Jewel in crown

View of Ernakulam from backwaterThe old and new magnificently straddle this land. Dubbed the Queen of Arabian Sea, Kochi is the coastal district’s heart. The state’s modern commercial capital, the district’s various trading locations have attracted sea faring merchants and travelers from as distant as Rome, China and Arabia since 3000 years ago. Subsequently colonial powers like the Portuguese, Dutch and also English have built th eland their major destination which still bears the indelible marks of this legacy.

Kochi is also one of the earliest homes for a miniscule Jewish community which though has numerically depleted still survives the ravages of time. The Jew town and its 5 centuries-old synagogue, the Chinese fishing nets, the Dutch Palace, cemetrey Portuguese church etchave made Kochi the state’s most sought after destination for heritage tourism.One of the most developed districts, it boasts of many factories of the oldand new variety besides a spew of shopping malls and other commercial centres. However the cosmopolitan district’s largest earner and employeris its modern port —Cochin Port-head quartered in the beautiful man made Willingdon island and its natural harbour. The district also has its customary share of pilgrim centres, beaches and jungles as well. Cherai beach bordering Vypeen island where one comes across dolphins and also the Salim All Bird Sanctuary in Thattekkad are popular destinations.

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