Malayattoor church is one of the most famous and important places of worship for the Christians. It is situated in the Ernakulum district Kerala, India. This church attracts thousand of devotees every year from all across the world. St. Thomas is the person who had taken the initiative to begin a community of their Christians in Kerala. He also had set up this church that was designated by the Vatican as an international holy place.
It is also believed that St. Thomas had landed in Kerala in the year 52 A.D. legends say that while he was crossing Malayattoor he faced some unfriendly citizens. He finally landed on the hilltop where he start praying and left his footsteps on one of the rock. It is also believed that while he was praying he touched one of the stone and blood started oozing out. He used to pray with the suffering and pain. He drew a symbol of cross on the stone and he used to kiss that symbol and pray. Finally listening to his prayers Mother of our lady appeared and blessed him comfort and strength. 'Malayattoor' is derived from three words that are 'Mala' that means Mountains, Arr means 'River' and 'oore' means river. This also means that a place where there is a meeting point of the rivers, mountains and land. This is considered as one of the largest pilgrimage centre that is dedicated to St. Thomas in India.
The construction of the church is in the form of the traditional Roman architecture but the altars are designed totally in the form of Greek style. Just behind the centre altar in the church there are engraved designs and paintings that include the 5 stations of joyful mysteries of lord. This church is divided into three main wings and has separate facilities such as confession and adoration. In this church there is a golden cross kept in the center and just below this are the footprints of St. Thomas. These footprints are preserved in a glass encasing. There is a wall in the east of this church that is of the ancient chapel that is still preserved. It is said that it was the first building to be built on a hill top in 1595. There is also a miraculous well near the ancient chapel and legends also say that St. Thomas used to quench his thirst while praying.
Devotees visit this place for asking the saint to bless them and give them the strength and courage to face all the difficulties that come across their way. They have to just light a lamp or a candle and keep in front of the footprints of the saint. There is a statue of St. Thomas that is erected near his footprint in the year 1938. People visit this place to get spiritual pleasure and inner happiness.
Festival of Malayattoor church
On the first Sunday that comes after Easter day there are thousands of devotees who visit this place to seek holy blessing of saint St. Thomas.
Airways: Nearest airport is the Cochin international airport that is located at a distance of about 15 kilometers from Malayattoor church. There are local bus and taxi services available from airport to church. It just takes 15 minutes to reach the church from airport.
Railways: Nearest railway stations are the Angamaly station that is about 17 kilometers away and the Cochin railway station that is at a distance of about 15 kilometers away from Malayattoor church.
Roads Ways: There are state transport and luxury bus services available from Malayattoor to all the major cities of India as it is well connected to all the cities of India. There are proper local buses and taxi services available from all parts of the city to church, as this church is easily assessable from bus station.
Ideal time to visit this place is from October to March as during this period Christians celebrates their festivals, besides festival the weather is also very pleasant.