Cochin (Kochi) explored

What ever little we know from history, Kochi always seems to have been a vibrant port by the Arabian sea, gaining importance after the Dutch, Portuguese and Brits came to trade and occupy. Initially the city was frequented by Roman, Chinese and Arab traders. They all had one thing in common. They came for the wealth of spices and precious woods and in turn left indelible marks on the history and cuisine of the city. Kochi developed into a major trading port dealing in pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and other goods. Till today Kerala is world wide famous for great quality spices.
Kochi was frequented by many great travellers, scholars and traders like Fa Hien and Vasco da Gama among others. Their tales and reports contributed significantly to the growth of the city and made Kochi the most important trading points in India.
Few urban pockets in any city would offer such an engaging mix of history, culture, culinary treats, as the historical area of Fort Kochi, located right on the busy harbour mouth with ships and fishing vessels moving in and out. There are museums, art galleries, cafes, the famed fishing nets and shopping on Princess Street. You can see some of the last remnants of Dutch Colonial style houses, with their steeply angled roofs and tall windows.

The streets in the immediate vicinity are splendid to stroll about and if you like to move a bit further then its best to take a cycle and move towards the vast godowns of the spice market and finally into Jew town with the first synagogue in India. A must see is the Dutch Palace with its amazing murals and wooden ceilings. Fort Kochi’s pride however are the massive rain trees lining the streets, each a miracle of nature.
Make sure to visit the David Hall. Once , this was the 1 7th Century home of the areas Dutch civil and military commander. Today of course, it’s a smart little Gallery- Cafe. Come browse some art, enjoy a cold coffee and a Pepperoni Pizza, or just take in the age-old ambience.

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