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Chendamangalam Jewish Synagogue  

  Kochi , Kerala.
from  20 per person

  • Museum and art gallery
    Category
    Museum and art gallery
  • duration
    Duration
    2 - 3 Hours
  • mobile_voucher
    Mobile Voucher
    Accepted
  • parking
    Parking
    Available
  • drinking water
    Drinking water
    Available
  • tour guide
    Guided Tour
    Available
  • Disability Friendly
    Disable
    Friendly
  • baby friendly
    Couple
    Friendly
  • ExploreBees
    Baby
    Friendly
  • help desk
    Help Desk
    Available
  • restroom
    Restroom
    Available
  • sitting area
    Sitting Area
    Available
  • first aid kit
    FIrst Aid kit
    Available
  • cctv
    Cctv
    Available
  • security guard
    Security guard
    Available

Ticket

  • adult ticket
    Adult
    20 INR
  • children ticket
    Children
    05 INR
  • mobile camera
    Mobile Camera
    FREE
  • still camera
    still camera
    FREE
  • video camera
    Video Camera
    FREE

Description

Chendamangalam is a historic village located about 42 Km from Ernakulam town. Chendamangalam is very much appreciated for its scenic beauty. Chendamangalam is often said to be one of the best tourist sites in Kerala. Chendamangalam is the location of the Paliam Palace, Vypeenakotta Seminary, and is also remarkable for having a Hindu Temple, Synagogue, Church, and Mosque, all within one kilometer of each other. from the synagogue in Parur just to the south, and reached by a narrow and busy north-south running main road (#14) linking a string of towns and villages throughout the length of Kerala, is Chendamangalam (sometimes written Chennamangalam). A sleepy settlement in Paravoor Taluk in the state’s Ernakulam district, it was for centuries the home to a Jewish community and a synagogue, yet by the close of the twentieth century not a single Jew resided in Chendamangalam. The Chendamangalam Synagogue sits near the center of the quiet village. The narrow lane, paved only in recent years, leading to the synagogue seems to dead end into the white-washed building, but then it splits and continues onwards along both sides of the walled compound. The immediate area of the synagogue is a neighborhood of modest homes, some once Jewish owned, and a collection of small shops selling a handful of goods. 

HISTORY

In 1324, the Arab geographer Ibn Battuta embarked on a ten-day expedition in Kerala from Calicut (now called Kozhikode) to Kawlam (once known as Quilon, or today as Kollam) by boat along the backwaters. On the fifth day of his journey, he came to Kunjakari, and he describes this place, “which is on top of a hill; it is inhabited by Jews, who have one of their own number as their governor, and pay a poll tax to the sultan of Kawlam.” (Weil 2006: 1) The historian P.M. Jussay studied Kerala Jewish folksongs in Malayalam, and he linked Kunjakari with Chendamangalam on the basis of the summit location and the Jewish self-rule. Kunjakari has been plausibly identified with the section of the river called Kanjirapuzha to the east of the island of Chendamangalam where there was a very old Jewish settlement. (Weil 2006: 1) 

In the Kerala Jewish Malayalam folksong "The Song of Evaray", the long migration of a learned Jew named Evarayi is traced from Jerusalem to Malanad, which was another name for the land of Kerala. Evarayi traveled by way of Egypt, Yemen, and Persia to Palur, north of Cranganore. Welcomed on his arrival in another place that is believed to be Chendamangalam, he set out to build a synagogue or palli, and a Nayar (high-caste Hindu) killed a deer for a nercca feat to celebrate the completion of his vow (Johnson 2004: 38).

According to a second Jewish Malayalam tune, that Evaray was requested to join the local aristocratic Nayars in a local deer hunt is interpreted as signifying that the Jews were accepted as members of the nobility. In "The Song of the Bird", another Kerala Jewish folksong which recounts the transmigration of a bird to India in search of guava fruit, the bird flies "to a green mansion…in an elevated spot", which is identified with the hill at Kunjakari in Chendamangalam (Jussay 1990). This interpretation would agree with the conclusion drawn by P. Anujan Achan, the Kerala State Archaeologist of Cochin in 1930, who believed that the Jews must have migrated to Chendamangalam from Cranganore around the mid-thirteenth century (Weil/Waronker 2006: 3). A tombstone dating from 1268 belonging to a Jewish woman named Sarah, inscribed in Hebrew, which is the oldest text in Hebrew discovered in the region to date, was restored in 1936 and can today be found just outside the front entrance of the Chendamangalam Synagogue. According to a local narrative, the stone was brought to Chendamangalam from nearby Kottapuram. 

In "The Song of Paliathachan", also recited by the Jewish women of Kerala, Jussay claims that the Paliath Achan, the representative of the Chendamangalam Nayar noblemen, bestowed upon the Jews "gifts and books to all those who come, and titles to foreigners". (Weil/Waronker 2006: 3) Paliath Achans, or local chieftains and hereditary prime ministers of the Rajahs of Cochin, reigned in Chendamangalam until the early nineteenth century. Today the chieftain’s descendants remain in residence in town, although without formal power, wealth, and privilege. A popular legend holds that hillocks of the town were planned by one of the Paliath Achams who sought to have four religious faiths prominently represented in town. It is said that in the center of Chendamangalam the tolerant leader designated a site on each of the cardinal points for the construction of a palli, or religious building, for four major faiths: a Hindu temple, Muslim mosque, Christian church, and Jewish synagogue. At the crossing of the axis he set his own residence, the Paliyam Palace, on a hill – the highest point in the village. 


Tips

  • Food and drink cannot be brought into the Museum.
  • Flash photography and video cameras cannot be used inside the Museum.
  • Luggage and carry-on bags are not allowed in the Museum and they must be checked in at the entrance.
  • For reservation of hop on hop off boat service at Muziris Heritage Project Mobile: +91 9020864649, 9745964649
  • For reservation of Conference Hall at Muziris Research and Convention Centre, Gothuruth Performance Centre and Amphi Theatre at Kottappuram Mobile: +91 9447902348

Getting there

  • Nearest railway station: Aluva, about 19 km and Ernakulam, about 29 km
  • Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 23 km

Operational Hours

January to December
Monday 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Thursday 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Last Admission 04:30 PM

Things to carry

  • id card
    Id card
  • camera
    camera
  • selfi stick
    Selfi stick
  • water bottle
    Water bottle
  • sunglasses
    Sunglasses
  • power bank
    Power Bank
  • swimming dress
    Swimming Dress

Things Not Allowed

  • no alcohol
    alcohol
  • no weapons
    Weapons
  • no pets
    Pets
  • no skate board
    Skate board
  • no smoking
    Smoking
  • no plastic bag
    Plastic Bag

Near By

  • atm
    ATM
    2.0 KM
  • fuel station
    Fuel Station
    2.1 KM
  • restaurant
    Restaurant
    0.9 KM
  • hospital
    Hospital
    1.9 KM
  • pharmacy
    Pharmacy
    1.5 KM
  • hotel
    Hotel
    3.6 KM
  • shopping mall
    Shopping Mall
    2.0 KM
  • metro
    Metro
    15.5 KM
  • bus stop
    Bus Stop
    2.5 KM
  • train
    Train
    17.5 KM
  • taxi
    TAXI
    5.2 KM
  • beach
    Beach
    33.0 km

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