Saturday, April 4, 2015

Malayattoor Church

Malayattoor is a serene beautiful village town in Ernakulam district and is 52 km from Kochi on the banks of the holy river 'Periyar'.It is on the slopes of the Western Ghats and the name 'Malayattoor' itself is an amalgamation of three words 'Mala' 'Aaru' and 'Ooru' indicating a meeting place of Mountain,River and Land.Malayattoor is an International Pilgrimage center because of the 'Malayattoor Church' which is dedicated to St.Thomas Apostle.
Malayattoor is near to Cochin International Airport.'Kalady' the birth place of 'Aadi Shankaracharya' a Hindu Saint is very close to Malayattoor and Aluva Town famous for the Hindu Festival 'Shivratri' is nearby.
There are two Churches here one at the foothill and the other atop the hill which is  609 m high.The Churches are very ancient and made after St.Thomas visited this place.St.Thomas landed at Kodungallur in Kerala in the year AD 52 and for 20 years he was involved in spiritual services in South India.St.Thomas meditated on the rocks at the hill top for several days.When he felt thirsty he struck on the rock and fresh water gushed  out.There is  a well at present in this spot and devotees believe that the water cures many ailments.
St.Thomas is  called as 'Ponnin Kurisu Muthappan'  at Malayattoor and the hill is known as 'Kurisu Mudi'.Kurisu is the word for 'Cross' in Malayalam and 'Mudi' has the meaning 'Mountain' or Hill'.
'Ponnin Kurisu' means 'Golden Cross' and 'Muthappan' means the 'Great Grandfather'.
When St.Thomas Apostle prayed at the top of the hill he made a sign of the Cross on the rock and after awhile a golden cross appeared there.The natives who witnessed this act informed the villagers about this miracle and some of them because of their  curiosity struck on the Cross.For their amazement blood oozed out.This miracle was also wide spread and people started pilgrimage to the place.Still people climb the hill as a pilgrimage to worship these spots and also worship a  'foot print' of the Apostle seen  on the rock.
Some of the pilgrims carry heavy wooden Cross on their shoulders while trekking the hill with devotion remembering the sufferings of Jesus Christ at Calvary.
The holy Shrine was constructed at Malayattoor after the visit of St.Thomas and  is one of the ancient Churches in India.Large number of devotees from all parts of the State and from other parts of India and abroad visits this Church.
The relics of St.Thomas is preserved here in the 'Marthoma Mandapam' and people worship there too.A statue of St.Thomas is installed at the highest point of the hill and twenty steps are made there to indicate his 20 years of service in South India.Many of the devotees call the 'Kurisumudi' hill also as 'Ponmala' which means 'golden hill'.
The annual celebration (Feast) of Malayattoor Church  which is known as 'Perunnal' in Kerala is celebrated on the next Sunday after Easter.This year 'Malayattoor Perunnal' will be










celebrated on Sunday, 12th April 2015.Devotees irrespective of Cast and creed from far and near participates in this grand event.

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