A placard with your name held by a learned guide activates this coastal journey. Upon reaching the shore, you'll see fishing gear first introduced by Kublai Khan's court, before observing the village nearby, designed with strong English influences. Next, the Church of St. Francis lends architectural proof of a Portuguese presence. Soon after, is the Santa Cruz Cathedral, submitting its Indo-Romanesque-Rococo design into the soup. Then, the Paradesi Synagogue is explored prior to visiting the shops in a Jewish enclave. Travelers with a flare for embracing the arts and culture find this Cochin tour fascinating.
A lucrative and vital port since Roman times, consequently Cochin features: Dutch, Portuguese, British and Jewish influences that continue to make the city appealing today. Unsurprisingly, Cochin's religious structures portray the many influences. However, once seaside, your guide will first present the intricate Chinese nets, local fishermen have used for nearly 1,000 years since their introduction by Kubla Khan's peers.
Nearby, you'll note the village is planned in the manner of an English village, as a result of their colonization of the area. Next, the Church of St. Francis, originally built in 1503 by the Portuguese, is the oldest European church in India - and perhaps one of the more quaint, yet beautiful. It is impossible to miss the intricate tiling at the main passageway.
Thereafter, you'll visit the Santa Cruz Cathedral, originally built in the Gothic style during the 16th century by the Portuguese. Spared by the conquering Dutch, but destroyed by the British, the Cathedral was rebuilt in 1887, and proclaimed a Basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984. It remains home to a large collection of Dutch maps, royal weapons and furniture of historical significance.
Upon strolling a short distance, you'll be privy to the Paradesi Synagogue. Built in 1568, the oil lanterns, Cantonese ceramic tiles, and blue paintings reveal its originality. Nearby, you'll visit the shops, and spice auctions still active in the Jewish town. Reserve this tour for an authentic look at history's cultural melting pot in India.
Please Note: A tourist visa is required to debark in India. Since tourist visas are not provided by cruise lines to visit India, you will need to obtain one prior to your cruise. The e-Tourist Visa is NOT available for cruise line passengers.
For United States citizens, please CLICK HERE to visit the "Embassy of India - Washington, D.C." website for the latest information and CLICK HERE for the "Cox & Kings Global Services" website to start your visa application.
For citizens of other nations, please CLICK HERE to visit "Indian Visa Online."