The lush Kerala region is the proverbial land of incense and myrrh, from which the world has sought its exotic spices since ancient times. The aromas of ginger, cloves, cardamom, cumin and other key ingredients of Indian curries fill the air. Not far from Mattancheri Palace, with its mythological murals, is a Jewish colony dating back to 1000 A.D. Don't miss the 16th century synagogue with hand-painted floor tiles from China. A visit to the St. Francis church reveals the tomb of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. Guests may also tour the "Mattancheri" or Dutch Palace, which houses some of India's finest Hindu frescoes and ceremonial costumes.