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Popularly known as ‘God’s own country’- Kerala is a home to many natural wonders one can imagine of. Be it the place for fun, food, music, vacation, tour or religion, Kerala is ought to please all. Blessed with all the beauties of nature and abundant pilgrimage, Kerala gives major touring goals to all the nature lovers and the religious ones. One can soak them in the beauty of nature and in the prayer of god at the same time here and can thus find the true inner peace.

Ever since Christianity emerged in India, Kerala has been a mother place to enclose all the beautiful churches of the country inside it. The state is believed to harbor around10 denominations of Christianity and numerous churches with brilliant architecture and designs. The state is sure to keep you mesmerized with its historic Churches, Cathedrals and Basilicas contained within. The churches here are built in European style and denote the beautiful architecture that makes the places worth seeing.

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Here we list some of the famous churches in Kerala that are worth paying a visit-

#1 Arthunkal Church (St. Andrew’s Basilica, Arthunkal)

St Andrews Basilica aka Arthunkal Church was built in 16th century by Portugese missionaries. This place possesses a marvelous statue of St. Sebastian imported from Italy, and is looked upon as the largest shrine of the St. Sebastian. Thus, this church has also got a name of St. Sebastian Church. It’s a common local belief to visit this church after offering prayers as Sabarimala temple. St. Andrew’s Basilica is very famous church in arthunkal.

Location: Alappuzha

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Events: annual Arthunkal feast (mid January)

Mass Timings: Monday-Saturday – 5:30 am, 7 am and 5:30 pm and Sunday – 5:30 am, 7 am, 9 am, 11 am and 5 pm, Thursday – 5:30 am, 7:00 am, 10:30 am and 4:30 pm

#2 St. Francis Church – Oldest European Church of Kerala

Built in 16th century, with excellent timber woods work, this church is amongst the important church of Kerala. It is the oldest European church in the country. The history of the church chants that the holy remnants of Vasco da Gama were buried here in 1524, which was then relocated to Lisbon, Portugal, 14 years later. But his gravestone can still be seen. The beautiful church with the wood, stone and glass artwork are enough to attract the tourists visiting Kerala. St. Francis Church is one of the most popular historical place of Kerala.

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Location: Fort Kochi

Timings: Monday – Saturday: 7:00 AM – 6:30 PM, Sunday: 8:00 AM – 6:30 PM, Sunday Service: 8:00 AM (except third Sunday)

Events: A special mass is organized on every Sunday.

#3 Vallarpadam Church (National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom, Vallarpadam)

The Vallarpadam Church aka ‘The Church of Our Lady Ransom’ or ‘Basilica of Our Lady Ransom’ is one of the beautiful church in kerala zealing Mother Mary.  This church bestows many renowned titles as “The special church” by Pope Leo XIII, “The divine and holy church” by The Government of India. The church derived its name by a special name of the mother Mary- “Vallarpadathamma”.

Location: Ernakulam

Mass Timings: Monday – Friday – 6.30 am, 5.30 pm, Sunday – 7.00 am, 9.30 am, 4.00 pm, 5.30 pm, Saturday – 6.30 am, 10.30 am, 4.00 pm, 6.00 pm

Events: Vallarpadath Amma

#4 Santa Cruz Basilica (Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, Kochi)

Amongst the eight well-known Basilicas in India is the Santa Cruz Basilica. The church is thought to be built in 1500 CE during the arrival of Portugese in India. It is an epitome of Indo-European and gothic architecture, historical paintings, murals and frescos and possesses historical importance as well. The church has undergone numerous insults by the invaders since 16th century and had been under constant renovations. The last renovation is counted to be in 1905.

The church showcases beautiful Italian paintings, impressive architecture and style, and thus is amongst the one of the beautiful church in Kerala. This church is oldest church in kochi, kerala. Fort Kochi has so many heritage sites so, you can visit those places as well during your visit.

Location: Fort Kochi

Mass Timings: Monday-Saturday: 6 am, 7 am and 6 pm and Sunday: 5:30 am, 6:45 am, 8 Am, 9:30 am and 5:30 pm. Special wedding masses at 3:30 pm on Saturday and 10-11 Am on Sunday.

Events: Feast of Our Lady of Fathima, Christmas Celebration, Feast of Christ the King, Inauguration of Jubilee of Mercy, Feast of St. Theresa Of Lisieux, Feast of our lady, Queen of the most holy rosary, Feast of the holy cross.

#5 St. George’s Church, Kadamattom

The church is believed to have been established in the 9th century by Mar Sabor and is a famous Malankara Jacobite Orthodox Syrian Church. A Syrian monk named Kadamattathu Kathanar, with mystical powers and unnatural capabilities is believed to be closely asscociated with this church.

The church was fabricated in the Indo-Persian style and the outstanding feature being its old Persian cross with four equal arms tipped with floral designs.

Location: Fort Kochi

Mass Timings: Saturday – Evening Prayer – 6:00 pm, Sunday – Holy Qurbono (1st) – 7:00 am; Holy Qurbono (2st) – 8:30 am

Events: Kadamattom Feast observed during the January – February period to mark the death anniversary of Kadamattathu Kathanar.

#6 St. Thomas Cathedral, Irinjalakuda

This church got its present existence under the nomenclature and the Canonical Status as Cathedral in the Wake of the Origin of the New Eparchy. It was highly affected by the St. George’s Forane Church and St. Mary’s church. There is a Spirituality Centre refuge adjacent to the Cathedral. Also are Chapels, Religious Houses, Educational Institutions and Religious, Charitable, and Social Ventures for people of every caste and creed. This church is one of the most popular tourist destination of Kerala.

Location: Irinjalakuda town in Thrissur district

Holy Mass Time

Sunday:

Cathedral: 6.00 am, 07.30 am, 10.30 am, 12.05 pm (For Wedding Only).

Spirituality Centre : 6.00 am, 09.00 am (For Kids), 05.00 pm.

Monday to Wednesday:

Cathedral: 6.00 am, 7.15 am, 05.00 pm.

Spirituality Centre : 8.00 am.

Thursday and Saturday:

Cathedral: 6.00 am, 7.15 am.

Spirituality Centre : 8.00 am, 5.00 pm.

Friday:

Cathedral: 6.00 am, 7.15 am, 5.00 pm.

Spirituality Centre : 12.30 pm (Retreat)

Events: Pindi Parunnal is the main annual festival.

#7 Vimalagiri Church (Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral, Kottayam)

Vimalagiri Church of Kottayam aka Angathattu Palli is sworn to Immaculate Heart of Mary. Mother Mary is popularly known by the name Vimalabika here. The church is famous for housing a 172 feet tall tower, which has been recorded as one of the “tallest church towers” of the state. The church has been built in beautiful Gothic style architecture, back in 1964, which attracts thousands of tourists every year.

Timings: Open on all days of the week from 7 am to 7 pm.

Location: Kottayam

Mass Timings: N/A

Events: Christmas and the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

#8 Our lady of Dolours (Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours, Thrissur)

Situated in Thrissur district of Kerala, the Basilica of our Lady of Dolores aka Puthanpally is a minor basilica of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. It is one amongst the oldest church of the country and is ranked as the third tallest church in Asia and the largest one in India. The church has been built in fine Indo-Gothic style, with the interiors decorated with fine specimens of murals, images of saints and scenes from the scriptures.

Location– Thrissur

Mass timings– Ordinary days : 6.00 am, 7.30 am, 5.30 pm

Friday : 6.00 am, 7.30 am, 10.00 am, 5.30 pm, 7.30 pm

Sunday : 6.00 am, 7.30 am, 9.30 am, 4.45 pm, 6.00 pm (Eng), 7.30 pm

Events: Basilica Festival in the last Sunday of November

#9 Edathua Church Alapuzha (St. George Forane Church, Edathua)

Situated in Alapuzha district, this church is popular and holds faith of Christians and non Christian as well. The church was built in 1801 as a dedication to St. George. It is located on the banks of the river Pamba in Alappuzha. Influenced by the medieval European architecture, this church is a boon for the ones suffering from mental disorders.

Location– Alapuzha district

Mass timings-

Sundays – Morning 5.45 (with Sapra), 7.50, 9.30 (with Sapra) and evening 4pm.

Fridays – 5.30 am (with Sapra), 7.00 and 4 pm Novena and Holy Mass.

First Fridays – 10 am to 3 pm, Holy Mass, Convention, Adoration and Confession.

Other Days – 5.45 am Sapra and Holy Mass, 7 am Holy Mass.

Events- annual feast is held from 27th April to 7th May with great pomp and pilgrims from all over Kerala come here to celebrate. This church is known to miraculously cure mental disorders.

#10 St. George’s Forane Church Kochi

St. George Forane Church aka Edappally Pally, is amongst the famous Roman Catholic Churches in Kerala. This church is believed to be constructed in 594 AD and have been undergone many renovations since time. Inside the church is the beautiful statue of St. George, riding a horse, spearing a dragon. Also there is a Virgin Mary’s mural inside the church. One can see Virgin Mary, baby Jesus with angles surrounding them. The church is also famous for well containing water with magical powers and has cured many from the incurable diseases.

Location- Edappally, Ernakulam

Mass timings- Monday through Saturday:

Holy Mass at 6.00am, 7.00am and 6.00pm

Sundays:

Holy Mass at 5.45am, 7.00am, 8.45am, 10.15am, 4.30pm, 5.30pm, 7.30pm

First Fridays:

Holy Mass at 5.45am, 7.00am, 9.00am, 10.30am, 12.00pm (Latin rite mass), 3.30pm, 5.00pm, 7.30pm

Events- Catholics observe the feast of St. George on 23rd April.

#11 St. Alphonsa’s Church, Bharananganam (In Kottayam)

Named after the first Saint of India, St. Alphonsa, this church is one amongst the important churches in Kerala. It was built after the canonization of St. Alphonsa, and is a famous pilgrimage site. She was a very pious and dedicated nun, and her mortal remains rests here. The church has a beautiful red brick design and contains a glass portrait of the saint inside.

Location: Bharananganam

Timings: Monday-Saturday: 5:30 am, 6:30 am, 8:30 am, 11 am and 5 pm and Sunday: 7:30 am, 9 am, 10:50 am, 12 noon and 2:40 pm

Events: St. Alphonsa’s feast organized in July, Candle –lit Rosary Procession

I am sure you would now be tempted enough to add these places in your itinerary on your next trip to Kerala to experience the inner peace and feel your connection with the almighty. The aforementioned information will make your search easy on choosing the location and destination of your priority. Don’t forget to share your experience with us once you are back..

Image Courtesy – Wikimedia/stfrancis, Vallarpadam , Kadamattom , St.Thomas , Vimalagiri , Our Lady of Dolours, Edathua , Flickr/Santa Cruz