Busses in Cochin
Another way to travel through India is by bus. Even though the busses are very old they appear to be more or less reliable. Some astonishing enough do not have windows - maybe a good thing - so they are airconditioned :-)) Prices are relativley cheap, and one should ask the locals before boarding what the fare would be, else one will pay a lot more!
Situated in the Mattancheri district you reach an area known as Jewtown. Toward the end of this colourful quarter stands the synagogue recognized by its square clock tower. A visit will allow you to admire the temple’s interior. Especially noteworthy are the hand-painted blue and white floor tiles brought from Canton, China. The Jewish community in Cochin only has 14 surviving members; a lot having left for Israel or converted to other religions and no rabbi is here anymore.
Make sure you leave a contribution to the Synagogue since this is the only way it will survive.
Interesting are the old buildings mostly occupied by numerous, interesting shops that are on the road to the Synagogue.
The Jewish Synagogue in Kochi is probably the oldest found in India. Kochi was a major settlement for prominent business Jewish community which laid the strong foundation of the business and economy landscape in Kochi.
The Jewish Synagogue is located near* the Dutch Palace and it is elaborately adorned by Chinese tiles and Belgian chandeliers. You can also see some giant scrolls of the Old Testament within the synagogue compound. You should pay special attention to the floor tiles (see picture), they are somewhat similar but none of them are the same. Each was hand painted with differences and almost looks like created that way intentionally.
Note*: They are practically next to each other, but the synagogue's walls blocking the 2 and make it quite impassible walking straight line.
Houseboat on the Backwaters
Floating on a Kerala’s backwaters, the beauty of the serene waterways and quaint inlets and creeks along the coast of Kerala enchanted us. We experienced an unforgettable journey, along the tranquil backwaters having lunch on board of a typical houseboat.
Colourful Cochin (Kochi)
"Tickle all senses"
Kerala is different to any other place I've visited before in India. Kerela is on the West Coast (the Malabar Coast) of South India. Kochi is a city consisiting of a few islands, and Ernakulam on the mainland.
Experience the smells, sights, natural beauty, art and customs of this wonderful place.
A friend and I stayed in Fort Cochin for 5 nights. It is easy to do daytrips from here. There is also a lot to do in Fort Cochin, but don't forget to visit Ernakulam for a different experience.
Great south Indian cuisine, art forms like Kathakali, Jew Town, Backwaters, Religious Festivals and many more are there to experience.
I just returned from my second visit to Cochin (Oct 2008). The most obvious change, is that all the "you buy - we fry" fish stands are removed. It is a pity, as it created a lovely atmosphere, especially during the evenings. According to some of the fish sellers, it was a government decision.
"Ten things to do, see, experience."
1. Backwater trip
2. Kathakali performance
3. Visit Jew Town
4. Ayurvedic treatment
5. Food, food, food
6. Take a sunset cruise
7. Attend a festival
8. Visit religous sights and buildings
10.Do make time to visit Ernakulam