India | Kerala | Ernakulam

Kadavumbagham Synagogue

Kadavumbagham Synagogue, an erstwhile place of worship for the Jews, is the oldest of all the Jewish synagogues in Kerala. It was constructed in 1200 at Jew Street in Ernakulam. It was renovated in 1554 and remains closed from 1973 as the Torah scrolls were all taken to Nevatim, Israel. It still has an intact ark and Hindu-style ceiling lamps, but now it is used as a plant nursery. A structure was added on to the original synagogue building as a place for children's education and adult study of Torah.

This Jewish Synagogue in Kochi stands as a testimony for the communal harmony in the state for centuries. The ark of the synagogue has two steps leading to the platform. There are two large shuttered windows on either side of the ark. The pediment area is a structure which is carved, gilded, with dark red background and white paint. This highlights the two columns on either side of the doors to the ark. One red glass chandelier hangs over the denuded base of the bimah, and crystal pieces of another chandelier are stored in wooden boxes.

The walls of the Kadavumbagham Synagogue are about 18 inches thick, with tall and arched windows in the ground floor. There are attractive wooden benches with carved backs, behind which are Belgian glass lamps. When compared with the Paradesi Synagogue, the ceilings are more handsome and wider. These are adorned with gilded carved wooden rosettes. The balcony entrance is supported by brass pillars.

Nearest airport from Kadavumbagham Synagogue is the Cochin International Airport. One can also approach here from Ernakulam Central Bus Station and Ernakulam Junction Railway Station.

Updated on 7th June, 2005
District: Ernakulam
Location: Ernakulam    


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