St. Mary's Church, Kottayam

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A pencil drawing of the church by Bateman in 1835

St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church commonly known as Kottayam Cheriyapally (Small church- English ) is one of the oldest Orthodox churches in India in Kerala, India. Built in 1579, the church is well preserved [1]. The architectural style of the church is based on a mixture of Persian and Kerala style, with galleries, pillars, cornices and pediments. The walls are adorned with beautiful murals made in Oriental and Western styles on biblical and non biblical themes. The Church belongs to the Malankara Orthodox Syrian church, an Independent church believed to be established by St. Thomas and following vestments and liturgy of the Syriac Orthodox Church.

Three Metropolitans of the Malankara Syrian Church came from three families of Kottayam. They were Mar Dionysious, Malankara Metropolitan of the Punnathara family, Mar Theophilos of the Varikkat family and Mar Athanatious of the Chackalaparambil family. Orthodox Churches venerate departed saints, commemorate their memorial day and seek their intercession.

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