Friday, 17 May 2013

The Synagogues Of Kolkata

There are hardly any Jews in India, but they keep holding on in small pockets, in Mumbai, Cochin and Kolkata. Once a population of around 6,000, Jews in Kolkata are barely a presence, numbering fewer than 50 now. They came mostly from Iraq for trade, but left in droves with the formation of Israel. What's left behind is a handful of synagogues, some still used.

The most impressive synagogue in Kolkata is Maghen David. The design is Italian Renaissance, perhaps in vogue when it was built in 1884.

The beautiful interior.

The altar area, nicely tiled.

Another Kolkata synagogue, Beth El. A peek inside a closed synagogue, showing disrepair.

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