Niranam Church

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Niranam Church
St. Mary's Orthodox Church, Niranam
9°20′35″N 76°31′39″E / 9.343044°N 76.5275°E / 9.343044; 76.5275
Country India
Denomination Indian Orthodox Church
Diocese Niranam Orthodox Diocese
Bishop(s) HG Dr Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos
Priest(s) Fr. Varghese George

St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Niranam, popularly known as Niranam Valiya Pally or simply Niranam Pally, is a parish under the Niranam Orthodox Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.


Niranam church is one of the oldest churches in Kerala. It is believed that the church was founded by St. Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, in AD 54. The church was reconstructed several times since then. The stones in the church shows the reconstruction in 1259.

Niranam Church witnessed a number of historical events in the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church history including the establishment of a Catholicate in India.[1] The first Catholicose and second Catholicose of the church were ordained at Niranam Church (in 1912 and 1925). Four of the Malankara Metropolitans of the Church died while staying here and two were buried here.


The present building, supposedly the fourth, was constructed in 1912 and was renovated during the year 2000. There are five altars at Niranam church. The main altar, the central one, is in the name of Saint Mary. This is used for regular services of the church.

There are two altars on the north and south of the main one. The altar on the northern side is consecrated to Saint George and the altar on the southern side is consecrated in the name of Mar Behnam.

There are two smaller altars, to the front of the main altar. The north among these is in the name of Saint Thomas. It is also the shrine of Mar Thoma II.

The southern among the small altars is consecrated to Saint Stephen. This is also the shrine of Mar Thoma V.

Granite cross[edit]

The tall granite cross at the right side of the entrance is a relic of the past, probably from 1259, the time at which the third renovation of the church building took place. The base of the cross has carvings resembling a Hindu Temples.[2]


Niranam Church celebrate the feasts of Saint Mary in whose name the church is dedicated, the feast of Saint Thomas who is the founder of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Apostle of India and the feasts of Mar Thoma II and Mar Thoma V whose mortal remains are buried in the church.

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