There are many Jewish synagogues in India; however, most of them are currently not functional due to the thinning Jewish population in the country. Initially, a lot of Jews inhabited the country and so most of these synagogues in India date back from the 16th to the 20th century. Later most Jews migrated to Israel which is now called the Aliyah. Ever since the number of Jews has been constantly decreasing but a sizable Jewish community still remains. Most of these synagogues in India are based in Mumbai, Kolkata and in the far south in Cochin. Some are also present in Pune and a single one in Gujarat in Ahmedabad. The one located in Pune called the Ohel David Synagogue is the largest synagogue in India and is also the largest in Asia excluding Israel.
Here is the list of 17 Synagogues in India for a Glance into Jewish Culture
Also known as Shaar Harahamim and Juni Masjid, Gate of Mercy Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in Mumbai and one of the oldest synagogues in India. It was originally built in 1796 but then again it was renovated and rebuilt and moved to its new location in Mandvi in 1860. The structure can accommodate up to 300 members.
Amongst the 7 synagogues located in Kochi, this Jewish synagogue is the only one which is in operation today. It was built in 1568 and is also called the Cochin Jewish Synagogue or Mattencherry Synagogue. Cameras and handbags are not allowed inside.
In the midst of a mix of rapid urbanization and village economics, in the centrally located Tapalnaka on Mahatma Gandhi Road nestles a small bit of Israel. The Beth El Synagogue is home to about 20 Bene-Israeli families in Navi Mumbai and the nearby Raigad district combined. It has been around since 1849, and is the only Jewish temple to have been so. Prayer services are held thrice a day, the first being the Arbith (Evening prayer) held after sunset.
Beth El Synagogue is situated at Barabazar Market in Kolkata, very close to the Maghen David Synagogue. Established in 1856, the building has marble steps leading to the arched hallway. The walls are adorned with stained glass windows. The hall also has balconies reserved for women.
Neveh Shalome Synagogue is situated in China Bazar in Kolkata and was established in 1831 by Shalom Obadiah ha - Kohen. The synagogue was demolished and reconstructed multiple times by the government and the Indian Jewish community. It was finally restored in 2014. Now it has simple but elegant interiors, and conducts regular prayers.
Shaar Harahamim Synagogue is another one of the remaining synagogues in Mumbai, situated in Masjid Bandar. This synagogue in India was consecrated in 1796 and was demolished and reconstructed once in 1860. The new building has two floors and is made of chunam, or plaster of polished lime and sand.
Tiphereth Israel Synagogue is situated in Kasturba Quarters, Jacob Circle in Mumbai. It was originally established as a prayer hall in 1886. However, the increasing Jewish population in the vicinity called for a bigger building. Therefore, it was consecrated as a synagogue in 1923. It is currently one of the busiest and most active synagogues in Mumbai.
Situated in Thane West in Mumbai, Shaar Hashamaim is also known as Gate of Heaven Synagogue. It was consecrated in 1879 and was further restored and renovated in 1999. After the beautification, this two-storeyed synagogue in India looks more wonderful than ever.
Situated very close to the David Synagogue, Succath Shelomo Synagogue is located in Rasta Peth in Pune and is still operational with a small active congregation. It was consecrated in 1921 and has a porte cochere leading to a painted brick and stone arched entrance pavilion.
Situated on the Humayun Road in Delhi, Judah Hyam is one of the very few Jewish synagogues remaining in the city. It was consecrated in 1956 and continues to consist of few but active member. This is one of the synagogues in India which also has an in-house library.
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These are some of the biggest and most popular synagogues in India given above. Let us know in the comments below if we missed any!