Paradesi Synagogue is one of the oldest active synagogue in the commonwealth of Nations. Each and every nook of this island steeped in history and It is located in the historic town,fort Cochin and the Synagogue is the only one of the seven synagogues in the area still in use.
The Jewish synagogue which named as Paradesi Synagogue, was built in 1568, almost 1500 years after the beginning of the Jewish connection with Kerala. It was built on the land, adjacent to the Mattancherry Palace, given by the erstwhile king of Cochin. It is locally known as Mattancherry synagogue
The Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest in the Commonwealth, was built by the Jewish community of Cochin. In 1662, it was destroyed by the Portguese and then reconstructed, two years later, by the Dutch.
The Paradesi synagogue architecture, the colorful chandeliers and where the ancient Torah scrolls are kept is marvelous. Another valuable possession of in the synagogue is the copper plates belonging to the 4th century with inscriptions in Malayalam.
The inscriptions describe the privileges granted to the community by the erstwhile Cochin king. It is written in kannadiyezhuthu script or mirror image writing. An oriental rug gifted to the Jews by the last Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie is also kept in the paradesi synagogue.
The synagogue also hosts a small exhibition about the history of the Jews of Kerala, told through paintings, which was fascinating, especially as it revealed that the Jewish presence had first arrived almost 2,000 years ago.
The large main hall of synagogue hook your attention with display of rare antique objects that add to the grandeur of the place. The light falling through the large open windows make the sight of chandeliers and lamps more delightful. These glass chandeliers dangling from the ceiling belong to the 19th century and were imported from Belgium.
Paradesi Synagogue Entry Fee
The synagogue is open for a fee to visitors as a historic attraction.
Entry Fee for Per Person : 5 Rs
The Paradesi Synagogue Timings
Visiting Hours – 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM.
It is closed on Fridays,Saturdays and Sundays and also on Jewish holidays.