Last updated

Jewish Synagogue Kottayil Kovilakam North Pravaoor DSC 1891.jpg
Chendamangalam Jewish Synagogue
India Kerala location map.svg
Red pog.svg
India location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates: 10°10′47″N76°12′35″E / 10.1797°N 76.2097°E / 10.1797; 76.2097 Coordinates: 10°10′47″N76°12′35″E / 10.1797°N 76.2097°E / 10.1797; 76.2097
District Ernakulam
  Total10.83 km2 (4.18 sq mi)
  Density2,477/km2 (6,420/sq mi)
  OfficialMalayalam, English
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code0484
Vehicle registration KL-42
Chennot Shree Venugopalaswamy temple Chennot sree venugopalaswamy temple.jpg
Chennot Shree Venugopalaswamy temple
Puthiyathrikovu Shiva temple ChenthamangalamKunnathurthaliSivaTemple.jpg
Puthiyathrikovu Shiva temple

Chendamangalam (or Chennamangalam) is a small town and a panchayat in Paravur Taluk, Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala, India.



It is about 23 km from Ernakulam. It has three rivers, seven inlets, hillocks and large expanses of green plain. The historic city of Kodungallur is about 9 km from the village.


The Paliam Palace, residence of the Paliath Achans, hereditary Prime Ministers to the former Maharajas of Kochi, is one of the architectural splendours of Kerala. The Palace is over 450 years old and houses a collection of historic documents and relics.


The hillocks at Kottayil Kovilakam are unique as the site of a Hindu temple, a Syrian Christian church, a mosque and a restored Jewish synagogue, [1] all within 1 km of each other. The synagogue was built in 1614 AD and is in a peaceful wooded area. In the courtyard behind the synagogue, it is possible to find old Jewish graves, including one of a Jewish woman, dated 1264 AD.

The Jews arrived in Chendamangalam after the destruction of the second temple and the final desolation of Jerusalem in (AD 69) and founded a colony. They moved to Fort Kochi in 1341 AD after the Great flood. All the 8 synagogues in Kerala built during the recent centuries — located at Chendamangalam, Paravoor, Mala, Kochi and Ernakulam — have similar traditional architectural features:

Also here are remains of the Vypeenakotta Seminary built for Syrians in the 16th century by the Portuguese. Adjacent to the seminary is an old Syrian Catholic Church built in 1201. It is also the site of the first printing press in India.

Chendamangalam was part of Kanayanur taluk, of the erstwhile Cochin State. The panchayat was formed in 1914. Bordered by rivers on the north, east and south, it is a meeting place of cultural diversity. Jews, Christians, Muslims and several of the distinct Hindu castes lived here harmoniously. The presence of immigrant communities like Konkinis (Gowda Saraswatha Brahmins) Moopans (Kudumbis) and the craftsmen categories viz. Kallasari (masons), Marassari (carpenters), Moosari (moulders), Kollan (blacksmiths), Thattan (goldsmiths), Chalian (weavers), and Kusavan (potters) to this day reminds of past industrial and business importance.

The Jewish community migrated to Israel in the 1950s and 1960s. Their synagogue is presently maintained by the archaeology department. There is also an abandoned Jewish cemetery behind the mosque, about 400 m from the synagogue, which has not been restored yet. [2]

Mar Sleeva Church was established in 1075. The special fortified construction of the old block of the church is believed to have been constructed at the time of Tippu Sultan's invasion of Malabar.

Paliyam Satyagraha resulted in the temple entry proclamation in Cochin State. Mattachanda (Barter Market), an annual fair conducted every year on the eve of Vishu, is reminiscent of past history when people came from near and far to buy their domestic needs such as food ingredients, condiments, cutlery, pottery and furniture in exchange for their agricultural produce or hand made products, even though now all transactions are in cash.

From 1663 to 1809, Prime Ministers of Cochin, Paliath Achans, resided at Chendamangalam.

Places of Worship

Synagogue at Kottayil Kovilakam Chendamangalam synagogue.JPG
Synagogue at Kottayil Kovilakam
Mosque at Kottayil Kovilakam Chendamangalam Juma masjid.JPG
Mosque at Kottayil Kovilakam


As of 2001 India census, [3] Chendamangalam had a population of 28,133. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. Chendamangalam has an average literacy rate of 86%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 87% and female literacy of 85%. 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.




Chendamangalam, Gothuruth, Kottayilkovilakam, Vadakkumpuram, Karimbadam, Kochangady, Kurumbathuruth, Valiya Pazhampilly Thuruth, C P Thuruth, Kizhakkumpuram, Thekkumpuram, Chathedam, Manakodam, Kootukad, Kadalvathuruth, Palathuruth, Kunjvarathurth, Bharanimuku, Kottatal.

Places of interest

The synagogue has been restored and has an exhibit open to visitors from 9:30 to 5:00 during the week. Chendamangalam Synagogue

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ernakulam district</span> District in Kerala, India

Ernakulam, IPA: [erɐɳɐːguɭɐm]; ISO: Eṟaṇākuḷaṁ, in Malayalam: എറണാകുളം), is one of the 14 districts in the Indian state of Kerala, that takes its name from the eponymous city division in Kochi. It is situated in the central part of the state, spans an area of about 3,000 square kilometres (1,200 sq mi), and is home to over 9% of Kerala's population. Its headquarters are located at Kakkanad. The district includes Kochi, also known as the commercial capital of Kerala, which is famous for its ancient Churches, Hindu temples, synagogues and mosques. The district includes the largest metropolitan region of the state: Greater Cochin. Ernakulam is the district that yields the most revenue and the largest number of industries in the state. Ernakulam is the third most populous district in Kerala, after Malappuram and Thiruvananthapuram. The district also hosts the highest number of international and domestic tourists in Kerala state.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kingdom of Cochin</span> Monarchy in India (before 12th century–1949)

The Kingdom of Cochin, named after the capital of Kochi, is a kingdom on Malabar Coast in Kerala that ruled from the beginning of the 12th century until 1949.

'Paliath Achan or Paliyath Achan is the name given to the oldest male member of the Paliam family. The "Paliath Achans" took power in Chendamangalam as the descendants of Villarvattam Raja who retreated to Udayam Perur due to the fall of Kodungallur and the decline of his race.It is believed that "Paliyath Achans" were the accountants of the Cochin kings. It is assumed that they were the Buddhists who settled at Mahadevarpattanam (Chendamangalam), during the period of Aryanization. When Villarvattam was declined, it was probably a "Komi Achan" who was adopted into the royal family. There is no evidence to suggest that the Paliath family belonged to the upper caste community during the Portuguese rule. But they were given a position above the Nayars in the social structure. The fact that locals used to address the Buddhist monks by giving them the title of 'Achan' is memorable here. There is other evidence to prove that the Paliyam family had a connection with Buddhism. The 'Paliyam chepedu' of the 9th century was discovered by T. A. Gopinatha Rao, the head of the Travancore Archeology Department, in 1917. 'Chepedu' mentions the donation made by Vikramadityavaraguna to a Buddhist temple in Sreemoolavasam(Kodungallur). Kodungallur, north of Chenda-Mangalam, was at that time the seat of this famous Buddhist center. There is an idol of 'Tara' belonging to the Buddhist tradition in the Paliyam palace.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kottayil Kovilakam</span> Town in Kerala, India

Kottayil Kovilakam or Kottayil Kovilakom is a small village in the Paravur taluk, Ernakulam district of Kerala state, near Kochi, south India.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aluva</span> Region in Kochi, Kerala, India

Aluva is a region in the city of Kochi in Kerala, India. It is a part of the Kochi metropolitan area and is situated around 15 km (9.3 mi) from the city center on the banks of Periyar River. A major transportation hub, with easy access to all major forms of transportation, Aluva acts as a corridor which links the highland districts to the rest of Kerala. Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery is 11.7 km from Aluva. Aluva is accessible through rail, air, metro along with major highways and roadlines. Aluva KSRTC bus station is an important transport hub in Kerala and one of the busiest stations in central part of the state.

Puthenvelikara is a village at North end of the Ernakulam district, situated in the Paravur Taluk of Kerala, India. The Chalakkudy River merges with the Periyar River at Elenthikara in the village of Puthenvelikkara. Puthenvelikkara is on the banks of the river Periyar, Chalakudy and Kottapuram lagoon. It is a centre of agricultural production in the region with its many rice paddy fields.

North Paravur. formerly known as Paravur or Parur, is a municipality in Ernakulam district in the Indian state of Kerala. It is a northern suburb of the city of Kochi and is situated around 20 km from the city centre. It is also the first place in India to use electronic voting machine during the by-elections in 1982.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sree Venugopla Krishna Swami Devasthan</span>

Sree Venugopla Krishna Swami Devasthan is a Hindu temple located in Chendamangalam, Kerala, India. It was established in 1900 at Chennamangalam, 42 km from Ernakulam, 22 km from Aluva and 5 km from North Paravur.

Eloor is a suburb of Kochi and a municipality in Paravur Taluk, Ernakulam District in the Indian state of Kerala, India. It is an industrial area situated around 13 kilometres north of the city centre. It is an island of 14.21 km2 formed between two distributaries of river Periyar and is the largest industrial belt in Kerala. The neighbouring places of Eloor are Kalamassery industrial hub, Aluva, Cheranalloor and Paravur.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cheranallur</span> Suburb in Ernakulam, Kerala, India

Cheranallur or Cheranellore or Cheranelloor is a suburb of Kochi city in the state of Kerala, India and lies on the banks of the Periyar River. According to tradition, the area was named by its earlier inhabitants who found this place very fertile and beautiful. The name in its local language Malayalam means "Good Village of Cheras".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kadungalloor</span> Village in Kerala, India

Kadungalloor, IPA: [kɐɖuŋːɐlːuːr], is a village situated near Aluva. The village belongs to the Paravur Taluk of the Ernakulam district in the Indian state of Kerala. The industrial estates of Muppathadam and Edayar are located in Kadungalloor.

Kottuvally is a census town in Paravoor.It is also a village in Paravur Taluk, Ernakulam district in the Indian state of Kerala. The village is situated in the south of the taluk. The nearest town is North Paravur, 4 km away. The Kottuvally panchayath is spread out on both sides of NH-66 road.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kochi metropolitan area</span> Metropolitan Area in Kerala, India

The Kochi metropolitan area or Kochi urban agglomeration is a metropolitan area centered around the city of Kochi, in Ernakulam district, Kerala, India. With a population of more than 2.1 million within an area of 440 km², it is the most populous metropolitan area in Kerala.

Ernakulam District is a district of the state of Kerala in southern India. The district headquarters are at Kakkanad. The district includes the city of Kochi, an important seaport.

Paravur Taluk, IPA: [pɐrɐʋuːr], is a taluk of Ernakulam District in the Indian State of Kerala. North Paravur is the capital of the taluk. Paravur Taluk lies in the north western part of Ernakulam district bordering Thrissur district. The surrounding taluks are Kochi to the west consisting of Vypin Island, Kodungallur to the north, Chalakudy to the north consisting of Mala, Aluva to the east consisting of Angamaly, Nedumbassery and Aluva, Kanayanur to the south consisting of Cochin City. Paravur is a part of Kochi urban agglomeration area. The western parts of taluk are coastal areas with cultivations like prawn and pokkali rice. The eastern parts are fertile lands. The heavy industries of Kochi is located in Udyogmandal area of the taluk.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kunnukara</span> Town in Kerala, India

Kunnukara is a census town and panchayat in Paravur Taluk of Ernakulam district, Kerala, India. The village is situated on the airport road connecting North Paravur (NH66) and Nedumbassery (NH544). North Paravur is the nearest town, 7 km from this village. Aluva (10 km) and Angamaly (12 km) are also near to Kunnukara. Its administrative headquarters is in Kunnukara Town itself. The Mini Civil Station has four hospitals, all the Govt. offices, a Khadi Unit Supermarkets etc.

Parayakadu, Ernakulam is also known as Parayad or Parayakad within the Chittatukara Village Panchayat, North Paravur Paravur Taluk, Ernakulam district, Kerala, India.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chendamangalam Synagogue</span> Former synagogue in Chendamangalam, Kerala, India

The Chendamangalam Synagogue is one of the oldest known synagogues built by the Malabar Jews,in Chendamangalam, a village in the Ernakulam district of the coastal state of Kerala. It is dated to 1100 A.D, though the synagogue structure itself dates to 1420 A.D or 1614 A.D., making it the oldest synagogue in the Common Wealth of Nations. A tombstone recovered from Shingly was stored in this synagogue and is presently on display in the courtyard in front. This tombstone with the inscription of Sarah bat Israel is the oldest Jewish relic found in India, dating to 1270 A.D.

The Paliyam Satyagraha was the first organised Satyagraha in Kerala following independence of India. It was started in opposition to the Paliathachans, the Cochin state's hereditary prime ministers, who controlled Paliyam Road.


  1. The Synagogues of Kerala: Architecture
  2. "Minor Synagogues of Kerala". Minor Sights. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  3. "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.