|St.Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church or Cheriya Pally church, kottayamcheriapally.com|
|Artistic interior & roof.Cheriapally or St Mary Orthodox Church, Kottayamwww.alamy.co|
|Cheriya Pally church in Kerala's style roof stockpicturesforeveryone.com|
Kerala, like Goa and Tamil Nadu has numerous churches. Unlike Tamil Nadu and elsewhere, Kerala has lots of pretty old churches. The amazing aspect of Kerala churches is invariably its design and style, quite unique to this state. Slanting tiled roof that projects father above the outer walls to prevent rain water damping the walls. In this part of India it rains a lot, hence steep slanting tiled roof is a common feature. The tiles protect the wooden roof or the concrete roofs will improve the life of the buildings. With respect to the Hindu temple design, etc., the temples here normally follow the local, traditional design. But commonly in all other southern states, Dravidian style of temple design and architecture is followed as per Agama Sastras. Further, in many Kerala churches, oil lamps are common features as many Hindus visit the churches as well. Lot of Christians also light the oil lamps. The method of worship in churches shows the influence of local culture and how well the Church authorities integrate the local tradition and make it richer and more appealing to the devotees. St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church of Kottayam is a good example.
|Cheriya Pally church-colorfull altar. www.stockpicturesforeveryone.com|
St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church or the Cheriya Pally church, Cheriya Pally, is an old Syrian Christian church in Kottayam in Kerala and is one of the many old churches frequently visited by the devout Christians. The design and architecture of this church is unique, reflecting the influence of the local culture and style of Hindu temple worship, blended with typical Kerala style of architecture with steep slanting roof. The combination of the Hindu worship tradition and that of Christian is an important feature of this church where one can see exclusive niches for the oil lamps which are common in Hindu temples. There are big brass oil lamps used in the church. This temple is believed to have been built by the local king for the Christian community living in his kingdom.
|tall brass pole similar to Hindu temples.Cross atop the pole. stockpicturesforeveryone.com|
|Brass oil lamp.Kottayam Cheriapally(St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church. www.tripadvisor.com|
|Cheriya Pally church. brass lamps as in Indian temples. stockpicturesforeveryone.com|
Built in 1579 the front part of the church shows the influence of the European/Portuguese style of architecture. The interesting features that draw the attention of the visitors are the nice galleries, pillars cornices, amazing religious murals on the walls, etc. Paintings show both Indian and Western styles of art on biblical and non biblical themes.
There is a tall thick pole made of brass (gold?), very much similar to the Dwajasthambam or flag staff commonly found in the Hindu temples. The "Cross" atop the pole distinguishes it from a temple flag staff! Lamps are lit in the church as in the Hindu temples. All along the corridor, there are brass lamps. Oil lamps, it is believed, will impact the sanctity of the place of worship. Devotees, who visit this unique church, will derive positive energy after intense prayer and meditation.
During the time of Punnathara Mar Dionysious, the 11th Marthoma of Malankara Church, the relation with Travancore and Cochin was good. The Ruler of Travancore Rani Gouri Parvathi Bhai, magnanimous as she was, gave a number of privileges to the Seminary. The Rani respected the other faiths very much. As for Christians, she showed special privileges. During her reign, for the first time in Travancore in 1818, Maha Rani appointed a number Christians as Judges. Mar Dionysious passed away on May 17, 1825 and was laid to rest at Kottayam Cheriapally.