St George's Orthodox Church in Chathannoor, Kerala -one of a few oldest 18th century churches in S. India

St George Orthodox ChurchChathannoor

picture of icon of St. George.

Built around AD 1755. St George Orthodox Church is said to be one of the largest churches in South Kerala. Apart,  it is also the oldest church in Chathannoor and mother church to the churches in the Chathannoor region. Way past in the olden days,  it was called Chathannoor Marthamariyam Suriyani Pally," The other oldest 18th century church is in the central Travancore.  St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral, Puthencavu  located at a village named Puthencavu (near Chengannur), Alappuzha district in Kerala and  St. Matthias' Church, also known as the South Bazar Church, in the parish of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church situated at Kunnamkulam in the Thrissur district are other 18th century churches  in the state of Kerala.

Commonly known as Chathannoor Valiya Palli, it comes under the Parish  of  the Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

St George Orthodox ChurchChathannoor  Kerala

Above image:  St. Georges orthodox church, Chathannoor, Kerala: some of the relics came to light in December, 2020 when the major renovation work was underway............. 

The major attractions in St. Georges Orthodox  Church are some of the old relics:

01 Old murals: The eye catching murals dated to 1792 inside the church depict  the patron, Saint George (Geevarghese Sahada).  An armed Roman knight on the horse, holding a sharp lance and slaying a ferocious dragon by stabbing the lance into its mouth. What is interesting is the slight variation in the depiction  of the old mural. St Geevarghese Sahada is portrayed from another angle from his right.

02. The Chathannoor Panchangam is in both Malayalam and Tamil languages; dated 6th of Malayalam month Dhanu, in 1793. It contains recollections of the memories of Mar Nicholas’s connection with Kerala. December 25 is  referred to as ‘the Feast day on which Virgin mother delivered Christ in the month of 'Dhanu’.

03. The vintage picture of a Mass in 1861: The holy mass was held at Valiya Palli. The image on the wall was captured by  Lt. Colonel Stevenson who was with the British Army. Yacob Kattanar offering the sword for the holy mass was pictured by Lieutenant Colonel Stevenson who was with the British Army of the British Army under the direct British administration, London in which  Geevarghese Yakoob Kattanar offering  his sword.

 04. While major renovation was on the  workers stumbled upon a few stone lamps, candle stands, and the articles  that are believed to have been used during prayers in those times. They are preserved  and being maintained here. However many seem to have been lost for unknown reasons.

The stone lamp, carved out of a single stone, installed in front of the main entrance to the Church is also of historical significance. Even devotees from other religions come to light the stone lamp here.,_Chathannoor