Located in the southern Indian state of Kerala, Historic Jew Town is the heart of Cochin's once-thriving Jewish community. With its rich history, old-world charm and the 16th-century Paradesi Synagogue, Jew Town has become the city's collection of antique shops. Antiques, carvings, vintage collectibles and Keralan handicrafts spill onto the streets with just enough chaos for the average shopper to get lost among the wares. With so many gems to be found, it is easy to see why the area has gained a reputation among collectors, both local and from further afield.
The main hub of antique shops in Jew Town is located between Mattancherry (the Dutch Palace) and the historic synagogue. This is already a busy street, made even busier by the many antique shops and interested shoppers in the area. It can be a bit of a sensory overload, with traffic, shopkeepers, tourists and locals all contributing to the noise, smells of spices wafting into the street and sometimes crowds to push through, but all these elements create such a fantastic atmosphere.
Jew Town is the perfect place for tourists to find a unique souvenir, and collectors will have a great time too. It is a great place to observe the local culture, and if you want to pick up some tips to improve your haggling skills, just watch some of the transactions. Bargaining is definitely necessary here, as prices start quite high, especially for tourists. However, with determination, it is possible to get a good price.
Visitors to Jew Town will be impressed by the variety of items for sale. Its history lies in spices, which are still well represented here. Ornaments, clothing, artwork, carpets and other textiles, jewellery, saris, statues, clocks and almost anything else you can think of are also on display.
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