Vasco da Gama died in this city, Kochi for centuries became the busiest port city. Merchants from Greece, China, Arabia, Jews, and so on stop and trade in a city that is called the Queen of Arabian Sea which is geographically located directly facing the Arabian Sea. Admiral Cheng Ho has also stopped by here in the 15th century because Kochi is one of the main routes of Cheng Ho’s cruise.
Kochi was once colonized by the Portuguese for 160 years, the Dutch occupying Kochi for 112 years, and in the hands of England for 152 years. A city full of history of the past, a city that is already fed eat its acid salt life. No wonder many old buildings are still there, left, abandoned, wasted, and forgotten like the fate of the singles.
The origin of the word “Kochi” itself is uncertain. It could be from the word “Kochu Azhi” which means Small Laguna in Malayalam or it could be “Kaci” which means Harbor. European influence dominated the building in Kochi, from church to cemetery. The center of all points of interest is in Fort Kochi, I think it’s the name of a building because fort itself means a fortress. It was the name of a territory. No need for a special vehicle to travel around Fort Kochi, on foot until the gonds are finished.
“Is Kochi very cold?” Tanya mbak cheap hostel receptionist where I stay when I will be out of the hostel to get around. “No, it’s very hot instead,” “Then why you wearing a jacket?” At that time I wore a shirt combined denim shirt. “To protect my skin from sunburn,” I replied briefly. “Why? You do not like your dark skin? You have beautiful skin? I’m jealous. “Huh? Leather kucel kumel item like this is practically biyutiful. Emang hell I’m sweet. Uhuk.
I was astounded at the sight of the magnificent old building in front of my eyes. Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is the most beautiful church I have ever visited. Built by the Portuguese in 1558 in gothic style. I lingered in front of the church just to take pictures with various styles. While still quiet, not many visitors.
The ruler of Kochi Raja Unni Goda Varma Tirumulpadu allowed the Portuguese to build fortresses and churches here for helping the Kingdom of Cochin fight against its enemies. The church is also a silent witness to war crimes. Never destroyed British troops and rebuilt by missionaries. This church was elevated to cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. And rose again to Basilica in 1984 by Pope John Paul II. Original I do not understand the difference between cathedral and basilica. Maybe if in Islam there is a mosque and mosque for a bigger place of worship.
After the church I flowed into the center of the crowds of Fort Kochi in Jawahar Park near the coast. I had breakfast at a five-foot stall at the corner between Tower Street and Rose Street junctions. The number of people coming in and out of the street stalls tempted me to try breakfast there.
A week in India I eat a dish that is not so tempting. I order some kind of tiwul to substitute the rice but it tastes tasteless, the side dish of sea fish is in cooking what but it feels like I eat at Padang restaurant. I swear really, feel the treasure in the wrong place.
“Assalamu’alaikum Bhaiya, where you from? Is it good? “The street vendor becomes super friendly when I look around while shooting his wares. “You have to lunch or dinner here before you come back!” He said as he knew I would leave India tonight. Yup Kochi is the last city I visited for a week in India. I said yes, but finally did not come back to eat there because I had to catch a bus to the airport.
My breakfast sourced to the beach that did not clean very much. Similar to beaches in the north of Java where the water is brown. In the vicinity of Vasco Da Gama Square I saw the ruins of Emmanuel Fort. Not groomed and dormant. I saw there was still a cannon lying there. Two rusty boilers eaten by the time still stand still waiting for his fate to be torn down one day.
Not far from Emmanuel Fort there are Chinese Fishing Nets or there in Cheena Vala called the Kerala Tourism Authority. Only a net to catch fish that can reach 10 meters high and takes six people to operate the fishing nets. Unique because of the fishing techniques that are not common in India and only in Kochi and Kollam. According to the note that the net technique from Macau was introduced to Kochi by the Portuguese. What remained on the coast of Fort Kochi can also be counted on the fingers, some have vanished. The webs will be very photogenic at sunset.
As I approached the fisherman and observed the catch, someone offered to practice how to use the net by paying a few rupees. But I refused because the money left is just enough to take the bus to the airport and dinner only. Ngenes.
From my coastal road to the Dutch cemetery, dear a thousand dear Dutch tombs that caught my attention closed. Just be content to peek through the hole in the door. It never seems to be open to the public.
There is the home of a Bishop who was made an Indo-Portuguese museum. Due to the quietness, the ticket guard accompanied me around the museum and explained one by one his extraordinary collection. Once inside the museum I was pulled into a different world. I’m not in India, I’m in Europe. Just imagine the many objects related to Christianity from the Portuguese colonial period are displayed here so the atmosphere is really like in Europe.
Interestingly, there is an emblem that represents the harmony of religious communities in Kerala. As I recall a Christian cross, a Hindu trident, and a moon or a star representing Islamic, I am not so sure. All symbols are put together. I tried to search the internet has not met the symbol. I can not take pictures in all areas of the museum because it is strictly forbidden by the officers. The only picture I can take is a postcard that sells expensive. Because the mold is ugly I do not buy any.
St. John’s Church Francis is listed as the oldest European-style church in India. Although not as good as Santa Cruz but the church built in 1503 was more visitors. Its appeal is of course the tomb of Vasco da Gama in this church. Although his body has been moved to Lisbon, Portugal, after 14 years buried here.
Vasco da Gama was laid out as the first to discover the sea route from Europe to Asia through Africa. In the past there was no plane ticket promo, so you can imagine how long to sail just to the destination. Da Gama began sailing on July 8, 1497 from the Portuguese and arrived in Calicut, India, on May 20, 1498. Duh was drunk in the sea. Vasco da Gama made three voyages to India, and on his third visit he died of malaria. Some call it Anthrax bacteria.
From Fort Kochi I moved to the Mattancherry area that was once home to Europeans. I boarded a boat to cross to Mattanchery. Right in front of the terminal crossing there is Mattancherry Palace. The palace was built by the Portuguese in the 15th century and awarded to King Cochin. Imagine how magnificent inside me immediately to the ticket booth. And accept the bitter truth that on Friday the palace is closed. Nangis gero-gero in the corner.
Disappointed that my lid was tossed into a synagogue of Jewish worship in Jews Town that was very close to the palace. This synagogue is also no less old with other historic buildings in Kochi, according to records built in the 15th century. Up in front of the entrance again I have to be disappointed as it also closed on friday. Ngeselin kaaannn. Though this is my last day in India hiks.
If it is closed why many souvenir merchants open around the palace and synagogue. On the road to the synagogue many souvenir shop owners greeted me “Assalamualaikum bhaiya, come in” and pulled my hand to go into his shop. Although I can not buy a carpet but according to aja go told to see the same father.
The only place I can stop at Mattancherry is the Church of Our Lady of Life which is the Orthodox Syrian church. One of the historic churches in India because it is in this church carried out Koonan Kurishu Sathya or Oath by Bent Cross which he said the event is important in the history of Christianity in India. I do not understand what an oath is. I briefly read that Christians in Kerala rejected the Christian domination brought by the Portuguese and vowed not to accept the Portuguese Jesuit priests.
Kochi has always accommodated many nations from different parts of the continent with different backgrounds and religions. From the start of Hinduism, Christianity, Jain, Judaism, and Islam, have lived together for centuries. They can just get in touch with us?
By posting this article it means the story of my adventure in South India is over. Will I return to India again? Of course, a thousand times I will never settle for a walk in India. I’ll be back.