Kerala is a state that shows religious harmony. The main religion practiced in the state of Kerala is Christianity. Apart from that Islam and Hinduism are also prominent religions in Kerala. There are numerous pilgrimage places in Kerala. The churches in Kerala are well known pilgrimage centers and are very popular for the unique culture and the architectural style. This is the reason the state is also considered to be an important Pilgrimage site for the followers of Christianity. These churches also reflect the history of the state. Many churches here are centuries old providing the glimpse of the majestic architecture of the state.  Presence of numerous churches in Kerala indicates the influence of colonial rule on this state. At least one Catholic Church has been constructed almost in every city of the state.

There are three categories in which all the churches of Kerala are classified. These are the Protestants, the Roman Catholic Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. The Malankara, which is the most primitive one, is known for having some of the hoariest churches in the world. There are various antiquated Roman Catholic churches also which are today known to be the well-known pilgrimage centers for the Christians. The construction of the churches in Kerala is quite different if compared to the architecture and style of construction of various churches in different parts of India. Each one has been built in a unique way.

Many churches had been established by St. Thomas in places like Niranam,Kollam, Chayal,Kokomangalam, Kodungallur, Palayur etc.  One such church established by St. Thomas at Kochi is the Malayattoor Church which is known to be one of the oldest churches. Many visitors come to view these churches during celebratory time and festive season. The architectural styles of these churches are worth admiring.

Famous Churches

Malayatoor Church

This Church is devoted to St. Thomas. It is situated at a distance of 52 kilometers from Kochi. The location of this church makes it more attractive to the visitors. The church is located among the milieu of the Western Ghats and the Beautiful Periyar River, around the Malayatoor Hill which is 609 meters high. The striking location of the church adds to its charm. Statue of St. Thomas is placed inside the church and many devotees come year from all over the world.

Santa Cruz Basillica Church

This church is located in the Ernakulam district in Kochi and is known to be a historic church that is dated back to around five hundred years.There are numerous paintings inside the church exhibiting the life of Jesus Christ. Portugese constructed this Roman Catholic Church which was later destroyed in the year 1795 by the British. The Church was renovated by Bishop Dom Jao Gomes Fereira in the year 1887. In the year 1984 Pope John Paul II declared it as Basillica.

St. Francis Church

Known for its distinctive architecture, St. Francis Church is supposed to be the first European church in India. It was also denoted as Santo Antonio earlier. The location of this church is near in Kochi. It is located at a distance of two kilometers towards the west of Mattancherry that comes in the Ernakulam region of the district. In the year 1503, Dutch constructed the initial wooden developing within this church which was later transformed into the Granite building in the year 1546 which has been standing with the same dignity till date. The church has its own historical significance. In the year 1524, Vasco De Gama, the great European sailor was buried here.

Valiyapalli Church

Another historical church located in the Kerala state is the Valiyapalli Church also known as Syrian Kanaya Church as it was constructed by the posterities of theSyrian Kanaya Christians in 1550.The church is located around two kilometers from Kottayam. The main attractions of the church are the granite crosses that were brought here from a very primitive church located near Crangannore. These crosses are known as the Persian Crosses. The beautiful sculptures and the fresco on the ceilings and the major altar spell bound the visitors.


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