Palayur Church

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St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Palayur is located at Palayur (also spelt Palayoor), in Thrissur district in Kerala on the west coast of India. According to tradition, it was established in 52 AD by St Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.Palayoor church is the oldest (Romo-Syrian) Church in India and is called an Apostolic Church credited to the Apostolate of St. Thomas who preached and also started conversion of people to Christianity here. It was part of the seven churches that he established in India; the other six churches were established at Cranganore, Kokkamangalam, Kottakavu, (Parur), Quilon, Niranam, and Chayal. The original small Church structure has been retained at the oldest site. But substantial improvements around it were carried out during the 17th century by Reverend Fenichi, as necessary, without sacrificing the main sanctity of the place.

Historical legend records that when St. Thomas landed at Palayur, he witnessed the sight of Hindu Brahmins, after their ablutions in a local tank, offering prayers by chanting mantras (the Vedic tradition of India for spiritual transformation) hymns to god in the form of Argyam or (Tharpanam) (water held in the palms) of water to the Sun god, a practice also said to be followed in Harappan and Persian cultures. Amused by the sight of water being thrown up by the Brahmins, from the palms of their hands, which was falling back, he challenged the Brahmins stating that the water they were offering was not being accepted by the Sun god as it was falling back into the tank. He made a deal with them stating that his God would accept the offer of water if he threw it up in the same way as they did, but water would not fall back. If he proved this then his God was superior and the Brahmins would have to embrace Christianity. He performed this miracle (summoned the Holy Trinity, completed the sign of the Cross and threw water held in his palms up into the air, which remained still in the air at a height) and with this miracle he converted a number of Brahmins and Jews in Palayur to Christianity. Thereafter he baptised the converts in a nearby water tank. The Brahmins who did not convert to the faith gave the epithet of the ‘Shapa Kadu’ or "Cursed Place" to Palayur and migrated to Vembanad to purify themselves.

How to reach:

By Road: Palayoor is at a distance of 28 KM from Thrissur on the State Highway. It is on Thrissur - Chavakad route, via Pavaratty. 
By Rail: From Thrissur at a distance of 24 KM. From Guruvayur, the Hindu temple town, the church is 3 KM.
By Air: Nedumbasserry International Airport is only 80 KM away.

 

Nearest Destinations
Athirappally Vazhachal Water Falls
Bible Tower
Chavakkad Beach
Cheraman Juma Masjid
Chimmini Dam
Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple
Kerala Kalamandalam
Kodungallur Bhagavati Temple
Mammiyoor Mahadeva Temple
Peechi Dam
Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary
Peruvanmala
Poomala Dam
Punnathur Kotta (The Elephant sanctuary)
Puthan Pally (Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours)
Shakthan Thampuran Palace
Silver Storm Water Theme Park
Snehatheeram Beach
Thrissur Zoo and Museum
Triprayar Sree Rama Temple
Vadakkumnathan Temple
Vadanapilly Beach
Vazhani Dam
Vilangan Kunnu (Hills)

 

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