Jewish Heritage in Kerala


An extraordinary excursion through the centuries of Jewish Heritage in Kerala accompanied by an English speaking official guide.

Individual bookings now : $105US per person
… and for a single request for 5 or more individual bookings we will give
an additional 5% discount = $99,75US per person

We strongly recommend that you book well ahead in order to ensure to do this very special excursion with the experts of Shore Excursions India..


Kottakaru Marthoma Church
Paravur Synagogue
Chendamangalam Synagogue
Lunch at a restaurant serving typical Kerala food
Kochi Old Town
Paradesi Synagogue
Saint Francis Church
Chinese fishing nets
Fish market



Shore Excursions : Our vehicle will enter the protected Cruise Ship Port to pick you up as you leave your ship and to return you there at the end of your excursion before your ship’s sailing time.

One day tours : We will collect you at the location defined in your booking agreement (hotel, airport, train station, …) and return you there or to a different predefined place.


During the drive to Pattanum you will see some of life in the Kochi area of Kerala.


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New light on the hoary past of ancient port town, Muziris, surfaces when detailed excavations at Pattanam – situated North of Parur in Vadakkara village and South of Kodungallur – in the district of Ernakulam in Kerala revealed artefacts, which could be buried remains of the extinct port and its neighbourhood.

Early explorations done in 2006-2007 at this site, spread across 1.5 with the core area measuring about 600m x 400m, revealed vestiges of a port town. Significant findings among these are a small six-meter dug-out boat, a wharf complex, bollards to secure boats, warehouse remains and foundations of residential and commercial centres. The boat fits in with the descriptions found in Pliny’s writings and Periplus. Carbon dating fixes the antiquity of the canoe to the first century BC/AD, lending credence to the Muzaris hinterland. There is enough evidence to show that Muzaris was not on the sea shore but situated in the recess of a river. Since large vessels could not enter the narrow channels, smaller vessels carried the loads ashore, justifying the use of boat of the kind now unearthed.


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It was in 52AD when the Apostle St. Thomas landed on the Malabar Coast; this was the one of the seven churches he founded. It is believed that the pond behind the church is where St. Thomas is said to have baptised the Hindus who embraced Christianity. Kottakkaru Mar Thoma Syro Malabar Pilgrim Church (old), founded by St. Thomas the Apostle, was rebuilt in the 9th century by Mar Sabor and Mar Proth.

The existing old church, the third church, was built in 1308. Pope Gregory XIII raised the altar of this church to the status of privileged in 1575. It was demolished in 1964.  Reconstruction was commenced in 2002.


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Located in the former Jewish Street in Paravur area, the synagogue was built in 1615. It served the Jewish community that lived in close proximity to the market and is considered “the most complete and elaborate example of a Jewish house of prayer incorporating influences of building design from this region of Kerala”.

The illustrated panels are described in the history of Jews in India. The ruined old synagogue is again reconstructed in 19th century. The original Bimah and ark were taken to Israel in 1992 and replicas have been put in place by local artisans.


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The 17th Century Synagogue, on land donated by the Paliam family who owned the village during this period, is built in traditional style. Constructed in 1614, the simple geometry and its minimal yet decorative detail have visual appeal : the intricate hand-crafted interior decor stands out against the generally austere structure, the painted panelled ceiling on the ground floor, the terracotta-tiled floor and shuttered windows set in thick walls. There is a separate entrance for women. The wooden balcony and its carved balusters and railings are highlights of this heritage building.

The restored structure has a cemetery lying to its East. A tombstone here has an inscription in Hebrew dated 1269, making the contents the earliest Hebrew text available in India. The first group of Jews who left in 1949 for the homeland, Israel, included 17 members from the Chendamagalam Jewish Community.


You can experience Kerala cuisine in a restaurant offering spicy food prepared to suit your taste.


Again, you will see some of Kerala on your way to Kochi.

It might be possible to stop to witness unusual or unexpected things that might well come up as they sometimes do in Kerala.


You will guided through the sites of Kochi Old Town where you will have time to take in the atmosphere whilst visiting the best places.

Kochi is Kerala’s most cosmopolitan city. It is also its main trading centre for spices and seafood. Built around a salt water lagoon of the Arabian Sea, Kochi is in fact a collection of narrow islands and peninsulas. While mainland Eranakulam boasts of concrete shopping malls and glitzy apartment buildings, Mattancherry and Fort Kochi have an old-world charm, with their blend of Dutch, Portuguese and English bungalows and quaint narrow streets. The scenic location of Kochi’s natural harbour, surrounded by palm groves, green fields, inland lakes and backwaters, has enchanted visitors from across the globe for centuries.

*Not available on Friday afternoons and Saturdays or on all Jewish holidays

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Jewtown in Mattancherry is famous for the antique shops all along its sides.  The colonial buildings lining the street add to its old-world charm. Here you can breathe antiquity with curio and antique shops along the street capable of enchanting visitors with their variety and rarity.

The Paradesi Synagogue, in a corner of Jewtown, is more than a hundred years old and houses many rare antiques. The Jewish synagogue was built in 1568, almost 1500 years after the beginning of the Jewish connection with Kerala, on land given by the king of Cochin. It is the oldest in the Commonwealth. In 1662, it was destroyed by the Portuguese and then reconstructed, two years later, by the Dutch.


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Originally built in 1503, Saint Francis Church is the oldest European church in India and has great historical significance as a mute witness to the European colonial struggle. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama died in Kochi in 1524 when he was on his third visit to India. His body was originally buried in this church, but after fourteen years his remains were removed to Lisbon by his only son. But the tombstone is still in the church.


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The peaceful activities of the harbour include the Chinese fishing nets and the fish market. This world famous area has enchanted visitors for centuries. In this traditional method of fishing, nets are strung from huge curved bamboo and teak poles that are operated from the shore. Legend has it that they were introduced by the Chinese explorer Zheng He in the 14th century.


18th Nov 2023: CELEBRITY  EDGE 7.00 am – 6.00pm
26th Nov 2023 AZAMARA JOURNEY 9.00 am – 6.00pm
07th Dec 2023 SILVER SPIRIT 8.00 am – 6.00pm
07th Dec 2023 CELEBRITY MILLENNIUM  2.00pm
09th Dec 2023 SEVEN SEAS NAVIGATOR  8.00 am – 6.00pm
15th Dec 2023 BOlETTE
15th Dec 2023 SEABOURN ENCORE 8.00 am- 10.00pm
16th Dec 2023  OCEANIA Nautica 8.00 am – 6.00 pm
11th Jan 2024 OCEANIA RIVIERA  10.00am
15th Feb 2024   SILVER MOON Early- evening
16th Feb 2024 CELEBRITY MILLENNIUM 02.00pm
16th March 2024 SILVER WHISPER 8.00am- 6.00pm
20th March 2024 BOREALIS  Early- evening
25th March 2024 VIKING SKY 6.00 am- 4.00pm
28th March 2024 VIKING NEPTUNE Early- evening
30th March 2024 SEVEN SEAS MARINER 9.00am-
14th  April 2024 AZAMARA ONWARD  02.00pm
17th  April 2024 SEVEN SEAS NAVIGATOR 10.00am
23rd April 2024 OCEANIA Nautica 9.00am
04th May 2024 OCEANIA INSIGNIA 10.00am
05th May 2024  ARTANIA 08.00am
06th May 2024 OCEANIA RIVIERA 6.00 am
10th May 2024 AZAMARA JOURNEY 01.00 pm
19th May 2024 SILVER MOON 09.00am
29th Nov 2024 AZAMARA  PURSUIT 8.00 am – 6.00pm
2nd Dec 2024 CELEBRITY MILLENNIUM 02.00pm
08th Dec 2024  SILVER WHISPER 8.00 am
10th Dec 2024 SILVER SPIRIT 8.00 am
10th Dec 2024 CELEBRITY MILLENNIUM 8.00am- 6.00pm
14th Dec 2024 SILVER DAWN Early morning-  Early evening
28th Dec 2024 SEVEN SEAS VOYAGERS 8.00am
 30th Dec 2024  OCEANIA RIVIERA 7.00am- 6.00pm

SPECIAL OFFERYou can choose from the following options :THE PRICE

Individual bookings now : $105US per person
… and for a single request for 5 or more individual bookings we will give
an additional 5% discount = $99,75US per person

The price includes

  • Pick up and drop off near your ship at Kochi Port or at your hotel
  • Fully air conditioned vehicle, recent and in excellent condition
  • English Speaking Professional Guide
  • Lunch in a restaurant serving typical Kerala food
  • Entrance fees to the selected sites and camera fees where applicable
  • A bottle of water per person in the vehicle


Please use the form below to book your trip with Shore Excursions India. We have a policy of replying within 48 hours.
If you are a Cruise Ship Guest booking a Shore Excursion, please indicate the excursion you require and the name of your ship.
Otherwise, please indicate the tour you have selected and the points of pick up and drop off.

More Kochi Excursions
You can link to the following pages for our current offers.
Each page gives the itinerary of the excursion, its price and a booking facility.

The Real Marigold Hotel Tour
Kochi Backwaters and Old Town
Kochi Local Life


WE ARE are a Government Approved Tours and Travel Company and a Government Approved Cruise Liner Transporter.
WE HOLD the Government Permit allowing entrance to the protected Cruise Ship Port.
WE PICK YOU UP as you leave your ship and to return you there at the end of your excursion before your ship’s sailing time.
WE PROVIDE excursions for Cruise Ship travellers wishing to discover the incredible sites of India in and around our wonderful city.
WE SERVE cruise ships regularly and know how to meet their requirements.
OUR EXCURSIONS are all-included no-hassle excursions with no add-ons and no unwanted commercial visits. Obviously you will support any personal expenses you might decide to incur.
OUR VEHICLES are recent, fully air conditioned, comfortable, safe, clean and perfectly serviced.
OUR SMALL GROUP POLICY enables you to enjoy a private tour in a convivial atmosphere, ideal for communicating with your guide and visiting the sites together.
OUR GUIDES are English Speaking Official Guides who will accompany you during the whole of the excursion, guide you round the sites, and explain local culture and history. They will be delighted to give you any additional information you might request (if you prefer another language, please consult us for a quote).
OUR DRIVERS are Government Registered Tourist Drivers who furthermore have signed our Drivers’ Charter.
OUR EMPLOYEES are professional, experienced and trustworthy local people who will look after you at all times.
WE CARE FOR YOU AS OUR GUEST to ensure you enjoy your excursion in comfort and security. We will take you only to safe areas and to places of proven quality.
CUSTOMER REVIEWS can be found on this website and on the links to TripAdvisor. We encourage you to add your own review after your excursion to help Cruise Ship travellers choose us.
OUR REPUTATION depends on YOUR SATISFACTION and we are organised to achieve your satisfaction during your excursion.


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