Among the first European forts in India, Fort Emmanuel was built in 1503 by the Portuguese. Situated at Fort Kochi, it was once a symbol of the alliance between the ruler of Kochi and the monarch of Portugal. An imposing structure along the beach, it makes for an interesting exploration. Its charming ruins reflect vestiges of Portuguese royalty and the architectural finesse of that time.

Legend has it that the Portuguese were welcomed by the ruler of Kochi in year 1500. After signing a treaty with the king, the Portuguese gradually started expanding their power and built the first European city in India, Santa Cruz City. The city remained a Portuguese stronghold until it was taken over by the Dutch colonisers.