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Cochin is a series of small islands and peninsulas, all linked together by bridges. It’s a true melting pot of cultures, having been a major trading port since before the Roman Empire. So not only does it serve as your gateway to southern India, but it also offers a rich history and a wealth of attractions to explore during your visit to the city. There’s a lot of Portuguese influence in the area, with Fort Cochin once the hub of a European settlement in the country. Nearby, St Francis Church is where the world-famous Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, was buried. And then there’s Mattancherry Palace, which was original built by the Portuguese but has since been remodelled by the Dutch, now acting as home to murals and clothing collections.
There’s also a Chinese influence in the city – the incredible fishing nets used in the 14th century by Chinese traders hang high above the harbour, while the Synagogue features hand-painted Cantonese floor tiles. Beyond these stunning buildings, many tourists head to nearby villages where you can see locals crafting exquisite items, including pottery and coir carpets.
The currency in Kochi is the Rupee. Kochi is 5 and a half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +5:30).
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