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Tamil Nadu Discovers One Of Oldest Synagogue

This ancient stone pillar dates back to the 13th century CE in Southern India

The finding also discovered South Indian jewellery and information about the oldest synagogue
The finding also discovered South Indian jewellery and information about the oldest synagogue Shutterstock

Tamil Nadu recently discovered a stone inscription which has a connection with Tamil Nadu’s Jewish community. It was found close to Valantharai near Ramanathapuram. As per the findings, it is believed that the synagogue might be one of the oldest ones in South India.

This ancient stone pillar dates back to the 13th century CE in Southern India. It contains inscriptions which related to the area’s old connection with the Jewish community. The finding also discovered South Indian jewellery and information about the oldest synagogue in the vicinity.

As per the media report, the beach rocks were bought by C Pullani of Valantharai, 80 years ago to construct the sidewalls of a well. These rocks contained inscriptions and were used for washing clothes. The rock has notes written on all four sides – one side has 21 lines, the other side has 14 and the third side has 15 lines. However, the inscription on one side of the stone has been completely destroyed. In total, there were a total of 50 lines of inscription.

As it was written in Tamil, the translation may differ. All worship places, other than Shaivite and Vaishnavite temples, were called palli. In Tamil, the word ‘u’ is pronounced as ‘s’ in western languages. Hence, the word Yudapalli which referred to the temple of Jews was written as Suthapalli, as per media reports. Hence, the inscription read that a trade guide, known as Ainutruvanr was constructing a Sithapalli in Periyapattinam in the Ramanathapuram district. As per the media report, the places of worship also included Suthapalli, Tharisapalli and Pizharpalli.

From other pieces of evidence, Tharisapalli is situated in Kerala and was considered the Syrian Christian church. On the other hand, Pizharpalli is Islamic and refers to Periyapattinam’s Jalal Jamal Mosque.

As per reports, the Jew community does not exist in Tamil Nadu anymore. In 2020, the last Jewish family had left Tamil Nadu.

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