Paradesi Synagogue, Kochi

Visitor Information

  • Famous For: Religion, History, Photography, Architecture.
  • Entry Fee: No fee is required.
  • Visiting Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. except on Friday, Saturday and other Jewish holidays.
  • Visiting Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour.

The Jews have always been the rich and powerful in the ancient times. Clustered among the religion that they have valued over their lives, the Jews have always made a significant impact on the society, be it positive or negative. Thus, no matter where they originated, the Jews have always travelled around in search of profit and valuables to keep their head held high. One such group of Jewish men, who had migrated to India around two thousand years ago, had formed their settlement in the adjoining areas of Kochi. Thus, mingling with the society, a Jewish community gradually grew up in Kochi and, thus, to see to it that their assembly was maintained, the Paradesi Synagogue was built in the heart of Kochi to conduct the daily prayers. Thus, this is how the Paradesi Synagogue came into being and is now stored with valuable that recite the tales of the diplomacy and prowess of the Jews in India. Hence, the Paradesi Synagogue is of utmost importance and tourists flock to this heritage building every year to get a glimpse of the Jewish culture.

Paradesi Synagogue
Photo by Wouter Hagens, Public Domain

Traveller Tips

  • The visitors are expected to enter the synagogue barefoot.
  • Enjoy gazing at the collection of artifacts dating back to the influence of the Jews in India.
  • Do not click photographs without taking permission from the authorities.

Things to Do There

  • Enjoy a quiet walk down the century old corridors of this heritage building.
  • Learn about the lifestyle, culture and the significant events that had taken place in the past when the Jewish community was quite significant in India.

Availability of Guides

Guides are rare at the synagogue.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Paradesi Synagogue in Kochi is from November to February so that you can feel comfortable despite the bright sun burning down the streets.

How to Reach

The Paradesi Synagogue is situated at a prime location, that is, it is located at a distance of 3.5 km from the main market of Kochi. Thus, this place can be reached via Arror by hiring a cab or an auto-rickshaw or simply by walking.

Interesting Facts About the Paradesi Synagogue

  • The Paradesi Synagogue was erected in 1568.
  • This is the place in which the Jews living in Kerala used to conduct the minyan, that is, their holy ritual, in order to pray to God.
  • The Paradesi Synagogue in Kochi is the largest synagogue till that has been built in the Commonwealth.
  • This synagogue is active even today and its grandeur is, thus, preserved.
  • Inside the synagogue, many valuables have been preserved and are kept on display such as the two gold crows presented by the rulers of Kochi and Travancore, the Haile Selassie, the four scrolls of Torah and others.
Paradesi Synagogue Kochi
Photo by Brian Snelson, CC BY 2.0

Nearby Attractions

  • Mattancherry Palace
  • Paradesi Synagogue
  • Francis Church, Kochi
  • Hill Palace, Tripunithura
  • Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, Kochi
  • Veegaland
  • Ernakulam Shiva Temple
  • Bolgatty Palace
  • Thrikkakara Temple
  • Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple
  • Thamaramkulangara Sree Dharma Sastha Temple
  • Cherai Beach
  • Indo-Portuguese Museum

Nearby Restaurants

  • Trilogi
  • Sky Grill
  • Cassava
  • Mary’s Kitchen
  • Mosaic
  • Masala
  • Qissa Café
  • Oceanos Restaurant
  • Old Harbour Hotel Restaurant
  • The Asian Kitchen by Tokyo Bay

Thus, it can be perceived that the Jews were indeed influential in the lives of the natives, especially in Kochi because of which the Paradesi Synagogue came into existence. The grandeur of the Jewish community as displayed at the synagogue leaves every visitor spellbound. The valuable artifacts and the intricate decorations clearly show how rich the Jews were and raises the curiosity regarding this ancient community. Thus, the Paradesi Synagogue is a must visit for all.

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

1 thought on “Paradesi Synagogue, Kochi”

  1. You missed to add this St. George Orthodox Koonan Kurish Old Syrian Church, Kochi, Kerala to nearby destinations.Beautifull Church with a well known historical background at Pullupalam Road,Mattancherry Kooan Kurish Old Syrian Church at Mattancherry is elegant in its design . Church is located at the land of Coonan Cross Revolt took place in AD1653 . Coonan cross oath refers to agitation of native Indian Christians against Portuguese colonial forces and their missionaries.


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