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Cochin

With it,s wonderful natural harbour, Cochin is often known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. Centre of the Indian spice trade for centuries, Jewish, Arabian, Chinese, Portuguese and British architecture and features are still here.
St Francis church is thought to be the oldest built by Europeans. The voyager, Vasco da Gama was buried here before his remains were taken to Lisbon, you can still see his tombstone in the church.
The Jewish Synangogue, built in 1568, has an ornate gold pulpit, hand painted blue floor tiles from China and magnificent chandeliers from Belgium. The is still an active though small community of Cochin Jews.
Jew Town is the busy centre of the Kochi spice trade, many small shops squash together in old buildings and the air is full of spice aromas, look out for the antique and souvenir shops.
Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese in 1555 as a gift to the Raja of Kochi, probably to secure trading rights. Renovated by the Dutch in 1663, it is now sometimes called The Dutch Palace.
Kerala Kathakali centre is a huge new theatre specialising in grand performance of this unique Kerala art form. Useful translations of the evenings story are provided.
The Chinese Fishing nets are found around the backwaters of Kerala, the enormous cantilevered nets, counterbalanced by rocks are mainly a visitor attraction now. If you visit the harbour side you can buy a wide variety of fresh fish and then find stalls that will cook it to your taste.

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