When you are in Kerala, visiting the St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Thrissur is something that you should definitely have in your travel list. This is one of the most popular cathedrals in the Thrissur district of Kerala and not just the religious souls but all other tourists also visit this church for its unique architecture style. Also known as Apostolic Church, St. Thomas Church is in fact, considered as one of the oldest churches in India.
When Saint Thomas paid a visit to India in the year 52 AD, he landed at the Kodungallur Coast in one of the wide coasts of Kerala. Once he landed here, he preached the gospels to Kerala’s high caste families. In fact, while preaching the gospels, he even established seven different churches within Kerala itself. The St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Thrissur is said to have been one of the seven churches he built. It is even believed that this church was earlier a Brahmin temple but converted into a church by St. Thomas. However, when one pays a visit to this beautiful temple, one can witness the ruins of the temple that was once erected in the church premise.
The architecture of this church is quite unique. The main reason that makes this church’s architecture stand out is the fact that it used to be a Hindu temple that was transformed into a church. The temple was deserted by its makers and that’s when St. Thomas started preaching there. One can see a great blend of Hindu architecture mixed with the Persian church plan. It has a Hindu style entrance in the shape of a Mandapa.
Palayur Mahatheerthadanam' or Great Pilgrimage is one of the most prominent festivals that is celebrated in this church. It is a two-day long event and believers from different parts of the country flock this church to pay their tribute and participate in this beautiful festival.
How to Reach :
The Church is located in Thrissur and can be conveniently accessed by all. It is basically in Palayoor, which is at a distance of around 28 kilometers from the actual region of Thrissur, which falls on the State Highway. One can take the Thrissur-Chakavad route via the Pavaratty route to reach this holy church. You can take a cab or even board the local transport buses to reach this serene church.
Interesting Facts and Trivia About :
It is a commonly known legend around the locals that St. Thomas came across some Brahmins offering water to the Sun God in a tank. He argued that their prayers were not being heard as the water was falling back in the same tank from where it was taken. He even challenged the Brahmins saying that if he offered his God the same water, it wouldn’t fall back in the tank. He even put a bet that if the same happened, they would have to embrace his religion and convert to Christianity. The miracle happened as St. Thomas has said and the Brahmins had to embrace Christianity as promised.
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