Today Cochin is composed of Ernakulam City, Fort Kochi, Willingdon Island, a man made island created by the British due to dredging in the 1920s to deepen the port, Mattancherry and Kumbalangi and other islands which are connected by ferries and bridges. It is one of the most cosmopolitan cities of Kerala having had European influence right from the early 1500s. Vasco de gama the great Portuguese explorer was buried in the St. Francis church in Kochi until his body was taken to Lisbon fourteen years ago.
Ladakh was a kingdom of isolated tribes with only the constancy and contours of the mountains to give them company since the 10th century. Under King Singge Namgyal, Ladakh prospered and became an important route between India and China. Mule caravans carrying precious stones, spices, raw silk, carpets, and silver from the Punjab to the towns of Central Asian would stop at Leh to buy handicrafts, soft pashmina shawls and tribal jewelry, it soon transformed into a bustling commercial city. Gulab Singh, the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir annexed Ladakh in 1834 into the state of Jammu and Kashmir which was occupied by the British at that time. The exquisite pashmina shawl had invited the greedy attention of the ruler and proved to be the reason of the ultimate loss of independence of Ladakh. History repeated itself a hundred years later when Ladakh was partitioned into Baltistan, now a part of Pakistan and Ladakh which remained in India as part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. If you are passionate about Tibetology, Ladakh is the answer to all your questions. The land of Buddhism, lamaism being a unique feature of the Buddhist way of life style here, which places great importance on celibacy and monastic existence for its disciples. The Ladakhi people are devout Buddhists, famous for their benevolence and righteousness.
Nestled in the lap of the Kullu valley, Manali lies on the banks of the River Beas surrounded by imperial pine trees, alpine hills and a crescent of snow-capped peaks. Legend has it that Manali was supposedly named after Manu; the Hindu law giver who recreated life in Manali after human life had been destroyed in an all consuming flood. Divided into two two distinct settlements, New Manali, resembles an overcrowded tourist destination, with an influx of many north Indians trying to escape the blistering heat of the plains. Old Manali is perched further up the hill between mesmerizing deodar forests and lush meadows relatively untouched by the modern world.