Jewish Heritage Tour Cochin

Kochi (Cochin)

The legendary history of Kerala’s Jews goes back to the time of King Solomon (10th century BC), when trade in exotic Indian items – peacocks, ivory, sandalwood and spices flourished. Having first landed centuries ago, Cochin’s Jewish community grew significantly during the 1500s with an influx of Sephardic Jews primarily from Spain, Portugal and Holland, escaping the Inquisition. But, after Israel’s formation in 1948, the Cochin Jews migrated to the Promised Land. Only a handful of Jews still live in Kerala today – however, their synagogues, cemeteries, houses and streets bear witness to their 2000-year old association with India.

Pricing:  US$ 51 per person for minimum 2 participants.

Walking Tours
History and Culture

The legendary history of Kerala’s Jews goes back to the time of King Solomon (10th century BC), when trade in exotic Indian items – peacocks, ivory, sandalwood and spices flourished. Having first landed centuries ago, Cochin’s Jewish community grew significantly during the 1500s with an influx of Sephardic Jews primarily from Spain, Portugal and Holland, escaping the Inquisition. But, after Israel’s formation in 1948, the Cochin Jews migrated to the Promised Land. Only a handful of Jews still live in Kerala today – however, their synagogues, cemeteries, houses and streets bear witness to their 2000-year old association with India.

In this Tour:
• Starting at 9:00 a.m., we drive for 1.5 hours through the scenic countryside to Kondungallur, the original trading port where the Jewish community arrived after the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem in 70 CE.
• Of Kerala’s eight Jewish Communities, the Malabar Jews included seven whose sensitively restored synagogue Chennamangalam we visit next. Here, get enchanted by the Kerala architectural style which was adapted to Jewish ritual and liturgical requirements.
• Visit another recently restored synagogue nearby in Parur.
• After lunch, drive to Fort Kochi, where we visit the ‘Jew Town’ area, where Cochin’s Jews were given land by the Cochin Raja, in 1524, after they were forced to flee because of conflicts with the Portuguese and Arab Moors. Here, they built their homes and trading houses.
• The Synagogue which we visit next belonged to the other group of Jews, the Paradesi (meaning newcomer/foreigner in Malayalam) Jews. It had been built originally in 1568 and is known for its hand-painted tiles and its quaint old chandeliers.
• Take a walking exploration through the narrow streets of this area, to absorb the atmosphere and to see the homes of Cochin’s Jewish community.
• Take a brief look at the Jewish cemetery, if interested.
< br> Duration: Full day (8 hours)

TOUR STYLE: Heritage

MEETING POINT: at your hotel

END POINT: at your hotel

TOUR START/END: The cost includes pickup and drop from your hotel using a medium sized chauffeur driven car.

TOUR DURATION: 8 hours depending on your interest.

GROUP SIZE: Maximum 6 people and Minimum 2 People.

PRICING: All our tours are private.

INCLUSIONS: Local English speaking guide, entrance fees and transport as indicated.

EXCLUSIONS: Items of a personal nature, tips / gratuities for guide & driver.

WHEN: Every day at 9AM. Prior reservation required. Timings may vary slightly depending on weather / season. We will confirm the exact start time along with tour logistics once you book the tour.

WHAT TO WEAR: Please dress modestly and ensure you have adequate sun protection.

TOUR NOTES: Please note, the food on the street is delicious but does not meet national or international hygiene standards. Although we only go to very popular places, with good local reputations, these stalls do not cook using bottled water or wash their utensils with it. So eating street food is always risky. If you prefer not to risk it, but still want to see what it’s all about, then at the end of the walk, we can take you to Haldirams where you can try chaats and other popular dishes in safe and hygienic conditions.

Location

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