Formerly known as Kochi, this city has long attracted traders throughout history. Spices and ivory were the main merchandises and the city grew rich on the proceeds. As with other colonial towns the city has old churches and forts. One major draw are the giant fishing nets used here by the locals which were influenced by the Chinese way back in the 16th century. Portuguese occupation, followed by the British Raj, has both left their mark on the architecture. The Malabar Coast is lined with islands which actually make up the town.
If you able to take in a performance, try and go see the 'Kathakali Dance'. The masks and costumes of the dancers are very bold and the makeup is unique. The dances usually recount popular folk tales and scenes from the Ramayan, India’s oldest epic. 'Kalarippayat' is the traditional martial arts form practiced in Kerela. Taught since the 12th century, masters train their students in a gymnasium, usually located in a temple. The school emphasizes strict discipline. Typical Malabar cuisine is famous for its rich, spicy, coconut-based graves.