Kottayam Cheriapally Part 1( Christian Migration to Kottayam)

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St.. Thomas, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ came to Kerala in AD 52 and established 8 churches  and converted locals into Christians before becoming a martyr at Mylapore near present Chennai. Kings of Kerala states were deeply impressed by the hard working Mar Thoma Christians, due to their financial background, good trading practices, great martial skills. The arrival of vast trading Christian community from Persia under the leadership of Thomas of Cana in the 4th century helped to boost this image.

There were few Christians in Thekkumkoor state till the early part of the 14th century based at Kadathuruthy. For various reasons some Christian families lead by Pulikal family from Poonjar migrated to Kottayam and settled nearby Eruthical temple belonging to Thekkumkoor Raja. Large scale migration of Christians from Kuruvilangad, Kaduthuruthi and Poonjar occurred in the 16th century and they settled nearby Thazhathangady, Pazhayachanda, and Valiaangady.

As the population grew, need for church aroused because the migrants still had to visit their mother churches to satisfy their spiritual needs. Arrival of Fr. Cherian Mathen Kathanar from Kadathuruthy helped it. Thekkumkoor Godavarma Raja was glad to provide the land free of cost, when the Christians approached him, very soon the construction of Valiyapally started and completed in 1550.

To be continued …………….

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