Saturday, September 28, 2019

Jewish Synagogue





Location: Synagogue lane, Jew Town, Mattanchery, Kochi

Open: Sunday to Thursday- 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 5 pm

On Fridays: 10 am to 1 pm

Closed on all Friday afternoons, Saturdays and other Jewish holidays

Entry fee: Rs 5 per person

Photography strictly prohibited inside

Visitors must dress modestly. 

Licensed guides are permitted to guide within the synagogue. 


Jewish synagogue or Paradesi synagogue (‘Paradesi’ is an Indigenous word which means ‘foreigner’) is also known as Cochin Jewish synagogue or Mattanchery Synagogue. A synagogue is a house for Jewish worship. This Jewish synagogue is situated at one corner of the Jew town which once had been a bustling town with a great Jewish population. The synagogue has served as one among the seven other synagogues of the cochin Jewish committee in the cochin kingdom. The synagogue was built in 1568 AD by the posterity of Spanish, Dutch and other European Jews. It is the oldest synagogue that exists in India today. This well-maintained synagogue is built adjacent to the Mattanchery Dutch palace, also sharing a common wall. The major attractions of this synagogue are its mid-18th century hand-painted blue willow patterned floor tiles from China, a clock tower built by Ezekiel Rahabi, a Jewish businessman, which was added in 1760, Hebrew inscriptions on stone slabs of which one is from the Kochangadi synagogue, placed on the outer walls here indicates that the synagogue was built in the Hebrew year 5105. Some other interesting artefacts along with pictures of historical events and the story of Jews in Kerala are also exhibited here. The clock tower and with some other parts of the place was repaired during 1999 under the guidelines of the WWF(World Monuments Fund). The great scrolls of the old testament, two 10th century copper plates with details of privileges granted to Joseph Rabban(the first Kochi jew)during the reign of Bhaskara Ravi Varma in the 19th century inscribed in Tamil and gold crown set with gems are other attractions. The interior of the synagogue has spectacular glass chandeliers exported from Belgium which increases the beauty of this historically significant place.

It is around 10 km from Ernakulam south railway station and 30km from cochin international airport.

This place offers quite an experience and it should definitely be on your itinerary when in Kochi. 



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