After 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. Muzirisis the name of an ancient port city on the Kerala coast, an hour’s drive north of Cochin. The City traded in spices, silk, and precious stones with exports 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. Muziris is where St. Thomas the Apostle is said to have first landed in 52AD, bringing Christianity to India, and where The first-ever mosque built in India is located. Old churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples attest to the confluence of cultures that Muziris was. In a world full of strife, the monuments, and bazaars of Muziris stand as beacons even today, a testament to the harmonious co-existence of multiple faiths on the Malabar Coast.
After lunch, take a tour of the highlights of the City of Kochi. The city tour begins with a visit to the Jewish Synagogue (closed on Friday & Saturday), built-in 1568 by the prosperous Jewish trading community. The oldest synagogue in India and partially destroyed in the war of 1662 and rebuilt by the Dutch.
Continue to the Dutch Palace, which is built in the middle of the 16th century by the Portuguese. 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 at St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India, built-in 1503. The Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, 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. Close by is the Santa Cruz Basilica, considered to be one of the finest and most impressive churches in India.