Kerala and Tamil Nadu India
In September 2022, I travelled to Kerala and Tamil Nadu in India with Charlie Waite and eight hardy photographers. Our starting point was Kochi, also known as Cochin (the official name until 1996), a major port city on the Malabar Coast of India bordering the Arabian Sea. Kochi is the most densely populated city in Kerala, with a total urban population of more than of 2.1 million. Called the "Queen of the Arabian Sea", Kochi was an important spice trading centre on the west coast of India from the 14th century onward, and maintained a trade network with Arab merchants from the pre-Islamic era. In 1505, the Portuguese established trading ports in Cochin. There are still buildings like the Old Harbour House from this period, some of which have been renovated in more recent times. The Kingdom of Cochin allied with the Ming Dynasty, Portuguese, and Dutch and became a princely state of the British. The city was ranked the sixth best tourist destination in India according to a survey in October 2019 and was ranked seventh in Lonely Planet's list of top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2020 (A statistic that I find hard to believe with all due respect). It's hot and humid but the monsoon has passed and we walk though the historic heart of the city, Fort Kochi, and do tourist stuff. Photography wise, these fishing nets are probably the highlight of our excursions and we spend a fair amount of time around them. When conditions are right, these great nets are lowered into the sea but the catch never seems to be that great.