Friday, March 2, 2012

Cochin Kerala Highlights

Thursday, February 16, 2012
My host had planned to take me around the city via my favorite transporation (motorbike), but he had to go to work so it was up to me to go off into the heat to explore.

Went to the famous St. Anthony’s church and caught half of the ceremony. It was a meant to be moment.  Although, I did not understand the words I felt connected sitting kneeled down with many worshippers full of hope and love for our fellow God.  It was nice feeling a stronger sense of belonging to the church since I am usually visiting many temples.  People could look at me funny or wonder why I was there, but at the end of the day-he is my God too and he loves us all equally.

After attending this church I thought about Christianity, Muslim, and Hinduism.  While they have different beliefs, ritual/customs, traditions, and religious texts, but at the end of the day we believe in a higher power that unites us and makes us find deeper meaning in our lives and being. 
From St. Anthony's church, I hitched a ride to the water front where I stumbled upon another amazing Christian event.   There was tent with at least 1,000 people and a big stage with priests and a large portrait of Jesus.  I was informed that it was a bible convention.   I sat and watched the ceremony from the outside and joined in another service.  They placed their hands in prayer position over their heads for worship. I was sitting in disbelief of this amazing energy and the coincidence that I was in Cochin at this time for this convention.    Two services back to back-oh Incredible Kerala!
The next stop was the ferry over to the main happening place FORT COCHIN
History by Wiki Travel

Kochi was a fishing village in the Kingdom of Kochi in the pre-colonial Kerala. The territory that would be later known as Fort Kochi was granted to the Portuguese in 1503 by the Rajah of Kochi, after the forces of Afonso de Albuquerque helped him fighting the forces of Saamoothiri of Kozhikode. The Rajah also gave them permission to build a fort near the waterfront to protect their commercial interests. The first part of the name Fort Kochi comes from this fort, Fort Emmanuel, which was later destroyed by the Dutch. The Portuguese built their settlement behind the fort. They also built a wooden church, which was rebuilt in 1516 as a permanent structure, today known as the St Francis Church. Fort Kochi remained in Portuguese possession for 160 years. In 1683 the Dutch captured the territory from the Portuguese, destroyed many Portuguese institutions, particularly Catholic including convents. The Dutch held Fort Kochi in their possession for 112 years until 1795, when the British took control by defeating the Dutch. Foreign control of Fort Kochi ended in 1947 with the Indian independence.
A mix of old houses built by the Portuguese, Dutch and British in these colonial periods line the streets of Fort Kochi. St Francis Church was built in 1503 by the Portuguese as a Catholic church. Vasco da Gama was once buried in this church which now falls under the Church of South India and is one of the national monuments. Santa Cruz Basilica, also built by the Portuguese in the 16th century, was later destroyed by the British and rebuilt near the end of 19th century.[citation needed] The landmark that causes more public and visitor interest is a series of pre-colonial Chinese fishing nets on the waterfront, believed to have been introduced by Chinese traders in the early 14th century.

Amazing sole fish for lunch, watching the fisherman cetch fish through China nets, sitting in my favorite book store, church after church after church, the cute streets and charming atmosphere, motor biking through with locals, St. Francis church, fresh watermelon in cups, the corn flake crunch, and hot weather making me melt

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