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Old September 19th, 2011, 02:12 PM   #1
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Cochin History, Heritage and Legacy

Friends,

Our city is rich in heritage and cultural history. One of the India's longest reigned Independent Kingdom from 13th century to 20th century.

The history of Kochi is indeed part of the history of Kerala and India and perhaps changed the story of the world, during Age of Discovery.

This thread is meant to discuss history, share pics, maps, records, documents etc of historical interest, myths, legends, folklore as well as stories/news related to our city's great heritage.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 02:20 PM   #2
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Picture of Fort Kochi in 1640s

Fort Kochi was once capital of Portuguese India and later Dutch India. The grand fort at Kochi, was built in 1503 by Portuguese as Fort Immanuel, in honour of the Great Portuguese Emperor- King Immanuel. The terroritory marked the first terroritory in India, to be managed by Europeans, granted by H.H Unni Goda Varma Thirumalpadu Maharaja of Kochi (Trimumpara Raja in Portuguese records) as a silver grant to Afonso de Albuquerque, the first Head of Portuguese India and second Portuguese Governor.

The glory of Fort Kochi was enshrined, when Portuguese adopted the First Bastion of the fort, in their emblem, which remained as Seal of Portuguese India till 1950s.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 02:20 PM   #3
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Paintings of Dutch Kochi, when a large fleet of Dutch ships anchored at Kochi Harbour.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 02:29 PM   #4
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The Royal Seal of Kingdom of Kochi




The Royal Standard (Flag) of Kochi Kingdom effective from 1167 AD to 1948 AD.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 02:48 PM   #5
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H.H Parakshit Thampuran, the last Maharaja of Kochi (on extreme left), receiving H.H Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Varma, the last Maharaja of Travancore (on center) at Kochi Airport in November 1947, to sign Declaration of Thiru-Kochi state, as part of Unification of two princely states.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 02:57 PM   #6
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The royal Crown of Kochi.

One of the most famous and expensive crowns in the country, the Cochin Crown was presented by Emperor Immanuel of Portugal to H.H Veera Kerala Varma Maharaja of Kochi on his coronation day. Especially designed by leading Portuguese royal jewellers of Lisbon, this crown is made of pure gold, studded with 101 diamonds, 301 rubies and 1001 several precious stones, as per Hindu texts, based on a model design of Kulashekara Crowns (the Chera Imperial Crown)

The crown was presented by Portuguese Governor to the Maharaja on his coronation day. But Veera Kerala Varma, found the crown to be too extravagant to his simple tastes and hence didn't prefer to adorn it. He couldn't refuse it, being presented as royal gift, which was a symbol/token of friendship.

Hence he adorn the crown on his lap and ever since that, no Kochi Kings ever worn the crown, rather kept on their right laps, during royal functions.

The crown is well preserved along with other Crown jewels at Hill Palace Museum in Tripunithara.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 03:12 PM   #7
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Nice info

Just saw this thread now - lots of great info MI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohammedirshad06 View Post


The Royal Seal of Kingdom of Kochi




The Royal Standard (Flag) of Kochi Kingdom effective from 1167 AD to 1948 AD.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 03:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mohammedirshad06 View Post


The royal Crown of Kochi.

One of the most famous and expensive crowns in the country, the Cochin Crown was presented by Emperor Immanuel of Portugal to H.H Veera Kerala Varma Maharaja of Kochi on his coronation day. Especially designed by leading Portuguese royal jewellers of Lisbon, this crown is made of pure gold, studded with 101 diamonds, 301 rubies and 1001 several precious stones, as per Hindu texts, based on a model design of Kulashekara Crowns (the Chera Imperial Crown)
Its believed, there are 11 mock-up crowns designed in similar fashion, to be used for 11 major functions of the state. The original Cochin Crown where used only 3 times a year- On the Athachamayam day, First day of Annual durbar and on the Thiruonam Day.

Rest for all other functions, the mock-up crowns were used. Each crown is possesed by 11 thavazhis or dynasties of the family. Its believed, only ladies of the royal family can possess the crown, as the family believed in strict matillineral relationships. All the 11 crowns were sold off by H.H Rama Varma Maharaja to fund for Shornur-Cochin Railway line, along with other temple jewels.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 04:02 PM   #9
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Map of Fort Kochi (The City of Cochin) in 1672

Fort Kochi is believed to be first Municipality in the country, formed in April 18th, 1664, , when Dutch Government of Kochi, established a City Council. Perhaps, it may be the first City Government/Municipality in entire Sub-continent that time.

The City council was of civilian in nature, was separated from Dutch Government, which was more of military in nature.

The council was disbanded when Dutch handed over Fort Kochi to British Government.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 04:16 PM   #10
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Hendrik van Rheede

The most celebrated Dutch Governor of Kochi, whom Kochinites used to refer Rheedekaipthan.....

He was instrumental in preparing Hortus Malabaricus, an encyclopedia on flora of Malabar coast, prepared in between 1678-1693. The book is a detailed introspection into more than 740 plants grown in Indian sub continent and detailed thesis on its rare medical properties and other values.

Hendrik was one of the most trust loyal of Kochi Maharaja H.H Veera Kerala Varma V, when his sister (later the Queen of Kochi) was saved by Hendrik by arresting her and placing inside Malabar House, during the Coup d'état happened in Kochi Royal family, by few members of the house. Hendrik played an important role in suppressing the Coup and helping Veera Kerala Varma V to become the next King.

In return, the King, provided the services of Itti Achuden, a respectable Royal doctor of Kochi Family, for assisting Hendrik in preparing his dream book- Hortus Malabaricus.

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Old September 19th, 2011, 04:23 PM   #11
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The Dutch Generals where considered to be most trusted loyalists of Kochi Kings. As a result, they are invited for all Durbar meets at Kochi Palace.

The lithograph shows the grand receptions accorded to Dutch Governors for their attendance at Kochi Durbars.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 04:33 PM   #12
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Nice collections.. All are very informative. Thank you very much
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Old September 19th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #13
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image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr



Old picture of David Hall

David Hall- Fort Kochi

One of the last classified surviving buildings of Dutch Empire in the world, David Hall, was the residence of Dutch Chief Commanders, who were initially the Dutch Governors of India. David Hall, was thus, the office of Dutch Government in Indian Sub continent.

Several leading Dutch Commanders resided in this spartan building, build in traditional Dutch style commissioned in 1660 AD. The 4500 sqft single storey bungalow also hosted the War Office.

After years of neglect, today this building was taken over by Government of Netherlands thro' its Indian arm CNO and managed by Kochi's leading Hotel chain- Casino as CGH David Hall- as an European Gallery and Cafe.

It was here, Dutch Commander and Governor Hendrik wrote the famous book- Hortus Malabaricus



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Old September 19th, 2011, 07:39 PM   #14
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Cochin Jews



Chera Emperor Mahamahan Sri Sri Bhaskara Varman Thiruvadikal, issuing Copper Grants to Jews to fled from Israel due to West Asian conflicts in 750 AD, to Joseph Rabban. The Copper plant granted Jews to reside freely in Chera terrorities and settled down in Anjavaram near North Paravur for construction of 72 houses and own as free citizens without any discrimination and with full privileges of worship. The Joseph Rabban was also designated title- Thampuran- Prince of Jews.



The grant issued to Joseph, written in ancient Sangam Tamil-Malayalam language.

It read as

Quote:
We have granted to Joseph Rabban the village of Anjuvannam together with the 72 proprietary rights, tolls on boats and carts, the revenue and title of Anjuvannam, the lamp of the day, a cloth spread in front to walk on, a palanquin, a parasol, a Vaduga (i.e., Teluge) drum, a trumpet, a gate way, a garland, decoration with festoons, and so forth.

"We have granted him the land tax and weight tax; moreover, we have sanctioned with these copper plates that he need not pay the dues which the inhabitants of the other cities pay the Royal palace, and that he may enjoy the benefits which they enjoy. To Joseph Rabban the Prince of Anjuvannam and to his descendants sons and daughters and to his nephews, and to the sons-in-law who married his daughters in natural succession. So long as the world and moon exist, Anjuvannam shall be his hereditary possession. Hail
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Old September 20th, 2011, 07:38 AM   #15
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La Ville De Cochin

The Map of Fort Kochi, prepared by Portuguese Military Engineers, after commissioning of Fort Kochi. The Fort Immanuel, had 7 large bastions, with the first bastion, directly facing the sea. The First Bastion had a star shaped base, to avoid collapse in event of a direct shelling from the fort. It would somewhere 500 meters into the sea from the current Old courtyard Hotel, in Fort Kochi Beach.

There were 2 barriers walls spread over the beach , which all were now taken over by the sea. A part of the second barrier walls is still seen in Fort Kochi as beach wall. The first barrier wall, was breached, during Portuguese-Dutch war, when the Dutch Army stepped into the beach to fight with the Portuguese.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 07:40 AM   #16
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Lithographs of Fort Kochi prepared during days of Dutch Kochi in 1671.

The diagram shows 4 sides of Fort Kochi and how trade used to happen at the Fort Gate.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #17
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The Map of Kingdom of Cochin from 1771 to 1948

The Cochin Kingdom is a small provincial Kingdom sandwiched between Travancore Kingdom and British Malabar District. The comprises of 6 districts and I joint district (Aluva Taluk, jointly administrated by Travancore Kingdom and Kochi Kingdoms) and 1 Joint city (Fort Kochi- jointly by British Malabar and British Cochin)

The 6 districts or Taluks were

1. Kochi Kannanyur Taluk
2. Mukandapuram Taluk
3. Thrshivanperur (Thrissur) Taluk
4. Chittur Taluk (part of Palakkad)
5. Thalapilly Taluk
6. Kodungallor Taluk

In addition, there where few pockets,/enclaves within Kochi Kingdom managed by Travancore and British.

1. North Paravur, leased for 99 years by Kochi Maharaja to Travancore to raise Nedumkotta as first line of defence against Tipu Sultan

2. Edappally Fort, handed over to Travancore by British, as the Edappally Raja do not want to be a vassal of his arch-rival Kochi King.

3. Bolgatty Island- Managed by British Government of India, as Residency Enclave, meant for hosting Resident of Kochi and Travancore Kingdoms.

The Kochi had multiple Capitals, ranging from time to time and various reigns.

The last and most prominent capital city was Tripunithara- a suburb of Kochi city today

Other main capitals

The original capital of Royal family was at Vanneri in Malappuram district, which were known as Perumpadappu that time. A part of Vanneri village was annexed by Zamorin, in 12th century, for the Cochin King to shift the capital to Mahodayapuram (Thiruvanchikulam) near Kodungallor as second Capital. Mahodayapuram was the imperial capitals during Chera Empire era

The Great floods in 1341, created Kochi Harbour and the royal family shifted their capital to Ernakulam in 1401, by commissioning Kulipura Palace near Shiva Temple. In 1460, the Palace was shifted to Kalvetty near Fort Kochi, for increased security. In 1555, the capital was formally shifted to Fort Kochi, when Portuguese offered Mattancherry Palace to the King.

In 1710, the combined army of Dutch and Kochi, attacked Zamorin camps in Malabar and took over Thrissur and Thalapilly districts. The capital was shifted to Thrissur in 1717, under the orders of H.H Rama Varma V.

In 1775, the Queen of Kochi, H.H Ambika Varma Penvizhithampuran shifted her residence to Tripunithara. Since Cochin Royal Family follows Materillineral relationship, the place where senior Queen resides, automatically becomes the capital. Thus in 1775, Tripunithara was reassigned as new capital of Kochi Kingdom.

But the King and his royal court, formally shifted to Tripunithara, only in 1865, by commissioning Hill Palace. H.H Sir Rama Varma XIV, formally issued order for shifting of Royal Court to Tripunithara.

A small change happened in 1902, when H.H Rajarishi Rama Varma XV, commissioned Huzur Cutchery(Royal Secretariat) and Raja Durbar in Ernakulam. This made Ernakulam as capital of Kochi Kingdom, but technically since the Queen Thampuran, prefered to live in Tripunithara, the capital remained.
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Old September 20th, 2011, 08:24 AM   #18
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A street in Fort Kochi in 1913



Canal transportation, in Mattancherry in 1913
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Old September 20th, 2011, 08:27 AM   #19
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Uniform of Cochin State Solider in 1840
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Old September 20th, 2011, 08:35 AM   #20
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An European Drawing in 16th century about Maharaja of Cochin, accompanied by Nair Army. The drawing is not fully correct, as its designed to suit European tastes that time.

But it tells something important. In those days, Kochi Maharaja had a personal army comprising of 150 strong Nair Men, who used to escort the King, as a personal protection wing. It was nessecary, after continuous unsuccessful attempts of Zamorins over Kochi Raja's life thro' various spies. Thus, the concept of Z grade security and Black cat commandos were much ancient....

The Nair Army of Raja, unlike to popular belief, didn't carry much of swords or spikes. Rather had long guns, which were used to fire against enemies. Kochi Army had a strong artillery units and several gunmen, due to its close association with Chinese and Europeans.



These are the type of Guns, held by Nair Army officials. The King had a personal artillery unit, comprising of 50 Motar Cannons. It proved very effective to save the life of King and Portuguese agents, during the First war of Cochin, against Zamorin and his 2 lakh army.
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