Ranked 30 among Places to Visit in Thrissur
Time Required: Less than 1 hour
Established in 52 AD by St. Thomas and situated in Palayur, St Thomas Church is the oldest one in India and one amongst the seven that were founded by St. Thomas the Apostle. Legend has it that after St. Thomas landed at Palayur, he came across some Hindu Brahmins at the Thaliyakulam offering prayers and chanting mantras to God in the form of Tharpanam to the sun god. Smiling at the sight of the Brahmins throwing water, he challenged them that the water that was being thrown by them was falling back into the tank instead of being accepted by the God. He told them that instead if he threw the water to his God, he would accept it and the water won't fall back in the tank. He also told them that if he won, of them would have to convert their religion and embrace Christianity. He performed this miracle after which the Brahmins got converted to Christianity.
Some improvements were made to its surroundings during the 17th century without abandoning the originality of the place. However, after the development was completed and the priest gave a proper lecture, the old wooden structure was agreed to be knocked down by the local people. The original altar which was sanctified by St. Thomas is still present at the site. Since the church was built including an ancient Hindu temple which was abandoned, it follows a fusion of the Hindu architectural style and the Persian Church plan with the roof rising above the nave. Its entrance also resembles a Hindu Mandapa. The building was re-established in the 18th century after Tipu Sultan invaded Kerala and the church was wrecked by fire. The architectural significance and the history that the church boasts is enough to make one want to witness the place.
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