The word ‘Synagogue’ means a Jewish house of worship and the word ‘Paradesi’ literally means ‘foreigners’. As the name suggests ‘Paradesi Synagogue’ is a place of worship for the community of Jewish settlers (mix of Indian, Middle Eastern and European origins). This historic synagogue which symbolizes love and harmony is located in the heart of Mattancherry, Kochi. Today the Synagogue is not just a place of worship, but also a historical site that attracts visitors from all over the globe.

Let’s Go Back In Time To Know About Its History

inside the paradesi synagogue photos
Image Source: wikipedia

Paradesi Synagogue, also known as the Jew Synagogue is one of the 35 Jewish Synagogues in India and one of the oldest serving synagogues today. It was built in 1568 by the Paradesi Jews adjacent to the Mattancherry Palace, on the land given by the Raja of Kochi. It was built during a time when Jewish community’s presence was at its peak due to flourishing trade between Cochin and different parts of the world. Out of the seven synagogues in Kerala only this Synagogue is still functional. 

Architectural Details Of Paradesi Synagogue

A blend of Kerala and European style of architecture was used in the construction of the Synagogue. Its distinct white exterior and Kerala style tiled roof says it all. As you step into the synagogue, you are welcomed by a huge whitewashed lime building. You can also see several double-story buildings which are linked to each other by outdoor corridors. The interior is no less, the beautiful Belgian glass chandeliers, blue and white hand-painted Chinese tiles, and the gold pulpit has its own story to tell. 

What Makes This Place So Awesome

Paradesi Synagogue is located in jew street mattancherry
Blue chinese tiles, Image Source:
  • The rare antiques, paintings and architectural marvel on display.
  • A brass pulpit with brass rails from where the Rabbi conducts sermons.
  • Special 4th century copper plates with inscriptions in Malayalam.
  • Glass chandeliers imported from Belgium way back in the 19th century.
  • Mystical aura of the floor which has hundreds of hand-painted Chinese porcelain tiles.
  • Special gifts from the Kings of Cochin and Travancore: two gold crowns and four scrolls of the Torah encased in silver and gold.
  • Paintings depicting the arrival of the Cochin Jews and their timeline.
  • Oriental rug gifted by the last Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie.
  • A three-story clock tower with dials made of teak wood.

Other Important Information

Address: X755+2Q8, Jew Town, Kappalandimukku, Mattancherry, Kochi – 682002

Open On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday. 

Paradesi Synagogue Timings: 10:00am to 6:00pm

Entry Fee: INR 5 for Adults, Free for Children

Best Time To Visit: Winter Months

Dress Code: Both Men and Women are required to dress modestly.

Tips: Keep your gadgets away as photography is prohibited inside the synagogue.

How To Get Here

By Road: Take a bus to Jew Street Mattancherry and from there you can reach the Paradesi Synagogue via local taxis or auto-rickshaws.

By Train: Get on a train that goes to Ernakulam railway station. From there you either hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the Jewish synagogue Kochi.

By Air: Take a flight to Cochin International Airport, from the airport you can hire a taxi to reach the synagogue.

Nearby Places Of Visit From The Synagogue

Some jewish synagogue are still living in Kerala
Image Source:

Jew Town Kochi – Approx. 250 m away from the Synagogue.

Mattancherry Palace/ Dutch Palace – Approx. 500 m away. 

Santa Cruz Basilica – Approx. 2.6 km away from the Synagogue.

St. Francis Church – Approx.3 km away from the Synagogue.

Chinese Fishing Nets – Approx.3 km away from the Synagogue.

Fort Kochi Beach – Approx.4 km away.

Kerala Folklore Museum – Approx. 7.7 km away from the Synagogue.

Also Read: 14 Exciting Things To Do In Kochi

Concluding Thoughts

As the Paradesi Synagogue Kochi is a multicultural heritage and a major tourist attraction in Kochi, great efforts have been made to preserve the synagogue. So as a responsible traveler it’s our duty to make sure that everything remains as it is, so that the future generations can get a glimpse of the bygone era. It’s here for them to see the beauty of diversity, the resilience of the human spirit and get inspired by it. 


What do Jewish people do in synagogues?

A synagogue is a consecrated space used for prayer, study, assembly, and reading of the Torah.

How many synagogues are there in Kochi?

There are 7 known synagogues in Kochi as of today, however except for one (Paradesi) all the other Synagogues are non-operational.

Which is the oldest synagogue in Kerala?

Kochangadi Synagogue, (1344–1789 AD) in Kochangadi is the oldest synagogue in Kerala.

What is the largest Jewish synagogue in the world?

The Great Beth Midrash Gur in Jerusalem is the largest Jewish synagogue in the world. It has the capacity to seat 20,000 people at a time.

What is the holy city of the Jews?

Jerusalem is the holiest city of the Jewish people since the 10th century BC.


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