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| Last Updated:: 20/09/2023






Malayattoor is a village in Aluva taluk. It is situated around 15 km north-east of Angamaly in Ernakulam district in the state of Kerala in south India. The name `Malayattoor' is an amalgamation of three small words. “Mala” (Mountain) “Arr” (river) “Oore” (place). This is to say, Malayattoor is a meeting place of mountain, river, and land.




Located 52 km from Kochi, the Malayatoor church is situated atop the 609 m high Malayatoor hill. The church is dedicated to St. Thomas, who is believed to have prayed at this shrine. One of the most important Christian pilgrim centres in Kerala, this holy shrine attracts devotees in very large numbers not only from Kerala but also from the neighbouring states. This famous church is situated at Kurisumudi, a verdant hill in the Western Ghats girdled partially by the Periyar (river). The church has a life-size statue of St. Thomas and the imprint of the feet of the Apostle on a rock. This shrine has now been accorded an international pilgrimage status.




St. Thomas is believed to have landed in Kerala at Kodungallur (Cranganore) in AD 50 and was engaged in evangelical activity. AD 62 St Thomas returned to Malankara coast via Malayatur where he established ‘the half church’ (a small Christian community dependant on the church of Maliamkara).



Oral tradition says that while travelling through Malayattor, faced with hostile natives, he fled to the hilltop where he is said to have remained in prayer and that he left his foot prints on one of the rocks. According to beliefs, a cross formed on one of the rocks, upon his touch. The chief festival is on the first Sunday after Easter. It is traditionally believed that St. Thomas used to make the “Sign of the Cross” on the rock, kiss it and pray at Kurisumudi. The story has it that a miraculous golden cross appeared at that particular spot. Pilgrims going up the hill call out incessantly "Ponnum Kurishu Muthappo, Ponmala Kayattom", meaning "O Patriarch of the Golden Cross! Climb we shall, this golden hill!" This shrine was promoted to Archdiocesan status by Archbishop Mar Varkey Vithayathil on 4 September 1998. There is also a very ancient Church in the name of St Thomas (Estd. 900 A.D.) at Malayattoor on the bank of the Periyar river which serves as the parish Church at present. The annual festival of this church is known as 'Malayatoor Perunal' and it is celebrated in the months of March–April.




Traditional festivals like Onam are celebrated with great enthusiasm. Also Christmas and New Year are celebrated with great pomp and show.