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Book Review: On Philosophising, Philosophers, Philosophy and New Vistas in Applied Philosophy, by Dr. Sharmila Jayant Virkar

A little bit of context before you begin reading this book review. I have recently enrolled for an MA in Philosophy at the University of Mumbai. Philosophy is something I have been getting interested in, over the past few years, as those of you who have been reading my blogs and Instagram posts would know. During the pandemic, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do next, and this is what I eventually came up with. It has been a challenge, getting back into academics as a student at this age, especially in a subject I have no academic background in. However, it has also been very exciting, especially thanks to my wonderful classmates (who, surprisingly, are of all age-groups, including some quite near my own) and my teachers, who have been very supportive and understanding. How well I will do is something that remains to be seen, but so far, I am enjoying this new journey and look forward to where it leads. Now that you know the background , you probably get an idea of how

Kochi and Around... A Compilation of my posts

Our trip to Kochi last May was all about firsts – the first church established in India, the first European church built in India, the first European Fort built in India, the first Jewish Synagogue to be built in India, and the first mosque built in India. The place also has a lot of ancient temples, certainly older than all these monuments, but we couldn’t visit the temples on the trip due to various reasons. Those are for another trip. However, now that I have finished writing all about the places we visited, it is time to wind up the series, putting it together in one post for your easy reference, if you are planning a trip to Kochi…





We stayed a night at Fort Kochi and explored it all day long. Here are all the posts I wrote about it….
  • Part 2: Chinese Fishing Nets – they are the most recognizable among all the sights in Fort Kochi, and need no explanation…. But they are more than just a pretty sight!
  • Part 4: St. Francis Church – The first European Church built in India, this church holds memories of Vasco Da Gama, though his remains are here no more.
  • Part 5: Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica – a new church built over the remains of an old one built around the same time as the St. Francis Church, this one is incredibly detailed and colourful!
  • Part 6: Mattanchery Palace – a palace built for the Hindu King by the Dutch, this is commonly called the Dutch Palace. The beautiful murals inside make this palace a must-visit!
  • Part 7: Jew Town and Synagogue – The Jews are an important part of Kochi’s history, and a trip to Jew Town takes us to the first Synagogue built in India…
  • Part 8: A Boat ride  - A boat ride is the perfect way to experience Kochi of the past and the present.
  • Part 9: 3 Cafes, 3 experiences – the art cafes are part of the modern town that is Fort Kochi, which cater to the many foreigners who come here. The art on display in some of them is remarkable, as is the library one of them houses. No visit to Fort Kochi is complete without a cup of coffee or breakfast in one of these cafes.
  • Part 10: Maritime Museum – The Navy has made an effort to document the impressive maritime history of India, and especially the Malabar, in this museum. A must visit, especially for children and those interested in history.

From Fort Kochi, we headed to Cherai Beach, to the Club Mahindra resort, where we spent a whole day inside, in the pouring rain!

The next day, however, the skies cleared up, allowing us to continue our exploration of Kochi’s incredible heritage.
  • Pallipuram Fort and Church: This was probably the first European fort built in India, and is certainly the oldest European monument, not just in India, but all of Asia! The fort, and the church near it tell us the story of an enemy being repelled, by what is believed by many, to be a miracle of the Lord!
  • St. Thomas in Kochi – St. Thomas was the first to bring Christianity to India, and his memories remain strong, despite the passage of millennia; albeit in newly built churches and grand structures!
  • Cheraman Juma Masjid - The first mosque built in India Kochi wasn’t the entry point for just Christianity and Judaism. Islam also entered the country here, and we visited the first mosque to be built in India, named after the first ruler who converted to Islam, back in the time of Prophet Mohammed!

This is just a compilation of my posts, and a short guide to the interesting heritage of Kochi. It is, by no means, an extensive guide of all its interesting facets, and I shall add to the list as and when I make my next trip to the region. 


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