KERALA INFO: Travel and Tourism of Ernakulam District

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Travel and Tourism of Ernakulam District

by by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)  (Feedback)



Chinese Fishing nets

The Chinese Fishing Nets, which can be best viewed at Vasco-Da-Gama Square is a hallmark of Cochin. It reminds of the first traders, who visited this coast during 1350 - 1450 AD. These nets are built using teak wood and bamboo poles.

Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple

This temple of Maha Vishnu formerly belonged to the Cochin Royal family. It is believed that, one of the Pandavas, Arjuna established this temple. The major festivals of this temple will be held from November - December.

Chottanikkara Temple

The Chottanikkara Devi temple is well known for its healing powers, particularly related to the mental sickness and disorders. The Devi here is called by various names like Raja Rajeshwari, Badrakali, Durga, Saraswathi and Amman. According to the local practice, Raja Rajeshwari is worshiped as Saraswathi in the morning, as Bhadra Kali in the afternoon and as Durga in the evening. The local legend mentions that the famous saint Vilvamangalam installed the idol of Bhadrakali in a place Kizhakavu having taken out the original idol from the bed of a tank.  
 

Cheraman Juma Masjid

The Cheraman Juma Masjid is the first mosque in India. It is situated in Methala, Kodungalloor. The legend says that the King Cheraman Perumal of Kodungallor left for Mecca and embraced Islam. He changed his name to Thajudee and married the sister of the then King of Jeddah. Before his death Thajuddeen gave several letters addressed to Kerala Kings seeking their help to propagate Islam to the King of Jeddah. The Jeddah king met the then king of Kodungalloor who helped the former to convert Arathali temple into a Juma Masjid. This mosque built in 629 A.D. was designed and constructed based on Hindu art and architecture. Situated in Kodungaloor, this mosque resembles like a temple in appearance.

St.Francis Church

This Church is situated on Parode Road and was originally dedicated to Santo Antonio, the patron Saint of Portugal. It is the first church to have been built in the new European influenced tradition by the Portuguese in 1510. Vasco-da-Gama who came to India at Cochin in 1502 died in this place in 1524. He was originally buried in this church cemetery and later after 14 years his remains were sent to the Portugal. The church was renamed as St. Francis Church in 1663, and the Dutch converted it to a protestant Church and substantially modified it. In 1804 it became a Anglican Church. The congregation joined the church of South India in 1949.

Ernakulam Shiva Temple

This Temple situated in the heart of Ernakulam City with Shiva as deity is also known as "Ernakulathappan”. Built by the Maharajas, this is one of the rarest Shiva temples where the lord is facing the sea towards the west. The mythology says that Arjuna, one of the pandavas performs a severe penance to please Lord Shiva. To test Arjuna, Shiva disguises himself as " Kiratha" a notorious demon before appearing before Arjuna. Just as Shiva appears before Arjuna he sees a wild boar charging towards Arjuna and shoots an arrow at the boar. Arjuna, who is an accomplished archer, also shoots an arrow at the boar. The boar dies and a dispute arises between Arjuna and Kiratha as to who is the real killer of the animal. The battle lasting for a long time ultimately ends in Kiratha’s victory over Arjuna. The vanquished Arjuna, unable to even stand up makes a Shiva Linga out the earth and performs a pooja offering flowers and those flowers fall on the head of Kirata. Arjuna then realises that Kiratha is non other than his Lord Shiva. Shiva, in his true form, along with Parvathy appears before Arjuna and blesses him. He also gifts him the divine arrow, the " Pasupathastram." The pooja methods were regularised as directed by the famous Villawamangalathu Swamiyar. The Linga Prathishta was made facing west.

Jewish Synagogue

The imposing structure was built in 1568 by the Jews who had settled in Mattancherry, after being expelled from Rahabi. Jews built a clock tower and paved the floor synagogue with hand painted willow pattern tiles brought from China. The most important relics are the impressive copper plates recording king Bhaskara Ravi Varma's 4th century decree that guaranteed the Jewish settlers domain over Cranganore (Kodungalore). The Synagogue has elaborately decorated crystal chandeliers and carved wood with blue and white ceramic tiles.

Hill Palace Museum

The Hill Palace built in 1865 was the official residence of the Kochi royal family. Today, it is the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. The Palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style of Kerala, sprawled over 52 acres of beautifully landscaped terraced land. It also houses a deer park and facilities for horse riding. Numerous species of flora including rare medicinal plants grow here. The Museum also has many oil-paintings, mural paintings, sculptures in stone and manuscripts, inscriptions, coins, belongings of the Kochi royal family and royal furniture including the simhasana (throne) apart from over 200 antique pieces of pottery and ceramic vases from Japan and China, Kudakkallu (tomb stone), Thoppikkallu (hood stone), menhirs, granite, laterite memorials, rock cut weapons from the stone ages, wooden temple models, plaster cast models of objects from Mohanjadaro and Harappa of the Indus Valley Civilisation. The museum also houses a gallery of contemporary art.

St.George Forane Church

The Roman Catholic Church built in 595 AD in the land donated by ruler of Edappally is considered to be one among the oldest Churches in Kerala. A new Church building was constructed in 1080 A.D. The Church is well Known for the nine day festival in the month of May.

Mattanchery Palace (Dutch Palace)

This Palace built by the Portuguese in the middle of the 16th century, was taken over in 1663 by the Dutch.  They added some improvements before presenting it to the Rajas of Cochin. The improvements were also made by the kings. The palace also stores some of the best mythological murals of India, particularly in the bed chambers. The entire story of Ramayana has been depicted on the walls. The rare examples of traditional Kerala flooring, which looks like polished black marble but is actually a mixture of burned coconut shells, charcoal, lime, plant juices and egg whites can also be seen in the Palace.

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