10 Famous Churches of Kerala

There are three main religions in Kerala – Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Christianity is a very important religion having a sizeable population. There are several Christian pilgrimage sites spread across the state. Almost all of them are devoted to some of the oldest and architecturally brilliant churches. Few of the Churches of Kerala is mentioned here.

Let’s go on a visit to some of the famous churches of Kerala.

1. Malayattoor Church

Malayattoor Church

Image by Dilshad Roshan via Wikimedia

The St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Malayattoor is one of the most famous pilgrim centers for Christians in Kerala. Malayattoor is situated on the north-eastern side of Ernakulam or Kochi. The name Malayattoor, means the amalgamation of mountain (mala), river (aattu) and place (ooru). The church attained great fame when the apostle of Jesus Christ, St. Thomas came here to start his missionary work.

According to legends, when St. Thomas arrived here to preach the teachings of Jesus Christ, he received a hostile reception. He fled to the top of a mountain at Malayattoor known as Kurisumudi and prayed to the Lord. He was in great anguish, and the Mother of the Lord appeared before him and consoled him. Malayattoor Church was built atop this mountain.

2. St. Alphonsa’s Church, Bharananganam

St. Alphonsa’s ChurchImage by Jovianeye via Wikimedia

St. Alphonsa, the first saint of India was a very pious nun and her mortal remains rest here at Bharananganam, 5 kilometers from Pala in Kottayam district. St. Alphonsa’s feast is a very popular event held every year in July. Pope Benedict XVI declared her as a saint on 12th October 2008. The church itself was built after her canonization.

3. Vallarpadam Church

Vallarpadam ChurchImage by Captain via Wikimedia

The Vallarpadam Church, located in Cochin, is also known as ‘The Church of Our Lady Ransom’ and dedicated to Mother Mary. The Mother is fondly remembered as “Vallarpadathamma”. The church, built originally by the Portuguese was destroyed during the Dutch period and was rebuilt again in 1676.

The Government of India recognized the church as a divine and holy church in 1951. Irrespective of the caste and religion they belong to, people from all over the world flock to this church. Pope Leo XIII declared the church as a “special church” in 1888. This is one of ether major Churches of Kerala

4. Santa Cruz BasilicaSanta Cruz Basilica

Image by albany_tim via Wikimedia

Santa Cruz Basilica is one of the eight well-known Basilicas in India. It is situated in Fort Kochi – one of the must see places near Kochi. This fine church has an imposing edifice and is extremely popular for its magnificent structure and style. The church was built during the arrival of Portuguese missionaries in 1500 CE, with permission from the then Raja of Cochin.

The church went through major renovations over time; the present church was consecrated in 1905. This church serves as a notable landmark of Cochin. This is a good Churches of Kerala

5. St. Francis ChurchSt. Francis Church

St. Francis Church is believed to be the oldest European church in the country. The church, situated in Fort Kochi, bears mute witness to the colonialization of Europeans in India. Built out of timber in the 16th century, the church was later reconstructed in stone masonry. Initially, Vasco da Gama was buried here, and years later, the remains were transferred to Lisbon, Portugal. This is a good Churches of Kerala

6. Arthunkal ChurchArthunkal Church

Located 22 kilometers north of Alappuzha district of Kerala, you have the famous St. Sebastian Church known as Arthunkal Church. A yearly feast, attended by thousands of devotees, is held here in mid-January. The fishermen in the nearby areas worship St. Sebastian, fondly known as Arthunkal Punyavaalan before they go out to the sea. The feast is known as Arthunkal feast. This is another Churches of Kerala

7. St. George Forane ChurchEdappally Church

Image by Tachs via Wikimedia

St. George Forane Church is situated in Edappally, which is located at a distance of about 10 kilometers from the main part of Ernakulam. This church is believed to be the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Kerala. The church is also known as Edappally Palli (church) and was constructed in 594 AD. Several renovations were done, of which the most noted one was done in 1080 AD.

The church has a miracle well, believed to have curing powers. People drink the water from the well, take home the water in bottles and wash their face and hands. The feast of St. George is held every year on April 23rd, and ends on May 15th. This is one of the major Churches of Kerala

8. Kadamattom ChurchKadamattom Church

Image by Alias via Wikimedia

Kadamattom Church is a famous Malankara Jacobite Orthodox Syrian Church and is well-known for its old Persian cross. The church was built in the Indo-Persian style and was discovered in the 9th century. The famous Kadamattathu Kathanar, a priest with mystical powers and unnatural capabilities lived here, according to legends, and was closely related to the church. The church is situated 30 kilometers from Kochi atop a hill. This is a must visit Churches of Kerala

9. Nadamel Marth Mariam Church

Nadamel Marth Mariam Church Image via Nadamel Marth Mariam Church

Nadamel Marth Mariam Church  was built during the 12 century by the parishioners of Karingachira Church. Located at Thrippunithura, Kochi, the church is very important to Jacobite Syrians.

10. Vimalagiri ChurchVimalagiri Church

Image by Groundhopping Merseburg via Wikimedia

Vimalagiri Church situated in Kottayam is famous for its Gothic style architecture. One notable feature of the church is its 172 feet tall tower. The tower is already recorded as one of the “tallest church towers” in Kerala.

There are many more popular churches in Kerala. You can visit them anytime during the year; but a visit to Kerala during Christmas time will be the best as the sight of churches resplendent in bright coloured lights will be simply awe-inspiring!

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  1. britto on October 16, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    very good information. usful for outside state people.
    i will plan for vimalagiri church this christmas. thank u for valuable information
    Britto, mysore

    • Sunu Philip on October 17, 2016 at 4:20 am

      Glad to hear that you liked the post!!

  2. Deepak h s on February 4, 2017 at 4:42 am

    list of famous churches in Kerala is very useful and important.these churches considered as a large pilgrimage center in Kerala. there are lot of historically great churches in Kerala like nirnam church, chamakoolam church, arivuthira church, kurvilangad church, kunjoor church etc. thanks for the list I have plans for malyatoor and vallarapadmam.

    • Sunu Philip on February 6, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Hi Deepak,
      Really glad to hear that you found the article useful. Continue to read our blog to know more about Kerala’s beautiful destinations.
      Thank you!

  3. Philip D'silva on February 23, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Its very useful information on faus churches of Kerala, we are planing a pilgrimage tour for 2 days from Byndoor, Udupu Dist. (Karnataka) maybe on March, will let you know once group is ready.

    • Sunu Philip on March 3, 2017 at 11:15 am

      Hi Philip,
      Really glad to hear that you find the article informative.

  4. Joseph on June 13, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Good info.. May god bless you…

    • Sunu Philip on June 16, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Hi Jospeh,
      We are really glad to hear that you find the article informative. Continue to read our blog to find more interesting articles.
      Thank you!

  5. Anastasia Stavrianaki on March 26, 2019 at 11:05 am

    I am planning to come to Cochin on April 27th. how can i find out if there is Easter service in a church? Thank you for the article.

    • Sunu Philip on April 8, 2019 at 12:13 pm
    • Sunu Philip on April 8, 2019 at 12:17 pm

      Sorry for the late reply. You can easily get the information you are seeking by going through the respective websites.

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