Cochin provides a variety of unexpected experiences: A tiny synagogue, and a Jewish presence some claim dates back to the time of Solomon. St Francis Church, where Vasco de Gama was once buried. Mattancherry Palace, with a series of remarkable murals painted on its wooden walls. Cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, gracefully silhouetted against sky and sea. An opportunity to sail the “backwaters,” a network of rivers, streams, and canals, for a peek at traditional rural lifestyles. And of course the spellbinding Kathakali dance, with its highly stylized performances and elaborate makeup and costumes.
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