Bastion Bungalow, Fort Kochi

Fort Emmanuel was the first fort made by a European power in Asia. It was built by the Portuguese at Cochin [present Fort Kochi] in 1503. 

When the Dutch took over Cochin in 1663, they reduced it to one-third its original size and rebuilt it with seven bastions.

The British took control of Cochin in 1795. In 1803 the fort was destroyed by explosion. Only a part of the fort called the Stoormberg bastion (one of the seven bastions of the Dutch fort of Cochin) survived.

The only building the Dutch erected in Fort Cochin is the Commandants' House. Records suggest that is situated at the north-west angle of the fort, which is so near the river that the water washes some part of its walls. One possibility is that the Brits named this house 'Bastion Bungalow'.

Another possibility is that the Brits built this mansion where the Stormberg bastion existed originally. According to 'The Dutch Overseas Architectural Survey: Mutual Heritage of Four Centuries in Three Continents', the Bastion Bungalow was most likely built by the British after the fortifications were demolished in 1803. This is further supported by an information board inside the Bastion Bungalow.

Located near Vasco Da Gama Square, the Bungalow has long open verandahs and a tiled roof in geometric patterns. Brick, laterite and wood have been mainly used for the construction.

You can see a cannon on the terrace of this majestic building.

After independence, this mansion functioned as the official residence of the Sub-Collector of Fort Kochi. 

Now a heritage museum, Bastion Bungalow displays artefacts, paintings, and infographics relating to Cochin's past.