Ernakulam: History at every step
The commercial centre of the state Kochi is in Ernakulam. With the best natural harbour in the world, Ernakulam was a major centre of trade with a variety of traders from the Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and the British. Ernakulam has the historic Fort Kochi. Before it became the first European settlement in India, Ernakulam was a small fishing village. As the days went by, the character of the village changed. It became a city of culture and the European influences can be seen from the examples of Indo-European architecture that still exist.
India's oldest church, the St. Francis Church, is in Ernakulam. Built in 1503 by Portuguese Franciscan Friars, initially of timber, it was reconstructed in stone in 1779 by the Protestant Dutch. The church was converted to an Anglican one by the British in 1795 and is at present governed by the Church of South India. The great traveler Vasco da Gama was buried in the church in 1524 but his remains were moved to Lisbon in Portugal.
The other places of interest to see in Ernakulam are the Chinese fishing nets, the Matancherry Palace, the Jewish Synagogue, Bolgatty Island and Willingdon Island.
Reaching Ernakulam: Kochi International Airport is 20 km from the city centre. The city is well connected with most major cities of the country by air. Kochi has three railway stations, Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town and Cochin Harbour Terminus on Willingdon Island and can be reached from most cities in India.
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