Day 14: Alleppey / Cochin
After leisure breakfast at the hotel, disembark upon arrival at Alleppey boat jetty, where your car will be waiting for you to transfer to you Cochin (60 kms / 1 ½ hrs drive). Upon arrival in Cochin , check-in at the hotel. Cochin (Kochi) was born in a storm, nurtured in rivalry, and established as the Crossroads of the Battling Empires of Europe: Portuguese, Dutch and British. In the 1340's torrential rains filled the Periyar River, which broke through to the Arabian Sea and formed Kochi's protected harbour. Trading ships soon sailed in: and out. The much-photographed Chinese fishing nets at the harbour-mouth, best seen at sunset, testify to Cochin's pre-European association with China. In 1502, Portuguese Seafarer Vasco da Gama came to Kochi seeking spices. He found his spices, launched Europe's great Age of Exploration, and prayed in the first European church in Asia and converted many of the locals to Christianity. Unlike the Portuguese, Kochi's kings were very tolerant of other faiths. European Jews, fleeing persecution at home, settled in Jew Town near the Mattancherry Palace of the Hindu king and prosper.