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Oh, and forgot to say that Cochin is also one of the places with historically the largest Jewish population in India (or was until the founding of Israel and subsequent emigration). The community there was large and old, and much of old Cochin's "Jew Town," was fascinating to me. I tried to get into the main synagogue when I was there, but it was closed to tourists as it was Yom Kippur. Even being a Jewish tourist didn't cut any ice I'm afraid, so they wouldn't let even me in.

The other large Jewish communities in India were in Calcutta (mostly Iraqi Jewish emigrees from the 18th century), and the Ben-Israel Jews of Bombay, some of whom who had a prominent role in early Bollywood. All these communities are mostly gone now, existing mostly as historical oddities.

When I was in Calcutta I went to one of the best bakeries there, which had been a Jewish bakery, and had the same name as my dad's family - an unusual name that you don't see often here in the US, but apparently was an old family in that community.
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