Champakulam Kalloorkkadu Marth Maryam Basilica and Poothara manuscript
Jan22

Champakulam Kalloorkkadu Marth Maryam Basilica and Poothara manuscript

1.Champakulam Kalloorkkadu Basilica Champakulam Kalloorkkadu Basilica is an ancient Syriac-Christian (Nasrani) church situated on the banks of Pamba River in Champakulam, Kuttanadu Taluk, Kerala, India. It is one of the oldest Christian churches in India. It belongs to the Arch eparchy of Changanacherry of the Syro Malabar Church (East-Syriac rite). It was the first church under the Niranom Church which is believed to be founded by St. Thomas the Apostle in AD 54. It is popularly believed that the first church at Champakulam was consecrated in AD 427 on the feast day of Holy Innocents. This ancient church has a unique place in the history of St. Thomas Christians and is the oldest church in the Arch eparchy of Changanacherry as well as the district of Alappuzha.  The  Forane churches at Alappuzha (Est. AD 1400), Pulinkunnu (Est. AD 1557) and Edathua (Est. 1810) were formed from the Champakulam Church. Champakulam and Kalloorkkadu Church rose into prominence under the Chempakassery kings when Kalloorkkadu Angadi (market) was a famous commercial centre on the way to the port of Porcca (Purakkad). Legend has it that Champakulam got its name from “Sambathkalam” – meaning it had huge wealth. On 27-Nov-2016, the Archbishop of Changanacherry, Mar Joseph Perumthottam declared Champakulam St Mary’s Syro-Malabar Catholic Forane Church as Basilica. This is the 23rd Basilica in India, 9th Basilica in Kerala, 4th Basilica in Syro Malabar Church and the first Basilica in the Arch eparchy of Changanacherry. 2.Poothara Manuscript This paper will discuss the history of the Kalloorkkadu Church with a primary focus on the historic events in and around Kalloorkkadu as recorded in the Poothara Tharakan Family History Chronicle (Nalagamam). The Chronicle was started by the renowned Priest Poothara Korah Cathanaar (born ~1675 AD) and later continued by Kurialacherry Valiya Thoma Cathanaar (born ~1825). This chronicle is being referred to as Poothara Manuscript in this paper. Poothara Tharakan family is a Syriac-Christian priestly family from Champakulam which had many Cathanaar (Syriac-Christian priests) since its founding. The priestly family Kurialacherry is the parent family of Poothara. The family was formed when Poothara Koshy Tharakan moved out from Kurialacherry Tharavadu to Poothara in AD 1540. Koshy Tharakan was primarily a trader by profession and was the recipient of Tharakan title from Chempakassery Devanarayanan King (Ambalapuzha Kingdom).Thumperchirayil family is another main branch of Kurialacherry which was formed few generations after Poothara. Poothara family and its ancestors were involved with Kalloorkkadu Church since the 12th century and played a key role in the periodic revival of Nasrani community and the church multiple times in history (AD 1145, AD 1544, AD 1730, AD 1885). The family gave birth to six...

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