Fort Cochin – known for its old world charm, graceful architecture, cozy cafes and historical monuments drives in tourists throughout the year. Being a travel hungry woman, who has travelled across the country, Fort Cochin is still among my favourite destinations. In all my tours based in Fort Cochin, I kept receiving a question, which is genuine from a tourist point of view. “Where is the Fort in Fort Cochin?” History has always excited me and so there was I on my new blog!
An year back, on my maiden visit to this charming city, as I was walking along the beachside, (Since Fort Cochin is best explored by foot and i’m a great fan of walking) I came across a partially restored gun battery. Wondering and staring at the same, my inquisitiveness grew which led me to a chat with few localites nearby. I learned from them that this was one of the few remnants of Fort Emmanuel which existed in the precolonial times. And that’s how Fort Cochin got its first name. It is said that Fort Emmanuel was built by the Portuguese at the area granted to them by the Rajah of Cochin in favour of helping him to fight against the Samoothiri of Kozhikode. Apparently, this Portuguese styled fort was built in 1503 near the waterfront of Arabian sea to protect their commercial interests. Behind the fort, was built the St. Francis church, as a part of the Portuguese settlement which still stands proud, adding to the old charm of this coastal city. (This is also the largest European Church in the country and is a known tourist spot.) I was told that it was in the late 1600’s that the fort was demolished by the Dutch who had captured the territory.
To all those who are and were seeking an answer to the title question – there is no fort in Fort Cochin now. In fact, there was one and now you know!
How fascinating it is that the past holds a lot more about the present than the present!