Kochi is part of an ancient Indian Kingdom, a princely state that became part of the state of Kerala and India in 1956. Kochi is situated on the west coast of India and has a natural harbor that made it the trade port for Southern India. It is scenic and inspiring, and one of best places to visit and vacation in India. The port of Muziris near Kochi was key port in the spice trade between the Malabar Coast and the ancient Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks and the Egyptians. In addition the sea route that went from Kochi to Europe, Africa, Middle East and East Asia, there was also a land route that ran from Kerala up north to Northern India and into the Middle East. Naturally the cuisine of Kochi was influenced by these international connections.
Described by National Geographic Magazine recently as one of the must-see places on the planet, Kerala is covered with lagoons and waterways that were important to the transportation of spices from inland to the port near Kochi in ancient times. Today the same backwaters and lagoons are the vacation spot where the rest of India and the world come to relax and recharge. Houseboats, Ayurvedic spas, spice retreats, hikes through jungle are all part of the Kochi and Kerala experience.
Historically Kerala is a state known for its universal education and religious harmony. You often see Hindu temples, Muslim mosques, and Christian churches right next to each other on the same street corner. In addition to its ancient Hindu tradition, there are large Christian and Muslim communities in Kerala. Apostle Thomas reached the shores of Kerala in the first century. The Jewish community in Kerala dates back to the 4th century. The first European churches were set up in the 16th and 17th centuries. Kerala cuisine has benefited from all of these influences.