Thiruvithamcode Arappally

Thiruvithamcode Arappally ("Royal Church"; Tamil:திருவிதாங்கோடு அரப்பள்ளி; Malayalam:തിരുവിതാംകോട് അരപ്പള്ളി;), or Thomayar Kovil or St. Mary's Orthodox Church, is a church located in Thiruvithamcode, Tamil Nadu, India. It is believed by the Christian communities in Kerala that the historic Thiruvithamcode Arappally, also called Amalagiri church as named by the Chera King Uthiyan Cheralathan,[1] was built by St. Thomas, known as the Apostle of India, in 63 AD.[2]

The church has three main parts built in the 17th century and a 20th century entrance hall. Its walls are built of locally quarried stone chiseled with a multi-tipped chisel, a technique known in Kerala and possibly introduced there by foreign contact in the 16th century. Thiruvithamcode (also spelled Thiruvithancode, Thiruvithankodu and Thiruvithangodu) is a small panchayat town located in the Kanyakumari district of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is about 20 km from Nagercoil, and 2 km from Thuckalay.

The church today is maintained by the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, Baselios Mar Thoma Didymos I proclaimed the church as an international St. Thomas pilgrim centre on December 16, 2007.

References

  1. ^ Issac Arul Dhas, `Kumari Mannil Christhavam`(Tamil), Scott Christian College, Nagercoil, 2010, ISBN 978-81-8465-204-8, Page:7
  2. ^ Issac Arul Dhas G., `Kumari Mannil Christhavam`(Tamil), ISBN 978-81-8465-204-8, Page:7. While the Saint Thomas tradition of Indian Christianity cannot be verified as historical, it is certain that there was a tradition of Thomas travelling to India from at least the 3rd century (Acts of Thomas), and there is independent confirmation of the existence of a Christian church in India from the 6th century (Cosmas Indicopleustes).
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