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  Paradesi Synagogue  
(Ernakulam, Kerala)
India > Kerala > Kochi > Paradesi Synagogue

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"Beautifully decorated Building. "

Nestled in the centre of Jew town, this is the oldest living synagogue in the British Commonwealth. With its extensively decorated interior, the synagogue is a blend of various cultures that thrived in the area in harmony with each other. The building is a symbol of Jewish architecture, culture and heritage. The sight of the rare antiques displayed inside the building is enough to fascinate visitors.

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Paradesi Synagogue

The Paradesi Synagogue is the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations, located in Kochi, Kerala, in South India. Constructed in 1567, it is one of seven synagogues of the Malabar Yehudan or Yehudan Mappila people or Cochin Jewish community in the Kingdom of Cochin. Paradesi is a word used in several Indian languages, and the literal meaning of the term is "foreigners", applied to the synagogue because it was built by Sephardic or Spanish-speaking Jews, some of them from families exiled in Aleppo, Safed and other West Asian localities. It is also referred to as the Cochin Jewish Synagogue or the Mattancherry Synagogue.

The synagogue is located in the quarter of Old Cochin known as Jew Town, and is the only one of the seven synagogues in the area still in use. The complex has four buildings. It was built adjacent to the Mattancherry Palace temple on the land given to the Malabari Yehuden or " Yehuden Mappila" community by the Raja of Kochi, Rama Varma. The Mattancherry Palace temple and the Mattancherry synagogue share a common wall.


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