Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala

Jewish Inscriptions

The Jewish inscriptions discovered from Mattancherry, Chendamangalam, and Paravur are examples for the communal harmony promoted by the Kerala kings.

An important inscription among them was issued by Kulasekhara king Bhaskara Ravivarman (962-1021) in the thirty-eighth year (AD 1000) of his rule at his capital Mahodayapuram. This copper plate kept at the Jewish Synagogue, Mattancherry, is called "Judapattayam" (the title of Jews) in local parlance. It describes the rights and benefits accorded to Jewish leader Joseph Rabban.

Historians assume that the rights were given by the king to garner the support of the Jews against a possible attack of the Cholas. The 72 rights and benefits included the right to collect tax and to travel on a palanquin. With these rights the Jewish leader secured the title "anchuvannasthanam". The rulers of Venad, Vembolinadu, Eralnadu, Valluvanad and Nedumpurayurnadu are mentioned as witnesses to the title.

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