Valiyapalli, an ancient church of Kottayam, is revered by the devout Christians of the region. Valiyapalli in Kottayam was constructed in 1550 A.D and is considered to be one of the oldest churches of Kottayam. The literal meaning of the word Valiyapalli is 'big church'.

The magnificent edifice of Valiyapalli was built by the Syrian Knanaya Christians who had settled in this area . This group migrated from Jerusalem to India in as early as 345 A.D. They comprised 2 priests, 2 deacons, Bishop Joseph of Urha and some 400 people who represented 72 families belonging to 7 different clans. When they landed for the first time at Crangannore, they received a warm welcome from Cheraman Peruma, who was then the ruler of the Malabar region.

Valiyapalli or the St. Mary's Church of Kottayam is situated only 2 kilometers away from the city. Since Kottayam is connected very well with various cities of Kerala, reaching the church is not a hassle.

The beautiful architecture of Valiyapalli grabs the attention of all visitors. The church is renowned for 2 Persian crosses, made of granite and bearing certain inscriptions in the language of Pahalavi. The crosses were carried to this church from an old church located in the vicinity of Crangannore.

Another church named Valiyapalli is also located in Palai, nearly 30 kilometers from the city of Kottayam.

Every year people from different parts of India throng to attend the annual feast of Valiyapalli, generally held on 26th April.

Last Updated on 05 May 2011