|427 AD Champakulam Church,Kerala,India.www.alleppeyguide.com|
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|427 AD Champakulam Church,Kerla,India.catherinewhitworth.com|
The Chembakasserry Kingdom was founded in 12th century at Kudamaalor by a Namboothiri Brahmin with the help of a group of Nair warriors who were expelled by the Samoothiry (Zamorians) of Calicut and the king later annexed adjacent areas such as Ambalapuzha,etc. The kingdom was also called Porca inferring Purakkadu.
The secular Hindu king had a separate Christian army and allowed them to have a private flag with a cross on it. Since they helped the king win wars, as a token of his gratitude to the army and to the 'Holy Spirit,' he had a church built at Purakkadu with the title of 'Mar Sliba' (Holy Cross) and encouraged Christians to migrate from Champakulam to practice their faith there. The king's legal heir had carried the Holy cross and installed it on the church premises. The church got the kings' support through out their reign. Later the Raja of Travancore continued the old tradition and the tax collected from the church was returned to the authorities for lightening lamp in the church.
The church,supported by the kings(Devanarayanans) of the Chempakassery kingdom, had very close relations with the Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Swamy Temple,the head quarters of the Kings of Chembakasserry. Even today, Champakulam church and the Christians there actively participate in the famous Champakulam Moolam Boat race by providing rope and bamboo every year for the boat race as part of the age old tradition. The famous annual race commemorates the procession of the idol of Lord Krishna to Ambalapuzha witnessed by thousands of people.
Situated on the western bank of River Pamba, the annual feast of Champakulam Valia Palli is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of October every year and that of St. Joseph on March 19th. In the neighborhood wooden statues of Christ are made with meticulous care and devotion and are exported around the world on orders.
Read more: http://www.nasrani.net/2010/01/30/champakulam-kalloorkkadu-st-marys-church