Visit Keneseth Eliyahoo: The Centre of Jewish Prayer in Mumbai (2022)
Keneseth Eliyahoo is a Jewish Synagogue in the heart of Mumbai. Located in Fort, it is the second oldest Sephardic Synagogue in the city. The Synagogue has historical, religious as well as architectural importance. If you plan to visit this place, read this article to know what to expect.
The Keneseth Eliyahoo is the endeavor of the Sassoon Family, a philanthropist family in the early days of Bombay, now Mumbai.
The Keneseth Eliyahoo Experience
The architecture of Keneseth Eliyahoo is Victorian, making it one of the few structures that are a reminder of the Revival architecture. You will see this kind of architecture very rarely in Mumbai other than in Bandra. The building is partly of stone and bricks. The stained-glass decorations are very visual and something that you would see only in the Catholic places of Worship.
The building is a study in ancient architecture as well. You see styles and architecture traditions from Neo-gothic styles. Quite frankly, only a student of architecture will be able to do justice to describing the architectural styles at the Synagogue.
You have rounded arches, all over. The ground floor of the Synagogue is space for classrooms, events, offices, and the mikvah (traditional, ritual bath).
The Keneseth Eliyahoo is not just a place of prayer for the Jewish Community in Mumbai, but also a cultural and religious center for them. The name of the destination is Hebrew for Gathering of Elijah.
The color of the building, a turquoise blue, stands out among all the gray and dark buildings. Today, the building is an important location for several functions, with the Indian Post also releasing a postage stamp in honor of the Synagogue.
The building needed repairs, and today it is renovated and has regained part of his past glory. All around the structure, you see inscriptions and symbols of the Jewish religion. It is a large hall with two stories, with sitting places all around the perimeter.
You see several structures, the Corinthian columns, the triangular roof, and segmented windows. The Bimah, the reading platform, is in the middle and the Sephardic Torah in the ark. It’s all a mesmerising experience.
You can spend around twenty to forty minutes in the Synagogue, taking in the view and the architecture. Post that, there are several places in Fort and the nearby areas where you can spend the rest of the day. The building is globally famous, and the renovation has been the subject of some news stories around the world.
Places to Visit Near Keneseth Eliyahoo in Mumbai
The Synagogue might be the only place of Jewish religious interest in Mumbai, but has several other locations of Catholic, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh religious interests.
You have the Mahalaxmi Temple in Mahalaxmi, the Saint Michael’s Church in Dadar, and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount in Bandra. You also have the Haji Ali, a place of Islamic religious importance in the vicinity.
Near the Synagogue, you can visit the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangralaya as well as the Bombay Natural History Society. You also have the Regal Cinema, one of the most popular cinemas in the Mumbai area.
Fort is in Churchgate, and Churchgate has places like the Gateway of India, the Jehangir Art Gallery, and so many other places that you can visit. A mere stroll through the Churchgate area is a learning experience, with you seeing all kinds of people. There is also the Fashion Street, one of the oldest flea markets in Mumbai, where you get everything from eatables to knock-off products.
If you have a weekend with you, you can explore several places in Churchgate and its vicinity. The day you visit the Synagogue, you can spend the afternoon trying out the food at some of the most iconic food outlets in Mumbai. The next day, you can head over to the Northside of Mumbai and experience the beaches and the nightlife.
How To Reach Keneseth Eliyahoo?
Reaching the Keneseth Eliyahoo is simple, as it is in Fort, Churchgate. You can visit this destination either by road or train. If coming by train, you need to travel to the last Railway Station in the Western Railways, Churchgate. From there, you can either take a cab or a bus. Keep in mind that autorickshaws do not ply in Churchgate and after Bandra. If you wish to take in the experience of Mumbai, take a bus from wherever you are on the Western Line and then come to Churchgate. It is the long route, and you might get stuck in traffic as well. If you are traveling during the weekend, you may zip through the roads and reach this destination in no time. Alternatively, you can also hire a cab from an aggregator or one of the local cabs available to reach the location.