COCHIN/ERNAKULAM

Lying on the coast, Cochin (also known as Ernakulam) proved to be a very accessible port for many foreign travellers hoping to establish trade with the Malabar region. Kerala established cultural and trade relations with many of these travellers. The Portugueese, Chinese and others arrived here looking to collect the rich spices that Kerala was known for.

Along the coastal waters of Cochin, the Chinese who were avid fishermen, built a series of Cantaliever style fishing nets that are quite a site to see. Innovative and practical, these nets allowed the Chinese to catch an ample supply of fish that swim throughout Kerala’s waters. These nets, built from sturdy wood and netting, can be found in great numbers all along the coast. Today they are still in use, and also provide tourists with a fascinating site and a glimpse into the creative tools left behind by previous traders.

Then next stop was Ernakulam/cochin probably the most well known place in Kerala and considered the most cosmopolitan. It has been labeled as the queen fo the arabian sea and has been travelled from time immemorial by various cultures who have all left there mark here. IT is the major trading port of KErala. Because Kochi was such an ideal location for trade, many European colonies fought hard to maintain power of this port to the world. Eventually, the British took control and built many churches, buildings and Fort Kochi, a well visited tourist location. Kochi/Ernakalam is known for its great seascape and harbour and backwaters and Katha Kali performances.

Kochi also became the safe haven for the Jews who made Kochi their home to escape religious persecution. Many people visit Jew Street which boasts fine antiques and India’s first synagogue. Situated on the coast, Cochin has proven to be a very profitable port of call for many foreign travelers who have hoped to share in the wealth created by the mighty trade posts of the Malabar region. Kerala did in fact make a lot of money for foreign travelers. These trade partners did not leave without influencing the existing culture. Kerala established cultural as well as trade relations with many of these foreign traders. The Portuguese, Chinese and others arrived here looking to collect the many rich spices that Kerala was known for. Along the coastal waters of Cochin, the Chinese who were avid fishermen, built a series of Cantaliever style fishing nets that are quite a site to see. Innovative and practical, these nets allowed the Chinese to catch massive quantities of fish that swim throughout Kerala's waters, while providing a unique aesthetic element to the shores of Cochin's rivers. These nets, built from sturdy wood and coconut fiber netting, can be found in great numbers all along the coast. Today they are still in use, and also provide tourists with a fascinating site and a glimpse into the creative tools left behind by ancient traders.