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Kerala tourism Guide

St. Mary's Church, Bharananganam

St. Mary's Church, Bharananganam

St Mary’s church in Bharananganam is situated along the banks of Meenachil River in Kottayam District in Ettumanoor Poonjar National Highway and 5 km away from Palai town. St Mary’s Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Bharananganam lies south west of Kottayam district at a distance of 32 kms from Kottayam city centre.

About St. Mary's Church, Bharananganam

St Mary’s church in Bharananganam is known for its serenity and calmness and the surrounding area is blessed with hilly areas and natural beauty. A chapel next to the church is entombed with the mortal remains of st Alphonsa who attained sainthood. Every year on the occasion of her death anniversary festal celebration is conducted which lasts for nine days. Thousands of devotees visit this shrine during this festival to pray and seek the blessing of this holy saint. The highlight of this festival is that twelve bishops from different dioceses conduct the mass on different days. The belief is that these twelve bishops represent the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. This small sleepy pilgrim town shot into lime light and received worldwide attention when Pope Benedict XVI canonized sister Alphonsa as a saint at a ceremony in st Peters square in Vatican on 12th October 2008. The personal belongings of St Alphonsa are displayed in a museum next to the convent chapel.

History or Myth

Bharananganam also known as the Lisieux of India is an important pilgrim centre in Kottayam District, Kerala. St Mary’s church situated here is a thousand year old Syro-Malabar Catholic Church which traces its origin to the visit of St Thomas to Kerala to preach the Gospel. This is a major pilgrim centre for Christians in Kerala. This church is also known as Anakkallu Palli because it holds the mortal remains of Saint.Alphonsa. St Alphonsa is the first women from Kerala who was conferred sainthood by the Vatican. Our Lady of Mount Carmel feast and St Sebastian feast are the important festivals celebrated in this church.

Tips or precaution

  • Everybody irrespective of the religion can go there and worship.
  • If you are new to the city ensure that you take directions from a police aid post or tourism centre.

How to reach

  • flight
    BY AIR
    St. Mary's Church, Bharananganam is only 76 Kilometres away from the Cochin International airport(Nedumbasserry).
  • train
    You can reach by train from any part of India. Nearest railwaystation is Kottayam Railway Station(25 Kilometers).
  • bus
    Bus service is available from all the places in Kerala and luxury buses are available from most of the South Indian cities.

Highlights or specialities

  • Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
  • Feast of St Sebastian
  • Mass conducted by 12 different Bishops.
  • Nercha Appam distributed on the last day of the feast.


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