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Around Mattancherry in a ‘tuk-tuk’

A locality in Kochi, with a unique landscape comprising different communities, Mattancherry has historical links to the Portuguese, Jews and the Dutch and to the famed spice trade.

November 05, 2022 / 04:34 PM IST
International Tourism Police Station and Police Museum, Jew Town, Mattancherry, Fort Kochi (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao)

International Tourism Police Station and Police Museum, Jew Town, Mattancherry, Fort Kochi (Photo: Bindu Gopal Rao)

On a recent trip to Fort Kochi, I stayed at the charming Brunton Boatyard, a CGH Earth property built on a former shipyard site. While the property itself has several historical references in terms of photographs and artefacts, it was a "tuk tuk" tour that I took to explore Mattancherry with a hotel staff that really made this a worthwhile trip. Mattancherry (cherry means street in Malayalam) has a history that has Arabian, African, European, especially Portuguese, Jewish and Dutch, influences and is home to palaces, forts and more that define the architecture of the place. Naturally there are several remnants of the past that are a delight to discover. The sepia-tinted locale has culture, history and tradition wrapped together, delightfully. Here is a photo essay for you to turn back time:

Dutch Palace

The Dutch Palace is now the Mattancherry Palace Museum and dates to 1555 AD. One of the oldest buildings built in Portuguese style here, the place was a seat of the Royal House. After being repaired by the Dutch around 1665 AD it became the Dutch Palace. The two-storeyed building is known for the famed mural paintings, oil portraits of the kings of Cochin, textiles, weapons, carpets and more.

Dutch Palace, Jew Town, Mattancherry, Fort Kochi Dutch Palace, Jew Town, Mattancherry, Fort Kochi