the Raja of Kochi, an event of great significance, was held in the
palace. Echoing with tales of ghosts, hidden treasures and secret
passages, the spacious palace is sure to capture the imagination of
While a Bhagavati Temple stands in the courtyard of the two storeyed,
quadrangular palace, there is another temple complex of Shiva (the
Destroyer in the Hindu Holy Trinity of Creator- Preserver- Destroyer)
and Vishnu (the Preserver) to the south of the edifice. The palace is
built on the lines of traditional Kerala architecture known as
nalukettus (four buildings).
¤ Jewish Synagogue
Dating back to 1567, the White Jews Synagogue is a major
attraction in Kochi. The crowning glory of the Synagogue are the
hand-painted, willow-patterned, blue porcelain tiles which were used
to pave the floor.
Around the mid-18th century, these tiles came all the way
from Canton in China with Ezekial Rahabi. The Synagogue features the
great scrolls of the Old Testament and the copper plates on which
Kochi rulers extended privileges to the Jewish community.
¤ Island Attractions
Clusters of islands on the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake form the
city of Kochi. Set amidst the palm-fringed Bolghatty Island, the
Bolghatty Palace is surrounded by large gardens in full bloom. Though
it was the Dutch who originally built the palace in 1744, it served as
the home of the British Resident at the court of the Kochi Raja.
Buckling under economic pressures today, the palace has been
converted into a hotel. Lying on the placid blue waters of the
Ernakulam Kayal, the man-made Willingdon Island has developed as the
hub of one of Indias busiest ports.
As there are not many important monuments in the area, tourists can
relax and savour the romantic scenery while taking leisurely walks or
ferry rides. The Vypeen Island has the impressive Azhikotta Fort.
Various temples and churches like the Subromonia Temple, the
Pattathankulangara Bhagavathi Temple and one of the oldest Romo-Syrian
churches also count among the important tourist destinations in this
place. Located on the inshore of the Vypeen Island, Gundu is the
smallest of all the islands.
In deference to its antiquity, Kochi has a number of museums that has
chronicled its rich history and culture. The Parishath Thamburan
Museum, situated in the Old Durbar Hall, has 19th century oil
paintings, old coins and sculptures. The Hill Palace Museum and the
Museum of Kerala History too are well-known haunts of tourists.