Mazel Tov! This Synagogue In China Bazaar Will Remind You Of Our Jewish Connection

Religious Establishments

Maghen David Synagogue

Barabazar, Kolkata

19, Synagogue Street, China Bazar, Barabazar, Kolkata

image-map-default

    What Makes It Awesome

    Walk towards Canning Street and you'll spot a huge clock tower that's often dismissed as a church but it's not. It's the 135-year-old Magen David Synagogue, one of the three synagogues that exist in the city today.

    Built in 1884 by Sir David Ezra in memory of his father, the Magen David Synagogue replaced the old Neveh Shalome Synagogue and stands witness to the time when the city was home to a large number of Jews. The architectural brilliance of the Calcutta Renaissance-style building with a 140-feet high clock tower and brick-red finish will stun you. Sadly, the entrance to this marvel has been overshadowed by small shops selling a variety of things but it's still extremely well-maintained thanks to generations of Muslim caretakers (the Arab-Israeli conflict has clearly not affected the trust the two communities have in each other) who look after the place day and night.

    The entrance is through an arched door that has a hexagonal Star of David on both sides and Hebrew inscriptions. The interiors are simply mesmerising with shiny chandeliers, Belgium glass-stained windows, floral pillars and black and white checkered marble floors. The side walls are adorned with plaques dedicated to well-known Jews of the city. The Altar boasts a star-studded Half Dome also known as the apse that represents heaven. Also spot the huge plaque containing the Ten Commandments and Jewish Iconography. Watch out for the raised platform in the middle of the hall - that's where the rabbi used to preach from. Stairs on either side of the hall lead to the upper balconies. As per synagogue custom, men sit on the floor while the balcony seats are reserved for women.

    The synagogue is one heritage building you must visit. Unfortunately, services aren't held regularly now but that shouldn't deter you from stopping by here sometime.

    Pro-Tip

    You may have to pay a small fee to enter the premises.

    Religious Establishments

    Maghen David Synagogue

    Barabazar, Kolkata

    19, Synagogue Street, China Bazar, Barabazar, Kolkata

    image-map-default