Kerala is probably the first state in India to receive Christianity and today it is the third most practiced religion in Kerala. The spread of the message of Christianity took place in 52 AD by one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ - St.Thomas and thus, this lead to the establishment of Christianity in the southern state of India. Besides, another important fact that made the settlement of Christianity ground rooted was the arrival of Syria immigrants. This eventually led to the formation of Syrian Christianity in Kerala. The churches in Kerala are deeply influenced by the architectural structure of European style and it is one of the strongholds of Syrian Orthodox Church in the world. Kerala is one of the must visit destinations in India where you can find number churches of different denominations. During your holistic tour in Kerala, you are bound to see Churches at every 100 metres.
Kerala has a number of attractive churches but one of the most famous churches in Kerala is Parumala Church. This church is located in Munnar, Kerala and it belongs to the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Cathedral. Parumala Church is devoted to the Saint Gregorious Geevarghese who is known as Parumala Thirumeni. The chapel inside the church is deemed to have spiritual power and thus this invites many devotees to come and pray from every region.
Another important Christian pilgrimage centre near Angamaly is the Malayattoor Kurisumudi church. It is said that a pilgrimage to this mountain is considered one of the holiest journey in Kerala. It is so because it was here St. Thomas held his prayer and meditated at the top of this mountain. The sacred hilltop church is at a distance of 10 km from the town of Kalady, Kerala.
A popular pilgrim centre in Kerala is the Malayatoor Church and it is located on top of the Malayattoor hill.
Malayatoor Church is devoted to St. Thomas the apostle of Jesus Christ and it has been stated as an international worldwide pilgrimage centre by the Vatican. The chapel inside the church has been created by St.Thomas and it has a combination of Greco-Roman architecture. The altar is designed in traditional Greek style. For those who enjoy nature and architecture, Malayatoor Church is a must visit holy place. Santa Cruz Basilica is one of the most ancient churches in Kerala and it is located in Cochin, Kerala. This church was built by the Portuguese in 1505 and it was titled Basilica by the Pope - John Paul II in 1984.
Another famous Orthodox church located 35 Km from Kochi is Kadamattom Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church. This is a 6th-century church mainly famous for its Indo-Persian architecture dotted with Kerala Hindu style details. Syrian Orthodox Church is hugely famous for the Priest 'Kadamattom Kattanar' who lived here in 10th century AD and performed many noted rituals. Today, this place sees a lot of people visiting the shrine irrespective of the religions. Kerala is home to many other churches of different denominations as well. Some other must visit churches in Kerala are St Mary's Cathedral-Manarcad is located in Kottayam and it is famous for the feast of St Mary. Manjanikkara Church in Pathanamthitta has a tomb of St Ignatius Elias III. St.Mary's Forane Church in Kuravilangadu is located 22 Km from Kottayam. This church is one of the oldest churches in Kerala. The Synod of Diamper is another popular church located 19 Km from Kochi city in Udayamperoor.
Kerala is home to many other historic churches and it has many famous Cathedrals, Basilicas and Orthodox religious places. For any religious holiday, one can definitely visit the southern state of India to experience nature, religious sites and history of the place.