This building stands as a striking testament to the times that were marked by a growth of the Jewish population in India.
Interweaving diverse cultures from geographies across the world, the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai encapsulates a number of historic marvels. Amidst a string of heritage buildings, the Shaar Harahamim Synagogue stands as a striking testament to the times that were marked by a growth of the Jewish population in India. Claimed to be the oldest synagogue in Mumbai, the structure was established in 1796, when the Jews formed an organised community in the city.
A striking amalgamation of European & Indian styles of architecture!
As per the local stories, the synagogue was set up by the committed efforts of Jewish military officer, Samuel Ezekiel. It is claimed that he and his fellow soldiers were apprehended by the Tipu Sultan's army. There, he promised himself that he would lay the foundation for this building if he returns safely. His wishes materialised soon and thereafter, he funded the establishment of this Bene Israel (Children of Israel) building, along with other prominent members of the community.
Located near the Masjid Station in the Masjid Bunder area of South Mumbai, the Shaar Harahamim Synagogue is also known as the 'Gate of Mercy' Synagogue. Today, it presents an interesting fusion of the European and Indian styles of architecture. While you will find a range of quintessential western elements in its layout, the perforated window screens have given it a native touch.
Towards a journey of spirituality and peace!
Awakening your inner spiritual elements, the symmetrical two-storeyed building can help you find the needed peace and rejuvenation. Covered with traditional lime and sand plaster called chunam, the walls of this edifice create a magical aura of divine aesthetics. Fueling an instant journey to the past, the courtyard and the surrounding rooms of the synagogue entwine fascinating views of rich history.
If you have an eye for minute details, do not miss to check the curtains, inscriptions on the walls and a long list of other things that elevate the presence of this structure. As of now, special prayer services are conducted here and you can explore the interiors of these buildings only after proper permissions.
In the present times, locals call Shaar Harahamim Synagogue by the name of Juni Masjid and that, in itself, is a shining example of the diverse and inclusive Indian culture. Taking inspiration from this, we must try to strengthen cultural and religious unity amongst all shades of public life. If we stand together, the strong foundations of today will drive immense progress for tomorrow!