Located on the southwest coast flanked by the Arabian Sea, Koch is a beautiful city in Kerala, popularly known as ‘God’s Own Country’. Kochi has been a gathering place for merchants from various nations. From Arabians to Portuguese and British, people have left their cultural imprints and legacy behind. With a historically rich past, Kochi is gradually emerging as one of the must-visit tourist destination of Kerala tour packages. The beautiful port city of Kochi is a perfect blend of cultures and people across different religions. Here are some of the religious places to visit in Kochi—
Rated as the oldest synagogue in all the 53-member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations, Jewish Synagogue is only one of the seven synagogues in the area that is still running. Built in 1568 by the Malabar Yehudans or Cochin Jewish community, the synagogue is in the Jew Town in the Kochi city. A short walk from Mattancherry Bust Stand will take you to the synagogue. Also known as Mattancherry Synagogue or Paradesi Synagogue, the complex has four buildings. The Belgian glass chandeliers and blue willow-patterned Chinese floor tiles, the scrolls of the law, gold crowns, copper plates add charm to this religious place.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica
Churches are one of the most important aspects of Kerala tour packages. Considered as one of heritage edifices of Kerala, Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is one of the oldest churches and one of the eight Basilicas in India. With a blend of Indo-European and gothic architectural style, the basilica is five centuries old. The church has an impressive pulpit and wooden paneling. The magnificent age-old Italian paintings adorn the interiors of the church.
Kodungallur Bhagvathy Temple
Located in Kodungallur in the Thrissur District, Kodungallur Bhagvathy Temple lies in the middle of a plot of about 10 acres, surrounded by banyan and peepal trees. Dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali, the temple celebrates its annual festival, Bharani, in the month of March. Built by Parasurama, the temple’s srikovil faces north. The idols of Veerabhadra and Ganapathi rest in the western chamber. The chamber is also the seat of Sapthamatrukas (Seven Mothers) facing the north. The seven-feet high Bhagwathy idol is made of wood, carved from a jackfruit tree.
St. Francis Church
Built in the year 1503 by the Portuguese traders, is at Fort Kochi. Although the church is not very jazzy, it stands as the landmark of history. The church marks another historic event. In 1524, Vasco-da-Gama died here on his third visit to India and buried in this church. However, while the remains were shipped to Lisbon after 14 years of death, the gravestone is still there.
Located in Tripunithura, 20 km. from Cochin International Airport, the temple is said to be built by the Arjuna of the Mahabharata. Dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu, the temple is one of the three temples in Kerala. The temple celebrates the main annual festival in the month of November/December.
With long historical tales, Kochi is one of the best destinations in Kerala famous for its pilgrimage options.