Paravur Synagogue

2012

The Paravur synagogue built by the Malabari jews in 1616 is conserved as part of the Muziris Heritage Project. This synagogue in Kochi, built in the latter half of the nineteenth century, is built over the ruins of an ancient synagogue. This synagogue, one of the oldest in the state, is a blend of Cochin Jewish architecture and Portuguese colonial architecture. As part of the Muziris Heritage Project, the dilapidated structure was restored and converted to a museum that narrates the history of the Jews in Kerala.

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The historic building was in a state of depletion when the project was taken up. Based on Rev. Dawson's fieldwork, the Jewish synagogue as it appears today, with the probable exception of the gatehouse, could date no earlier than the second decade of the nineteenth century, after a series of destruction and restoration throughout its history. The original Ark taken to Israel when the last Jews left has been replicated in timber with the elaborate carvings of the sacred Torah scrolls. Thus, the project will ensure that the site is a comprehensive instructional and training tool for all.