Our Lady of Ports Cathedral (1112 AD), Ernakulam, Kerala

St. Mary's Syro-Malabar Catholic Cathedral Basilica, Ernakulami.wordpress.co
Our Lady of Ports Cathedral Ernakulam  founded in 1112.en. wikipedia.org

Among the Indian states, the state of Kerala has numerous churches that are  older than 1000 plus years. Two basic reasons can be attributed to their long existence in this region, the first being  the earliest arrival of St. Thomas, one of the prominent disciples of Christ as far back as AD 52. The other logical reason is frequent visitors of European mercantile traders in search of spices several centuries ago. The arrival of the Portuguese on the Malabar coast in May, 1498 under Vasco De Gama gave an impetus to the spread of Christianity in  Kerala, followed by the Dutch and later the English. Yet another favorable factor was the secular Hindu rulers helped the evangelists as much as they could and did not interfere with their religious practices.

St. Mary's Syro-Malabar Catholic Cathedral Basilica, Ernakulam.placeandsee.com
Located in Ernakulam (near High Court), a big city in Kerala, St Mary's Cathedral Basilica (Thuramukha matha palli in Malayalam) founded  in 1112 AD is a popular one and  is dedicated to 'Our Lady of Ports'. Built in the early twentieth century under the direction of Mar Louis Pazheparambil, the cathedral was elevated to the status of a Basilica by Pope Paul VI on 20 March, 1974. It is one of the important Mariam pilgrim centers in Kerala.  The Cathedral is also known by the names Nasrani Palli, Anchukaimal Palli or Thekke Palli.

From a distance one can't miss the sight of this historical cathedral.. The large, tall and spacious Cathedral has an altar that was once used by John Paul II, on his visit to India on  7 February, 1986.The Pope himself conducted the services  from the spacious altar here.The altar depicts the Birth, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The are two  two tall towers - 68 feet tall with Path rose and Paulose statues on top and the tall  bell tower (88 feet high) with St. Thomas statue on top. The beautiful depiction of Jesus Apparition to St Thomas  is quite catchy.Opposite to the office of the Cathedral is the House of Perpetual Apparition.  The basilica is the headquarters of the Major Archdiocese of Ernakulam - Angamaly which is the Episcopal See of the Syro-Malabar Church