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Synagogue Review

The first migration of Jews to Kerala is thought to have taken place in the 6th century BC, followed by a much larger wave in the 1st century AD, when Jews fleeing Roman persecution in Jerusalem settled at Cranganore (on the coast about 26 km [16 miles] north of Kochi). In the 4th century, the local king promised the Jews perpetual protection, and the colony flourished, serving as a haven for Jews from the Middle East and, in later centuries, Europe. When the Portuguese leader Afonso de Albuquerque discovered the Jews near Cochin in the 16th century, however, he destroyed their community, having received permission from his king to "exterminate them one by one." Muslim anti-Semitism flared up as well. The Jews rebuilt in Mattancherry but were able to live without fear only after the less-belligerent Dutch took control in 1663.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Synagogue La., Jew Town Mattancherry, Kochi, Kerala 682002 | Map It
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: Sun.–Thurs. 10–noon and 3–5 (except Jewish holidays)
  • Location: Kochi
Updated: 10-01-2012

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