Faded images of sailboats and Che Guevara decorate the walls of the Communist Party Office in Fort Cochin, Kerala. Home to the Southern Naval Command of the Indian Navy, Cochin, also known as Kochi, is a major port town on the Arabian Sea.
It was central to the Indian spice trade for centuries, before becoming the first European settlement in colonial India when the Portuguese Empire occupied it in 1503. Other seafaring nations followed, with the the Dutch and the British shaping much of the architecture still visible today in Cochin.
Having first come to power in 1957, to form one of the first democratically elected Communist governments in the world, the Communist Party remains a dominant force in modern politics in Kerala.