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Yatra to Kochi, Kerala, India- A Travelogue Trip to Kochi, Kerala, India A chance visit to historical city of Kerala, India, Now Kochi, once that was famous Port city of Cochin, vied for by European powers- Portuguese and Dutch then landed in hands of British. This has impacted the city, culture, Architecture, Psyche, and thinking process By Gaurang Katyayan Mishra @kamlesm @kamlesm @kamlesm @kamlesm

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a short trip to Kochi, the historical city and Port Cochin. what i saw there in two three days stay.

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Page 1: Yatra to kochi

Yatra to Kochi, Kerala, India-

A Travelogue Trip to Kochi, Kerala, India

A chance visit to historical city of Kerala, India, Now Kochi, once that was famous Port city of Cochin, vied for by European powers-Portuguese and Dutch then landed in hands of British. This has impacted the city, culture, Architecture, Psyche, and thinking process

By Gaurang Katyayan Mishra @kamlesm

@kamlesm

@kamlesm @kamlesm

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@ k a m l e s m

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When I came to know that I have to go to Kochi to attend a workshop, I was

very excited. Since childhood, I have heard a lot about Cochin. It was INS

Cochin which I heard first that too from my father. He was in Indian Navy.

It was a historical place. The Portuguese and Dutch people landed here

centuries ago i.e. about 14th century. Portuguese had occupied it for about

160 years. In 1683 the Dutch caught this area and ruled for 112 years, later

it became a British colony. That was the time all the colonial powers were

eyeing for our India. They were all dreaming of looting immense wealth. They

had heard about this land through travellers and thought to occupy it and

make it their slave. Thus European countries wanted to become wealthy just

by looting this land. Now they are wealthy countries, if I may say so, they

have become so after taking away wealth of our countries- those who were

their colonies.

I mean it was a historical PORT CITY, since people landed here coming by

sea route. The name lingered. When we went on LTC tour in 1976 that time

we could not see much of that part of Keral.

I searched in google. I came to know there are so many words. Kochi,

Cochin. Kozhikode etc., I was confused, as to which Airport I should select

for ticket? since the name of my destination was Kochi, I took ticket for

Kochi. In kochi itself there were two airports, thanx to the google earth.

Other was naval area. Why they renamed it as Kochi instead of Cochin?

On reaching I tried to get the feel of air of Kochi. It was a busy city, bustling

with lot of activities. It is growing with high pace. Infrastructural projects are

on rise. The ride from airport to the city is bit long, but adventurous, as I

felt. So much greenery around, but it was being occupied by concrete. Few

new roads and high rise buildings are coming up. So it was different from

image of a historical

city, it is now a

commercial city. I

saw few

aquaculture fields-

where prawns,

shrimps are

cultured(?). These

were low lying fields

lined by high mud

bunds & symbol of

Keral-coconut trees

all around the field.

At airport I saw lots

@kamlesm

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of newly wedded couples disembarking from many private airlines. Thus it is

becoming as a tourist spot also, mostly as a honeymoon spot. In my flight

few fellow passengers were wearing black cloths. Small kids were also there.

Later I learnt that they were visiting Sabarimala. That means if I am correct

it is en-route to a pilgrimage.

We were put in Abad hotel. Abad means “well settled”. Road seemed busy

during evening & night. It has cinema halls, eatery, many shops- garments,

utility, electronics, utensils, medicines

and most prominently jewellery shops.

Towards one end there was an Ayurveda

clinic, I think of kotakal warrior

connection??.

I was desperate to see the sea as my

father told about his navy days. I was

thinking to see palaces, temples or fort

or any such historical thing. Which, I

came to know through reading books.

Walking in street in evening I found

these were busy. We reached at a place

from where many boats were leaving for

various destinations. I had read that

Keral is country of backwater, thus I

could easily guess people traveling

through sea route also. This picture

of a board tells distances of various

places from that jetty. At first I

could not believe that people may

be visiting to such far off places as

Kolam. But his board tells that it

was 155 Km from Kochi Or

Astamudi which was 147 Km and

people may be visiting?

Since it was a workshop organised

by a Ministry. People from all over

country came to attend workshop.

A boat was there to carry whole

team. We boarded the boat.

@kamlesm

@kamlesm

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While walking at jetty, I got sight of a tall

statue. It looked very much pleasing to me.

I thought this as a pious soul, may be the

Mother Mary. Only that name I knew?. It

looks as if saying “keep marching ahead

and do your duty”. I clicked few photos of

this tall statue. The famous words “Ekla

chalo” came to mind. See how the Bengali

words came to mind while I was in Keral.

At jetty there was a big shopping complex.

On one side was this jetty and other side

was a busy road. By now I came to know

that city has quite a deep influence of

Christianity. Almost on every road you can

find either church like signs, or structures,

or some church affiliated school or hospitals

etc. another influence is that people speak English. Keral is one of the state

having highest literacy rates in country.

Signs of modernity were evident through these high rise buildings. I could

see lot of experimentation also in architecture. I have observed that in cities

people do not get influenced by

religious aspects while choosing a

flat in multi-storeyed buildings.

See that building in pic here have

houses in inclined slope. They

might be projecting these

apartments as having sun light or

separate terrace. On that road

there were many multi-storeyed

buildings. I had always dreamt of

sleeping in terrace under open

sky… moonlight….dreams

always.

With so many people living there

then there must be some

attraction in it? As our boat

started moving more symbols of

developments came in sight.

There was this huge flyover. It

takes people from one shore to

@kamlesm

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another. There were many such

bridges at multilevel.

A succesfull Port should have good

connectivity. That can be achieved

through big roads, for cargo

movement.

When boat reached further little

inside the sea I saw some resort

like structures along the shore.

Since it is a Port City it

has floating

population, either for

commercial activity or

tourist. The green and

big shoreline offers

great opportunity for

such tourism related

endeavours. Kochi is

making full use of its

potential.

But we cannot say full,

but yes it is bubbling

with such activities, as

I saw. With global exposure it is

now becoming a global hub of

activities. Recently it was

famous for a controversy on Art

activist related activity (Biennale

of arts).

Many Boats full of people

started emerging on both sides

of sea creek. The guide

accompanying our team pointed

towards a large structure having

several high cranes, stacked

containers, few ships being

loaded with those containers

and few were being unloaded,

and He said that this is the largest container port in India? Our boat

travelled past that ship container port. On the other side at far end many

@kamlesm

@kamlesm

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ships were there. The boat slightly took a turn towards left and at that point

I could see one of the largest Naval

ship. It was there for repairs. In that

area many big or small ships were

sailing. Many of them were of Navy,

coast guard etc.

On One boat LOTS Bridge was written

on the body. Was it for making bridge

across sea channel.

Suddenly on the right

side I saw a beautiful

boat. That was truly a

boat. It must be a tourist

boat. It was in kind of round shape. It had eco-friendly material. Bamboo

thatched mats. It was a fine example of why tourists are attracted to Kerala.

They always dream to have a boat ride in the back water.

@kamlesm

@kamlesm

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On the way there were other boats in the sea, shipping, fishing & tourist?

We travelled towards a place called the Mattanchery. This word sounded like

mutton to me. The place is famous in history of Keral. The Dutch connection

was evident.

When the boat enters a canal,

on left side I saw naval ships

lining on the port side and on

the right side there were many

houses. Each of these building

was with architecture of old

type. I guessed may be that is

influence of Dutch. Designs of

old type of inclined and sloping

roofs are there. This indicates

the heavy rains in that area.

We reached the jetty of Mattancherry. Few

steps ahead just in front was a gate. This

was gate of that very historical place for

@kamlesm

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which it is famous, the mattanchery palace. Most interesting story behind it

is that it was build by Dutch.

This branch of royals had

conection to the Travancore

royal palace.

When I reached the palace

gate I found this board stating

that it is a archeological

museum. Most sad part was

that camera was not allowed

inside it.

Much of the thrill was lost since I was

dreaming to click lots of pictures from

inside of palace. As palace life always is

of interest to me.

Inside the palace there were

photographs of royal family. No one can

imagine the way royal ladies

lived or dressed till you see

yourself. There were large

mural paintings in palace

and I think these are best

example of Indian art

heritage. Few exhibits were

also there, a palanquin was

there. Large painting of

Martand Varma or other

royal kings are displayed. I

was surprised to see the

Coronation hall. It was so narrow that I thought how a crowd of people

could stand in it. I was sweating, it was so hot inside. Once you are inside

the palace you loose the time and space, you become a part of palace and I

started imagining living in that era? Sitting in front of window of palace,

looking out in the garden, how one could have felt in past centuries?

Palace with its beautifull murals, aura, design kindles lots of imagination in

me

@kamlesm

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I found this façade above the gate very interesting. Was it really built by

Dutch? The GajLakshmi

adorns the gate. This

shows how religious

practice and belief were

followed all throughout

India? The Gaj Lakshmi

is known to everyone

from Jammu to

Kanyakumari and from

Assam to Gujrat. The

intricate wood carving is

very beautifully done. It

must have required great

patience to make such

carving.

There is a courtyard around the palace that houses a shiv temple. It is

surprising to note that on other side of the wall of palace there is a Jew

synagogue in the famous jew street. The royal highness had given the land

to Jews to build synagogue.

After coming out of the

palace on the right

hand side from the

gate leads a road to

main bazar. It is a

total commercial

street. Everything is

now being sold on this

street, From

Handicraft to stone

sculptors.

Eatery is also there, few I found selling the pickles, organic bottled ones.

One restaurant was unique, I tried to see and found that it was eating

places but from the street it looked like a museum where all the antique

pieces of arts were exhibited.

@kamlesm

@kamlesm

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There was a big boat, big tub, big horse, big elephant and big human

sculptors. I could not afford any of such works, so I could not gather

strength to

step inside

that shop.

I thought

them as out

of bound for

me.

I tried to

restrain

myself-

Swamaryada

I wanted to memorise whatever my eyes were catching glimpses of. All

that was so precious, I felt, as if my touch will make it dirty. My eyes were

amazed with this grand show of wealth.

@kamlesm

@kamlesm

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At the end of this

bazar is Jew Street,

which is the earliest

settlement of Jews in

India. Here lived Jew

families who settled

here centuries ago in

1500AD. But few years

back they migrated to

other parts of world.

Few even returned to

their land-Israel. I

heard One old lady

still lived there. I was

eager to see her. But

when I reached this street, it was already noontime. At this house two

people a woman and a man stopped me, and told she is taking rest. Thus

my dream to meet her was shattered. I saw the room and found few

embroidered cloths were decorated here and there. It was sad that whole of

Jew street is devoid of Jew families. In All houses I saw Non-Jew people.

Either they must have purchased or taken on hire?? But strangely, Whole

Street still sells the embroidery works. At the end of street one Synagogue is

there that was built in 1567? Raja gave the land. The wall is common to the

palace, temple. Camera and shoes are not allowed inside. So I could not

click photos. I went there as an Indian ( read as so called a Hindu). It was so

mystic inside. In one room several photos, items are on display. Gift of

royalties, religious art facts, script I could not read. There were few pardesi

people managing the place, this is also referred to as Pardesi synagogue.

@kamlesm

@kamlesm

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Few pics I have taken On the way from Mattanchery to Fort Kochi..

Such big and majestic

buildings lined the

banks of that sea creek.

While our boat travelled I

could see lots of such old

buildings, guessed that

all those might have

been built during those

Portuguese, Dutch rule.

Through the creek or

canal our boat returned back and on the way again I met with few people

fishing on their log boats. They just looked like a big log of tree but boys

were riding on it as if they are expert rider on horse.

We disembarked on a place from there we walked further. That was the way

to Fort Kochi. I was imagining about a fort as we see in Rajasthan.

@kamlesm

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I found this display. This was Vasco-da Gama Square. It kindled imagination. I

was standing on the ground

where once Vasco-da-Gama

landed in India. Lived here and

was buried here.

St Francis Xavier reached

Kochi in 1530 and introduced

Christian mission. Is it same

who is referred in Goa also? I

thought?

St Francis Church housing the TOMB of

VASCO DA GAMA.

Vasco da Gama was not the first, Admiral

Cabral arrived in 1500. During the fights

with Zamorin of Calicut Portuguese then

sent D Gama. He fought and took over

the control in 1503 and Since then

Portuguese ruled.

Later I think his remains were taken

away to his homeland in 1539? As the

guide told.

@kamlesm

@kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

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Life at the beach was full of colors. I just felt that whole beach is dependent

on this fishing. I saw

huge nets, boats,

drying fish, fishermen

everywhere.

I still have doubt why

these nets are called

Chinese nets? Why

they are not Indian?

Now days it has

become fashion to call

everything as un-

Indian. As if we in

India had nothing

before the advent of

the Europeans? All

wrong things are

being propagated. I

had an argument with

the guide. He pointed

towards a fan of cloth

hanging in ceiling and

said these were

brought by

Portuguese. I said you

are wrong, even such

type of fans were

hanging in my

grandfather’s house

in Hardoi, UP. So do

you think is it due to

Dutch/Portuguese

that he had these type

of fans in UP?

Here is what I got from wiki??

King Unni Goda Varma Tirumulpadu(Trimumpara Raja) warmly welcomed Pedro Álvares Cabral on 24 December 1500 and negotiated a treaty of alliance between

@kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

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Portugal and the Cochin kingdom, directed against the Zamorin of Calicut. Goda means the eldest son of Rani thus this word is added in name. Since virtually the cochin at that time was under control of Zamorin of Calicut and they wanted to get free from his control. Cochin became a long-time Portuguese protectorate (1503–1663) providing assistance against native overlords. After the Portuguese, the Dutch East India Company(1663–1795) followed by the English East India Company (1795–1858, confirmed on 6 May 1809), protected the Cochin state.

Cochin was probably first kingdom to sign any treaty with any European power. Oldest or the first fort built by Portuguese was at Fort Kochi may be 1503. First it was built by wood later it was made permanent with stone etc. Royal King provided all the help such as material and men. Then somehow after approx. 160 years of Portuguese rule few members of Cochin family got help from Dutch. Dutch got hold of the fort Kochi and ruled till the British came. There were times when it was attacked by Mysore, Hyder Ali etc also. Portuguese traded spices from this Port City. Earlier a city kodungalur was famous as port city but there was no mention of Kochi. A flood in 1341 destroyed Koungalore and nearby city Kochi got into prominence. Ma Huan Chinese travelor mentioned it and in 1440 an Italian travelor Nicolo Da Conti came here and mentioned it or that means first time anywhere Kochi was found written? Those times it was famous Port city for International trade with Chinese, Yavanas (Roman & Greeks), Arabs, Jews. Thus for centuries it traded spices etc?

People and people everywhere on the beach at FORT KOCHI, busy with fishing activity.

@kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

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Fishermen or rather fisher women had put few stalls for selling the fishes on Fort Kochi

Beach.

@ kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

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See these majestic fishing nets. Could not resist clicking

At Fort Kochi there was usual gathering of people as we find at any tourist

place in India.

@kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

@kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

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There are few shops of ice creams, fast food, soft drinks, tea. But most

amazing thing I found that street vendors selling handicraft items like

jewellery, few bags, embroidery items etc similar to what we find on the

Janpath at New Delhi. Those women wearing the dress have Gujrati-

Rajasthani motifs. Many were there selling the beads, cloths etc on the road

side. I was surprised to see those women there at Fort Kochi, so cut off place

but full of tourists. Surprised with the imagination as what those women

selling crafts of Saurastra at Fort Kochi as I seen many doing at Janpath

New Delhi? I have no answer to this interesting aspect of Tourism related

economic activity. And why a tourist at Fort Kochi will be interested to buy a

craft of Saurastra??

@kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

@ kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

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Everything is written here, so needless to say anything now

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It was a jetty from where

all boats leave and people

boarded It was on the way

between mattan chery and

fort kochi. And may be

some other routes also, as

this was very busy jetty.

@ kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

@ kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

@ kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

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Many things are left,

which I wanted to write. But since time is less and I have no patience now.

@ kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

@ kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

@ kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

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On the street of ABaD

hotel, in front of a

shop I saw this pond.

I think it was some

cloth shop? they had

decorated the front

portion of shop with

most creative design.

It was in shape of Sea

Shell and had

beautifull fishes. I

thought how they are

protected in night?

There was a guard

outside

Kochi is a famous and

busy buiseness HUB.

Enjoy your visit to

Kochi. I bought a pack

of Banana chips from

Airport. I could have

bought it from the street

behind the Hotel but

resisted. However at

Airport I thought to buy

as a souvenir

@kamlesm

@ kamlesm Gaurang Katyan Mishra

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