Today, we begin our adventure to the Taj Mahal! We booked the 3-day “Incredible India-Taj Mahal Overland Tour” from Cochin to Mumbai. Thus, upon arrival, we immediately leave the ship and loose the opportunity to see anything of Cochin itself!!! This happens to be a major city with a population of over 2 million. It’s a financial hub with a bustling commercial port and has become one of the major tourist destinations in India.
More than 600 years ago the Cochin merchants began trading in spices with the Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese and Arabs. They prospered. Portugal was the first to establish a base in Cochin in the 1500s. They were followed by the Dutch and English. But the foundations of modern Cochin started just after the completion of the Suez Canal. Sir Robert Bristow, a senior Navy Engineer, spear-headed the creation of the largest man-made island in the country (Willington Island where the MS Amsterdam is now docked) to house a new port. It’s a shame, but we won’t see any of it.
Instead, let me tell you about our day getting to New Delhi: