/ Adventure Travel
adventure — By Vawn on March 19, 2010 at 12:17 am
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Photo opp: Chinese fishing nets in Kerala

Unique to India, the historical town of Fort Cochin is one place you’ll find a mish-mash of cultural influences living side-by-side, from ancient mosques to a 400-year-old synagogue to Hindu murals in a “Dutch Palace,” along with vestiges of the British Raj and the Portuguese.

And you’ll find it in a serene setting along the Malabar Coast in Kerala, in India’s far south, surrounded by coconut groves, where goats and rickshaws still take over the streets.

On the tip of this peninsula you’ll find traditional Chinese fishing nets – a practice that has been in use for hundreds of years, which came from Kubla Khan traders in 1400 AD. They’re gigantic contraptions made of net, rope and rock, and require at least four men to operate the counterweights (rocks on ropes) at high tide.

There are rows upon rows of these traditional fishing nets, which make for a great photo opp – and, if you’re game, the fishermen will let you give them a hand operating the counterweights.

As you pull the rope, it’s a bit disconcerting to watch huge rocks slowly arc their way through the sky straight toward your head. But it gives you a sense of the elegance of such a simple, rudimentary system. I didn’t catch much – but I’ll blame that on the low tide.

Photo Copyright @ 2010 VH Media

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