Followers of Jainism have migrated to Kochi and established a strong Jain culture in the area. 

Taking their linguistic background in consideration the Jains have come from various parts of India and settled in Kochi. They speak many languages which include, Kutchi, Gujarati, Marwadi and Rajasthani. 

They have traditionally been a business community and most members continue to be so even now. It is believed that the Jains had trade connections with Kochi since 14th century when it was a happening port. 

The Jain temple in Mattancherry is over a century old and has now become a tourist attraction. 

Many visit this place in order to experience the spiritual sight of pigeons, upon receiving a cue, encircle the minaret of the temple thrice before settling down on the feeding ground. This practice symbolizes ‘Jeev Daya’ (animal welfare) which is one of the cornerstones of the Jain faith. 

PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION BY BIJU IBRAHIM: COMMUNITIES OF KOCHI

Places have souls and Mattancherry in the city of Kochi has a mystic one. Biju Ibrahim discovered this while documenting the lives of Kochi’s 38 communities through black and white pictures. Distinct in layers of identities – caste, faith, language, ethnicity and region – these communities have been welcomed over centuries and have, in turn, infused Mattancherry and Kochi with a rare and rich heritage. Historically, it has been home to Muslims, Christians, Jews and Hindus. The sea and port attracted sailors, traders from Arabia and Gujarat, preachers of Semitic faiths, colonisers such as the Dutch and Portuguese, political refugees and migrant labourers. A cross-section of India lives here in a radius of 5 kilometers. 

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AUTHOR & PHOTOGRAPHER

BIJU IBRAHIM

He captures the essence of rustic geographies, the people who are now becoming archive of the earth, the mythic & mystery of spaces & places, alleys of now filled with the density of then or before.

ART ORGANISATION

URU ART HARBOUR

URU art harbour is a cultural hub situated at Kochi. URU seeks to be a space for collaboration and a continual hub for artistic, cultural, and intellectual exploration. Founded by Riyas Komu and Zoya Riyas.

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