Monday, August 1, 2011

Captivating Cochin

If there is one place in the riveting diversity of Kerala where there is tangible beauty and life full of good things, it is Cochin.

The largest city in Kerala with a population of 5.5 lakhs, Cochin's all weather harbour has made it an important center for commerce and industry. It has a maritime history that began in the remote past. The Portuguese, the Dutch and the English established themselves here at one time or the other. This unusual assortment of rulers transformed Cochin into an extraordinary melting pot of people and cultures.

Cochin has a sizable Jewish community and this is reflective in the Jewish synagogue, a magnificent prayer hall that was constructed in 1568 A.D. and is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth. Another place of interest is the St.Francis Church, a Protestant church that was built by the Portuguese in circa 1510 A.D. Vasco-da-Gama's gravestone is located here though his mortal remains were taken back to Portugal several years later.

And if that isn't to enough to interest you, there's also the lure of the backwaters combined with the exquisiteness of Willington island, Fort Cochin - Mattancherry peninsula, Bolgatty and Gundu and Vypeen island.

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