10 June 2007

Orthodox Outpost

Click on the link below for a slide show of some of the oldest churches in and around Kunnamkulam, Thrissur. What is unbelievable by us southists is that all of them are under the Malankara Orthodox Syrian wing. Yes, so far off north of Kottayam! Make sure you turn on the titles and descriptions in the link below
A gist of some of the history in this area is as follows:
  • Legend says that the Cheralayam St.Lazarus church was the first church to be built by the Essenes (Christian) Jews when they migrated here with St. Thomas in the 1st century.
    Many of these churches are centered on Thekke-angadi (South market), which is a place very much like West Fort of Trivandrum, is a ghetto of tightly packed houses. Here the Jewish Christian families stay and trade…I am not sure if they still claim to be of Jewish descent.
  • Tipu Sultan did a ' 300' at the Arthattu church I read. Hung bodies and heads of these 'Issani' (Essene) zealots on a tree within the church compound. After which he then burnt the church to the ground. BTW, Arthat church still contests as the real first church by saint Thomas (!) The people there say the Palayur thing is a lie.
  • At Pazhanji church, it is said that these Christians held their ground bravely against Tipu's Padayottom.
  • A few kilometers off Kunnamkulam in a place called Thozhiyur there is an 'Independent' Syrian church, where a disposed orthodox bishop set up his own church on a land donated by a Muslim for favors received in the miraculous healing of this Muslim's son from rabies.
One bloody interesting place.


Anonymous said...

Nice to some new posts of late.

I am saddened why nobody, especially media, is taking interest in Thondachan and four silver coins.

FlipFlop said...

Regarding the Thondacchen case : Not many are interested in such facts & figures except us :-)

Anonymous said...

Judas Iscariot was paid 30 silver pieces by the priests. What happened to the remaining 26 coins? Did he use it elsewhere before landing in India?

Anonymous said...

The Nair folk-lore is very clear about St. Thomas having gifted them four silver coins. The survival of these four coins in good condition is attributed to their careful preservation by this high-caste Hindu family due to their veneration of a deified Apostle whom they worshipped as “Thondachan”. Had the apostle not been deified, a family member at some point in history might have destroyed or given away these four pieces of silver; for it only takes one Hindu zealot in the family to take an anti-Christian stand. The fact is they did not regard St. Thomas a “Christian” as we understand it today. That concept did not exist. Their regard and veneration was for a travel-worn holy man who was their guest, whose visit and words left a lasting impression on the family, a man who performed miracles, and a man who could heal, a man who was kind and who blessed them in the name of God. That he was deified is not surprising. Such a man might well have been a Hindu as far as the family was concerned as he did not attempt to force a conversion of faith or affect their beliefs in any way. Unfortunately family folk-lore is not able to pin-point the date or period when “Thomas” became “Thondachan”. But the family history is very clear that there were only four silver coins. The “shekel” was unfamiliar to them so they called it “parindu-velli” (“eagle-silver” from the impression of an eagle on the coin). Owing to the story narrated by St. Thomas the coins were also called “rakta-velli” (blood-silver).

Anonymous said...

The coins are a proof of St. Thomas's visit to India. It is also a proof that all that is said in the Bible are true.

I wish we could have the coins for veneration.

I wish we could build a church over each of them.

Will someone PLEASE prepare to carry the cross on this account whenever the coins are revealed by this elusive family member?

FlipFlop said...

My Dear friend,

You seem to be obsessed with the coins story!
Church over each coin?! Man, u are taking this too far. We already have too many places of worship in Kerala ... so many that we stumble on one very few steps :-)

Anonymous said...

One of the coin is with me now. call/whatsapp for pic, if 8893644999.

Tony Kurian said...

Can someone post the photo of the above mentioned coin so that i can verify the one i have..