Jewish Heritage in Kerala | One Day Tour
An incredible journey through Kerala’s centuries of Jewish heritage, led by an English-speaking official guide.
PICK UP AND DROP OFF
Shore Excursions: As you disembark from your ship, our vehicle will enter the secure Cruise Ship Port to pick you up and drop you there before your ship’s departure time right at the end of your excursion.
One-day Tours: We will pick you up from the place specified in your booking agreement (including the railway station, hotel, airport, etc.) and take you back to that spot or another predetermined destination.
DRIVE FROM KOCHI TO PATTANAM
On the way to Pattanum, you’ll get a glimpse of life in Kerala’s Kochi region.
The synagogue was constructed in 1615 and situated in the former Jewish Street in Paravur. It was built for the local Jewish community and is regarded as “the most comprehensive and elaborate example of a Jewish house of prayer embracing influences of building architecture from this part of Kerala.” The history of Jews in India is depicted in the illustrated panels. In the nineteenth century, the ruined old synagogue is rebuilt. The original Bimah and ark were shifted to Israel in 1992, and replicas have been created by local artisans.
Muziris – Pattenam
New light on the ancient port town of Muziris shines when comprehensive excavations at Pattanam – located north of Paravur in Vadakkara village and south of Kodungallur – in the district of Ernakulam in Kerala uncovered objects that could be buried remains of the dead port and its neighborhood.
Early explorations at this site, which covers 1.5 square kilometers and has a core area of about 600 meters by 400 meters, uncovered remains of a harbor town in 2006-2007. A small six-meter dug-out boat, bollards to secure boats, a wharf complex, remains of a warehouse, and foundations of residential and commercial centers are among the notable discoveries. Pliny’s writings and Periplus both describe a boat that meets the description. Carbon dating places the boat in the first century BC/AD, putting the Muzaris hinterland on the map. There is substantial evidence to suggest that Muzaris was not on the beach, but rather in a river gorge as huge vessels were unable to navigate the tight channels, tinier vessels were used to transport the cargo ashore, justifying the usage of smaller vessels.
The 17th Century Synagogue is built in a traditional form on land granted by the Paliam family, who owned the hamlet at the time. The intricate hand-crafted interior decor stands out against the generally austere structure, the terracotta-tiled floor, the painted paneled ceiling on the ground floor, and shuttered windows set in thick walls. Built in 1614, the simple geometry and its minimal decorative detail have appealing look. For ladies, there is a separate entrance. Its highlights are the wooden balcony and its carved balusters with railings. To the east of the repaired structure is a cemetery. An inscription on a tombstone here dates from 1269, making the contents the earliest Hebrew literature in India.
Lunch at a Restaurant Serving Kerala Cuisine
You can enjoy Kerala cuisine in a restaurant that serves spicy food prepared to suit your taste.
Drive to the Kochi’s Old Town
On your way to Kochi, you’ll see more of Kerala.
It is also possible to stop on the way to observe unique or unexpected events that may occur, as they frequently do in Kerala.
Saint Francis Church
Saint Francis Church, which is originally constructed in 1503, is India’s oldest European church and is historically significant as a silent testament to the European colonial fight. Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese explorer, died at Kochi in 1524 while on his third trip to India. His body was originally buried in this chapel, but his sole son relocated his remains to Lisbon after fourteen years. The tombstone, however, remains in the church.
Jewtown and its Synagogue
The antique shops that line the streets of Jewtown in Mattancherry are well-known. The street’s old-world charm is enhanced by the colonial buildings that line it. Antiquity abounds here, with curio and antique shops lining the street, ready to enchant visitors with their variety and rarity. The Paradesi Synagogue, located in a Jewtown corner, is almost a century old and houses numerous rare antiquities. The Jewish synagogue was built on land provided by the king of Cochin in 1568, over 1500 years after the Jewish connection with Kerala began. It is the Commonwealth’s oldest. It was destructed by the Portuguese in 1662 and rebuilt by the Dutch two years later.
Kochi Old Town
You will be taken through the sights of Kochi Old Town, with enough opportunity to soak up the ambiance while seeing the highlights. Kochi is the most cosmopolitan city in Kerala. It is also the country’s principal spice and seafood trading hub. Kochi is a group of narrow islands and peninsulas built around a saltwater lagoon in the Arabian Sea. On the other hand, the mainland Eranakulam has concrete shopping malls and glossy apartment buildings, and Mattancherry and Fort Kochi have an old-world charm, with their mix of Dutch, English bungalows, Portuguese, and quaint tiny lanes. For generations, travelers from all over the world have been fascinated by Kochi’s natural port, which is flanked by palm trees, lush fields, inland lakes, and backwaters.
Kottakavu Marthoma Church
The Apostle St. Thomas came on the Malabar Coast in 52AD, and this was one of the seven churches he established. The Hindus who converted to Christianity are claimed to have been baptized in the pond behind the church by St. Thomas. The original Kottakkaru Mar Thoma Syro Malabar Pilgrim Church is founded by St. Thomas the Apostle, was restored by Mar Sabor and Mar Proth in the 9th century. The third church, which is still existing, was completed in 1308. In 1575, Pope Gregory XIII elevated this church’s altar to privileged status. In 1964, it was demolished. In 2002, reconstruction was started again.
Chinese Fishing Nets and Fish Market
The Chinese fishing nets and the fish market are the tranquil activities of the harbor. For ages, travelers have been charmed by this world-famous location. Nets are stretched from big curved bamboo and teak poles that are operated from the coast in this ancient manner of fishing. According to legend, they were first brought in the 14th century by Chinese explorer Zheng He.
The Package Includes
- Pick-up and drop-off services at your hotel or near your ship at Kochi Port
- Professional English Speaking Guide
- A fully air-conditioned and high-performance vehicle
- Lunch in a restaurant that serves traditional Kerala cuisine
- A bottle of water for each passenger in the vehicle
- Entrance fees to the selected venues as well as camera fees if applicable
Now It’s Time to Book
- To book a trip, you have to fill out the form below. We have a 48-hour response time policy.
- If you are a cruise ship passenger looking to book a shore excursion, please mention the excursion you need and your ship’s name.
- Otherwise, please provide the trip you have chosen as well as the pick-up and drop-off locations.
Departure/Return LocationHotel in Kochi
Departure Time9 am
IncludedAC VehicleEntrance fees to the selected venuesKerala LunchProfessional Guide
Not IncludedAuto RikshaBikeHouse Boat RentTea and Snacks