Jewish Heritage in Kerala

SHORE EXCURSION OR ONE DAY TOUR

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

SPECIAL OFFER
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

WARNING – THIS EXCURSION IS OFTEN FULL !!
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..

HIGHLIGHTS

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

ITINERARY

PICK UP and DROP OFF

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.

DRIVE FROM KOCHI to PATTANAM

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

MUZIRIS – PATTENAM

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 sq.km 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.

KOTTAKARU MARTHOMA CHURCH

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.

PARAVUR SYNAGOGUE

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.

CHENDAMANGALAM  SYNAGOGUE

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.

LUNCH AT A RESTAURANT SERVING TYPICAL KERALA FOOD

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

DRIVE TO KOCHI OLD TOWN

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.

KOCHI OLD TOWN

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.

JEWTOWN AND ITS SYNAGOGUE*
*Not available on Friday afternoons and Saturdays or on all Jewish holidays

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.

SAINT FRANCIS CHURCH

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.

CHINESE FISHING NETS AND FISH MARKET

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.

UPCOMING CRUISE SHIP ARRIVALS IN KOCHI /COCHIN2019- 2020

DATE VESSEL NAME ARRIVE & DEPARTURE TIME
5th Nov 2019: AIDA AVITA 9.00 am – 8.00pm
13th Nov 2019 COSTA VICTORIA 8.00 am – 6.00pm
19th Nov 2019 SEABOORN ENCORE 8.00 am – 6.00pm
20th Nov 2019 AZAMARA QUIEZT
21st Nov 2019 AZAMARA QUIEZT
22nd -23rdNov 2019 SILVER SPIRIT
24th  Nov 2019 SEVEN SEAS VOYAGER 8.00 am- 10.00pm
27th Nov 2019 COSTS VICTORIA 8.00 am – 6.00 pm
28th -29th Nov 2019 MARILLA DISCOVERY
4th Dec 2019 OCCIANA Early- evening
10th Dec 2019 SEABOURN OVATION 10.00 am- 6.00pm
11th Dec 2019 COSTA VICTORIA 8.00am- 6.00pm
12th Dec 2019 CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION 7.00am- 4.00pm
17th Dec 2019 NAUTICA 6.00 am- 4.00pm
24th Dec 2019 CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION 12.00pm-4.00pm
25th Dec 2019 COSTA VICTORA 8.00am- 6.00pm
30th 31st Dec 2019 AZAMARA QUEZT
8th Jan 2020 COSTA VICTORIA 8.00am- 6.00am
11th  Jan 2020 CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION 7.00am- 4.00 pm
21st Jan 2020 OCCIANA Early Morning – Afternoon
22nd Jan 2020 COSTA VICTORIA 8.00am – 4.00 pm
23rd Jan 2020 CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION 12.00 pm – 9.00 pm
5th Feb 2020: COSTA VICTORIA 8.00 am – 6.00pm
10th -11th  Feb 2020 BOODICCIA am – late pm
17th  Feb 2020 MEIN SCHIF 5 8.30am -3.pm
19th Feb 2020 COSTA VICTORIA 8.00 am – 6.00pm
22nd Feb 2020 CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION 12.00pm-4.00pm
26th Feb 2020 MACRAPOLO 6.00 am- 11.00pm
4th March 2020 COSTS VICTORIA 8.00 am – 6.00 pm
5th March 2020 M S E SPLENDIDA 8.00am- 6.00pm
9th March 2020 OCCIANA Early morning-  Early evening
10th -11th March 2020 AZAMARA QUIEZT 10.00 am- 6.00pm
11th March 2020 CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION 7.00am- 4.00pm
13th March 2020 SILVER SPIRIT 8.00am- 6.00pm
18th March 2020 VASCO DI FAMA 6.00 am- 4.00pm
23rd March 2020 ALBATROS 10.00am-8.00pm
26th March 2020 SEABOORN OVATION 7.00am- 6.00pm
29th March 2020 SEVEN SEAS MARINER 5.00am- 6.00 pm
30th -31st March 2020 CRYSTAL CERENITY 2.00pm
31st Mar-1st April 2020 VIKING SUN
2nd April 2020 MARELLA DISCOVERY 7.00am
6th April 2020 AIDA AVITA 8.00am – 6.00 pm
7th April 2020 SEVEN SEAS VOYAGER 10.00 pm – 7.00 pm
11th April 2020 COLUMBUS 6.00am – 7.00am
15th April 2020 SILVER WHISPER 8.00am-8.00pm
19th -20th April 2020 AZAMARA JOORNEY
26th April 2020 INSIGNIA
12th May 2020 Nautica 8.00am-8.00pm

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

BOOK NOW

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

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOUR SATISFACTION

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.

… IF YOU ARE HAPPY, WE ARE HAPPY.

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