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Kerala tourism Guide

Vallarpadam Church

Vallarpadam Church

Vallarpadam is located on an idyllic and serene island in the district of Ernakulam, next to Bolghatty Islands. The island is located close to Kochi Port, and is connected to the mainland by the Goshree Bridge. Fishermen casting their nets into the sea is a common sight, making it an ideal photographic location.

About Vallarpadam Church

Vallarpadam Church was built by the Portuguese missionaries who visited India. The main deity of the church is Mother Mary, who is fondly known as Vallarpadathamma by the locals. The picture brought by Vasco da Gama was once lost in the floods, but was retrieved by the then Prime Minister of the Maharajah of Cochin from the backwaters. The pilgrims are still grateful to him, and a sanctuary lamp which was donated by him burns continuously to this day.

The church that we see today is a structure that was rebuilt after the old one was destroyed by disastrous storm, and was built in land provided by the Prime Minister who saved the picture. The church of Holy Spirit is popularly known as the Basilica of Our Lady Ransom. The fishermen bring their new boats to the church to be blessed by the Holy Mother for their safety. Every year, the church receives a lot of pilgrims on the 24th of September, which is when the annual feast is conducted.

History or Myth

The church is one of the oldest European built church. Vasco da Gama installed a picture of the Holy Mother, and this picture was believed to possess magical powers. The church is dedicated to Mother Mary and Infant Jesus. The locals pray to the deity to protect them from floods, and it is believed that the deity can protect the seafarers against storm and shipwrecks.

Tips or precaution

  • Visit on 24th September, during the feast.
  • Feel blessed by stopping over during Holy Mass.
  • Stay in best hotels of Ernakulam, as suggested by Kerala tourism.

How to reach

  • flight
    BY AIR
    The church is accessible through Cochin International Airport, located hardly 5 kilometres away.
  • train
    The most prominent railway station is Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town. Other stations include Aluva and Cochin Terminal.
  • bus
    Vallarpadam is connected to the mainland and other islands by the Goshree Bridge.

Highlights or specialities

  • Picture of Mother Mary.
  • Sanctuary Lamp.
  • Scenic location.
  • Pilgrim centre.
  • Medieval architecture.


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