St. John's church at Vadakara is one of the oldest Syrian Christian churches in Malankara. It is believed to have been established before the 10th century. The church, belonging to the Kandanad diocese, is situated in the village of Vadakara in Ernakulam district and is at a few distance away from the Koothattukulam town.

Though considered to be very ancient, no specific historical records are available till date on the exact date of establishment. According to the popular belief, the founding of the church and the old portrait of St. John the Baptist, kept in the madbho, are closely related. The story about the church's establishment is like this: A large portrait of St. John was being brought from the place called Vadakara in Malabar region to Marth Mariam Church at Manarcad some thousand years ago. On their way the persons who were carrying this portrait happened to rest for a while in this place which is now called Vadakara. But later when they were about to restart their journey, they found it impossible to lift this portrait from the place where they kept before resting. Hearing the unusual news, people from nearby areas gathered there but they too were helpless. At this moment some elders of the community advised them to keep the portrait there itself; a church was subsequently built there.  It is this old portrait of St. John the Baptist that is kept behind the main thronos (altar) of this ancient church.


Altars of the Vadakara St. John's Church


The schisms that begun in the Church of Malabar with the arrival of Portuguese in the 15th century had its impact in this parish also. Only a century and half have passed since the Roman Catholics separated from this parish to form a new church nearby. Until then both the Syrian Christians and the Roman Catholics were sharing the church. Though the problems with the later ended, a new schism erupted in the parish lately after a group argued over the ownership of the church property and its other assets.



Relics of the Holy Fathers

H.G. Mor Kurillos Yuyakim Bava who came to Malankara as the delegate of the Holy Patriarch of Antioch in the mid 19th century, has presented the holy relics of St. Samuel, Mor Kuriakose Sahdo and Mor Geevarghese Sahdo to the church during his stay here. These were kept in a special casket inside the Madbho of the church. Decades later, these relics were transferred to a special room in the church compound by the then parish priests. On 2nd July 2006, these relics of the Holy fathers were once again established inside the church, this time in the newly built memorial qabars, thus fulfilling the longstanding wishes of the parishioners.

The Syrian churches at Edayar, Koothattukulam, Kozhippilly, Puthuvely, Palakuzha, Maarika, Peryambra, Mannathoor, Attinkkunnu were all established by the families originally belonging to the Vadakara St. John's church. Some old manuscripts written in leaves are still preserved in the church office.

There is a seventy year old High School, a Lower Primary School and a Teachers' Training School currently functioning under this church. There was a time when, as a famous centre of learning, the Vadakara High School used to attract students from far and near. The former President of India K. R. Narayan, International Law Board member A.T. Markose, former Revenue Minister K. T. Jacob, former Irrigation Minister T. M. Jacob and a number of famous personalities are former students of this school.



This is not an official site of the Vadakara Church