St Mary's Forane Church in AlappuzhaSt. Mary’s Forane Church, or the Champakulam Kalloorkkadu Church, founded in 427 A.D., is a centuries-old church, in fact, one of the very first of such churches to be established in India. Not only is it the oldest, but this Syrio-Malabar Church is also Alappuzha’s most influential Syrian Catholic Church. What’s more, legend has it that it was the Apostle St.Thomas himself who laid the foundations of this church.
Apart from its important theological position, the church is also an epitome of ancient Syrian Christian architecture and at the same time derives heavily from a Portuguese influence, as the original building of the church is believed to have been originally constructed in 1151 A.D.
The rich history and legacy associated with this church, in addition to its beautiful edifice attracts a huge number of tourists in Alappuzha. There is a vast plunder of ancient artefacts which lends an air of mystery and historical importance to this place.
The church is situated in Champakullam, on the banks of the mighty Pamba River, and this location creates an atmosphere of a kind of elite significance around it, which it also duly enjoys in its vast number of Parishes. A bridge is also being constructed across the river to connect its east and west banks. Champakulam is an isolated rural land in Kuttanadu, which is a Taluk under the Alapuzha district.
St Mary's Forane Church History and ArchitectureSt.Mary’s Forane Church is known to have played an important role in the history of Indian Christians, South Indian Christians to be more specific. It was the key factor that helped in the reconciliation between Catholic and Jacobian Syrians three centuries ago.
The church architecture reeks of royal magnificence as it combines elements from the Portuguese and Syrian Christian cultures.
The Champakulam Open air Rock cross also features in the St. Thomas Christian Churches.
Additional Facilities at the ChurchParish Hall
Initially, there was a small Parish Hall with about hundred seats. A few years back, a bigger Parish Hall was constructed. The latest, inaugurated on 1.3.2011 has 800+ seats.
St. Mary’s Theological Centre
Inaugurated in 2011, this is an important centre for religious learning.
Holy Qurbana Timings
Sundays : 6.00am, 7.30am, 9.30am, 4.00pm, Other Days : 6.00am, 7.00am, Wednesdays : 6.30am, 4.00pm
Important FeastsOver and above the usual Christmas, Easter and Good Friday feasts, the church also organizes two yearly feasts, the Maryan Apparition feast, or the Feast of Mother Mary, and the Feast commemorating the Death of Saint Joseph.
How to Reach St Mary's Forane ChurchBy Road: St. Mary’s is located at a distance of 18 Km from Alappuzha by road. From Champakulam West bus stand, the Church is immediately next on the east side. From Champakulam East bus stand, the Church is on the west side, one will need need to cross the River Pamba (Ferries are available).
By Rail: Nearest Railway is Alhapuzha (16Kms) which is connected to all major Indian cities. Taxis and Autorickshaws are avaible for hire from the station.
Waterways - Linked by boat service through the back waters to Alappuzha (1 hr), Kollam (8 Hrs), Changanacherry (3 hrs), Kumarakom (3 hr), Cochin (4 hrs) etc. From Champakulam main (Karuka), the Church is only a few steps away - towards North.
Airways: Nearest Airports: Kochi International Airport – 85 Kms and Thiruvananthapuram International Airport – 150 Kms.
Contact Number: 0477-2736252