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Kerala tourism Guide

Manarcad Church

Manarcad Church

The church is located 9 kilometres from the town on Kottayam and is very well connected. The district has various backwaters and swamps, making it an idyllic holiday retreat. Various kinds of flora and fauna are spotted in these water bodies. The weather is mostly humid due to the proximity to the equator and lying near the coast.

About Manarcad Church

Manarcad Church is a Syrian Jacobite church, and is important to the Malankaras. The church is also known as Marthamariam Church and is an internationally acclaimed church. It is dedicated to Virgin Mary. The parish consists of nearly 4000 families, and is one of the largest parishes in Kerala.

St. Mary’s Cathedral (Manarcad Church) is located in the Kottayam district of Kerala. It is well connected with the major cities of Kerala. The church is internationally acclaimed, and is known for the fasting and the feasts that take place every year during the month of September.

The church had attracted media attention when news spread that the wooden cross was oozing of scented oil after the fasting and the feast. Thousands of devotees and even non-believers thronged the church late at night to witness the incident.

The church receives a large number of devotees during the month of September. There are various hotels in Kottayam that one could choose from for a pleasant stay during the tour around Kerala.

History or Myth

St. Mary’s Cathedral is a very old church in India, and dates back to AD 950. The exact origins of the church are unknown, but there are stone inscriptions found in the church, that dates back to the 10th century. These stone inscriptions are written in the ancient scripts of Malayalam and Tamil. After the Portuguese acquisition, the church was rebuilt in their style, as was the case with all the other churches in the region.

Tips or precaution

  • The main offering is silken ornate sarong.
  • Visit during the feast days to witness the grandeur of the church.

How to reach

  • flight
    BY AIR
    The closest airport is Cochin International Airport, which is nearly 65 kilometres away from the church.
  • train
    The closest major station is Kottayam Railway Station.
  • bus
    The city is well connected with Tamil Nadu and other major cities of Kerala.
  • boat
    Kerala State Water Transport Department offers ferry ride services between various parts of Kottayam.

Highlights or specialities

  • Oldest church
  • Scented oil from wooden cross
  • Easy accessibility
  • Availability of hotels
  • Large parish
  • Ettunompu – fasting and feast.


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