Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Indian Port of Call

I India - Cochin in the state of Kerala, to be precise.
The Chinese Fishing Nets of Cochin
The itinerary from Hong Kong to Dubai involves one port of call in India. In Kochi, aka Cochin (the colonial name) in the state of Kerala on the West coast of India.

 I took an excursion from the ship that included a demonstration of Kathakali, the classical dance from of the Kerala area, and Kalaripayattu, parent discipline from which other martial arts were derived.
According to the very informative tour guide, “Kochi is a Mayalam word meaning “small lagoon. Mayalam is the local language, derived from a mixture of Sanskrit and Tamil.
Our tour stopped briefly for a walk around the area of the Chinese fishing nets.  Located at the narrow entrance from the Lakeshadweep Sea to Vembanad Lake and the harbor, the Chinese Fishing Nets were probably brought to India by Chinese traders from Kubla Khan’s court more than a thousand years ago. 
The system is still in use today. People were lining up to buy the fish that had just been brought up in the nets.
From the picturesque but very smelly fishing area, we were taken to the 5 Star Vivanta hotel to watch the performance of Kathakali and Kalaripayattu. Learn more about these ancient arts forms  under K for Kathakali. 

A nice touch that I have never seen at a hotel before, was the presence of a large box at the front desk, containing reading glasses, for arriving guests who may have misplaced their own.

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