Paradesi Synagogue, Kochi, India

In 1524, the Moors attacked the Jews of Kerala and burned their houses and synagogues. Due to this incident, the Jews left the place where they had originally settled — Anjuvannam — and moved to Cochin. The Rajah of Cochin gave them a site for a town right next to his palace and temple. The Jew town was created in 1567 and the synagogue in 1568. Even now the palace (now a museum) and the temple exist, right next to the synagogue in Jew town.
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These photographs were taken during a recent visit. It is forbidden to take photographs inside the synagogue, and so the two inside images are from the post cards they sell in the gift shop. They also sell a facsimile of the copper plates by which the Rajah granted them land and one photograph is from my copy of those plates.

Punnathur Kotta, Guruvayoor


About 60 elephants, all belonging to Lord Sri Krishna of Guruvayoor, live in Punnathur Kotta located about 3 KM away from the temple. The 10 acre compound is open to public and you can watch them being fed and bathed. The elephants were donated by various devotees including Jayalalitha (The joke is that the elephant asked Jayalalitha, why me, why not you?).

The compound also has a naalu kettu, a traditional rectangular home with a central courtyard, which belonged to the Punnathur Raja which as the two photos below show, remain in very poor condition.

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