Kerala is also known as “God’s own country”. So, any Kerala Tourism will involve visits to the many religious and sacred sites of this state in South India. Kerala is famous for its natural beauty; the backwaters thrive with green palm and coconut trees. There are abundant hills and forests due to the proximity of the Western Ghats and the beaches beside the Arabian Sea will serenade you with its timeless appeal.
While you are aware that Kerala is a beautiful fringe of land between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea; this state is also a model of religious harmony. Here the Hindus, Christians and Muslims have co-existed for generations with mutual love and respect. Hence, it is only natural that many Kerala tourist places will be religiously significant.
Christianity came to Kerala with the advent of the St. Thomas the Apostle in 52 AD. He built several churches along the coastline and preached the religion among the locals. Since those times, several churches were constructed and later renovated or relocated to form the present collection. You may find below a list of these historically significant churches as major attractions of Kerala Tourism.
This historic church is a major religious place for Orthodox Christians all over the country. Even devotees from all over the world come to pay their respects to Mor Gregorios Geevarghese Chathuruthil also known as Parumala Kochu Thirumeni, the declared saint of Malankara. The current building was built over the old church while retaining the Holy Altar and the Tomb (Kabar Muni) of the Saint. The location of the church is also beautiful. It is on the bank of the River Pampa near the village on Mannar, a popular destination for Kerala tourism.
According to popular belief, St. Thomas the Apostle founded this church during his mission here. This religiously significant tourist destination of Kerala is located on the top of Malayattoor hill and the walk to the church itself is said to purify the soul of the devotee. This ancient church’s architecture is an amalgamation of the Greek and Roman style, with the altar in traditional Greek way and the façade and frontage in the Roman style. The prominent annual festival of this church is celebrated during the first Sunday after Easter when thousands of pilgrims from all over the region throng Malayattoor to seek blessings from St. Thomas.
This popular Kerala tourism destination is located at a distance of 10 kilometers from the city of Cochin. The Edapally church is dedicated to St. George and is the oldest church in Kerala after the churches founded by St. Thomas. You can see a bigger cathedral beside the older church which was constructed to accommodate the growing number of followers. There is a well of water in the premises of the church which is considered to have healing properties. The water level of the well also mysteriously stays at a constant two meters below the ground level throughout the year. The main festival of the church begins around 23rd April every year with the Litany and High Mass and multitude of devotees and tourists alike witness the 10-day event which includes a grand procession of the St. George’s statue.
Also known as St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church or the Niranam Pally, this significant Kerala tourism site is one of the churches founded by St. Thomas. A parish under the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, the original building was renovated multiple times, most recently in the year 2000. The church contains a huge Granite Holy Cross, the Golden Cross and the relics of Sr. Thomas. The Niranam village is also beautiful; located at the confluence of the Manimala and Pampa Rivers.
These historical churches of Kerala are a living testimony of the peaceful co-existence of multiple religions in a small area. Along with the abundant natural beauty, religious harmony makes Kerala tourism a peaceful and tranquil experience.