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Paradesi Synagogue

Kochi (Cochin)

13.7/5(12 Ratings)

Paradesi Synagogue Overview

Ranked 16 of 49 sightseeing in Kochi (Cochin)

Paradesi Synagogue was built in 1568 and is rated as the oldest active synagogue in all the 53 member-countries of the Commonwealth of Nations. Renowned as Cochin Jewish Synagogue or the Mattancherry Synagogue, this synagogue was constructed by people of Cochin Jewish community (Malabari Yehuden).

In Hindi, Paradesi refers to the people from foreign land and this synagogue was named Paradesi as it was once used by the White Jews. These White Jews were the mixture of Jews from Cranganore, from the Middle East and the European exiles. Located in Jew Town of the Kochi city, Paradesi Synagogue is the only active one of the seven synagogues in the area.

The land, on which the synagogue stands, was gifted to the Malabari Yehuden community by Raja Varma. This synagogue had three classes of members, namely White Jews, Black Jews and Meshuchrarim. White Jews were full members as they belonged to the high-class, while Black Jews were only allowed to worship and were not admitted to full membership.

Meshuchrarim was the lowest class of members, as they were a group of freed slaves. These people had no communal rights and sat on the floor or on the steps outside the synagogue. Objects of antiquity of this synagogue were the Scrolls of the Law, several gold crowns received as gifts and Belgian glass chandeliers.

The synagogue also houses a brass-railed pulpit and copper plates given to Joseph Rabban, who was the earliest known Cochin Jew. The Chinese hand-painted porcelain tiles in the floor of the synagogue are also the major highlights. 
 

Video Reviews

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What travellers are saying about Paradesi Synagogue

Experience scale
  • Very Good 4
  • Good 2
  • Average 1
  • Terrible 0
  • Poor 0
  • Below Average 0
  • Excellent 0
Travellers recommend
  • Best Time: During DayLength of visit: 1-2hrs
  • Length of visit: 2-3hrsBest Time: During Day
Facilities available
  • Food available for purchaseFood available for purchase
  • Bathroom facilitiesBathroom facilities
  • Camera/Video allowedCamera/Video allowed
  • Wearing of shoes/footwear allowedWearing of shoes/footwear allowed

Timing, fees and more

time

Operating hours

Monday - Friday:
10:00 AM -5:00 PM
Saturday:
12:00 AM -12:00 AM
Sunday:
10:00 AM -5:00 PM
Public Holidays:
10:00 AM -5:00 PM
info

Other Details

Famous for:
Churches
Entry:
paid
99% voted as clean

Reviews and Ratings

Nikhil pachauri

Nikhil pachauri3.9/5

12 reviews

A piece of Jewish history in India

- This is a holy place for worshiping for jews. Honestly speaking, this was the first time, I had visited any jewish place, let alone, I had not even met a single jew in my life. So I was quite excited. This synagogue is also know as Pardesi Synagogue which means it has been built by foreigners as Pardesi word is popularly used for foreigners in India. The main building is just adjacent to Dutch palace but one has to move around 500-600 meters to reach it. One has to enter the synagogue bare feet, once you enter the synagogue, there is a small room on the right side which has paintings and inscriptions depicting important events in early jewish history. Afterwards one moves inside the main temple rooms where one can have a look at the marvellous construction being carried out by early jewish settlers in India way back in 1500 ADs. Depending on one's interest, one can spend 10-15 mins over here before moving on to the other attractions in Fort Kochi .

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Rashmin Joshi

Rashmin Joshi4.3/5

141 reviews

A worth visiting Jew Temple located in Jew Town

A historical Place / Temple - The synagogue is very beautiful, You are not allowed to take pictures inside. Synagogue was built in 1568. This place of worship is witness to arrival of the Dutch, Portuguese and then the British.

Basab Ray chaudhuri

Basab Ray chaudhuri4.3/5

122 reviews

Nice to visit

Old Kochi is famous for Jewish settlement in India. On the Jews Street, the famous Synagogue was built in 1568. The oldest synagogue in British commonwealth. The scrolls of the old testament and Chinese hand painted tiles are displayed, which could be rarely found.

Kaushik Saha

Kaushik Saha2.5/5

20 reviews

Little to it except the historicity

Small petite place, go if you are really interested in the history of the jewish community of Cochin. The centre piece of Jew Town. Does look as if it lacks patronage, looking at the slightly run down condition of the place.

Nanty Shah

Nanty Shah3.6/5

5 reviews

Different Culture, one of a kind

Good place, but watch out for the holidays. Also please check out the souvenirs and bargain. This is best place to buy pocket friendly gifts and souvenirs.

Jamuna Ravi

Jamuna Ravi4.3/5

3 reviews

Nice Synagogue with a beautiful approach

We had gone to the Synagogue as a large group - liked the ambiance and the atmosphere inside as well. There is a beautiful cobbled street as a pedestrian approach with no cars allowed nearby which makes it quite peaceful. The history of the Synagogue is well captured in photographs and associated descriptions.

Manish Bedade

Manish Bedade3.2/5

49 reviews

Tiles which are photo gallery

The tiles in the synagogue looks like same, but actually it was not. There is some minor difference in each tile/it's picture. Watch carefully, it also have a photo gallery.

A S

A S3.9/5

451 reviews

Interesting shopping experience at Kochi.

It is a lovely house with lovely collection of rare antiques. This synagogue attracts and impresses many visitors. We saw tourists buying a lot of chandeliers and lamps from this place. A must visit for if you want to do some interesting shopping at Kochi.

Urvashi R

Urvashi R4.3/5

25 reviews

Beautiful Synagogue

The interiors of this place are quite beautiful, with lovely tile work. But be aware, that it is not open on Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays.

Kchitramenon

Kchitramenon3.6/5

6 reviews

Gods place

Good place of worship, pleasant and calm place everyone should see.

Photos of Paradesi Synagogue