10 Prominent Churches In Kerala.

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churches of kerala
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10 Prominent Churches In Kerala.

There are three main religions in Kerala – Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Christianity is a very important religion having a sizeable population and that is why kerala is one of the most popular Christian Pilgrimage site. There are several Christian pilgrimage sites spread across the state. Almost all of them are devoted to some of the oldest and architecturally brilliant churches. The list of churches in kerala cannot be concluded with the 10 churches mentioned below also Kerala has got a wide range of historic pilgrimages.

Let’s go on a visit to some of the famous churches of Kerala.

  • St. Alphonsa’s Church, Bharananganam.
  • Vallarpadam Church.
  • Malayatoor Church.
  • Santa Cruz Basilica.
  • Arthunkal Church.
  • St. George Forane Church.
  • St. Francis Church.
  • Kadamattom Church
  • Nadamel Marth Mariam Church
  • Vimalagiri Church

St. Alphonsa’s Church, Bharananganam

churches of kerala

st alphonsa’s church

Photo Credit : ucanindia

St. Alphonsa, the first saint of India was a very devoted novice and her ephemeral remains rest here at Bharananganam, 5 kilometers from Pala in Kottayam district. St. Alphonsa’s feast is a very popular event held every year in July. Pope Benedict XVI declared her as a saint on 12th October 2008. The church itself was built after her canonization.

Close to the pilgrim churches stands the grotto and are displayed granite plaques engraved with Alphonsian logia. This is one of the main churches in kerala that must visit atleast once.

 

Vallarpadam Church.

churches in kerala

Vallarpadam Basilica

Photo Credit : wikipedia

The Vallarpadam Church, situated in Cochin, is also known as ‘The Church of Our Lady Ransom’ and devoted to Mother Mary. The Mother is affectionately remembered as “Vallarpadathamma”. The church, built originally by the Portuguese was destroyed during the Dutch period and was rebuilt again in 1676.

The Government of India identified the church as a divine and holy church in 1951. Notwithstanding of the caste and religion they belong to, people from all over the world converge to this church. Pope Leo XIII proclaimed the church as a “special church” in 1888.

People who are traversing to kerala must visit these churches in kerala.

Getting There:

Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport.

Nearest Railway Station: Ernakulam junction, Town, Aluva, Tripunuthara

 

Malayatoor Church.

churches of kerala

Malayatoor Church

Photo Credit : keralatourism

The St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Malayattoor is one of the most prominent pilgrim centers for Christians in Kerala. it is one of the famous churches in kerala.  Malayattoor is located on the north-eastern side of Ernakulam or Kochi. The name Malayattoor, means the blend of mountain (mala), river (aattu) and place (ooru).This is to say, Malayattoor is a meeting place of mountain, river, and land. 

The church accomplished great prominence when the disciple of Jesus Christ, St. Thomas came here to start his missionary work. According to legends, when St. Thomas reached here to sermonize the teachings of Jesus Christ, he accepted a hostile reception. He fled to the top of a mountain at Malayattoor known as Kurisumudi and prayed to the Lord. He was in great agony, and the Mother of the Lord appeared before him and consoled him. Malayattoor Church was built at top of this mountain.

Most people follow Catholic and Hindu beliefs. All the families are known by traditional family names.

  1. Christian 1.
  2. Catholics 2.
  3. Pentecost 

Assembly of God church Malayattoor. Traditional festivals like onam are celebrated with great enthusiasm.Also Christmas and New Year are celebrated with great pomp and show.Temples and churches celebrate their anniversaries popularly known as perunnal too with great fervour.

People who are traversing to kerala must visit these churches in kerala.

 

Santa Cruz Basilica

churches in kerala

Santa Cruz Basilica

Photo Credit : wikipedia

Santa Cruz Basilica is one of the eight established Basilicas in India and one of the must visit churches in kerala. It is located in Fort Kochi – one of the must see places near Kochi. This excellent church has an eye-catching premises and is exceptionally well-liked for its breathtaking formation and style. The church was built during the arrival of Portuguese missionaries in 1500 CE, with authorization from the Raja of Cochin.

The church went through major renovations over time; the present church was consecrated in 1905. This church serves as a noteworthy beacon of Cochin. The seven large canvas paintings including a beautiful reproduction of the ‘Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci are a real feast for the eyes. The ceilings of the church are adorned with paintings that depict scenes from the Via Crucis of Christ. The beautiful stained glass windows are another attraction.

The church, for its inimitable beauty and grandeur, has become a must-see destination in the list of churches in kerala.

Getting there:

Nearest railway station: Ernakulam about 12 km.
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 45 km.

 

Arthunkal Church

churches of kerala

Arthunkal Church

Photo Credit : wikipedia

Arthunkal is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Kerala. It is considered as a holy land by hundreds of thousands of devotees, of Christian as well as other faith. The village is synonymous for its church, which has the Roman martyr Saint Sebastian as its patron. It is one of the most prominent churches in kerala.

Arthunkal church is situated 22 kilometers north of Alappuzha district of Kerala, you have the famous St. Sebastian Church known as Arthunkal Church. A yearly feast, attended by thousands of devotees, is held here in the mid of January. The fishermen in the nearby areas praise St. Sebastian, affectionately known as Arthunkal Punyavaalan before they go out to the sea. The feast is known as Arthunkal feast.

Many devotees, who recovered from serious illness or closely escaped accidents, often visit this pilgrim site to offer thanks to St. Sebastian. It is believed that the saint has powers to heal the maimed, crippled and those with mental disorders. Thus many disabled people also visit the shrine. Devotees often express gratitude by crawling on their knees, known as Urulunercha, on the road from the beach to the church, and make offerings – small metal replicas of bows and arrows.

The church, for its inimitable beauty and grandeur, has become a must-see destination in the list of churches in kerala.

 

St. George Forane Church.

churches in kerala

St.George Forane Church

Photo Credit : wikipedia

St. George Forane Church is located in Edappally, which is located at a distance of about 10 kilometers from the main part of Ernakulam. This church is believed to be the oldest Roman Catholic Churches in Kerala. The church is also known as Edappally Palli (church) and was built in 594 AD. Several renovations were done, of which the most noted one was done in 1080 AD.

The church has a miracle well, believed to have curing powers. People drink the water from the well, take home the water in bottles and wash their face and hands. The feast of St. George is held every year on April 23rd, and ends on May 15th.

It was originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary, called Marth Mariam in the vernacular. In 1080, a new church was built adjacent to the old church. Every year, a nine-day festival is celebrated here in the month of April – May. The church is also popular among the non-Christians as a pilgrimage centreThe church, for its inimitable beauty and grandeur, has become a must-see destination in the list of churches in kerala.

The main activities involved by this church is:

  1. Darsana samooham.
  2. Marian Sodality.
  3. Cherupushpa Mission League.
  4. Thirubalasakyam. 
  5. St. Joseph’s Maranananthara Sahaya Fund. 
  6. St. George’s Charitable Fund.

Getting There:

Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport about 22km.

Nearest Railway Station: Edapally about 3km.

 

St. Francis Church.

churches in kerala

St. Francis Church

Photo Credit : iconsofasiatours

St. Francis Church is believed to be the oldest European church in the country. The church, located in Fort Kochi, bears mute spectates to the seizing of Europeans in India. Built out of timber in the 16th century, the church was later renovated in stone masonry.

Initially, Vasco da Gama was buried here, and years later, the remains were transferred to Lisbon, Portugal. The gravestone of Vasco da Gama can still be seen here. It is on the ground at the southern side. The gravestones of other Portuguese are on the northern sidewall and the Dutch on the southern wall. The church, for its inimitable beauty and grandeur, has become a must-see destination in the list of churches in kerala.

 

Kadamattom Church

churches in kerala

Kadamattom Church

Photo Credit : wikimedia

Kadamattom Churches in kerala is a prominent Malankara Jacobite Orthodox Syrian Church, situated near Kolenchery, Moovattupuzha, Kerala and is familiar for its old Persian cross. The church was constructed in the Indo-Persian style and was contrived in the 9th century. The famous Kadamattathu Kathanar, a pastor with transcendental powers and unnatural capabilities lived here, according to legends, and was closely related to the church. The church is located 30 kilometers from Kochi. 

Kadamattom feast is one of the major festivals observed held during the January – February period. It marks the death anniversary of the legendary priest. There are many legends of Kadamattathu Kathanar. It is believed that he possessed supernatural powers. The old church is the one which you see when you walk up the numerous stairs in front of the church. The church premises are calm & quiet.

The church, for its inimitable beauty and grandeur, has become a must-see destination in the list of churches in kerala.

 

Nadamel Marth Mariam Church

churches in kerala

Nadamel Church

Photo Credit : nadamelchurch

Nadamel Marth Mariam Church  was constructed during the 12 century by the parishioners of Karingachira Church. This churches in kerala is situated at Thrippunithura, Kochi, the church is very dominant to Jacobite Syrians. Nadamel church was patronised by the Cochin royal family.

Whenever a new heir ascended the throne he would make an offering called sharkara thattu veypu in person at the church. It was customary for the Royal Highnesses of Cochin to meet the bishops and leaders of the Saint Thomas Christian community at the church building to the south of this church. The church, for its inimitable beauty and grandeur, has become a must-see destination in the list of churches in kerala.

 

Vimalagiri Church

churches in kerala

Vimalagiri Church

Photo Credit : trawell

The Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral, also known as the Vimalagiri Cathedral or as Angathattu Palli located in Kottayam is famous for its Gothic style architecture. One notable charecteristic of the church is its 172 feet tall tower. The tower is already recorded as one of the “tallest church towers” in the list of churches in Kerala.

The foundation stone of Vimalagiri Church was laid in the year 1956. The construction of the imposing edifice was finished in the year 1964. Its feast celebrated on 8 December every year, the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Getting There:

Nearest railway station: Kottayam, about 600 m
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 64 km

 

There are many more prominent churches in Kerala. You can visit them anytime during the year; but a visit to Kerala during Christmas time will be the best as the sight of churches resplendent in bright coloured lights will be simply awe-inspiring!

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