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Kerala Historical Monuments
  • Dutch Palace, Cochin
  • Also known as Mattancherry Palace, this monument was constructed by the Portuguese in mid 1550s. Later it was modified by Dutch and was presented to Raja of Kochi as a token of greatness in exchange of trading rights. The two-storeyed structure encompassed with a courtyard with a small shrine of Goddess Bhagavati, is today a museum with rare collection of murals and royal artifacts. The central Durbar Hall, where coronation ceremonies were once held, is today a portrait gallery of Kochi rulers; it also displays textiles. The adjacent bedrooms and chambers are famous for their 17th century murals, representative of Kerala’s temple art.
  • St. Francis Church
  • Located in Fort Kochi, this is one of the earliest European churches in India built by the Portuguese in 1500s. The church with a simple façade became a model for the later churches. Taken over by the Dutch and then the British, this church is today affiliated to the churches of South India. Within the church there are numerous gravestones with inscriptions, the earliest a Portuguese epitaph. Vasco da Gama was buried here in 1524 until his body was taken to Portugal 14 years later.
  • Vasco House
  • Located on Rose Street in Fort Kochi, this is believed to be one of the oldest Portuguese houses in India. Vasco da Gama is believed to have lived here. The building has beautiful European glass panned windows and verandahs.
  • Santa Cruz Basilica
  • The original church situated in Fort Kochi was constructed by the Portuguese in 1505 and named as Cathedral in 1558. The British later on destroyed the cathedral and the current structure was built in 1905 and raised to the status of a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984.
  • Jewish Synagogue and Jew Town
  • The Synagogue is located near the Dutch Palace in Mattancherry. It is India’s oldest synagogue famous for its magnificent decoration using Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. It is also known by the name of Paradesi Synagogue. The present synagogue with its tiled roof and clock tower was rebuilt in 1664 with the Dutch help, after the Portuguese destroyed it in 1662. The narrow lanes around the synagogue are crammed with Dutch-style residences. These are now used as antique shops.
  • Kochi International Pepper Exchange
  • This unique establishment is located in the heart of Jew Town. The interior is a small hall, lined with small cubicles, each with a man talking animatedly on a telephone. Theatrical gestures accompanied by a loud cacophony of sounds mark the drama of each day’s pepper auction.
  • Sakthan Thampuran Palace, Trichur
  • The Sakthan Thampuran Palace is built in Dutch and Kerala style of architecture and is a landmark monument of the state. The Sakthan Thampuran Palace highlights several interesting and outstanding aspects of the former rulers of Kochi. The palace continued to be a college of Chinmaya Mission of Swami Chinmayananda for a long time. The archeological department took over the building and modified the palace into a museum retaining the past glory of the district. The palace today houses an elaborate museum with various household objects and artifacts and various megalithic items.
  • Tipu’s Fort, Palaghat
  • The Tipu’s Fort at Palakkad is one of the most worth visiting monuments in Kerala. Situated in the heart of the Palakkad city, it was built by Hyder Ali of Mysore in 1766. It was subsequently occupied the British after defeating Hyder’s son and successor, Tipu Sultan. This elegant granite structure now houses various government offices.
  • Thirthala
  • About 75 kms away from Palakkad is Thirthala, a place famous for its monuments and historic ruins. The Kattilamadam temple, a Buddhist granite monument made up of granite is its main attraction. The Shiva temple and the ruins of a mud fort are among its other attractions.
  • Commonwealth Trust, Calicut
  • Dominating the city centre is the large Manamchira Tank, flanked by the Town Hall and the Public Library, both fine example of traditional architecture of Kerala. Nearby is the Commonwealth Trust building, a 100 years old monument. The trust established by the Basel Mission in 19th century modernized the terracotta tiles and textile industries in Calicut. Later on it took the credit of developing the colour khaki for the British Army. There is a shop in the premises of the trust that sells textiles as well as terracotta products.
  • Edakkal Caves
  • The Edakkal caves are 25 kms away from Kalapetta. Their inscriptions and carvings of human and animal figures are said to date to pre-historic period. The carvings speak of a highly civilized people of pre-historic age and inspire the archaeologists and historians to rewrite the history of Wayanad and Kerala as a whole. Some believe that these caves were the refuge of Jain monks.
  • Pazhassi Raja Tomb
  • Pazhassi tourist resort is one of the widely visited sites in Kerala. Pazhassi Raja, the Lion of Kerala, who organised guerilla type warfare against British East India Company, was cremated here in 1805. His tomb is a popular place to visit. It is also a good picnic spot for children and young providing Coin-operated toys for children and boating facilities to young ones.
  • St. George Fort, Mahe
  • The fort lies on the highest hill of Cherukallayi, one kilometer from Mahe. The French constructed a Fort here and the ruminants could now be seen. You may have a scenic view of the Mahe town from here. It is near this fort, that the Television Relay station of Mahe has been built.
  • Sakthan Thampuran Palace, Kannur
  • The Sakthan Thampuran Palace is built in Dutch and Kerala style of architecture and is a landmark monument of the state. The Sakthan Thampuran Palace highlights several interesting and outstanding aspects of the former rulers of Kochi. The palace continued to be a college of Chinmaya Mission of Swami Chinmayananda for a long time. The archeological department took over the building and modified the palace into a museum retaining the past glory of the district. The palace today houses an elaborate museum with various household objects and artifacts and various megalithic items.
  • Bekal Fort
  • Located 16 km south of Kasargod is Bekal Fort, the largest and best preserved fort in the entire Kerala. This enormous and circular structure is built with large block of laterite and its outer wall rises majestically from the sea to a height of 39 m. The fort is believed to have been built by a local Chieftain, Shivappa Nayak in the mid 16th century. The fort was occupied later on by the British after the defeat of Tipu Sultan.
  • Chandragiri Fort
  • The Chandragiri Fort, on the banks of the Chandragiri River, is just 10 kms from Bekal. This 17th century fort is also a contribution of the Chieftain, Shivappa Nayak who had built it to defend the kingdom against the Vijayanagar rulers. It is an excellent sun set point. You can have boat trips to the nearby Malik Dinar Mosque that had been founded by Malik Ibn Dinar, a disciple of Prophet Mohammad, who introduced Islam in Kerala.
Bonjour Holidays: C.P.Ummer Cross Road, Cochin, Kerala-682 035, India, e-mail: info@leisurekerala.com, Mob: + 91 94477 84477
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