St Francis Church, built in 1510 by friars brought to India by Vasco da Gama, is the first European church built in India and is the site where Vasco da Gama was buried. The Jewish Synagogue was built in 1568, Chinese hand-painted tiles are one of the attraction. This, the only Synagogue in India has a nostalgic past of a Jewish Diaspora. The "Dutch Palace" was built in the 1550s; the palace contains excellent mythological murals and a rare example of traditional Keralite flooring - a subtle mix of burnt coconut shells, lime, plant juices and egg whites - which gives the effect of polished marble.

Fort Cochin & Mattancherry are twin cities carry a flavor of the colonial era. Jewish, Arabs, Portuguese British all came to Cochin for trading and Mattancherry was the spice trade headquarters due to the proximity of Cochin Port. While Fort Cochin became the administrative headquarters, Mattancherry maintained its trading status. The colonial stature and buildings still make Fort Cochin a favorite destination for tourists. It is getting an upgrade once it is declared as the first heritage city in India. Fort Cochin was also a part of Muziris route. It will be interesting to know that around 13 religious communities are harmoniously living in Fort Cochin and Mattancherry. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Jains, Sikhs etc. are few among them.

Kadhakali

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