8 April 2007

Blended Sabha Blended Architecture

Mosque? Church? Temple? Western or Eastern? Roman or Antiochene?


Some call the St. John's Cathedral in Thiruvalla as Puttukuttipally but I am in all praise for it ever since I decided to take a closer look at it recently. Unlike Perumthachan's temple pond this is not just an illusion; it is a good blend of all the characteristics of sabha onto one structure. If one go a little closer the outsides resembles typical Keralite temple architecture. But once inside it is Roman Catholic in its cathedral-styled grandiosity but at the same time Antiochene-Syrian in the settings.
Much of the beauty in any Syrian church is in the characteristic bright red veils hiding the Sanctum Sanctorum (Madbaha); here the reddishness goes great with the reddish-brown woodwork that make up the whole of the madbaha.
And BTW this church enshrines has some 5 Holy Relics.


Considering the atrocities committed on some of the ancient churches of this region (a few of them being as old as Christianity) this one stands out, in my view, as a very well thought of design especially considering that this is very new construction. The Syro-Malankara Catholic church authorities and/or the architects took pains to include all the elements the sabha stands for while not in any way reducing it's modernity and flambouyancy. When most of the old churches are losing their originality and beauty this new one tries to bring them back.


Catholic, Antiochene and Keralite. Great work Brethren! For this, the loads of church funds didn't go to waste.


terraleogoincele said...

Hi Mate,good prose,would appreciate it if you were a bit more frequent in your writings.

FlipFlop said...

Thanks, yes I should write more frequently but as you know "Man does not live by blogs alone" :-) I am buried in work for the last 7 months.

terraleogoincele said...

Flip you aint a flop,you wont believe it but your site is referred for articles by a site nasrani.net.Pretty earnest people there,and since your a good traveller maybe you can add to the spice there with your thoughtful musings.Plus some of these guys are
doing some serious work regarding the geneology of St Thomas Christians.Seems there is a lot of Jewish blood in most of them

FlipFlop said...

hey, Thanks for the info and for stopping by ;-)