Mattanchery Warehouses

This area is the hub of the Kerala spice trade. Famous for tea, dried fruits, cashew nuts and rubber, it stretches from the Vypin Jetty along Calvathy Road and Bazaar Road to the Dutch Palace.

Since the formation of Cochin harbour following the floods of 1341 merchant ships have sailed to Kochi and dropped anchor at the mouth of the Calvathy river. The spices they sought were carried by boat from the inland waterways of Kerala and delivered to the docks at jetties which lined the harbour waterfront. The harbour became a hectic trading area where transactions were conducted and customs duties were levied. Eventually the Portuguese, Dutch and British came to this region one by one, laying the foundations for colonial rule.
There are numerous warehouses along this stretch of road, some are disused but many still function as spice ‘godowns’ or storage areas for antiques, food and other produce.  The Kochi Biennale Foundation has secured over 100,000 sq feet of space for installation, projection and mixed media works. This would open a dialogue between “fine” art and urban decay as many of these structures are being reanimated from a severe state of disrepair.

 

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