SOUTH INDIA - Cochin
There aren’t many places in the world, to which monsoon winds and the smell of spices brought more sea trading ships than to the Fort Cochin port and its part Mattancherry in Kerala! In one melting pot, oldest Hindu cults worshiped by Brahmins from different parts of India were mixed. In the 6th century, Arab merchants built the oldest Muslim mosque in India here. The oldest Jewish community in India settled here. The original Christian values preached by St. Thomas, not influenced by the Bible, which was brought here by Portuguese sailors only in the 15th century, remained here. Sailors such as Vasco de Gama, Saint Francis Xavier or traveler Niccolo de' Conti, who already in the 15th century said that "China is a great place to make money and Kochin to spend it! Tree major European powers, Portuguese, Dutch and English, captured Kochi and Forth, the French, came pretty close to it. And only few people know that in Kerala in 1958, the first communist government was democratically elected and is still in power.
I hope Biennale installation in Veli gardens will be a permanent work. It was originally the place where the study for the plant tome Hortus Malabaricus took place in the 17th century.
Earlier, before the market was flooded with ready-made ayurvedic medicines, we used to visit houses for preparing Kashayam (medicinal potion in Ayurveda). But now, it is completely stopped.
Horticulture is in my blood. Some years back, I read about rare medicinal plants facing extinction and wanted to do my bit to save at least 10 varieties. That’s how I got started.
Trailing the path to rejuvenation with herbalists, botanical experts, nutritionists and medicine men of Cochin!
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