Church History

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'In the earlier days the Christian believers of Kallooppara had to depend on the 'Niranam Church' for the holy mass, funeral ceremonies and other religious rites. The journey on Vallom (small boat) through the Manimala and Pampa rivers was tedious, tiresome and risky.

The much renowned Edappally Kings were ruling at that time and they used to spend their time in the famous and explicably beautiful Elangalloor Maddom, rich in its architectural antiquity, that once existed on the north side of the river Manimala. A abode for the royal guests that was once well-equipped with a private pool called the 'Kullipura Mallika' equipped with granite rock paved steps carved with excellent craftsmanship to the Manimala river, can still be seen now in Angadikadavu of Puramattam panchayat.

It is said that once while the ruling king of Edappally was having his rest in the Elangalloor Maddom, he happened to see a few number of people coming on a vallom (small boat) singing melodious hymns accompanied by prayers. The king immediately came down to the river bank to observe the sight more closely and found it to be a burial procession, with the body on the floating hearse covered with a white cloth. The procession that started from Manimala was going to Niranam Church for the funeral of the dead, since in those days Niranam Church was the only Christian church in central Travancore.

This event moved the Kings heart and having realized the hardship of the Christian subjects, he virtually pointed a plot on the other side of the river, and gave sanction to bury the body and built a church there.

With the withdrawal of Thekkumkoor kings, Kallooppara came under the Edappally dynasty, which is also known as Elangalloor Swaroopam. The Edappally dynasty has the history of the elevation of a temple priest to the royal position of a King. The founder of the Edappally dynasty was a priest of Thrikkakara temple according to the historical evidence and proverbs. Master craftsmen belonging to the the Viswakarma clan were brought to Kallooppara from Edappally, and hamlets of the then Thirukochi, now known as Kochi, for parting their craftsmanship in the construction of temples like Kallooppara Devi Kshethram, Thelliyoorkavu, Porittikavu and 'The legendary Kallooppara Valiyapally' (St Mary's Orthodox Church, Kallooppara). Though the Christians devotees of Kallooppara claim their roots to the first century, history dates their arrival and settlement at Kallooppara only from the 9th century onwards. Most of them migrated from Christian centers like Kuravilangad, Vaikom, Kadambanad etc.

But sadly there are no clear evidence for the origin and age of the church. It is commonly believed that the founding stone of the church was laid on Malayalam month Karkadakam 3rd of 515 (A.D.1339). The stone day of the church is being celebrated on that day.

It is also believed that the church has the same age as the origin of Edappally dynasty. The study of the archaeology department also reveals that church was constructed in the 2nd millennium. The sculpture and figure carved in wood also indicates the same. Some letters carved on the slab of holy place of the church also traces back to the origin of the church. Though the letters have faded out, they are believed to be of the earlier century.

The church conforms to the ancient temple architecture prevalent in Kerala. The 'Madbaha' and the various doors are in form of beautiful arches. The roof of the madbaha was constructed in semicircle shape using laterite. The 80 feet verandhas that run on either side of the church, the various 'Poomukhams', entablature architraves, the wooden carvings inside the church etc. reveal the greatness and magnificence of the Indian 'Thanchusastra' and "Vasthuvidhya'.