Cochin is located on the coast of the Arabian Sea. The commercial capital and the most cosmopolitan city of Kerala, the city is also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea.
Kochi has one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Along the harbor, rows of antediluvian Chinese fishing nets indicate Kerala's trade with China, just as building along the water's edge testify to the erstwhile presence of Dutch and Portuguese colonisers. Jewtown, complete with an immaculately preserved synagogue, has a flavor all its own, while Tripunathura, at the other end of the city, has many traditional houses with central courtyards. Kerala's multitude of faiths – Islam, Judaism, and a host of sects of Christianity and Hinduism – all coexist harmoniously in a state that is known for its Marxists inclinations!
The city is home to the oldest in India as well as numerous old churches and temples. Jew Town area around the synagogue is also a centre of spice trade and curio shops.
Kerala's traditions of dance forms, which originated from temple worship, can be witnessed at regularly held performances. Demonstration of the most spectacular of these – Kathakali are held daily at many centres in the city.
A leisurely walk through the city is one of the best ways to discover the historic Fort Kochi. An obscure fishing village that became the first European township in India, Kochi has an eventful and colorful history. The town was shaped by the Portuguese, the Dutch and later the British. The results of these cultural influences are seen in the many examples of Indo-European architecture that still exist here.
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