Hearty Welcome to the globe - trotters!!!
We began our Heritage Trip at 8am sharp from Cochin. Let the Jews Street Market be our first point. In the olden days, the major part of the traders were the Jews. With the passing of time just one Jew was seen engaged in buying and selling. The very same Jew himself is keeper of Synagogue at the 'Kadavum Bhagam' in Kochi. There are a couple of cities in Kochi-the ancient and the modern. The aforesaid 'Kadavum Bhavam Synagogue' and the market is situated in the Modern City. Having visited this, we hit the road afresh to North Paravur some 30kms away from this point.
North Paravur has been regarded as an ancient Jewish settlement area. The Ten Kilometers spread from North Paravur to Muziris (present Kodungallur) is a celebrated place where much historical importance has been imposed Excavation are still executed in many areas here. Paravur synagogue is comparatively larger in structure. Paravur synagogue is an architectural example of the vernacular Kerala style. A Jewish family dwelt very close to this place of worship until 2003. At present, they are residents of Israel having relocated there.
A fifteen minutes drive through countryside will bring you to Chennamangalam Synagogue. Chennamangalam village is considered an epitome of the communal harmony so that you can behold a Hindu Temple, synagogue, a Church and a Mosque within the radius of 100 mtrs. The inhabitance of the Jews was seen here from 13 AD.
This is one of the oldest Jewish Synagogue in Kerala. It was built in the year 159 AD in Mala. In Hebrew (MALA –AHA) means “The land that gave protection or refuge”. Today we have only six Jewish Synagogue in Kerala state Tour starts from Cochin and ends at Mala Village.A single day is enough to cover all these Synagogues. However only a few tombs can be seen at the cemetery. It is interesting to note that there are over two hundred Years old (200) market in my village (Muziris).
It is also an interesting fact that the Jewish Merchants from Mala,Chennamangalam,Paravoor and neighboring places came by water to do business here. When in 1524 AD the Arabs and Portuguese attacked Musris, the Jews from here took refuge in Mala.Yet after 1524 AD ,till date no Jews have slept in my village.
A Northwards journey of 20 minutes will unmask the ancient port of Muziris (1000BC port). It was in this port that the ships of King Solomon were anchored for merchandise. This village is particularly acknowledged as the 'Jerusalem of the East'. The religions of the Jews, the Christians and the Islam were communed here in India for the first time.
Check in Muziris Farm House for Rest and Refreshment
A family visit too is arranged in the Muziris Farm where five generations of the same family have been dwelling since 1860. The real objective and nucleus of the day-visit vests here. We do pour out our obligations to your great - great - grand parents who reached here 3000 years ago via King Solomon's ships. There are 3 Jewish synagogues covering 7 kms of this village. They are the synagogues set up in North Paravur, Chennamangalam and Mala respectively.
The local market in Kottappuram that has come into existence almost a century or more could be seen at a hailing distance from the Muziris Farm House. Rice and other essential commodities are the Chief trade here. A business worth more than 100 Million Indian rupees (1$ = Rs.60 Indian Rupees) is run here on the market days. The active occupancy of the Jewish merchandisers was seen here unto 2003.
St. Michael's Cathedral, one of the largest and most beautiful places of pilgrimages is also situated at an arm's length from the Muziris Farm House. The oldest mosque in India as well as the second one in Asia can also be witnessed here. What is more, two Hindu Temples that were built a thousand year ago can also be seen from here. A handful of sand from this village was taken for the funeral solemnities of the Jews in Cochin until recently. The Jews kept such close ties with the Muziris.
After the tea break a sight seeing trip is planned via Kodungalloor town Kodungalloor was known as Muziris Harbor until 1341A.D. Cochin Harbour was formed around this time. A short visit to Portuguese fort 1523 AD will enable one to see the excavation site situated on a hillock, and surrounded by a lake adjacent to the Arabian Sea.
BACK TO COCHIN
Travel through the longest Island in Cochin, (24kms) which was also formed in 1341 AD as a consequence of the great Flood or deluge.
The Chinese fishing nets were brought by traders from the court of Kublai Khan - The famous Chinese Leader - in the 13th Century AD. Cochin Harbour was so named by them.
A FERRY TRANSFER TO FORT COCHIN.
FORT COCHIN - Fort Cochin is the first European settlement area in India since 1502 AD onwards to till 1947.
Portuguese period - 1502AD to 1663 AD - Little Lisbon
Dutch period - 1663 AD to 1795 - Homey Holland
British period - 1795 AD to 1947 - Mini England
Highlights of the Programme
MODE OF PAYMENT
No need to pay in advance - Payment only after the tour.
Air Conditioned Cab, English Speaking Guide, Cost of all Entrance Tickets and HighTea etc.
We prefer the direct Jewish Guest who Embarks at the Port of Cochin.
A nostalgic journey from the Harbour of Cochin To Ancient Harbour of Muziris - Area.
A walking tour through the European street of Fort Cochin.
India became independent on 15th August 1947. The French had some colonies (1725 AD to 1956) in the northern part of Kerala.
JEW TOWN - MATTANCHERY
One can visit the oldest Synagogue in the British Commonwealth built in the year 1568AD. This is the one and only Synagogue in Kerala State that still functions today, It is also called Paradeshi Synagogue. The Jews street in Mattancherry (Jew Town) Cochin is still having the ancient aroma and flavours of our age old spices. The remnants of the ancient historical developments can be seen spread out here and there on the streets. There are many shops on both sides of the street selling curious and antique articles. The Tower clock of the Synagogue is a proud monument of the great Jewish history. Let us now return to the ship, passing by the front of the 400 year old - Cochin - Jewish Cemetery.
Back to the pier.
TOTAL TOUR COST - USD $ 90 per person
One of our family members will come and pick you from the pier and he will lead the tour.