2 - 3 Hours
Jew Street in Mattancherry has numerous antique and craft stores. The antique sellers of these streets are the descendants of a fast dwindling population of Jews who settled down here in AD 52. Scores of small firms huddle together in old, dilapidated buildings and the air is filled with the pungent aromas of cardamom, cumin, turmeric, ginger, and cloves. Many Jewish names are visible on business premises and houses, but the community has diminished rapidly since Indian independence. The Jew Street is lined with shops that sell curios, antique pieces of crockery, carved wooden furniture, bronze and brass sculptures, remnants of traditional houses, and jewelry. Once a Jews enclave, the Jews Street is now bereft of that community which left to Israel except one or two families. The Star of David inscribed variegated arches wear a worn-out look. The marvelous blue and green facades stand faded. The spice shops and curio souks – so interestingly developed by Jews are still thriving in Market Road. In one end is a Synagogue with Malayalam (Kerala’s language) and Hebrew tomb-stones. There were 7 Synagogues, but now only this 400 years old Pardesi Synagogue. Interior with curved brass columns, intricately carved teak chest, Belgian crystal chandeliers, and Torah crowns with gems set in gold look marvelous. Hand-painted porcelain tiles from Canton, each tile in a different pattern, reinforced the flooring. Two copper plates with details of privileges bestowed on the Jews during the regime of Bhaskara Ravi Varman are preserved as invaluable. The 45-ft clock-tower warrants special attention as its 4 dials bear four different numerals in Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, and Malayalam. Once one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, but now many of the inhabitants have moved to Israel and the once bustling Jewish community has now largely shut up shop and the street is quiet. The nearby Market Road still bustles with spice market and tourist curio shops dominated by Kashmiri shopkeepers selling mostly wood carvings, oil lamps, spice box, snake boats, and some tempting coffee table books. In the heart of Jew Town stands the Kochi International Pepper Exchange, which has switched to online trading recently.
- bargain real hard for anything you buy here. The prices are considerably marked up.
|January to December|
|Monday||05:00 AM - 09:00 PM|
|Tuesday||05:00 AM - 09:00 PM|
|Wednesday||05:00 AM - 05:00 AM|
|Thursday||05:00 AM - 09:00 PM|
|Friday||05:00 AM - 09:00 PM|
|Saturday||05:00 AM - 09:00 PM|
|Sunday||05:00 AM - 09:00 PM|
|Last Admission||08:30 PM|
Things to carry
Things Not Allowed