Start the morning with a yoga session at the hotel.
Kerala, and especially Cochin, was one of the main ports on the spice route. The history of Kerala reflects the significant influences these foreign visitors left behind. Even after they left, the cultural influence is still seen in the architectural inheritance of Fort Cochin and in the cuisine.
Today morning after breakfast you explore the Old City starting with a visit to the Jewish synagogue which one of the main attractions of the area. The Jews served as trading agents for the Dutch and the British, and they integrated into local society, learning the language and the culture. Even after the foreign traders departed, the Jewish community stayed on and made Cochin their home, though today only a handful remain.
“Jew Town” as the area surrounding the synagogue is still called is a jumble of antique and spice shops, with the occasional outlet still making Jewish Hallah covers, Menorahs, candle stands and Kippahs.
From here you can walk to the Mattancherri Palace, which was commissioned by the Portuguese for the Raja of Kochi in exchange for trading rights. The palace is two storeys high and is built in the traditional Kerala style known as “nalukattu” (four buildings around a central courtyard). Made of wood and richly carved, the palace exhibits memorabilia from the Raja of Kochi’s collection, but it is best known for its outstanding murals painted on the walls. Fast fading, one can still see some of these excellent 16th century paintings illustrating episodes from the great Indian epic – The Ramayana.
The afternoon is at leisure and you have the option of returning to the hotel for some spa therapies or strolling through the markets for some retail therapy. The choice is yours!
This evening enjoy a mesmerising private performance the Indian dance-drama, Kathakali. A distinguishing characteristic of this art form is that the actors never speak, and use hand gestures, expressions and rhythmic dancing in place of dialogue. Another standout feature is the wonderful makeup worn by all performers and before the dance starts you will also get to interact with the artist and see him wear his makeup.
Return to your hotel after the performance.
Overnight at hotel.