The 360-degree virtual tour of St. Mary’s Orthodox Church Kottayam Cheriapally helps us to visit the church and its paintings in detail without reaching the church.
St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, Kottayam, commonly known as Kottayam Cheriapally, is a Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church located in Kottayam, Kerala, India. Cheriapally meaning ‘small church’, whose appearance contradicts its name, is one of the oldest and well-preserved churches in Kerala. Cheriapally is located on the way to Kumarakom from Kottayam. The church is dedicated to mother Mary.
It is that architecture, which is as old as 440 years and has retained its old-world charm today as well even after so much of environmental changes. Kottayam Cheriapally has the unique distinction of being the first church in India to get the Relics of St. Mary installed at the church. This relic is also known as the Soonoro or Holy belt of St. Mary.
The church was built by Portuguese architect Antony and his team along with the craftsmen of the Thekkumkore Kingdom (old Kottayam) in 1579. However, the Portuguese had no influence on the mode of worship in the church.
While visiting Cheriapally, one may feel that the architecture greatly resembles that of some temples in Kerala. However, the fact is that during those days, the mode of building every place of worship was the same, irrespective of it being a temple or a church. Kottayam’s iconic Cheriapally Mahaedavaka is an architectural marvel and a repository of legends.