Fort Cochin was the first
European settlement in India and one of its few cities with a history of
Portuguese, Dutch and British presence. At its heart is the large Parade
Ground, a popular spot for pickup cricket and soccer games, while St.
Francis Church (left), the oldest European church in India, forms the backdrop.
The adjacent streets are lined with rowhouses (right). These display typical
extended overhangs and outdoor seating facing the street.
Fort Cochin is recognized
by the city and tourism authorities as a heritage zone, but most of the
government action has been directed at promoting tourism and not at conserving
buildings for residents or businesses.
Malabar a luxury hotel
facing the Parade Ground, framed by the majestic rain trees of the park.
The hotel was created by renovating two bungalows.
Canal the Calvathy
Canal separates Fort Cochin from Mattancherry. At one time it was the border
between colonial control and the Maharajah's. Through a formidable network
of rivers, streams and lakes, boats from all over the backwater brought goods
to Mattancherry. From here they were shipped to all over India and the world.
Along this canal lived many people who traded and moved the