Paradesi Synagogue built in 1568 AD is the oldest Synagogue in India. This is situated next to the Mattancherry Palace Temple. It was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1622 AD and was reconstructed by the Dutch. "Paradesi Synagogue" means a "Synagogue built by foreigners". ( Paradesi is the malayalm word for a foreigner). The great scrolls of Old Testament is found here. The prayer hall is magnificent with Chinese Porceline Tiles & Begium Crystal Chandeliers. A Jewish business man Ezekial Rahabi imported these hand painted willow patterned tiles from Canton in China.
The clock tower was also built by him in 1760. The tower has four faces. The one facing the Maharaja’s Palace shows time in Malayalam, another engraved in Roman numbers, the third side facing the Synagogue is in Hebrew and the fourth side facing the sea is kept blank. (Maybe in Arabic)
In 1968, this Synagougue celebrated it's 400th anniversary in the presence of the then Prime Minisiter Smt. Indira Gandhi.
Now-a-days photography is prohibited inside the Synagogue. There's an entrance fee. Must remove the shoes & all the bagages must be kept outside.Timings-10 to 12 & 3 to 5. Closed on Saturdays & Jewish holidays.