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Churches In Kerala

Kerala is not only home to the glorious beaches, verdant valleys, stunning lakes, gurgling waterfalls, tea-covered Western Ghats, and glistening backwaters, but it is also famous for churches among the tourists. Churches in Kerala are architectural marvels and known for their historical paintings, decorations, and frescos. They are counted amongst the best tourist attractions and notable places to visit in Kerala. You can seek blessings here and spend some quality time in serenity. You can attend ceremonies at the churches to get glimpses of the rich heritage. These structural wonders have retained the old worldly charm.

Here are the list of Best Churches in Kerala

Chaldean Church

Kerala has always been revered for her rich culture and heritage that has its roots in a society which is marked by religious tolerance and a desire to adopt the best of every culture. An example of this trait in the culture of Kerala is the presence of a strong Christian base in the state, which is proven by the popularity of the famous Chaldean (Nestorian) Church in Thrissur.

One of the most revered Syro-Malabar Churches in India, the Chaldean (Nestorian) Church in Thrissur or Trichur as it is also known epitomizes the cultural harmony for which India is respected all around the world. It also accentuates the influence of Christianity in India, which can trace its roots to an age as early as the arrival of St. Thomas in India. A part of the Syro-Malabar Hierarchy, which was established on 21 December 1923 with Ernakulam as its centre and its Major Archbishop as its religious head, the Chaldean (Nestorian) Church in Thrissur is considered to be one of the most important tourist attractions of Kerala as well as a major symbol of India’s religious harmony.

How to Reach Chaldean (Nestorian) Church

By Air: The airport nearest to the city of Thrissur is the airport at Nedumbassery which is a domestic airport located around 58 kms away from Thrissur. The Kochi or Cochin Airport is located in close proximity to the city.

By Rail: Thrissur is one of the most important railway junctions of Kerala, with a number of trains connecting the city with other neighboring cities.

By Road: An efficient system of roads connects almost all the different parts of Kerala and neighboring Tamil Nadu with the city of Thrissur.
 

Christ Church

Christ Church is one of the famous churches in Munnar. The churches in Munnar rank high among the prominent churches in Kerala. An ideal destination while on a Kerala Tour, Munnar is a small hill station nestled among the Kannan Devan hills.

Munnar is renowned for its emerald green landscape, tranquil lakes, huge reservoirs, dense forests, spice gardens, and sprawling tea estates. While exploring the several tourist attractions in Kerala, you have to be at the churches in Munnar. The churches in Munnar are considered among the most visited religious places in Kerala.

Constructed in 1910 AD, Christ Church was originally a cemetery where Mrs. Eleanor Knight, the wife of Mr. H.M Knight, the General Manager of the plantation, was buried in 1894 AD, which was followed by the burial of some other British nationals. Later H.M Knight presented that area as a burial place. Rt. Rev. Noel Hodges formally consecrated the church on 15th April 1900 AD on Easter Day. In 1981, the British handed over the church to the CSI North Kerala Diocese.

The beautiful stone-built Christ Church is adorned with fine-stained glass work. Munnar being home to several tea estates, there are brass plaques inside the church, honoring the memory of the tea planters. With time, the elegant exteriors have worn out, but the charming interiors will still mesmerize you. There are 14 original rows of pews in the church.

The Church of South India now administers the church. Sunday services are held here. If you plan to celebrate Christmas in Munnar, Christ church is the place to be.

Churches and Synagogues in Kochi (Cochin)

One of the most important features of Kerala, Kochi or Cochin as it is also known, is the secular fabric that envelopes it, as it does most of India. Home to a number of religious monuments, a tour to Kochi is made even more special by the various religious monuments of the city, which are led primarily by the various churches and synagogues in Kochi (Cochin).

The history of Kochi (Cochin) dates back to as early as 1314 AD when a major flood opened the estuary into Kochi, which was till then a predominantly land-locked region. What followed was the growth of one of the busiest harbors in the world, which in turn brought the city into prominence in the community of merchants, sailors and foreign invaders.

With time came the various European powers like the Portuguese and the Dutch who brought with them various tenets of Christianity and Judaism, tenets which soon found popularity amongst the people of Kochi.Today, centuries later, the Christian and Jewish heritage of Cochin is still well- preserved in the city, with a number of the churches and synagogues in Kochi (Cochin), being regarded as important historical evidences of the socio-economic growth of Cochin. Cochin is also home to the oldest church in India, St. Francis Church, in addition to one of India's most revered synagogues, both of which are must-visits while on a trip to Cochin.

Churches and Synagogues in Kochi (Cochin)

  • St. Francis Church
  • Santa Cruz Basilica
  • St. George's Cathedral, Karingachira
  • Jewish Synagogue Kochi
     

Churches in Ernakulam

The churches in Ernakulam rank high among the famous churches in Kerala. Ernakulam, renowned as the Commercial capital of Kerala, is aided by an international airport, excellent communication and accommodation facilities, and latest amenities. Various spectacular spots of interest make Ernakulam, a place worth visiting on your Kerala Tour. Nestled on the banks of Lake Vembanad, Ernakulam can be reached conveniently by air, rail, road, and sea.

Ernakulam is situated on the coast of the Arabian Sea in central Kerala. The city is host to the best harbors in the country, and has been a much visited port by British, Arab, Chinese and Dutch traders in the earlier times.

Commercial hub, Ernakulam is home to many modern day structures and religious places. The churches in Ernakulam are considered among the most visited religious places in Kerala.

While exploring the several tourist attractions in Kerala, you have to be at the churches in Ernakulam. You can visit tourist destinations like the Subhash Bose Park, the mangrove forest Mangalavanam, Kerala Lalitha Kala Akademi Art Centre, Ernakulam Shiva Temple, etc while in Ernakulam, but the true essence of this old city lies in its majestic churches. These historic churches are all constructed in a grand style and exude a mesmerizing charm. Each of these colossal churches manifests the architectural magnificence of Ernakulam in ancient times.
 

Churches in Munnar

The churches in Munnar rank high among the famous churches in Kerala. An ideal destination while on a Kerala Tour, Munnar is a small hill station nestled at the Kannan Devan hills. While exploring the several tourist attractions of Kerala, you have to be at the churches in Munnar. The churches in Munnar are considered among the most visited religious places in Kerala. These exquisitely decorated churches are steeped in history and stand witness to many a historical event. You can visit tourist destinations like the unique Tea Museum, the famed Eravikulam National Park, the towering Anaimudi Peak, the scenic Athukud Falls, or sail down the Madupatty Dam while in Munnar, but the majestic churches of this picturesque city are also worth a visit. These historic churches in Munnar are all built in a grand style and exude a mesmerizing charm. Each of these colossal churches manifests the architectural magnificence of Munnar in ancient times and is a symbol of the colonial era.

Make your tour to Munnar a memorable one by paying a visit to the churches in Munnar. Following is one of the prime churches in Munnar -

Christ Church.
 

Churches in Thrissur

The churches in Thrissur rank high among the famous churches in Kerala. An ideal destination while on a Kerala Tour, Thrissur is a town built around a hillock top. Known as the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur gained prominence under the reign of Raja Rama Varma in 1790 AD.

Popularly called Trichur, Thrissur is home to several museums, art schools and institutes that manifest the rich cultural traditions of Kerala. The biggest crowd puller of Thrissur is the Pooram Festival, grandly celebrated during the month of April or May.

While exploring the several tourist attractions of Kerala, you have to be at the churches in Thrissur. The churches in Thrissur are considered among the most visited religious places in Kerala. These exquisitely decorated churches with gorgeous interiors and exteriors are steeped in history and stand witness to many a historical event.

You can visit tourist destinations like the historic Vadakkumnathan Temple, Arattupuzha Temple, Archaeological Museum, Vilangankunnu hillock, or sail on the picturesque Peechi Dam while in Thrissur, but the true essence of this cultural city lies in its majestic churches. These historic churches in Thrissur are all built in an impressive style and exude a mesmerizing charm. Each of these colossal churches manifests the architectural magnificence of Thrissur in ancient times and is a symbol of the colonial era.

Make your tour to Thrissur a memorable one by paying a visit to the churches in Thrissur. Following are some of the prime churches in Thrissur that are worth a visit -

  • Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral
  • Puttanpalli (New) Church
  • Chaldean (Nestorian) Church
     

CSI Immanuel Church

CSI Immanuel Church is one of the famous churches in Ernakulam. The churches in Ernakulam rank high among the prominent churches in Kerala. Nestled on the banks of Lake Vembanad, Ernakulam is a place dotted with several amazing spots of interest worth visiting on your Kerala Tour.

CSI Immanuel Church is the oldest Anglican Church in Ernakulam, with a congregation that is nearly hundred years old. One of the most centrally located churches in Ernakulam, CSI Immanuel Church is thronged by hordes of worshippers round the year.

Presently under the North Kerala Diocese of the Church of South India, CSI Immanuel Church was established 99 years ago under the Diocese of Travancore-Cochin. Rev. J.H. Bishop built the church as a memorial for two well-known missionaries, Rev. E.B. Russel and Rev. A.B. Sealy. While the former served the Church of England in Travancore-Cochin during 1897-99, the latter was the first Principal of Maharaja's College, Ernakulam and the Director of Education, Kochi state. Accordingly, the church was called as Russel Sealy Memorial Church. A brass plaque was built in the chancel wall of the church as a tribute to these distinguished missionaries.

Every week prayer meetings are held at CSI Immanuel Church where as a group the members of the church pray for the special requirements of those who need the guidance and support of the Almighty.

Jewish Synagogue

The oldest synagogue of the commonwealth nations, the Jewish Synagogue in Kochi Kerala is also called the Paradesi Synagogue (the word 'Paradesi' means 'foreigner' in Indian languages). Jewish Synagogue in Kerala was built in the year 1568 by the Jewish community of Kerala called the Malabar Yehudan.

But over the recent years, since the Israel state has been established, the Jewish population in Kerala has left for Israel and there are hardly a significant number of the members of the community left here. The Jewish Synagogue in Kochi is located in Jew Street in Jew Town in Old Kochi.

Description of Jewish Synagogue in Kochi Kerala

The Jewish Synagogue in Kochi Kerala is one of the most distinguished synagogues. It was rebuilt and renovated by the Dutch after the 1662 war, which partially destroyed it. This synagogue has Scrolls of Law, a number of gold crowns that were received as gifts, beautiful chandeliers, a brass railed pulpit, a clock tower and refines Chinese tiles hand painted in blue. The gold and silver crowns offered by the different patrons to the Synagogue are also kept displayed.

How to reach the Jewish Synagogue in Kochi Kerala

218 kms north of Thiruvananthapuram and 223 kms south of Kozikode lies Kochi. To reach the Jewish Synagogue in Kochi, you can also avail the National Highway 17.
 

Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral

Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral is one of the famous churches in Thrissur. The churches in Thrissur rank high among the prominent churches in Kerala. An ideal destination while on a Kerala Tour, Thrissur is renowned as Trichur. It is a town built around a hillock top.

Popularly called the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur is home to several museums, art schools and institutes that manifest the rich cultural traditions of Kerala. The biggest crowd puller of Thrissur is the Pooram Festival, grandly celebrated during the month of April or May.

While exploring the several tourist attractions in Kerala, you have to be at the churches in Thrissur. The churches in Thrissur are considered among the most visited religious places in Kerala.

Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral is one of the most well-known and large churches in Thrissur. Situated in the heart of the town, the building of this church is remarkable and worth a visit. The exterior of the church features an Indo-European facade with pink spires. Steeped in history, this magnificent church stands witness to many a historical event.

During the historic visit of Pope John Paul II to Thrissur in the year 1986, the Centenary of Our Lady of Lourdes was celebrated extravagantly. This historic church, built in an impressive style, exudes a mesmerizing charm. It manifests the architectural magnificence of Thrissur in ancient times and is a symbol of the colonial era. A prime attraction of Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral is the exquisite underground chapel.
 

Puttanpalli Church

Puttanpalli (New) Church is one of the famous churches in Thrissur. The churches in Thrissur rank high among the prominent churches in Kerala. An ideal destination while on a Kerala Tour, Thrissur is renowned as Trichur.

Popularly called the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur is home to several museums, art schools and institutes that manifest the rich cultural traditions of Kerala. While exploring the several tourist attractions in Kerala, you have to be at the churches in Thrissur. The churches in Thrissur are considered among the most visited religious places in Kerala.

Puttanpalli (New) Church is better known as the Shrine Basilica of Our lady of Dolours. Centrally located in Thrissur town, Puttanpalli (New) Church is the biggest and the tallest church in Asia. The church is well-known for its Gothic and historic style of architecture.

Spread over an area of 25000 sq ft, the Puttanpalli (New) Church has three towers, two in front and one in rear. Sanctioned by Maharaja of Cochin, His Excellency Rama Varma, the church was constructed in 1940 with the blessings of His Excellency Rt. Rev. Dr. Francis Vazhapilly.

On 25th April 1992, the church was raised to the status of Minor Basilica by the Pope John Paul II. Thereafter the church has come to be called Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours or Puttanpalli (New) Church. This elevation made the church a perfect example for all liturgical services and administration of sacraments. Fire services are held here every Friday and Sunday, in which the faithful worshippers participate actively.
 

St.Andrew's Forance Church

St. Andrew's Forance Church, Arunthukal in Alappuzha is one of the sacred churches of Kerala. Located in Arunthukal, St. Andrew's Forance Church this church is one of the major tourist attractions of Arunthukal in Alappuzha, Kerala. The church is famous for the image of St. Sebastian. It is believed that St. Sebastian has healing powers.

Every year the Arunthukal feast is celebrated with much fervor in St. Andrew's Forance Church Arunthukal in Alappuzha. Also called the St. Sebastian's Feast this draws people from all religions to the St. Andrew's Forance Church in Arunthukal.

How to Reach Alappuzha:

Nearest Airport: Trivandrum Airport

Nearest Railway Station: Trivandrum Railway Station

St. Andrew's Forance Church, Arunthukal is the place where the feast of St. Sebastian is celebrated with great joy and fervor for eleven days. This is one of the important pilgrimage centers for the Christians and many people arrange for the religious tours to Kerala to be a part of this feast.
 

St.Francis Church

St. Francis Church in Kochi is one of the famous churches of Kerala. Built in European style of architecture, the St. Francis Church of Kochi was built in 1503. The wooden structure was established in 1503.

It is believed that Vasco Da Gama breathed his last here and his remains were kept in this church for a few years before it was shifted to Portugal. The Church remained under the order of St. Francis till the invasion of the Dutch who destroyed it all except the Church.

Vasco da Gama died in Kochi or Cochin in the year 1524 and was buried here before moving the remains to Portugal. The St. Francis Xavier's Church in Kochi is considered to be the oldest European Church in Kochi. It was constructed by Portuguese Franciscan friars. It has resemblances to the Trinity Church in Bangalore.

How to Reach Kochi:

Nearest Airport: Trivandrum Airport

Nearest Railway Station: Trivandrum Railway Station

In the year 1663, the Dutch converted St. Francis Church into a protestant church from a Catholic Church. It was under their rule till 1795 and then it was accepted into the Anglican Communion of the British. Right now the St. Francis Church is a part of the Protestant Church of South India.

Inside the St. Francis Church of Kochi in Kerala, you can find several inscriptions which are the anecdotes of Portuguese and Dutch rulers. Originally this church was dedicated to Santo Antonio, a priest of Portugal and later on named as St. Francis Church.

 

St. George's Cathedral, Karingachira

The St. George's Cathedral Karingachira ranks high among the famous churches and synagogues in Kochi (Cochin). One of the renowned churches in Kerala, St. George's Cathedral Karingachira is the single royal church in Kerala established in 722 AD. It is one of the historic churches of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church.

In early 8th century AD, two Syrian Christian families- Maliackel and Palathinkal became well-known in Karingachira. When a member of the Maliackel family died unexpectedly, the authorities of the Edapally church refused to bury the remains of the dead in the church because of alleged dues to the church outstanding from the Maliackel family.

While returning, the Maliackel family decided to bury the body in Karingachira, an isolated place in those days. The local Christians became greatly concerned by this incident. The Maliackel family consulted with the Palathinkal family, and established a church at the location where the body was buried. The church was then named after St. George, the patron saint of Edapally church.

One of the most visited religious places in Kerala, St. George's Cathedral Karingachira is famous for the thamukku nercha (plantain mixed with a form of rice powder and jaggery) that is offered on 3rd December. This offering is served on the occasion of the feast of Maphryono Mor Baselios Yaldo, whose remains are entombed in Kothamangalam Cheriapally. In 1920, a piece of bone was found wrapped in a silk cloth (veeralipattu) on a delicately engraved cot in the northern wall of St. George's Cathedral Karingachira. Presently it remains buried in the wall.

A prime tourist attraction of Kerala, St. George's Cathedral Karingachira has elegantly decorated interiors and exteriors. Following several renovations and modifications, the qdush-qudshin of the church was constructed over the side altars in 1949, dedicated to Holy Virgin Mary and John the Baptist and was consecrated.

 

Latin Catholic Church

The Latin Catholic Church in Alappuzha is one of the oldest churches in Alappuzha. Located near the Kannan Varkey Bridge which is just 1 km from Alappuzha this church was built years ago. The beautifully designed church reminds the tourists of the yesteryears when Christianity was slowly being established in Kerala.

Churches originated in Kerala after the advent of St. Thomas in 52 A.D in Kerala. It was St. Thomas who visited different parts of Alappuzha and converted many of them into Christians. Over the years Latin Catholic Church in Alappuzha have merged with the local customs and language of Alappuzha and you can also find Malayalam Liturgy in the churches in Alappuzha.

How to Reach Alappuzha:

Nearest Airport: Trivandrum Airport

Nearest Railway Station: Trivandrum Railway Station

There are two kinds of Churches in Kerala. They are classified in to Catholic and Non Catholic Churches. The Latin Catholic Church which is for the Catholics is also visited by a number of tourists. The interiors of this church in Alappuzha are intricately designed with a number of sculptures.

A special prayer called Novena is held in the Latin Catholic Church every Tuesday. If you have any secret wishes your desires then attend the special prayer during Novena and you can fulfill them.

Recently the Latin Catholic Church is being renovated as it was decaying due to the passage of time. It will soon don its new look and be the center of Christmas celebrations and Easter gatherings.