Paradesi Synagogue (Ernakulam – Kerala – India)


 The Paradesi Synagogue aka Cochin Jewish Synagogue or the Mattancherry Synagogue is a synagogue located in Mattancherry Jew Town, a suburb of the city of Kochi, Kerala, in India. It was built in 1568 A.D. by Samuel Castiel, David Belila, and Joseph Levi for the flourishing Paradesi Jewish community in Kochi. Cochin Jews were composed mainly of the much older Malabari Jews and the newly arrived Sephardic refugees from the Portuguese religious persecution of Jews in Spain and Portugal. It is the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations. Paradesi is a word used in several Indian languages, and the literal meaning of the term is "foreigners", applied to the synagogue because it was built by Sephardic or Portuguese-speaking Jews, some of them from families exiled in Aleppo, Safed and other West Asian localities.

The synagogue is located in the quarter of Old Cochin known as Jew Town, and is the only one of the seven synagogues in the area still in use, though the Kadavumbhagam Synagogue (1544 A.D) and Thekkumbhagam Synagogue (1647 A.D) (extinct) are much older and are the three synagogues in Mattancherry. The complex has four buildings. It was built adjacent to the Mattancherry Palace temple on the land given to the community by the Raja of Kochi, Rama Varma. The Mattancherry Palace temple and the Mattancherry synagogue share a common wall.

Veeranpuzha Beach (Ernakulam – Kerala – India)

  Veeranpuzha is a lake in Kochi, Kerala, India. It is the northern extension of Vembanad Lake.