|Malayatoor church near Kochi Kerala.www.tripadvisor.in|
|Malayatoor church. near Kochi, Kerala. www.kamalkapoor.com|
Christianity came to India long before the arrival of Europeans. It was in the southern state of Kerala St. Thomas, one of the important disciples of Christ established the earliest churches as far back as 52 AD, in particular, coastal areas.
The Malayatoor Church is on the picturesque Kurisumundy hill - at an altitude of 1269 ft on the Western Ghat mountains at Maiayattoor in Kerala and is a popular place of veneration for the Catholic Christians because of its association with the visit of St. Thomas, one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. Saint Thomas came to India to spread the Gospel of love and reached Kodungalloor, Kerala in the year AD 52. During his stay in India for 20 years he traveled many parts across India to carry out his missionary work. It was here in Kerala he established seven and a half churches - Chayal, Kodungalailoor, Kollam, Palayoor, Niranam, Kokkamangalam and Kottakavu. Among them, the Malayattoor Church and the Tiruvamcode Church in the Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu are considered to be half church.
Situated 47 km from Kochi, the Malayatoor church, catering to the catholic community, enjoys a rich past and beautiful surroundings with the river Periyar flowing near-by. It is an ideal place for those who seek Lord's blessings, peace of mind and spiritual ecstasy. When St.Thomas settled here,then a famous seaport, the historians point out, there were many Jewish merchant families residing around this area and apparently they were the first converts.
Malayatoor church near Kochi, Kerala. unexploredplacesinkerala.blogspot.com
|Malayattoor Church, on the hill top. Church. en.wikipedia.org/wik|
After Easter, on the first Sunday, the devotees of St. Thomas organize feast in memory of the great saint. Lots of people attend this feast. Devotees on the Kurisumudy Hill kneel before the cross and pray earnestly. Close to the cross, there are footprints of Saint Thomas. The foundation of the current church was blessed by Pope John Paul II in the year 1986 during his visit here. The church construction was completed in the year 2012. The annual festival of this church is known as 'Malayatoor Perunal' and it is celebrated in the months of March-April every year.
The Church is built in Greeco-Roman architectural style. So are the interior designs, paintings, the altar, etc., On display inside the church are the Famous Five Mysteries of Jesus Christ’s joyful life.
Devotees make all kinds of offerings here - such as carrying the cross on the shoulder, stones on their head, women folks carry big brooms for prosperity and health. Like Hindus, tonsuring the head is also followed by a large number of people.
The near-by Kochi is well connected by roads, railways and air.