St. George's Church, Kadamattom
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St. George Syrian Church, Kadamattom
|Location||Kadamattom, Muvattupuzha, India|
|Affiliation||Malankara Syrian Church (Jacobite Syrian & Orthodox)|
|Architectural style||Kerala Architecture|
|Completed||9th century CE|
|Direction of façade||West|
The church is believed to have established in the 9th Century AD by Mar Sabor. There is no concrete evidence for the exact date of the establishment of the church but historians believe that it was built before AD 650 as at the time Kolenchery Pally had yet to be constructed. (Kolencherry church was built around AD 650). The Viswavijnanakosam (Malayalam) Vol.3, mentions the following about the history of the Kadamattom church. Mar Sabor is also known as Mar Abo. “Kadamattom church" was founded by Mar Sabor also called Mar Abo who was a holy man with knowledge of medical sciences and powers to perform miracles. He established the church in the forest regions of Kadamattom in the 40th year of Kollam Era or Malayalam Era.
The church and the property was a gift by the 'Karthas', the then prominent family of Kadamattom. One of the children in the family caught a disease which could be neither identified nor cured by the local doctors. Mar Sabor (also known as Mar Abo), a Middle Eastern monk reached Kadamattom at the same time. He cured the disease and as a result the delighted Karthas gifted him the land to construct the church in the form in which it stands now.
Kadamattom church is situated next to National Highway 49 (India) (Kochi-Madurai National Highway) between Kolenchery and Muvattupuzha towns in the Ernakulam District. While traveling from Kochi towards the east, the ancient church is seen on the north side of the road 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) beyond the Kolenchery Medical College Junction. While traveling from Muvattupuzha towards Kolenchery, the church lies 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) after the Peruvammuzhi Junction.
On entering the church, on the left there is a photo of Mar Abo Metropolitan, the Reverend Paulose, alias the legendary Kadamattathu Kathanar’s mentor. It is believed that Mar Abo, a Persian high priest established the church with the help of Kartha, the then local ruler of Kadamattom. Mar Abo was not only a theologian but also a conjurer. He stayed in a hut with a poor widow and her only son Paulose. Paulose assisted Mar Abo for years and later Paulose was ordained a priest. The tomb of Mar Thoma IX (Formerly Pakalomattom Iype Kathanar) lies on the left side just outside the Madbaha. Another unique thing about the church is the door lock (wood mechanism). The pathala kinar (well) lies near the Poyyedom Pally. It is believed that Kathanar went to pathalam from here.
A Persian cross can be seen impregnated on the right wall of the Madbaha or Altar room, having four equal arms . The wings of the cross end with floral designs. This famous Persian cross is from 9th century and believed to be made by Mar Shapor. Engraved around the stone cross as Pahlavi Inscription (1) Li zibah vai min Ninav val denman [I,a beautiful bird from Nineveh,(have come)to this (country)] (2) Napisht Mar Shapur [Written by Mar Shapur] (3) Li (mun) ahrob Mashiah avakhdhahi min khar bokht [Holy Messiah,the forgiver,freed me from thorn( i.e affliction)].
Kadamattom feast is one of the major festivals observed held during the January – February period. It marks the death anniversary of the legendary priest. There are many legends of Kadamattathu Kathanar. It is believed that he possessed supernatural powers.The old church is the one which you see when you walk up the numerous stairs in front of the church. It's a very silent environment, and when you start climbing the first entrance you can see the kadamattom ITC which is run by the church authorities.
After that when we enter the church we can see the church which looks magnificent with its huge structure and the greenery around. There is one another church associated with this. When you look at the left side of the church you can see a gate with two lion statues on both sides as if they are guarding the church. When you go out of that gate you can see the steep way down to the church which was built separately for the legendary Kadamattom Kathanar since his way of action was totally different from the normal way which the church accepts. when you go to that church dot forget to have a look at the well which is believed as an entrance to the underworld, through he went to visit the jungle chief who taught all the magical powers to him.
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