Kochi, also known as Cochin, is a city in the southern Indian state of Kerala. It has a rich history of cultural and religious diversity, including a significant Jewish community. The Jewish synagogue in Kochi is called the Paradesi Synagogue or the Mattancherry Synagogue.
The Paradesi Synagogue is one of the oldest active synagogues in India. It is located in the Mattancherry neighborhood of Kochi and is known for its historical and architectural significance. The word “Paradesi” means foreigner in several Indian languages, and the name likely refers to the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish immigrants who built the synagogue in the 16th century.
The synagogue features a unique blend of Indian and Jewish architectural styles. It has elegant chandeliers, hand-painted Chinese tiles, and a central pulpit. The synagogue also houses several ancient artifacts and religious objects of historical importance.
The Jewish community in Kochi, once thriving, has significantly diminished in recent decades. However, the Paradesi Synagogue remains an essential landmark and a testament to the city’s multicultural past.
If you plan to visit the Paradesi Synagogue in Kochi, it is always a good idea to verify the current opening hours and any visitor guidelines, as they may be subject to change.