Sixteenth Century Churches – Churches belonging to Catholics and Syriac Orthodox ( 1818 AD-Statistics)

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Sixteenth Century Churches – Churches belonging to Catholics and Syriac Orthodox ( 1818 AD-Statistics)

Many lists exist about the statistics of Churches belonging to Catholics ( Syro Malabar Church) and Malankara Syriac Orthodox after the division of the Saint Thomas Christians community followed with the Syond of Diamper ( 1599 AD) , Coonan Cross Oath ( 1653 AD) and subsequent happenings ( 1653-1698). (( Some of these lists are included in “Population Statistics and Demography of Saint Thomas Christians, Churches with historical references” article ))

Sixteenth Century Churches – Churches belonging to Catholics and Syriac Orthodox ( 1818 AD-Statistics)
Sixteenth Century Churches – Churches belonging to Catholics and Syriac Orthodox ( 1818 AD-Statistics)

This is one of those lists about the Sixteenth Century Churches from a compilation done by K J Joisea in “ Socio Cultural life of Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala in the Medieval period”. K J Joisea’s compilation is based on the catalogue of the churches of Christians of St Thomas of Malabar from the Synodical Acts at Diamper (1599 AD) as given by Thomas Yeates in his “ Indian Church History” published in 1818 AD, London.

According to this estimate there were 106 Saint Thomas Christian Churches, 9 oratories and one congregation, all together 117. In early nineteenth century ( 1818 AD), 71 Churches and 9 Oratories belong to Catholics ( Syro Malabar Church). 28 Churches belong to Malankara Syriac Orthodox . 7 Churches were shared by both Catholics ( Syro Malabar Church) and Malankara Syriac Orthodox.

List of Sixteenth Century Churches

These are the Churches in alphabetical order and the denomination which it was under in early nineteenth century. Please note that before 1818 AD, there was only one division in Malankara Syriac Orthodox leading to the formation of Thozhiyur Church which had negligible strength in this comparison. (( Thozhiyur Church did not seem to get possession of any sixteenth century Church. ))

1. Under Catholics ( Syro Malabar Church)

Total Number of Churches -71 Churches and 9 Oratories

Aalapuzha (Alleppy), a church (Catholic)
Aanacallunghel (Bharnanganam ?) – a church (Catholic)
Aaragoshe (Arakuzha) – a church (Catholic)
Adirampushe (Adirampuzha) – a church (Catholic)
Alangatta or Mangatta (Alangad) – a church and two oratories (Catholic)
Ambalacatta (Ambazhakad) – a church and an oratory (Catholic)
Angamala (Angamali) – two churches (Catholic)
Badagore (?) – a church (Catholic)
Badeate (Vadayar ?) – a church (Catholic)
Beleanate (Veliyanad) – a church (Catholic)
Cadanatte (?) – a church (Catholic)
Cailacudi (Chalakudy) – a church (Catholic)
Callurcatta (Champakulam ?) – a church (Catholic)
Calnada (Kalnada?) – a church (Catholic)
Calparamba (Kalparambu) – a church (Catholic)
Cangnarpalli (Kanjirapilly?) – a church (Catholic)
Canhur (Kanjur) – a church (Catholic)
Cembi (Vaikkom ?) – a church (Catholic)
Cenotta (Chenamangalam ?) – a church (Catholic)
Cerphungal (Cherpungat) – a church (Catholic)
Cianganaceri (Changanacherry) – a church and an oratory (Catholic)
Clovare (Chowra ?) – a church (Catholic)
Codalur (?) – a church (Catholic)
Codamalur (Kudamaloor) – a church (Catholic)
Corolongatta (Kuruvilangad) – a church and an oratory (Catholic)
Corretti (Koratti) – a church (Catholic)
Cottamattil (?) – a church (Catholic)
Cottapadi (Kottapidi) – a church (Catholic)
Cottota (Kottekad ?) – a church (Catholic)
Cuingatta (Chungam ?) – a church (Catholic)
Edapuli or Rapolim (Edappilly) – two churches (Catholic)
Elanguil (Elamkulam ?) – a church (Catholic)
Elur – two churches and an oratory (Catholic)
Enamaca (Enamavu) – a church (Catholic)
Ernaculata or Angicaimal (Ernakulam) – a church (Catholic)
Iratusha (Erattupuzha) – a church (Catholic)
Mailacomba (Mylikombu) – a church (Catholic)
Maleatur (Malayattur) – a church and an oratory (Catholic)
Manhapra (Manjapra) – a church (Catholic)
Mattatil (Mattom) – a church (Catholic)
Mushcolam (Muzhikulam) – a church (Catholic)
Muttam – a church (Catholic)
Muttiera (Muttuchira) – a church and an oratory (Catholic)
Nagapusha (Nagapuzha) – a church (Catholic)
Nediale (?) – a church (Catholic)
Nharica (Nharakkal) – a church (Catholic)
Odiamper (Udiamperur – Diamper) – a church (Catholic)
Paincollata (Pamkulam ?) – a church (Catholic)
Palaya (Palai) – a church and Syro-Chaldean Seminary (Catholic)
Palicara (Parappukara?) – a church (Catholic)
Pallipuram – a church(Catholic)
Palur (Palayur) – a church (Catholic)
Palurti (Pallurti) – a church (Catholic)
Parapuranngri (Parapur) – a church (Catholic)
Pashur (Pazhuvil) – a church (Catholic)
Perumettam (Perumattom) – a church (Catholic)
Poracada (Purakkad) – a church (Catholic)
Pudupulla (Pudupalli ?) – a church (Catholic)
Pullingune (Pulinkunnu) – a church and an oratory (Catholic)
Punhada (?) – a church (Catholic)
Ptinnatna (Punnathara?) – a church (Catholic)
Punencera (Puthenchira) – a church (Catholic)
Puttenpali (Puthenpalli) – a church (Catholic)
Ramaratta (Ramapuram ?) – a church (Catholic)
Totampali (Totapilli ?) – a church (Catholic)
Vaypur (Kaduthuruthi ?) – a church (Catholic)
Vecuir (Vechur?) – a church (Catholic)
Verapoly – a church (Catholic)

2. Under Malankara Syriac Orthodox

Total Number of Churches-28 Churches

Agarnparambil (Agaparambu) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Angamala (Angamali) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Bemanil (?) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Cadamattom (Kadamattom) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Cadambara (?) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Caddenata (Kandanad ?) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Callucera (?) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Callupara (Kallupara) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Cartyapalli (kartnikapalli ?) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Catare (Chathannur ?) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Cayamcollam (kayamkulam) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Cenganur (Chengannur) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Collam (Quilon) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Collencera (Kollenchira ?) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Condur (Kundra ?) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Coshenceri (Kozhencheri) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Mamalaceri (Mamalassery) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Manargada (Mannarkadu ?) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Mode lacodam (Mudalakudam) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Molanturuti (Mulanthuruthy) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Neranatta (Niranam) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Omelur (Omellur ?) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Pallicare (Pahakara) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Puthencava (Puthenkavu) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
TekencoLlomgere (Tekenkulangara ?) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Tevelacera (Thevalakara) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Tiruvancoda (Tiruvamcode) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
Tumbonur (Thumpamon ?) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)

3. Shared Churches by both Catholics & Syriac Orthodox

Total Number of Churches-7 Churches Congregation- 1 (?)

Caringcera (Karingchira) – a church (Partly Catholic & Partly Syriac Orthodox- Shared)
Codamangalam (Kothamangalarn) – a church (Partly Catholic & Partly Syriac Orthodox- Shared)
Curupenpadi (Kurupenpadi) – a church (Partly Catholic & Partly Syriac Orthodox- Shared)
Mavalicare (Mavelikera) – a congregation (?)
Nharamel (?) – a church (Partly Catholic & Partly Syriac Orthodox- Shared)
Parrota (Piravam ?) – a church (Partly Catholic & Partly Syriac Orthodox- Shared)
Parur (Parur) – a church (Partly Catholic & Partly Syriac Orthodox- Shared)
Telcenparur – a church (Partly Catholic & Partly Syriac Orthodox- Shared)


Source- K J Joisea, “ Socio Cultural life of Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala in the Medieval period”. Based on Thomas Yeates , “ Indian Church History” published in 1818 AD, London.


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  1. Sujith Philipose says

    Interesting listing. Was trying to segregate the list myself all this time…been to many of these. I didn’t know such a stat already existed. Thanks.

  2. Albin mj says

    Mode lacodam (Mudalakudam) – a church (Syriac Orthodox)
    it is not correct ,the church in muthalakodam is a catholic church under diocese of Kothamangalam,This place is just 3 km east of Thodupuzha.

  3. tk says

    Pallicare is probably Palliakkara church near tiruvalla?

  4. Tony Augustine says

    I Think Iratusha (Erattupuzha) is the Aruvithura Church which is situated at Erattupetta.. Earlier Name of Aruvuthura Church was Irapoly or Iratusha something like that.
    Aanacallunghel (Bharnanganam ?) Anakallungal Church is Bharananganam church it self.


  5. Avirachan says

    nediel – nediyasala
    Badagore – Vadakode(vazhakulam near to)
    Cadanatte – Kadanad ,near kollapally,pala
    Callurcatta-church in kuttanad or kalloorkad ,vazhakulam??

  6. Ancil G Abraham says

    pls try to include the pictures of these churches as much as possible…

  7. JFK says

    Totampali (Totapilli ?) – a church (Catholic)

    This is probably Thathampally church in Alleppey

  8. Prof. Elias Pothan Anjilimoottil says

    Yes. I agree with JFK. Thathampally is an ancient Syro-Malabar church near Alleppey.

  9. Kurian says

    Cadanatte – Kadanad ,near kollapally,pala

    mst probably it is kandanad church near mulanthururthy,

  10. Johncy Panicker says

    Arakuzha church is now under syro malabar only…but it was shared by both malankara orthodox and catholics till the last of 18th century…The arakuzha church was built in AD 999(AD 1000).. After the seperation of syro malabar from malankara church, both the parties ( malankara orthodox and syrian catholics) used to do their worships in the same church for arround 150-170 years… That means it took arround 2 centuries to decide on which church should go for which party.. The same thing happened in almost all the encient churches of kerala…So I think it is very difficult to decide which church was doing worships in a shared manner and which are not at that time only by seeing the current status..

  11. Jose Palamattam says

    Very interesting and fantastic and please note the established year of the churches for further studies.

  12. Jose Palamattam says

    Yes, I agree Calparamba (Kalparambu) – a church (Catholic) is ancient church in Thrissur Dist

  13. George Mathew says

    Confused with Vaypur (Kaduthuruthi ?) – a church (Catholic).

    Vaipur is located in the banks of River Manimala, in Pathanamthitta District, Kerala. St. Mary’s Church, Vaipur was established in AD 1212, according to the records of Changanacherry Archdiocese.

    Same time, Kaduthuruthy Valiya Palli (കടുത്തുരുത്തി വലിയ പളളി) / Ave Maria (ആവേ മരിയ) of Knanaya Community was established in AD 400.

    Can anyone share their thoughts?

  14. George Kalli illath says

    Knanaya Community came to Kerala during the Cheraman Perumal regime and hence does not have any church built in the first Millenium.

  15. George Kalli illath says

    Cadanbara is the Kadambanad orthodox Church and Palicara is the Paliekara Orthodox Church

  16. Manu says

    George Kalliillath,

    Pallicara is not Paliekara as u said.. Its Pallikkara itself.. Its located near Kolenchery in Ernakulam District.. The church is very old and believed to be built more than a 1000 years before.. The parish presently consists of more than 1200 families and now a Cathedral..

  17. Geeorge Kalli illath says

    Hope you are mistaken. Pallicare listed in the Orthodox list is definitely thr St.George Orthodox Church, Thiruvalla,(paliekara palli). This was a Temple built by the Hindus who joined the Reformed Brahmins of first Century. They also called themselves “Total Brahnins” as they had found the answer to “Thamaso Ma Jyothirgamaya,Asatho Ma Sath gamaya, Mrithyor Ma Amritham Gamaya” in Jesus Christ. “.
    The land Parallel to Ancient Sreee Vallabha Temple on the opposite shore of a rivulet was granted to
    Moopar Madom by the then rulers. Moopar Madam was the descendants of Sankaramangalam(Nicknamed Kalli illam as they were connected with the temple of Kalli Bhagawathi)’.
    This was later Built as a church in the 5th centur,in the blessed name of the Holy Theotokas.,
    The church was burnt down by religious fanatics and was rebuilt by the local Hindus and christians together.
    On rebuilding ,the church was dedicated in the name of St.George as they believed that St.George would protect the church from further untoward incidents.
    This ancient Church is still there in the Centre of Tiruvalla Town.
    Also the names of the churches adjacent in the list are Omallur,Puthencavu,Niranam etc,.and they are also located in the same district.
    The Bemanil church mentioned in the list can be Venmony church of the same area.????

  18. Manu says


    THanx for the information.. But sir, how can u finalise it as Paliakara in Pattanamtitta District and not Pallikkara in Ernakulam District.. Any infos on the same in Thomas Yeates ‘Indian Church History’… More over the neighboring churches of Kolenchery, Kadamattom, Kandanad, Mulanthuruthy, Angamaly etc.. are also in the list…

  19. M Thomas Antony says

    Thomas Whitehouse, in his book ‘Lingerings of Light in a dark land- bring researches into the past history and present conditions of the Syrian church of Malabar'(1873), has catalogued different churches according to the local kingdoms compiling their affiliations, different names etc according to different authors. This can be seen in the NSC article-

    According to this catalogue, in the Kingdom of Cochin, a Church in the name of Saint Mary has been described at Pallicare ( Raulini 1745),Pallikare(Du Perron 1768), Pallicare(Paolinus 1760), Pallikkara (Whitehouse 1873).

    From this, it seems that this Pallicare could be Pallikkara in Ernakulam District, not Paliakkara in Tiruvalla.

    K J Joisea in his Doctoral Thesis, ‘Socio Cultural life of Thomas Christians of Kerala in the Mideaval period’, submitted to the University of Mysore, produced a list based on the list seen in Thomas Yates’ book Indian Church History(1818) in which two places are described- Palicara and Pallicare. Josisea interprets as Palicare as Parappukkara as a Catholic Church and Pallicare as Paliakkara, a Jacobite Church.

    But in Thomas Yates’ book, we can see in his list as per the acts of Synod of Diamper, Palicare church but no clues about the locality. In another list of Jacobite Churches, he identifies Pallicare as a Jacobite Church. (The term Jacobite is definitely not from the time of Synod of Diamper. So, this list may be compiled by himself or from some other authors)

    I am surprised to see that Paliakkara Church is quite old and still not in the list of churches visited by Arch Bishop Menesis, even when Gouvea describes him staying in Niranom and Chengannur for many days teaching people and correcting things. Was Palliakkara Church in Tiruvalla known in any other names in the past ?

    All of these authors are Europeans and they have made this list with the help of some local helpers and pronounced in different ways. So, it is difficult to identify and validate, even though Thomas Whitehouse catalogued the list according to the local Kingdoms.

  20. George Kalli illath says

    Dear Manu,
    Please see that there are two similar churches. 1. Palicara in the Catholic List and 2. Pallicare in the Syriac Orthodox list. . The church in the Syriac Orthodox list is definitely Paliekkara Palli. You can visit the Paliekkara pally which is still maintained in its ancient form when at Tiruvalla. Syriac Orthodox Church has no other church that resemble the name and criteria..

  21. Jessop says

    Gone through the list.
    Badagore- is Vadakara church near Koothattukulam- Syriac Orthodox
    Cottappadi- Kottappadi Church near Kothamangalam – Syriac Orthodox
    Cadambara- Kadambanad church in Ernakulam district- Syriac Orthodox
    Collencera- Kolencherry church in Ernakulam district- Syriac Orthodox
    Modelacodam- Mudalakkodam church near Thodupuzha – Syro Malabar
    Palayur – Chattukulangara/ Kunnamkulam church – Syriac Orthodox- Remember Chattukulangara church is the ancient church in that region attacked by Tippu Sultan .There is no record of Tippu attacking any other church in that region. Meneziz visited this church to make them to Roman Catholic fold but failed. There are no chances that this church will be omitted in the listing. The present day Palayur church was a kurisupalli of Chattakkulanga palli. My view is based on the visit of these churches. I think people can do more reserach on this subject.

  22. Jessop says

    Totampali church is Thathampalli church near Kaduthuruthy / Vaikom in Kottayam District- Syro Malabar

  23. Jessop says

    Callurcatta church- Kalloorkkad Church , Ernakulam Dt- Syro Malabar
    Codalur – Kothanalloor church -SyroMalabar
    Cottamattil – Kothamangalam palli- -Syriac orthodox
    Manargada – Manarkadu palli Kottayam- Syriac Orthodox
    *******Thathampally church is in Alappuzha Dt.

  24. Jessop says

    Nharamel – Nadamel Church near Thripunithura- Syriac Orthodox

  25. M Thomas Antony says

    Re Palayur and Chattukulangara, both are listed by authors like Roulini 1745, Du Perron 1758, Paolinus 1760, and Whitehouse. Please see the catalogue compiled by Thomas Whitehouse in the article

    In 1566-68 period, Mar Abdisho appointed Archdeacon Giwargis d Mshiha as the Bishop of Palur and the suffragan and successor of Mar Abraham. Pope Gregory XIII confirmed this by his brief ‘Accepimus quod’ issued on 04/03/1580. So, Palur was also a very important place in the past, much earlier than Menesis’s times. Yes, one can argue that this Palur is Chattukulangara.

    Callurcada is Kalloorkkadu Church in Champakulam, not the one in Ernaculam district. See Whitehouse’s list according to the Kingdom- Calloorkkadu is in Porca- Chempakasseerry (Ambalapuzha) Kingdom)

    Nharamel is Tripunithura. (Whitehouse’s list confirm this)

    Codalur may be Koodalloor in Kottayam Distriact. Kothanalloor is listed in Whitehouse’s cataloge as Codamalour etc with name SS Gervasis Protais. I think Whitehouse is a bit confused as Kudamalur is also nearby. Whitehouse himself listed Kudamalur in Porca- Chempkasserry Kingdom.

  26. Bibin Mathew says

    Where is Cheppad church in this list ??? Why it is not listed as this church having the tradition of 500- 600 years ….??

  27. jacob says

    cheppad church will be demolished if nh 47 is 4 lined under B.O.T norms

  28. jacob says

    ‘Cangnarpalli’ is definitely Kanjirapally. The “Kanjirapally Pazhayapally” belonging to the Syro Malabar Catholic Church was consecrated in the year 1449. Though the First Christian colonization of Kanjirapally took place in the 1300s, it took more than a century to build a Church there. The Nasrani community here originally belongs to the Nilackal Saint Thomas Christian fold.

    In the early period after the migration from Nilackal, the Kanjirapally Syrians depended on the Aruvithura Church (Erattupettah) which was about 8 miles north of Kanjirapally. And therefore, Kanjirapally church, along with Palai and Bharananganam, is considered to be a daughter church of Aruvithura, which is the oldest daughter church of Nilackal.

    During the Puthencoor – Pazhayacoor schism of 1660s, since the church at Kuravilangadu was the champion of the Catholic faith in the Kerala Syrian Church, most of the Syrian churches in and around Kottayam district got influenced by it, and thus chose to remain Catholic. In the list of those churches that submitted to Kuravilangadu, the most prominent was the Aruvithura church – the mother church of literally all the churches in Meenachil and Kanjirapally Taluks.

  29. George Kalli illath says

    Callucera is the ancient Kallissery palli were many events related to Malankara Nazranis occurred.

  30. Thomas Mathew says

    Very interesting. It is good if the pictures of the ancient churches are available.

  31. Insider says

    Koodallor church in Kottayam District is very new, est. 1841, while Kothanalloor was in AD 826 by Kantheesangal.


    The “Totampali (Totapilli ?)” Church mentioned in this page is Thumpoli Church in Alapuzha District. In Jornada Gouvea says ” From Kudamaloor the Archbishop went to Diaper which lies on the limits of the lands of the Pepper Queen and is partly bounded by the lands of the King of Porca (Purakkad) on one side and on the other with that of the kings of the Thekkencutes (Thekkenkur). The Church of this place was so narrow and low, that scarcely was it possible to raise the most holy sacrament at the altar, which was two palms in length and one and half in breadth, and at the top a Cross of sticks, without any other thing, nor any adornment of the Church. The bell was a thick stick hanging by two ropes with a packet of sticks by its side, with which they made the sign for the christians to goto the church, and these were the bells which the oldest churches of the Serra had. ……………the Archbishop gave orders to go ahead with a new church which the christians started many years before, in whose main chapel, already completed he said the first mass because the old church did not seem fit to celebrate in it”. Diāper mentioned here is Thompoli (Town of Thomas) and Diamper mentioned in this book is Udayamperoor.

    1. M Thomas Antony says

      Dear Johny Kuriakose, Where is this excerpts from ? Why did you identify ‘diaper’ as Thumpoly ? How it is bounded by Porakkad kingdom and Thekkumkoor kingdom ? Please elaborate a bit more about thumpoly means town of Thomas.

      1. Rajan joseph says

        Kaloorkad church is not chambakulam alias kaloorkad church.It is the SMC church at kaloorkad in ernakulam dist.If u see the list,the following churches are within 2 to 6 km radius from kaloorkad church.arakuzha,nediasala,mayilcombu,painkulam,modalakudam,nagapuzha,muttom etc.moreover Whitehouse published his book only in 1875

        1. M Thomas Antony says

          Dear Rajan,

          Kalloorkkadu Church is the ancient name for Champakulam Church. All the authors have identified Champakulam Church as Kalloorkkadu Church. The Kalloorkkadu Church in the ancient records belongs to the Chempakasserry Kingdom which was called Kingdom of Porca- Purakkadu. How can Kalloorkkadu in Ernakulam part of Purakkadu Kingdom ?

          Gouvea’s narration of the visitation of Archbishop Menesis to the Kingdom of Porca, authors like Du Perron, Paulinus De Barthalomew etc clearly narrates the geography of the area like granary of rice, rivers and water etc. Paulinos refers certain things to the officer at Amabalapuzha which is close to Chamapakulam. Also connection with the King of Amabalapuzha, Kalloorkkadan para as a measuring unit, Kalloorkkadu angady, kallada mooppan residing at Kalloorkkadu church, narration of the ecumenical efforts of Paremmakkal Thomman cathanaar based at Champakulam church in Niranam Grandhavari, narration about Ikkakko cathanar in varthamana pusthakam relating him to Champakulam. etc vouches Kalloorkkadu Church as Champakulam. Gouvea also comments that the King of Porca founded the Church at Purakkadu in gratitude for his victory in a war over the Pepper Queen by moving some of the Christians from Kalloorkkadu to Purakkadu.
          Most important is the ancient inscription on the open air rock cross at champakulam also identifies the church as Kalloorkkadu Church.

  33. Rajan says

    Refer old churches in travancore like karthikapally, kollam, kayamkulam, thevalakara.


    Especially the chapter dealing with travancore.