Ohel David Synagogue in Pune, India

Pune has historically been home to a multitude of cultures. It is reflected in the variety one can find in the city’s architecture from across the ages. In the area of Pune Camp, a short distance south of Pune Railway Station, one can see an iconic red coloured building with a tall clock tower. This is believed to be the largest synagogue built in the country.

Ohel David Synagogue was built by businessman and philanthropist David Sassoon. Construction started in 1863 and was completed by his successors in 1867. The British army officer, General Henry St. Clair Wilkins designed its architecture in English Gothic style. The clock in the 90-foot-tall tower was brought from London. 

The synagogue has served the city’s Baghdadi Jewish community since then. In Marathi, the citizens call it Laal Deul, which means “Red Temple.” Within the grounds of the synagogue is located David Sassoon’s ornate tomb with a tall spire.

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