The Jewish Synagogue also known as Paradesi Synagogue (Paradesi is Hindi word means “foreigners”) at Mattanchery, Kochi, Kerala, in South India is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations.
It is the only one of the seven synagogues in the area which is still in use. It was built in 1568 by the Malabar Yehudan people or Cochin Jewish community in the Kingdom of Cochin, the land is gifted by Raja Varma, raided by the Portuguese and later rebuilt by the Dutch.
The surrounding areas of Jewish Synagogue are Jew town and the Jew Street are famous tourist centers, many antiques are available here for sale. This is also a famous spice trade center. The synagogue still preserves some ancient religious scriptures.
The beautifully hand painted blue Chinese tiles offers elegant look. In the midst of eighteenth century, the clock tower was added. Here we can see lots of finely wrought gold and silver crowns gifted by the various patrons.
The 400th anniversary of the Jewish Synagogue is celebrated in 1968, the great function was blessed with the presence of the Indira Gandhi, the Indian Prime Minister.
The Jewish Synagogue is open Sunday to Friday, from 10am to noon and from 3pm to 5pm.IST