'God's own country' is what Kerala is known as, and as a first entry point into Kerala, it's clear why. Fort Cochin transports you back to the Colonial times when it was occupied by the Portuguese. It is colourful with well preserved colonial style buildings, and comes with an added touch of contemporary art and design. It's not only the outside of the buildings that are well preserved but also the interior. Whether it be the tiles and flooring, the courtyards or furniture, it remains consistently romantic.
It' reminds me a bit of the 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' and if anyone has ever had a dream of living that movie for a day or two, Fort Cochin will not disappoint. Part of the reason it's so well preserved might because Kerala is one of India's richer states with exports on silk, tea, spices and of course a number of grand tourist attractions including beaches, architecture, house boats, backwaters, tea plantations and hill stations (to name the obvious).
I woke up at 6am for the morning catch, and seeing the Chinese fishnets being used is well worth getting up for. It's February month so the mornings are cool, and I was surrounded by locals off on their morning walk. You can walk along the Chinese fisher nets all the way down the beach which finally takes you into town. You cannot miss the dramatic Catholic cathedrals on your stroll and they are truly magnificent.
Kerala is one of the few places where you can enjoy good coffee and continental style dining as well as traditional Keralan cuisine. This includes fresh fish from the morning catch and all kinds of coconut curries. It might feel strange to have such a continental experience in India but it is as part of its history as anything else that you may experience.
I'm only stayed for a short while en route to Tamil Nadu, the neigbouring state, but so worth it even just for a day or two.