I really like Cochin. It reminds me of Melaka or Penang, or even Macau. Lots of crumbling old colonial era buildings, lots of history. The Portuguese first came here a little over 500 years ago, but before then there were Jewish settlers, Arab traders and some of the first Christian missionaries to leave the Holy Land.
A lot of people I’ve met didn’t like it though. Most people thought it was too touristy or just not like India enough. I don’t get this, I loved it. Goats walking everywhere, places to relax and watch the sea, slow pace of life – even patches of clean(ish) grass to sit on.
My favourite place was the Mantancherry palace. The Hindu Murals inside are worth going to just to see. They remind me of the ones you find in old oriental churches or hidden in parts of gothic cathedrals. Surely there must have been some cultural influence when the artists were commissioned to paint them.
It must be one of the only places where Hindu, Christian, Muslim and Jew all live together and prosper. And looking at the houses there must be a lot of prosperity.
I’d tell anybody to come here, don’t be put off by the bad press!