A visit to Kochi is incomplete without a trip to Jew Town, Mattancherry. There are plenty of buses plying from Kochi city, hence getting there is quite easy. Taking a walk in Jew Town is like slipping back in time. History drips all over the place. Of course, it may not be overtly visible, which is why a bit of background reading is suggested before you visit. This colony was established when spice trade began, way back in the 16th century. They were welcomed by the Rajah of Kochi, and were granted this part of town, where their colony was established, and then flourished.
The synagogue was established here, and is popularly referred to as the Paradesi Synagogue (Paradesi=Foreigner). The interiors are beautiful, and the Jewish lady in charge of the place explains each batch of visitors the significance of the place. Photography is strictly prohibited inside. Shoes have to be left outside before entering, also a small entry fee is collected from visitors. And remember the Synagogue is a place of worship, hence one is advised to dress and behave appropriately, befitting a holy place. The clean street is lined on both sides with shops selling antiques, shawls (pashmina!), and other artefacts.
There is a post office at the beginning of the narrow street, and philately enthusiasts can get a permanent pictoral cancellation of Magen David (the six pointed Jewish star) done here.
*Make sure you carry adequate sun-protection gear- it can get very hot!
*The shops selling 'antique' stuff here were way too pricey for my pocket!