After your morning breakfast at the hotel, get ready for Muziris Heritage Tour. This tour offers an introduction to the many faiths and cultures of the Malabar Coast. Muziris is an ancient port city on the Kerala coast, an hour’s drive north of Cochin. The city is known for trading spices, silk, and precious stones exported to Rome, Greece, Egypt, etc. Enriched by trade contacts, Muziris became a melting pot of world cultures. The earliest Jewish settlers in India landed on the Malabar Coast and flourished in Muziris. It is also where St. Thomas the Apostle is said to have first landed in 52AD, bringing Christianity to India.
After lunch at the hotel, be ready for the highlights of the city of Kochi. The tour begins with visiting the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Friday & Saturday), built-in 1568 by the prosperous Jewish trading community. The oldest synagogue in India was partially destroyed in the war in 1662 and rebuilt by the Dutch. In the mid-18th century, the clock tower was added, and paved floors with exquisite hand-painted blue willow tiles from China.
Continue to the Dutch Palace (closed on Friday). Build by the Portuguese in the middle of the 16th century. The structure was taken over in 1663 by the Dutch, who added some improvements before presenting it to the Rajas of Cochin, who made further improvements. This palace is notable for some of the best mythological murals in India.
The next stop will be St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. Build-in 1503 by the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, who died in Kochi in 1524 on his third visit to India. His body was buried in St Francis Church before his remains were returned to Lisbon 14 years later. The Santa Cruz Basilica is considered one of the finest and most impressive churches in India.
Driving back to the hotel, witness the iconic Chinese fishing nets (Cheenavala). Believed by traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan introduced these nets. These nets are found only in Kochi, where many fishermen use these massive nets, with a whole stretch of the coast along with Fort Kochi and Vypeen dotted with them. Your tour concludes with a visit to Fort Cochin - a small community with a natural harbor and one of the most important trade centers in the south of India, Kochi Fort of Kerala is one of the most important towns in the state.
In the evening, witness the performance of the famous Kathakali Dance show. The Kathakali is a traditional dance form of Kerala, and the impressively facial expressions, hand gestures, and dance moves will leave one spellbound. The Kathakali dance performance is represented by colorful costumes, different hands, and facial gestures with cosmetics made from various natural pigments. This cosmetic is ground on a stone and mixed with coconut oil before the performance. These traditional colors used in the make-up are obtained from natural substances and locally available herbs mixed with a base of coconut oil.