The six-storey Nariman House, tucked away in a narrow lane in a bustling market in the Colaba neighbourhood, is a short distance from the luxury hotels and train station that were also attacked.

Gavriel Holtzberg, the centre's rabi, his wife 28-year-old Rivka, and three other hostages were killed in the centre.

However, Moshele, the rabbi's two-year-old son, was saved by his nanny and now lives with his maternal grandparents in Israel.

Ancient roots

Visitors to the Mumbai centre tend to be Jewish business travellers, backpackers and members of the Indian Jewish community.

Fewer than 5,000 Jews remain among India's 1.1 billion people, but the faith has a long history in the secular country.

The origins of India's Jews remain uncertain, but some accounts say the first established Jewish community is thought to have been formed in the southern state of Kerala in 70 AD.

Mumbai's Jews claim their heritage from a group of Jewish families who were shipwrecked on India's shore while fleeing persecution in the Galilee in 2 BC.

Over the centuries, they adopted Indian language, dress and cuisine, playing influential roles in Indian society.