Ancient Jewish Synagogues in Kerala and History

2,661 views

Published on

The earliest Jews in India and their history starts from 587 BC, some Jewish exiles came to Cranganore, an ancient port near Cochin, now Kodungallur. The Paradesi Jews settled in the Cochin region in the 16th century and later built the Paradesi Synagogue and White Jew town here.

Published in: Travel, Spiritual

Ancient Jewish Synagogues in Kerala and History

  1. 1. History Starts from King Solomon's Time The earliest Jews in India were sailors from King Solomon's time. It has been claimed that following the destruction of the First Temple in the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BC, some Jewish exiles came to India. But it was after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE that there are records of numerous Jewish settlers arriving at Cranganore, an ancient port near Cochin. Cranganore, now transliterated as Kodungallur, but also known under other names, is a city of legendary importance to this community. They known as the Malabari Jews, they built synagogues and Jew Town in Kerala beginning in the 12th and 13th centuries.
  2. 2. A Jew Family in Kochi - An Old Image
  3. 3. The Paradesi Jews, also called "White Jews", settled in the Cochin region in the 16th century and later, following the expulsion from Iberia due to forced conversion and religious persecution in Spain and then Portugal. The Paradesi Jews (also called White Jews) built one, the Paradesi Synagogue and White Jew town here.
  4. 4. Jew Street
  5. 5. The sleepy bylane of Burgher Street in Fort Kochi
  6. 6. Pardesi Synagogue lane in Kochi
  7. 7. Old style shops in Pardesi Synagogue lane
  8. 8. Old style buildings in Pardesi Synagogue lane
  9. 9. Street leads to Pardesi Synagogue
  10. 10. A Jew House in the Street
  11. 11. Mrs. Selam her name was, and she was Cochin Jew herself. Many of the Jews went back to Israel and some even chose to move to America. The Jewish population in Fort Kochi now number less than a hundred, and the Cochin Jews could very well be an extinct ethnicity in a few years time.
  12. 12. A Sign Board in Street
  13. 13. At the Entrance of Pardesi Synagogue The Paradesi Jews, also called "White Jews", settled in the Cochin region in the 16th century and later, following the expulsion from Iberia due to forced conversion and religious persecution in Spain and then Portugal. The Paradesi Jews (also called White Jews) built one, the Paradesi Synagogue and White Jew town here.
  14. 14. A native Kerala guy standing near Pardesi Synagogue
  15. 15. Jewish Clock Tower with Pardesi Synagogue
  16. 16. One of the gate outside Pardesi Synagogue with Jewish Symbols
  17. 17. Inside Pardesi Synagogue
  18. 18. Ancient Inscription on the wall of Pardesi Synagogue
  19. 19. Pardesi Jewish Synagogue Interior
  20. 20. Pardesi Jewish Synagogue Interior
  21. 21. Torah scroll in Pardesi Jewish Synagogue
  22. 22. Tombstones displayed at the courtyard of Pardesi Jewish Synagogue
  23. 23. Another Ouside View to Pardesi Synagogue
  24. 24. There is a 'Gate of Faith' in Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People, located within the campus of Tel Aviv Univerisity in the northern suburb of Ramat Aviv has magnificent display of 18 miniature synagogue reproductions from across the Jewish world. This one is the miniature of Paradesi Synagogue, Fort Kochi
  25. 25. synagogue in Mattanchery
  26. 26. Handicrafts shops near Pardesi Synagogue
  27. 27. Warning Board about Handicrafts Sales Men
  28. 28. Antiques, Jew Town, Fort Kochi
  29. 29. Tree Park near Pardesi Synagogue
  30. 30. Mattancherry Dutch palace
  31. 31. A Dutch cemetery in Fort kochi
  32. 32. Backwater side view in Fort Kochi
  33. 33. Fort Kochi Beach
  34. 34. Chinese Fishing Net in Fort Kochi, an ancient and traditional way of fishing followed by natives here.
  35. 35. The cool thing here is that you can buy fresh fish from the fishermen, then take it to select restaurants and ask them to prepare it as you wish
  36. 36. Ferry Service to Fort Kochi Island
  37. 37. By the 18th century, there were 8 synagogues in five different Kerala towns and villages: 3 in Cochin, 2 in Ernakulam and one each in Parur and 2 other towns. Next some of the preserved Synagogues in Kerala. >>>
  38. 38. 1. 'Chendamangalam Black Jewish Synagogue' in Ernakulam
  39. 39. Recreated Women gallery in 'Chendamangalam Black Jewish Synagogue’
  40. 40. The Chendamangalam Synagogue built in 1614 AD was restored and opened for visitors in February, 2006. The Synagogue opened as a museum with an exhibition on the Jewish culture and heritage .
  41. 41. The ark in Chendamangalam Synagogue
  42. 42. Tomb Stones in Chendamangalam Synagogue
  43. 43. Jew Families photos in Chendamangalam
  44. 44. 2. Parur Synagogue, 1615
  45. 45. The collonaded walkway in the Parur Synagogue
  46. 46. Women Gallery of The Jewish Synagogue in Paravoor
  47. 47. 3. Kadavumbagam synagogue, Mattancherry
  48. 48. Interior of Kadavumbagam synagogue
  49. 49. 4. Mala synagogue near Cochin
  50. 50. Mala synagogue, located in the Kerala State of India, near Cochin. On December 20, 1954, 300 members of the Jewish community in Mala moved en masse to Israel. Control of the Synagogue was given over to the local municipality, with the agreement that it would be maintained, and not used as a slaughterhouse, or as a house of prayer. The building has been readapted as a venue for cultural, educational and communal functions. The furnishings and religious artifacts have been lost.
  51. 51. Mala Jewish Cemetery
  52. 52. Mala Jewish Synagogue Interior
  53. 53. 5. Kadavumbagam Synagogue, Mattancherry Kadavumbagam Synagogue was constructed in the medieval period in the port town of Cranganore to the north of Kochi.
  54. 54. Kadavumbagam Synagogue Interior, Mattancherry
  55. 55. A Malabari Jewish narrative goes that the Tekkumbagam Synagogue was constructed in 1200 after some of the community, seen as competitors in the lucrative spice industry, were forced out of Cranganore in 1154 by the powerful Moors. 6. Tekkumbagam Synagogue, Ernakulam
  56. 56. Interior of Tekkumbagam Synagogue, Ernakulam
  57. 57. The Kerala Jews lived in safety, but it seems that most opted to emigrate to Israel after the new state was established in 1948. Some 75,000 Indian Jews left their homes, synagogues, schools and cemeteries behind; few families remained to look after...

×