|St. George Orthodox Church,Chandanapally Malankara Orthodox Church|
St. George Orthodox Church, situated in the Chandanapally village, about 13 away km from the town of Adoor in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala, is one of the biggest churches in South India. Built in 1810, the church takes its name from St. George, who is the patron saint of England. A patron saint in Roman Catholicism is regarded as the tutelary spirit or heavenly advocate of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person who slew the dragon snake.
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In 1875, the church was renovated and consecrated by his holiness Mar Abdullah, the Later Patriarch of Antioch. When it was decided to build the church, they needed huge logs of teak and sandal wood that could be transported to the site of work only through river waters because there were no proper roads to the forests. As a miracle, following a heavy torrential rain for a few days, the Achankovil river, connecting Chandanapally and Kodumon, was running full and huge logs of wood were brought to the church site safely. By the bye Chandanapally literally means a place of sandalwood trees; hence lots of sandalwood went into construction work.
|St.George Orthodox Church,Chandanappally,by Cyril. www500px.com|
Some what similar to St Peter's Basilica in Rome in appearance, the major feature of this church is Kalkurishu or cross cut which has carvings of saints and angels. Christians and non Christians, especially Hindus come here in large number and repose full faith in St. George and their trust, prayer and faith will never go unanswered. Such is the healing power of St. George, to whom caste,creed religion,color, etc are just anathema. Whoever lights the candle in front of the Cross cut (Kalkurish) having full faith in St. George and Holy angles will have peace of mind and their problem taken care of.
The annual feast is is held from May1–8 which is unusual in Kerala. An important ritual called ''Chembuduppu'' that takes place on the auspicious day of May 8 attracts thousands of devotees to this church.
Chembuduppu (meaning picking of copper vessel) is a special ritual which is part of Kerala’s cultural
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history. While the church construction was under way centuries ago, local Hindus brought rice from different places to feed hundreds of voluntary labourers. They cooked this rice on the bank of the river and ceremoniously served it to the volunteers. It is in memory of this event that the "Chempeduppu" is celebrated every year. Rice being a staple food here, it is cooked in a copper pot, which is taken to Kuthirappura by all the pilgrims from different places and the different religions who had come here for the celebrations. The visitors are offered this food and later it was taken to their respective homes by the pilgrims.
St. Geevarghese Sahda is the local name for St. George. consecration of St Sahada’s mortal remains in Chandanapally, where the spiritual presence of St Geevarghese is present, was done by H.H Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews II Catholica Bava on May 8, 2004. Previously it was in Malankara at the Kunadara seminary till 1916.
Hindus, on a pilgrimage to the near by Sabarimalai Ayyappan temple every year, visit this church and pray here. They do stay here for a night.
"St George- Geevarghese Sahada traditions and rituals among Nasranis". April 28, 2008. "the St George Orthodox Church at Chandanapally in Pathanamthitta district. Gothic and Kerala features merge in this marvel, which looks a lot like the St Peter's Basilica in Rome". Thehindubusinessline.
"Chandanapally church festival". Chennai, India: The Hindu Newspaper. April 17, 2008.
Credit:Photograph St.George Orthodox Church,Chandanappally,Pathanamthitta,Kerala,India by Cyril