The intriguing history and marvelous structure of this church, makes it one of the most popular cathedrals of Kerala. It is located at Palayur, in Thrissur district and was established in 52 AD by St. Thomas, who is believed to be one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. The church is considered one of the oldest in India and is called an Apostolic Church, which is a part of seven churched established by St. Thomas in India. It is a very vibrant Catholic church, which has a strength over 3.8 million believers, next to Ukranian Church with strength of about 4.5 million believers.
People say that St. Thomas visited India in 52 AD and landed at Kodungallur on the Kerala Coast. He started preaching the Gospel to high caste families of Kerala and established churches at seven places, i.e. Kodungallur, Palayur, Kottakav, Kokkamangalam, Niranam, Kollam, and Nilakkal. It is stated that there used to be a Hindu Temple, abandoned by the Brahmins, and was converted into the present church. The ruins of that Hindu Temple, can still be seen in the premises of the church.
Given that the church was built incorporating an old Hindu temple, which was deserted, the church has a fusion of Hindu architectural style and Persian Church plan, with the roof rising like a tower above the nave. The entrance of this church was much like a Hindu style Mandapa. The whole building was re-built in the 18th century, when Tipu Sultan invaded Kerala and the church was destroyed by fire.