Ezharapallikal Tour Package - Seven and Half St Thomas Churches in Kerala

Mollyson Holidays brings you the Ezharapallikal Tour Package which comprises of the famous seven and a half St Thomas Churches. These Churches of St Thomas are spread across the different region of Kerala which includes Palayur Church, Kottakavu Church, Kodungallur Church, Kokkamangalam Church, Nilakkal Church, Niraman Church, Kollam Church and Thiruvithamkode St Thomas Church.

Ezharapallikal holiday package

Ezharapallikal holiday package

History of St Thomas Churches in Kerala

It was through the word the ordinances of the almighty were fulfilled in history. St Thomas one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ had a responsibility to fulfill this mission in India and around. By the year 1852 St Thomas reached the Malabar Coast crossing the Seas of great sacrifices. The famous port city of Cranganore unknown at those times was known as Muziris. Many traders from Palestine of West Asia during those times used to come over to Muziris to buy spices especially pepper. The gospel of the Living God was a new message to them like the new heaven and the new earth of Hope and relief.

St Thomas Church at Kodungallur

It is the tradition that the Apostle blessed and founded Ezharapallikal in Malankara. He started the first church at Kodungallur where he landed with a small Jewish community settle there. His mission started smoothly and was well received by the Jews and other people settled in that city. Even today we see the Marthoma Gate his entry point the pontifical shrine built on the site where Saint Thomas established the church. Known as the cradle of Christian community in India today this is the place where the first seed of Christianity was sown by Saint Thomas in the year 52 AD. The right arm of St Thomas is preserved in the shrine and people from all over the world visit this shrine throughout the year.

St Thomas Church at Palayur or Palayoor

Palayur some fifty kilometers north of Kodungallur is the second church established by St Thomas. This church is unique because it is built on the site where Saint Thomas himself built a church. It was here St Thomas performed the most famous miracle among the dominant Brahmins. In the Periyakulam Lake near the temple the Brahmins were offering their morning prayer by sprinkling water upwards by the cup of their palm. The Apostle wish to know why they were doing that and was told that the water was thrown upwards as an offering to the gods. “In that case your offerings do not seem to be acceptable to the powers above otherwise the water wouldn’t have fallen back” said the Apostle. This naturally elicited a retort and the Brahmins challenged where the Saint Thomas could make the water drops stand in mid-air. St Thomas said he could but only if they promise to accept Jesus as their master. They agreed and St Thomas prayed and sprinkled water and the drops remained in the air. Most of the Brahmins accepted Jesus and were baptized. The lake and the remains of the old temple which the brahmins destroyed to build the church are still there for us to see.

St Thomas Church Kottakavu

15 Kms south of Kodungallur and 15 Kms north of the present Cochin city is Paravur then a trade center where St Thomas established the third community. The Kottakavu church built by Saint Thomas is still there renovated and preserved. There is a two thousand-year-old wall built by St Thomas’s men to save the church from the attack of the local king Tipu Sultan and his men. Just behind this old church is the sprawling new Parish Church one of the most beautiful churches found in India.

St Thomas Church at Kokkamangalam

After the Jews, Brahmins and traders St Thomas targeted the farmers and came to Kokkamangalam 50 kilometers south of Cochin and preached the gospel among farmers. Picturesque village surrounded by the back waters on one side and rich plantations on the other side this place was where St Thomas established the fourth church. This church is built on the spot where St Thomas established a cross for worship. He stayed there for a year and converted 1,600 people according to Ramban Pattu ancient form of Christian folk song.

St Thomas Church at Niranam

Niranam an interior village with farming community is the place where St Thomas established the fifth community. He planted a cross for people to worship and preach the gospel. Today this church has maintained by a separate group of Christians called Orthodox judge and will call themselves St Thomas Christians. The priests have a unique dress code and the prayers are also different from the Roman Catholic Church .

St Thomas Church at Kollam

Kollam, 145 kilometers south of the present Cochin city and with a strong fishing community is where St Thomas established the sixth community.  This town even today is a Christian strong hold. All these six churches were either on the seashore or close to the coast.

St Thomas Church at Nilackal

Saint Thomas then moved to a popular hill resort cum Trade Center called Nilackal. Since this town was on the border of the major kingdoms of South India that is Chera Chola and Pandya kingdoms it was a busy Trade Center. St Thomas was received well and preached the gospel among the local traders and to those who came from other parts of the country for trade. St Thomas built a church, had many disciples and the Christian faith flourished. St Thomas told his disciples that he had to go to other places of the country and left Nilackal saying he would never return. Later the local religious extremists destroyed the church in 1314 ad attacked the Christians, chase them out and develop their own shrine. The Christians who fled the place even now live in the nearby areas. This prison church is a monument to the history of Nilackal. This is an ecumenical Church the only one of its kind in the world. All denominations of Christians come here for prayer and retreat. The International Centre for retreat and prayer serves the purpose of thousands of devotees who come from all parts of the world and before crossing the Shyadri mountains carrying the message of love.

Ezharapallikal Tour Package Cost

The Spiritual Expedition to The Ezharapallikal of St Thomas comes with an all inclusive package cost of INR 25,000/- Per Person. The details about this tour package is mentioned in the Itinerary section.

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St Thomas Church Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Cochin – Trissur

Assemble at the Cochin International Airport. Meet our representatives. Proceed to Trissur by coach. Arrive Trissur by afternoon and check in hotel. Day at leisure. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 2
Trissur – Ernakulam

Breakfast at Hotel. Proceed to visit Arthat St Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral. Then move to next famous church, St Thomas Church (Syro-Malabar Catholic Church), Palayur. After visiting the church, we visit Kodungalloor Church, The Marthoma Pontifical shrine (Kodungaloor Mar Thoma Church) is considered as first church built by St Thomas. The church is situated on the banks of the River Periyar. Next to Kottakkavu Mar Thoma Syro-Malabar Pilgrim Church and St Thomas Jacobite Syrian Church, North Paravur.

Lunch at Indian restaurant. After lunch, next we visit St Thomas Church, Malayattoor. (Hilltop visiting is not possible because of the time limit). St. Thomas the Apostolate set up the church here which has been designated by the Vatican as one among the eight International shrines in the world. It is believed that St. Thomas held prayer at this church when he landed in Kerala. Then we move to St. George Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church Edapally. This is one of the oldest church in India, built in 594 AD. Next to Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom, Vallarpadam. Overnight stay and dinner at Hotel.

Day 3
Ernakulum – Kumarakom -Thiruvalla

Breakfast at Hotel. Checkout and proceed to Mattancherry. Mattancherry is one of the beautiful city in Kerala where various civilizations of the world have created significant impact which led to cultural and religious synthesis. The Portuguese followed by the Dutch and later on the British ruled the city and used them as their first trade hub till independence of the country. This beautiful city is surrounded by the Cochin backwaters. In Mattancherry we visit St. George Orthodox Church commonly known as Koonankurishu Pally, where the historical Koonankurishu Oath took place. The land has become sacred with the foot prints of the Persian Prelates, first Catholicos Mar Thoma 1. Next we visit St. Andrew’s Basilica Arthunkal in Alappuzha. Alappuzha popularly known as “Venice of the East”. The church was originally built by the Portuguese missionaries in the 16th century. From there we visit St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Kokkamangalam. The church has a historical story that St. Thomas sailed to Kokkamangalam and converted 1600 people to Christianity according to the narration in “Rampan Pattu”, an ancient form of Christian folk-song prevalent in Kerala. He formed a Christian community at Kokkamangalam and enshrined a Cross for the faithful. This cross was later cut off by saboteurs, and thrown into the Lake Vembanad, through which it floated up to Pallippuram, where it is enshrined.

Move to Kumarakom. Here we can taste the natural beauty of “Gods own country”. Also provides a Houseboat travel with Lunch. Then move to Manarcad St. Mary’s Cathedral, is a Jacobite Syrian Church, a destination for people on annual pilgrimages seeking the blessings of the Virgin Mary. The church is one of the largest Christian parish in Kerala. Next we visit St. George Orthodox Church Puthuppally Pally. Proceed to Thiruvalla, dinner and overnight stay at hotel.

Day 4
Thiruvalla

Breakfast at Hotel. Move to Paliakara St. George Orthodox Church. Then we visit St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, Niranam. Then we move to the famous St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, Parumala. Parumala church is the tomb church of Saint Gee Varghese Mar gregarious or Parumala Thirumeni. He died on 2 November 1902 at the age of 54. The funeral was conducted at Parumala on 3 November 1902 in the presence of thousands of people and hundreds of priests. Many testimonies to the saintly intercession of Mar gregarious made Parumala Church and the tomb a Centre of pilgrimage.

Lunch at restaurant. Then we visit Nilakkal St. Thomas Ecumenical Church. Saint Thomas came here and preached good news and baptized 1100 people. Today there exist the Nilackal St. Thomas Church, Ecumenical center trust and the cross established by Saint Thomas the apostle. Move back to Thiruvalla. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 5
Kollam – Trivandrum

After breakfast checkout from the hotel. Move to visit Kollam Church. In ancient time, Kollam was a famous harbor and trade center. According to local tradition, St. Thomas established a church near port is believed to have been destroyed by the Arabian Sea. Then we move to experience a boat ride in Ashtamudi Lake. Lunch from restaurant. Move to Trivandrum. Visit Trivandrum Zoo, Shangumukam beach. Back to hotel. Dinner and overnight stay at hotel.

Day 6
Trivandrum

After breakfast we move to visit Thiruvithamcode Arappally or Thomayar Kovil or St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, is a church located in Thiruvithamcode, Tamil Nadu. It is believed by the Christian communities in Kerala that the historic Thiruvithamcode Arappally, also called Amalagiri church as named by the Chera King Uthiyan Cheralathan, was built by St. Thomas, known as the Apostle of India. It is believed to be the world’s oldest existing church structure, and believed to be built by Thomas the Apostle in 57 AD, and is now declared an international St. Thomas pilgrim center.

After lunch proceed to visit Kovalam Beach. By evening proceed to Hotel. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 7
After breakfast, checkout from Hotel.

EZHARAPALLIKAL TOUR COST INCLUDES:

  • To and Fro Train Tickets in A/C Coach
  • One night Accommodation in Trissur
  • One night Accommodation in Ernakulum
  • Two night Accommodation in Thiruvalla
  • Two night Accommodation in Trivandrum
  • Entrance to all the above mentioned Sightseeing places
  • Daily Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • All transfers in A/C Coach
  • Tour Manager from Mollyson Holidays

EZHARAPALLIKAL TOUR COST EXCLUDES:

  • Additional meals other than specified in the itinerary
  • Food & drinks not forming part of group menus
  • Laundry, beverages, telephone charges
  • Charges for Candles for lightning in churches
  • Anything which is not included in the “Cost Includes”

NOTE:
All passengers must travel together. Passengers are responsible for any illness/injuries that occur during travel.

Send in your queries related to Ezharapallikal Tour Package and we would be happy to help you.

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