Welcome to Cotchin, Cochyn and Kochi

The origins of the fort city's name generate nearly as much chai-shop debate as its colourful elections. Ancient travellers variously called it Cotchin, Cocym, Cochym, Cochin, and Kochi. The Jewish community preferred Kogin, which is also the name seen inscribed on the seal of the Synagogue close to the hotel.
 

 

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Accounts by Italian explorers Nicolo Conti (15th century), and Fra Paoline in the 17th century say that it was called Kochchi, named after the river connecting the backwaters to the sea.  Finally, the Portuguese sorted out the debate, officially plumping for 'Cochin". As for modern name "Kochi", it is thought to be from the Malayalam word kochu azhi, meaning
'small lagoon'. 

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Harbourfront Panorama
A spin around the historic jetty with some of the old-world trading houses.

Ambling through antiquity

Armed with a map (ask at the reception) and some comfortable footwear, you can tour the historic Fort Cochin area where the hotel stands. Sadly, little remains of the fort itself, but the other legacies of history are everywhere.

Here, Vasco da Gama succeeded where Columbus failed, and found the fabled sea route to the Indies. His grave is still marked with a plaque and a brass rail, though his remains are back home in Portugal. 


 




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Artefacts of that era abound in the old St. Francis' Church area, not far from the gravesite. Across, in the Jew town, the four-century old synagogue still stands testimony to the tolerant, multi-cultural nature of Kerala society.  Looming protectively over the synagogue is the Mattancherry palace, erstwhile home to the Verma kings and today a fine museum. The empire of the Raj also comes alive in many places in the area, most notably in the half-timbered Cochin Club and the splendid Old Harbour House.


Glimpses: Fort Cochin

Browsing the old curiosity shops of Jew Town

Browsing the old curiosity shops of Jew Town

In one of India’s busiest harbours, a fisherman in his own world

In one of India’s busiest harbours, a fisherman in his own world

Brick, tile and stucco: leitmotifs of 19th century building styles

Brick, tile and stucco: leitmotifs of 19th century building styles

As soon as you pass the gates of the hotel you are suddenly whisked away from the hustle and bustle of the town and into a quiet and tranquil hotel with wonderful staff, superb rooms, great food and a lovely pool in lush gardens, with a maginificent rain tree in the middle courtyard.
 

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