Calm, cool and green, Kerala is not how you imagine India to be. A meandering voyage through the backwaters of this southern state is a wonderful way to see the subcontinent. Old Fort Cochin is bound to delight, and there are some lovely beaches, too. Kerala is 'God's Own Country'. Kerala, which means 'land of coconuts', might just be the best holiday destination in all India. It's a little piece of paradise, a jungle green maze of waterways and rice paddies on the dusty western flank of the subcontinent. The city of Kochi is a kind of archipelago, scattered across a number of islands and promontories linked by bridges and ferry services. When you arrive in the city's old town, Fort Cochin, you step into a sleepy, humid, provincial old port, long ago occupied by the Dutch and the Portuguese, which is more significant of the Caribbean than India. These two places are the perfect winter getaway destinations.