Jew Town, Kochi , Kerala

by - 8/26/2017

Hebrew written everywhere..
Is not the title fascinating in itself? I have been intrigued by Jews ever since I had known about them.The truth is that I am equally excited for any new culture/ religion/ language. Jews more because firstly they are a very small community. Secondly I never thought that I would encounter them here in India itself. So when we went sightseeing Kochi, I was particularly prepped up for this particular spot.

To start with the Keralite or Malabari Jews are the oldest community of Jews living in India. They were supposedly sailors from King Solomon's times. It is believed that after the destruction of the First Temple in the seige of Jerusalem, some Jewish exiles came to India to seek shelter. There are 4 communities of Jews in India. (Cochin, Kolkata, Bombay and Delhi) Although I have never heard of this community in either Delhi or Kolkata or even Bombay!
The synagogue was closed when we reached there
The Black and While Jews of Cochin don't eat, drink together or intermarry but they seem to follow the same rituals. There is a synagogue too (obviously) but it was closed by the time we reached there. I would have really loved to go inside the Paradesi Synagogue.
The town was really different and it was bustling with tourists. There was Hebrew written everywhere and the localites could be easily recognised with their quintessential hat (Kippah) and the beard. There were hundreds of antique shops with really intriguing pieces and some really posh restaurants.
We strolled along the streets for half an hour. I was really glad by the exposure of a completely different culture. However the ending was rather sad. Our naughty daughter who was running around the streets inspite of repeated warnings, slipped and bruised her knee badly on the concrete road. We did not know what to do with the bleeding and hence hastily left for our cab.
After she got settled, we made our way to the Matancherry Palace. It was dark already and we could not explore it too well. This palace was gift from the Portuguese to the King of Cochin. The Palace is built in traditional Keralite style (Nalukettu style) with a courtyard in the middle. The flooring is unique too. It looks like polished black marble but is infact a mixture of burnt coconut shells, charcoal, lime, plant juices and egg whites. It is a rare example of Kerala flooring.
Temple near the Matancherry Palace...the palace was of course closed when we reached there.
Interesting street art
We called it a day at Fort Kochi, the waterfront. The ambiance there was absolutely like Goa with shacks everywhere and peppy music. We watched some enormous vessels pass by. Never in our lives we could have imagined that they could be so fast! Also we saw myriads of Chinese Fishing Nets. 
Fort Kochi at night...huge ships crossing the port.
These nets use 500 years old technology and yet still so efficient! Whoa what a day!

Sunnies: Fastrack

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  1. what a great experience! hope you're having a blast!

    XO, Jessi