13th September 2014 – Cochin, India
The Arabs and the Chinese left their marks, and they remain. The Jews came to leave a mark, and even they were to be. All the feathers of the bird, had bound together so seamlessly, In a city born in a storm, and nurtured in a great rivalry.
I did not want to ride today, so stayed put in Fort Kochi and explored it. Only to find out later, that I had rode about 100KMs just exploring the Fort Kochi region! So much for my wise plans.
Note: Kochi, Cochin, Fort Kochi.. they all are the same thing. Pardon me, if I jump between the spellings.
Cochin was literally born in a storm, after the great flood of 1341 as a port city. This town was coveted by all the royalties, and soon led to a lot of feudal rivalries. Coveting is not just an Indian trait, as Kochi soon found out. The foreigners came steadily, the Arabs, Chinese, and the Europeans. This city became the door to the colonization of India, thanks to the Black gold that was traded from here. No, not oil. Back then, the black gold was pepper!
This influence has left Cochin into a multicultural city, with people possessive much more acceptance than the rest of India. Like for instance, Jew town. The number of Jews may have come down after Israel was formed, but there are still a handful here, making this one of the very rare Jewish communities in India. And, I believe, the only Synagogue in India stands here too.
But nothing says ‘kochi’ more prominently then the famous Chinese fishing nets, by itself a symbol of Kochi. Pictured above, these were gifted by the Chinese emperor Kubalagi to the Kochi King, in the 14th century. There were originally a 100 of them, but very few are still in working condition.
One of which, I decided to feast my camera upon.