Cheppad St. George Church

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Cheppad St. George Church is a Syrian Christian Church dedicated to St. george built in early century.

Historical records say the church which existed in 7 th century till 11 th century at Harippad Mission Centre has been moved and re built half at cheppad and other half at Karthikapally.

There is an interesting tradition about rebuilding of the church in 11th century connecting it to Karthikapally king and with Kanjoor Valyathan of Kayakulam royal family.
The church is also the resting place of Cheppad Philipose Mar Dionysius, Malankara Metropolitan of Malankara Orthodox Church during 1825 – 1855. The ruler of Travancore issued a Royal Proclamation acknowledging him as Malankara Metropolitan

In 1956 The Ethopian Emperor, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie visited this church.There is an interesting connection that the line of Ethiopian Kings to Haile Selassie is descended from King Solomon.The Ehopian King Haile Selassie gifted the church many things including Ethopian Cross, Holy Bible with gold engravings written in Amharic language (is a Semitic language spoken in North Central Ethiopia by the Amhara)

Even though the old church was rebuilt in 1952, the altar was kept intact because of the Murals. The main portico and subsidiary porches are built after the traditional pattern of the porches of Hindu temple. The wood carvings in the porches and the mural paintings which depicts the great scenes of epic of Jesus Christ are unique and rare specimens.

The Murals (Wall Paintings) in Cheppad St. George Orthodox Church exhibit the Christian traditional paintings. The paintings are on the walls of The Madbaha (altar) of the Church, and show the events in the life of Jesus Christ from birth to ascension.

It also illustrates some events from the Old Testament era. The 47 murals are arranged in three lines on three walls. The archaeological department calculates that the murals are approximately 600 years old and were drawn with the extracts of green leaves and fruits.

 The rare and attractive paintings of St. Paul with a sword, Angels, Jesus bearing the Cross, Jesus is beaten by the soldiers, St. Thomas with a mint, Adam and Eve eating the prohibited fruit, Noah’s Ark etc. shows the mixing of middle eastern Christian painting and Kerala’s mural artwork.The archeological department calculates that the murals are of around 600 years old and drawn with the extracts of green leaves and fruits.

By viewing the murals, the visitors of this church get a rare and indescribable experience and travel back through centuries into another world.

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  1. John Mathew says

    Fascinating. Out of curiosity, many churches in Kerala claim origin during that period (8th-11th century), including Mavelikara’s St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral. However, I’ve never seen what the evidence for this is. Was any form of archaeological dating done to obtain this date, or is it a traditional date?

    Are there cemeteries associated with the church that point to this origin?

    I’m trying to understand our history, and I’m looking through matters with as critical a point of view as possible, and would appreciate it if anyone can point to some hard evidence.

  2. Tessy says

    The church at the present place was built around 1300 AD. The 7th century is traditional date, that it has been moved to Cheppad from Harippad.


    It has some good murals of apostles and scenes from the life of Jesus Christ.

  3. John Mathew says


    What is your evidence for that date (1300AD) and its movement from Haripad to Cheppad? As discussed elsewhere on this site, those murals don’t seem very pre-Portuguese…

  4. Cherian.K.T. says

    The Ethiopian Emperor, His Imperial Majesty Halie Selassie visited St.George Orthodox Church in 1956.(the article says in 1952 is not correct.).That was 101st DHUKORONO of Malankara Metrapolitin Cheppad Mar Dionysius.

    1. Rajesh says

      Dear sri Cheriyan, do you have any details of the visit of the emperor Selassie? If you have any information i would like to get it. pl send me an email to [email protected] or just give me a call to 9446904653