Pallikara Marth Mariam Cathderal, estd. in AD.905

(Photo:  November 2005)

The St. Mary's (Marth Mariam) Cathedral at Pallikkara is one of the most ancient churches of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Christians in Malankara. The 'Kol-Tamil' inscription on a granite slab found in the northern premises of the Church indicates the year of its establishment as 905 A.D.  Pallikkara is situated near Ambalamugal, 20 km from Kochi.  This ancient parish belongs to the Angamali diocese of the Malankara Church.

Legend has it that when the body of a child was brought to the Edappally Church for burial, an altercation broke out between two groups, and as a result, the body had to be taken back. The aggrieved family then took permission from a prominent Nair landlord, and the body was laid to rest in an uninhabited place. The site was marked off with a Cross, and it was here that the Pallikkara Church was built.

The Pallikkara parish has been an active participant in all the historical developments of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church. A large group of its members participated in the Koonen Cross pledge of 1653 A.D. On return to Pallikkara, they took to celebrating the death anniversary of His Holiness Ignatius Ahatulla Bava with great zeal and fervour. Metropolitans Yuyakim Mor Kurillos (who was laid to rest in the Mulanthuruthy MarThoman Church and Mathews Mar Athanasius had stayed in this church for a very long time. All the Patriarchs who visited Malankara from time to time have also visited and blessed the Church.

The five altars (THRONOS) in the cathedral are dedicated to St. Mary, St. Thomas, St.G eorge, St. Baselios Yeldho of Kothamangalam and St. Gregorios of Parumala.  The churches that branched off from the Pallikkara Church are many: the St. Mary's Church, Vengola; the St Mary's Church, Thamarachal;  the St Peter's St Paul's Church, Kizhakkambalam; the St Thomas Church, Vadavukode; the St Mary's Church, Pazhathottam and the St George's Church, Kutta.   Also majority of the parishioners of the St Georges' Church, Veloor; the St George's Church, Cheruthottukunnel; the St Mary's Church, Thengode; and the St Thomas Church, Kakkanad; were earlier members of the Pallikkara Church.

The bull of His Holiness Ignatius Zakka-I, the Patriarch of Antioch & All the East and the Supreme head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, proclaiming the 10- th century Palliakara Marth Mariam Church a CATHEDRAL, being read out by  H.E. Mor Gregorios Joseph, Synod Secretary in the presence of His Beatitude Mor Baselios Thomas-I, the Catholilcos & head of the Syriac Church in India and the Metropolitans & clergy of the Holy Church in India - 2007

This parish presently consists of over 1200 families in its congregation. The chapel at East Morakkala consecrated on February 1, 1995  is one of the three chapels of this church. Besides there are eight kurishupalli (Shrines) under the church; at Chanthakurissu, Angadikurissu, Chakalamukal, Chittanadu, Vempilli, Oothikkara, Perunthira and at East Morakkala.

The Church runs its Sunday School very diligently, and the Youth Association and Vanitha Samajam have excellent programs. In 2001 a monthly promoted by St. Mary's Youth Association, Pallikkara, started publication under the patronship of the Vicar and other office bearers of the parish & the youth wing. The annual convention that started in 1990 under the patronage of Rev. Fr. E C Varghese & the youth Association has now grown into the largest spiritual meeting in the area. The St. Mary's Higher Secondary School run by the Church has on its rolls about 2000 students with more than 60 teachers and office staff.  There is also an English medium L.P. school functioning under the management.

The Pallikkara St Mary's Cathedral can rightfully claim an enviable record in humanitarian and  social activities, having been in the forefront of many social, cultural and ameliorative activities. The Church has offered financial assistance to a large number of deserving cases. Further, a housing fund is also set aside on an yearly basis. All the inmates of the Vaaikkoli Leprosy Hospital are provided meals many times a year. The parish has also made substantial financial contribution in the construction of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary at Vettickal.

The Pallikara Church, which has been elevated as a Cathedral in 2007, celebrates its most important festival on 1-2 November. Also celebrated are the feast of St Mary on August 15 and the commemoration of the Patriarch's His Holiness Ignatius Ahattulla and His Holiness Moran Mor Elias III on 13 February. The Pallikkara Malekuriz Palli, which has become a well-known pilgrim centre, is a chapel under the Pallikkara St Mary's Cathedral.  Holy Qurbono is celebrated in this chapel every Saturday.

Font containing the Holy Relics of
St. Ignatius Elias III &  St. Baselios Yeldho
'Prasanga Peedom' - The priest in old
times used to preach sermon from here

The priest in old times used to preach sermon from here

A few of the fabulous frescos which adorn the ceiling & the wall of the church


Front entrance to the church



1.  Souvenir published by the Pallikkara church (1997)

2.  VISION (Aug 1992) the publication of the outside Kerala diocese

3.  Photos taken in November 2005



A Malayalam Article on the Pallikkara church : 

(Source: Sunday Vision, Oct 2006)



This is not an official site of the Pallikkara St. Mary's Cathedral