Cochin, India

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Main port photo for Cochin, India

Cochin on the Kerala coast is an exotic fable sprung to life. The city has been a major seaport and trading center since before the Roman Empire. Cultures from three continents met here in trade, and their legacy is reflected in the city's rich heritage. Cochin boasts a Portuguese church, a Dutch palace, an exquisite Synagogue with Chinese floor tiles and old godowns (warehouses) still bursting with spices and coir.

Cochin is a series of small islands and peninsulas linked by bridges. The city is also your Southern gateway to greater India.

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  • Fort Cochin Fort Cochin

    Fort Cochin was built by the Portuguese as part of their pursuit of the fabled spice trade of the Indies. It's the oldest European settlement in India, and home to Tudor houses, temples and churches.

  • St Francis Church St Francis Church

    St Francis Church was built by Franciscan friars in 1503. The Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, was buried here in 1524. It is also home to a World War I memorial, dating back to 1920.

  • Chinese Fishing Nets Chinese Fishing Nets

    The impressive pre-colonial Chinese fishing nets, which are hoisted high above the harbor, were introduced in the 14th century by Chinese traders from the court of Kublai Khan.

  • Backwaters Cruise Backwaters Cruise

    At Alleppey, explore the vibrant "Venice of the East", and enjoy a relaxing cruise along the tree-lined lagoons and waterways to Kumarakom, which sits on the eastern shore of Vembanad Lake.

  • Mattancherry Palace Mattancherry Palace

    Built by the Portuguese but remodeled by the Dutch, Mattancherry Palace, features murals that illustrate the Ramayana and Puranic legends, and a collection of clothing worn by the Rajas of Cochin.

  • Santa Cruz Basilica Santa Cruz Basilica

    Cochin's impressive basilica was originally built by the Portuguese, and elevated to a Cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558. The columns are decorated with intricate religious frescoes and murals.

  • Paradesi Synagogue Paradesi Synagogue

    This Jewish Synagogue dates back to 1568, and features hand-painted Cantonese floor tiles and inscribed copper plaques. In this charming Jewish quarter, visitors can browse for antiques and spices.

  • Kumarakom & Vaikom - Local Villages Kumarakom & Vaikom - Local Villages

    The local villages are charming, and tourists flock to watch artisans make coir carpets (fiber made from coconuts), Khadi cloth and pottery by hand. Vaikom also boasts the oldest temple in Kerala.

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