16 May 2012 - 24 Iyyar 5772 - כ"ד אייר ה' אלפים תשע"ב
The synagogue in Chennamangalam religious harmony- a symbol of Kerala’s religious harmony and tolerance E-mail

The synagogue in Chennamangalam, Kerala, India was built in 1640 by the early Jewish settlers in that village. Chennamangalam is a pristine village, 42 km north of Ernakulum, the commercial capital on the west coast of the State of Kerala.

The Kerala State Department of Archeology, in cooperation with the Department of Tourism, restored this small but beautiful Jewish temple in 2005 and re-opened it to the public in 2006. Now it is a prominent tourist destination.

I visited this ancient Jewish temple along with my nephew, Thomas Thannikary, a businessman, and my good friend and an intellectual, Joseph Vellappally. We arrived at this empty synagogue early in the morning and later were joined by Anil Kumar from the Kerala Department of Archeology. He gave us a guided tour of the site. Later, Davis Francis, a local resident, joined us and made our visit even more rewarding. Both these gentlemen were well informed of about this historic village and its ancient Jewish heritage.

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