Angamali and the St. Thomas Christians: An Historical Overview
Professor, Centre for Historical Studies,
JNU, New Delhi
(Pius Malekandathil, “Angamali and the St.Thomas Christians: An Historical Overview,”in Ignatius Payyappilly(ed.), Mar Abraham and St.Hormis Church, Angamali ,2016 )
Angamali has been one of the few places where you find an unprecedented degree and scale of concentration of the spice producing community of St.Thomas Christians in an intense way in Kerala. The remote and shrouded history of Angamali can probably be peeped into by analyzing the different layers of meanings attached to its place name. Angamali seems to have got its name from the word “Mali” ( even , empty and plain land space ) where ankams ( battles) were then waged.  However, V.V.K. Valath views that the word “Mali” seems to have been used also to denote sea-port and probably in that sense “ Mali” seems to have denoted the port of Malliankara and the present geography of Angamali , which then was the junctional point for the pepper and spices moving from the hinterland towards the sea-port of Mali( Malliankara) , seems to have got its name from the practice of the people of the locality indicating direction to the traders from the hinterland to reach Mali by saying in Tamil “Anke ” (that side )” Mali” (Malliankara). The place from where these traders got direction towards Mali is said to have got the name Angamali ( Anke+ Mali =Angamali meaning ‘on that side is Mali’).
Angamali had for long been the intersecting point for trade routes moving from the central upland part of the region towards Cranganore ( Malliankara) either via Chengamanadu and river Periyar or via Moozhikulam and river Chalakudy ( through Mala, Puthenchira and Pulloottu) on the western and north western side , and the route running across the ghat and moving towards Tamilnadu via Malayattoor, Bhothathankettu and old Munnar route on the eastern side and the channels going to Trichur through the domains of Koratty kaimal on the northern side. At a time when water channels served as the major lines of transportation and connectivity, commodities reaching Angamali could be easily taken further to Cranganore through the water channel known as Manjali thodu, which merges into Periyar and the river systems of Periyar and Chalakudy ( which merges into Periyar at Elanthettikkara) used to provide easy accessibility for its traders to reach the port of Cranganore without much hurdles. The frequency with which the Goan Archbishop Dom Alexis de Menezes travelled from Angamali to other water-front places like Parur,Mulanthuruthi, Vaipicota and Cranganore shows that even towards the end of the sixteenth century these riverine routes and water channels continued to serve as the major medium of travel. It was through the same riverine medium of travel that the first Christians from Cranganore, which was one of the important places connected with the apostolic work of St.Thomas in Kerala in the oral traditions, started moving to Angamali.
A.Early Beginnings of Christianity in Angamali
The earliest document mentioning the year for the establishment of Christian settlement in Angamali is the Calendaria or the Vaidikapanachankam of 1902, where 450 AD was mentioned as the year for the founding of its first Christian settlement.  This was done almost six years after the establishment of the Vicariate of Ernakulam( 1896), probably on the basis of some evidence( either written or oral) known at that point of time, but unfortunately not available to us for cross-checking it critically. After the establishment of Vicariates for the St.Thomas Christians in 1896, Bishop Mar Louis Pazheparambil collected all the historical documents related to each parish of his diocese for getting clarity about the founding year and history of every parish church. It is by studying them meticulously and critically that the founding year of each parish church was fixed and notified in 1902 and the founding year for Angamali church was accordingly given as 450.  However from 1924 onwards , after the establishment of the Syro-Malabar hierarchy in Kerala with the elevation of Ernakulam as the Archdioecese( 1923), we find the year of the establishment of the Christian settlement of Angamali being shifted from 450A.D. to 409A.D .  Unfortunately we do not have any evidence with us as to see why 450 was initially kept as the founding year of the Christian settlement or as to know why 409 was projected as the founding year in the church documents after 1924. However, it has been observed that six out of the initial seven settlements linked with the apostolic work of St. Thomas are located on the banks of rivers, backwaters or sea-side ( the only exception being Nilackal), which suggests that the initial Christianization activities were carried out through water channels. But the set of places that experienced Christianization process next in chronology happened to be the ring of geography located in the closest vicinity of water –side areas like Enammavu, Kuravilangadu, Angamali, Puthenchira , Puthukkadu etc., whose chronology in the diocesan directories and calendarias ranges between fourth to fifth centuries. The movement of Christians from the water-side to these relatively interior and upland places including Angamali, which are located slightly away from water-logged areas and are conducive for the cultivation of pepper and other spices , was obviously to take part in the cultivation of spices, which brought into their hands considerable chunk of wealth. This seems to have happened with the intensified trade in pepper in the port of Muziris because of the expanding demand from the Roman world. It was a time when many Persian Christian merchants were frequenting the ports of Kerala for procuring pepper , as Cosmas Indicopleustes mentions in 540 AD. . He says that Male (Malabar) is the place ‘where pepper grows’ and he refers to five marts of Malabar where the Persian Christian merchants used to conduct trade in pepper: Parti(?), Mangarouth(Mangalore), Salopatana( Chaliyampattanam), Nalopatana( Dahbatan or Dharmapttanam,) and Poudopatana (Puthupattanam or present day Pattanam?).  The recent discovery of Sassanian pottery and artefacts from present-day Pattanam( located on the banks of one of the branches of Periyar ) shows that it must have been probably Puthupattanam referred to by Cosmas Indicopleustes as an active centre of trade for Persian Christian merchants. Further, the discovery of Pahlavi-inscribed crosses ( of 6th-7th century AD) in the church of Cranganore and from Alengadu , which are again located on two different branches of river Periyar, evidently suggests that the Pahlavi( archaic Persian)-speaking Persian Christian merchants used the water channel of Periyar for reaching not only the coastal trade centres like Pattanam and Cranganore but also such inland places like Alengadu, located in the close vicinity of Angamali. As Pahlavi language was used only before 7th century AD and that too by Persian Christians from Fars region( in south Iran), such crosses refer to the emergence of Christian networks along the banks of river Periyar against the background of intensified trade with Sassanian Persia, into whose orbit eventually Angamali also must have been incorporated through Manjali thodu. The intensification of maritime trade with Persia led to the establishment of angadis around the churches of the Nazranis, out of which the angadi of Angamali emerged as the pivotal one because of its intense connectivity with spice hinterland and the port of Cranganore. The angadi of Thazhekadu, which is located in the vicinity of Angamli but on the banks of the river system of Chalakudy and where the Christian traders like Chathan Vadukan and Iravi Chathan belonging to the Manigramam merchant guild were given the privilege of establishing angadi near Thazhekkadu church by king Rajasimhan in 1024 AD  also operated as a part of the larger network of faith and commerce that the early Christian traders developed along the river systems of Periyar and Chalakudy in their efforts to connect the distant pepper producing regions with the port of Cranganore, in the vicinity of the Power centre of the Cheras of Mahodayapuram. At this time the Christian mercantile networks of various parts were linked in a concentrated way with the maritime trading organizations of Quilon ( Kurakkeni Kollam), developed around the Christian church of Tharisa, as mentioned in the Sthanu Ravi Varma copper plate of 849.
B. Rulers, the Archdeacons and the Churches of Angamali
With the disintegration of the centralized power structure of the Cheras of Mahodayapuram in the twelfth century, the local principality known as Mangattu asserted authority over the region, stretching from the areas of Alenagdu bordering Verapoly till the areas of Angamali bordering the terrains of Koratty. The Christians of Alengadu and Angamali formed the major economically powerful social segment in this kingdom, out of whom the Thachil family of Kuthiathodu later evolved as a key economic and political player in the kingdom of Mangattu with Thachil Thariathu (the father of Thachil Mathu Tharakan, the famous merchant of the English and the Travancorean ruler Dharmaraja in the eighteenth century after the merger of Mangattu kingdom in the state of Travancore following Marthanda Varma’s conquest) as its minister.
The other churches and Christian settlements located on the borders of Angamali like Moozhikulam, and Manjappra were in the kingdom of Parur, Koratty was in the terrains of Koratty kaimal affiliated to the Zamorins of Calicut, the churches of Kanjoor, Chowara and Malyattoor were in the kingdom of Cochin  and that of Cranganore was in the kingdom of Cranganore, while the Christians of Alwaye lived in the principality of Kartha of Alwaye. Since the principality of Mangattu happened to be a major pepper producing enclave, the Portuguese used to give an annual remuneration of 72, 000 reis per year to the ruler of Mangattu obviously for ensuring regular flow of pepper to the Portuguese factory.  By the end of the sixteenth century , besides the old king then living in Alengadu, there were two kings in the kingdom of Mangattu , with one often mentioned in documents as “white” king ruling over Angamali and the other mentioned as ”black” ruling over Alengadu. The Goan Archbishop Dom Alexis de Menesez ensured the support of both the rulers of Angamali and Alengadu for carrying out his Latinization programmes through the agency of Synod of Diamper. It should be here specially mentioned that it was mainly because of the amount of control and influence that the Portuguese retained among the Christians of Angamali and Alengadu through these two kings and their successors that this region came to be predominantly Catholic after the Coonan Cross of Oath of 1653 and the subsequent fragmentation of the community.
Eventually the lineage of these two rulers of Angamali and Alengadu evolved as dynastic lines (tavazhi ) and by the end of seventeenth century the dynastic line of Angamali came to be called Velutha tavazhi (with base at Kothakulangara) and the dynastic line of Alengadu came to be called Karutha tavazhi (with base at Alengadu Kottappuram). In 1663 , when the Dutch attacked Cochin , we see the king of the latter seeking help from the Velutha tavazhi ruler of Angamali to face the Dutch.  Perron du Anquetil writes in 1758 that the church of Angamali was in the territory of the Bellouta Tavagi ( Velutha tavazhi) of Angamale,  while the church of Alengadu was in the principality of Karta Tavagi ( Karutha tavazhi).Later with the northward expansion of Travancore and the consequent occupation of the principalities of Alengadu and Angamali by Marthanda Varma during 1750-2, Angamali , Alengadu and other neighbouring places became a part of Travancore. Consequently traders from this region like Thachil Mathu Tharakan of Kuthiathodu started moving over to the new evolving port of Alleppey( ca. 1763) to take advantage of the immense commercial opportunities made available over there with the convergence of pepper flow from the various newly acquired northern and central territories of Travancore. 
The number of Christians in Angamali swelled with the inflow of people from Cranganore, perhaps predominantly following the great flood in Periyar in 1341, which silted up the port of Cranganore making it difficult for the vessels to enter the estuary ( while the force of water-flow through its southern branch caused the emergence of the port of Cochin ), later with the attacks on the Christian settlement of Cranganore by the Muslim mercantile competitors in the 14th and 15th centuries and later in 1523, when the Muslim traders burnt down the Christian commercial establishments of Cranganore and their church. Following this the number of Christians in Angamali rose considerably by the third decade of the sixteenth century; however, there was only one church then in Angamali , as Melchior Carneiro writes in 1557. He further says that there was a university( referring to seminary) in the kingdom of Angamali and says that the teacher ( malpan), who was the most respectful priest of Angamali and had disciples all over Kerala. He taught the priestly candidates Scriptures and church law. The faithful used to assemble in the church, which had no statues or images but only a cross as object of veneration, for prayer in the morning and night.
The second church in Angamali, dedicated to St. Mary( of Assumption), was erected by Archdeacon George of Christ , who was appointed as the Archdeacon circa 1562 by bishop Mar Joseph, when the latter was arrested and deported to Europe on charges of Nestorian heresy.  Fr. Gaspar Alvares in his report from Cochin to Fr. Everardo Mercuriano, the Prepositum General of the Jesuits in Rome dated 10th January 1580 says that the Archdeacon George of Christ was the founder and administrator of the church of St. Mary of Angamali and that he had spent a lot of money for its construction. Archdeacon George of Christ himself while writing to Fr Everardo Mercuriano in 1580 says that ‘he had built church St. Mary (of Assumption) with his own money and the monetary help from his parents. He further requests that he might be permitted to continue to be its administrator and nominate somebody in the future to administer it after his death. He also requests Pope for granting perpetually indulgences for those who visit this church on stipulated days.’  In his letter of April 1577 the Archdeacon George of Christ had requested the Jesuit Visitator Fr. Alexander Valignano for granting indulgences for the church of St.Mary of Angamali, which he had erected.  In the Jesuit letter sent in November 1577 mention is made that the Archdeacon had got a church in Angamali , being dedicated to Our lady of Assumption. On the request of the Archdeacon to the Jesuit Rector of the Madre de Deus College of Cochin, the Jesuits , both priests and brothers, went to Angamali along with choir to sing canonical prayers and celebrate Solemn Mass. A large number of faithful, Nazrani priests and the brothers of the Archdeacon from distant place( obviously referring to Kuravilangadu from where the Archdeacon originally came )
The main reasons why the Archdeacon George of Christ built a church on his own in Angamali were believed to have been two: As bishop Mar Joseph was twice deported from Angamali to Goa, Lisbon and Rome on charges of Nestorian heresy , it was Archdeacon George of Christ who virtually became the head of the St.Thomas Christian community from 1562 till early 1570s. With the deportation of Mar Joseph to Rome in 1562 there was no Catholic bishop knowing Syriac language to cater to the spiritual needs of the community. Against this background Patriarch Abd Ishu appointed George of Christ as the bishop of Palayur and suffragan bishop of Angamali in 1566 following his election in the Episcopal council.
In his letter of 15th January, 1580 addressed to Pope Gregory XIII, Mar Abraham writes that he had already nominated Archdeacon George the Christ as the bishop of Palayur and Coadjutor of Angamali. He requests Pope to confirm it and enable him to consecrate the Archdeacon.  It is quite evident that it was against the background of nomination of Archdeacon George as the bishop of Palayur and coadjutor bishop of Angamali that he started building the new church of St.Mary in Angamali and wear an ecclesiastical dress looking closer to bishop’s garb . It is in this context of preparations for Episcopacy that the Archdeacon George of Christ in his letter of April 1577 requested Alexander Valignano for indulgences for the church of St. Mary that he had erected in Angamali  and celebrated the feast of the assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary in his church in 1578 with great solemnity and gaiety. For all the practical purposes the church of St. Mary was the church of the bishop-elect George of Christ.
However , the Episcopal consecration of George of Christ did not happen, even though the Pope Gregory XIII confirmed his Episcopal nomination through his brief Accepimus quod.  Many hold the view that the consecration did not happen, as the Archdeacon himself declined the honour out of humility.  In course of time the Christians of Angamali were ‘divided into two parishes’( obviously on the basis of affiliation to the old church and the new church), as Jornada testifies. On the death of the archdeacon George of Christ, the same church of St.Mary seems to have been used by his successor and brother Archdeacon John, and also by the other succeeding Archdeacons. It is evident that Archdeacon Thomas Parambil used it and retained it after being the bishop of the Puthenkurs.
In 1758 Perron du Anquetil refers to the three churches of Angamali: 1) The main church of Blessed Virgin Mary , which was jointly used by the Catholic and the Puthenkur factions of the St.Thomas Christians. This church had a chapel dedicated to St.George. In this church the Puthenkur segment used to celebrate liturgy after the liturgical service of Catholics. 2) The church of St. Homisdas located at the extremity of the angadi of Angamali. It belonged to the Archbishop of the St.Thomas Christians. In 1615 it was transferred to the Padroado diocese of Cranganore( meant for the Catholic St.Thomas Christians) by the Portuguese. 3) The third church was also dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary, but was used exclusively by the Puthenkur faction of the St.Thomas Christians. It was also called Cheriappally. In the seventeenth century it was the residence of Archdeacon Thomas Parambil, who eventually got consecrated as bishop Mar Thoma I in 1665. The CMS missionaries who visited Angamali in 1831 say that this church of the Puthenkur faction was burnt down by Tipu Sultan. The Puthenkur faction got exclusive ownership over this church by paying 75, 000 chakrams to the Catholic St.Thomas Christians of Angamali for ‘’evacuating it’’. In 1831 the church had property worth 30, 000 chakrams. The missionary account also refers to the poor daughters of the Puthenkur Christians being given in marriage to the wealthy Catholics. It also says that there were 200 families and 1400 Puthenkur members in this parish in 1831 , with the number of children being baptized was 100, and number of deaths being 58.  This shows that there was an average of seven members in each family , with an annual average of one birth in every two families and an annual average of one death in every four families. Regarding the division of churches of Angamali between the Catholics and the Jacobites of the place, Varthamanapusthakam refers to the agreement being made between them in the following words: ‘The Puthenkur and the Pazhayakur Christians of Angamali located within Makothevar(Mahodayapuram) Pattanathu had agreed among themselves that the Puthenkur Christians buying half the share of the value of the Valiyappally( the main church ) of Angamali from the Catholics would not raise any claim of ownership over the said Valiyappally and that they had handed over full and complete ownership to the Catholics.
It should also be mentioned that the main church of St. Mary of Angamali, within which the chapel of St.George was initially located, eventually came to be called St. George’s church. The change of Patron saint of the main church from St. Mary to St.George seems to have happened after 1760s, when different forms and scales of conflicts started coming up between the Catholic segment of St. Thomas Christians and the Puthenkurs in most of the churches jointly used by them following the new process of identity creation around Jacobite faith with speedy introduction of West Syriac liturgy and practices by West Syrian prelates like Mar Ivanios ( from 1748 onwards) and Mar Baselius Sakrallah( from 1751 onwards) in Puthenkur churches and in other churches jointly used by them. Against the background of such intensified conflicts, in places like Kothamangalam , the Catholic St.Thomas Christians changed the patron saint of their evolving church from St. Mary to St.George on the wish of Vicar Apostolic of Verapoly who said that St.Mary is rather a ‘very calm and pacific saint’ , whereas St.George, who led a valorous and brave life , would be the ideal patron saint for the Catholics of Kothamangalam who had been striving hard to establish a church of their own in the midst of such conflicts. We do not know whether the change of patron saint of Angamali Valiyappally from St. Mary to St.George also happened on similar lines, although the probabilities for the same were not less. However, when Paulinus writes in 1790s, the name of the main church was already changed into St.George’s church and he says that the churches of St. George and St.Hormisdas were under the Catholics, while the church of St. Mary was under the Jacobites. 
C. Angamali as the Seat of the Bishops of the St.Thomas Christians
The Portuguese documents from 1570s onwards refer to Angamali as the seat of the Bishop of the St.Thomas Christians.  We do not know as to when it actually became the seat of bishop of this Christian community. Mar Jacob Abuna who was in Malabar from 1504/5 till 1552 resided mostly in Cranganore.  Angamali became the principal seat of the bishop Mar Joseph, who came to Malabar in 1555 along with Mar Elias as Catholic bishops from the Chaldean Patriarchate,  whose Patriarch Mar Simon Sulaqa had got reunited with Roman church in 1552. Fr. Alexander Valignano while writing about the ancient Christian community of Kerala in 1575 refers to Angamali as the principal church of the St.Thomas Christians and also to the Brief of Pope Pius IV, with which the St.Thomas Christians were divided among two bishops, one being Mar Joseph residing at Angamali and ruling over the Christians of the north and the other Mar Abraham governing those in the south. This was a tentative arrangement made in early 1567 immediately after Mar Abraham’s consecration by the Patriarch of Venice. However, at the time of the writing of the report of Fr. Alexander Valignano, Mar Joseph had already died in Rome( 1569), where he had been deported on charges of Nestorian heresy, and Mar Abraham had obtained valid Episcopal consecration from the Patriarch of Venice and had already taken charge of the See of Angamali.
Mar Abraham came to India for the first time in 1556,  on the basis of the request that the uncle( malpan George) of the Archdeacon George of Christ had sent to the Nestorian Patriarch( Simon VIII Bar Mama). The Portuguese who wanted to bring the St.Thomas Christians under Padroado tried to arrest him alleging Nestorian heresy. With mounting pressure from the Portuguese and fearing arrest from the Portuguese, Mar Abraham moved over to the southern part of Kerala, particularly to the kingdoms of Vadakkenkur and Thekkenkur and started working among the St.Thomas Christians of the south for sometime.  However very soon ( ca. 1563 ) he went back to his native place, where he got himself affiliated to the Catholic Chaldean Patriarch Mar Abd Ishu. The latter confirmed Mar Abraham as the bishop of Angamali and sent him to Rome in 1564 to get papal recommendations for his work in India. Pope on his part sent him to the Patriarch of Venice, from whom Mar Abraham received all the Orders including Episcopal consecration once again.
On reaching Goa in 1568 , Mar Abraham was arrested saying that he did not have proper authorization from the king of Portugal to work in India. However he managed to escape from the Dominican house of Goa where he was detained and walked all the way on bare foot from Goa to Kerala to reach Angamali. On 6th December 1569, Fr..Melchior Nunes Barreto S.J. writes to Francisco Borgiae, Prepositum General of the Jesuits that Mar Abraham had already reached Kerala via Persian Gulf with confirmation from Pope as the bishop of the St.Thomas Christians.  It was Mar Abraham who played a decisive role in localizing the seat of the Bishopric of the St.Thomas Christians in Angamali on a permanent basis. During the long span of his episcopacy from the time of his arrival in Angamali around 1569/1570 till his death in 1597 ( about twenty eight years as a Catholic bishop) he did not go much out of Angamali , even for attending the various Provincial Councils of Goa( held for implementing the various decisions of the Trent Council at the regional level) , probably fearing persecution and further troubles from the Portuguese. 
As early as 1578 ,we find reference to the church of St. Hormisdas( or St. Hormes which later came to be known as Kizhakkepally), which Mar Abraham had erected in Angamali. In his letter of 1578 Archbishop Mar Abraham requested Pope to grant plenary indulgences for those who confessed and received communion on the feast-day of the saint and other stipulated days.  This shows that the building process of this church must have started before 1578, probably in 1577 when the Jesuits came to Angamali to take part in the feast of Assumption in the church of St. Mary erected by the Archdeacon George of Christ. The Portuguese documents speak in detail about the ceremonies connected with the laying of the foundation stone of the church of Hormisdas. The Archbishop Mar Abraham invited Jesuits to assist him in the celebration of the feast and the ceremonies connected with the laying of the foundation stone of the new church. On 15th August ( probably 1577), the feast day of Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary , there came a big gathering of 5000 rich and noble members of the community , many Jesuit priests, circa 20-30 Nazrani priests, and many Nazranis from distant places , as well, to part take in the function and prayer. The Jesuits had taken with them rich ornamented Mass vestments from their house , besides various musical instruments. The Jesuits and the Portuguese sang the Vespers in Latin, while the Nazranis recited prayers in Syriac. On the day of the feast the Jesuits celebrated Solemn Mass in Latin before Mar Abraham celebrating Pontifical Mass in Syriac, with the preaching in Malayalam and the theme being ‘union of Syrian Church with the Roman Church’. After the celebration of the festal mass the entire gathering moved in procession to the site of the church , where the Portuguese priests sang psalms and prayers in Latin and the Nazrani priests in Syriac alternatively and laid the foundation stone of the new church( of St.Hormisdas) of Archbishop Mar Abraham  In his letter of 15th January 1580, Mar Abraham refers to the plenary indulgences that he had requested for from Pope in the previous year for the new church that he had begun to set up. In the earlier letter he had requested for plenary indulgences for four times a year for a time span of 25 years. Now he requests for it on a perpetual basis. On the same date of 15th August, 1580, Mar Abraham also sends a Memorial to Pope Gregory XIII saying that he had already started building a church in Angamali; however because of poverty he could not complete the work. He requests Pope to help him with some contribution and help to complete the work or to send some good ornaments( including church utensils and vestments) for the church. Probably its completion and consecration happened before the Synod of Angamali(1583), which Mar Abraham held as a reformatory synod to rectify the evident mistakes and erroneous practices of the community in line with the earlier decisions of the Trent Council. Jornada says that the church was initially dedicated to Abbot Hormusio, who was a Nestorian heretic ; but the Goan Archbishop Dom Alexis de Menezes, in his efforts to ‘cleanse’ this Christian community and de-link its connection with the alleged Nestorian traditions, got its name changed in 1599 from Hormusio to St. Hormisdas , a martyr of Persia.
Mar Abraham who stood as a symbol of resistance to the cultural colonialism of the Portuguese died in 1597. However Angamali continued to serve as the major centre of ecclesiastical life for the St. Thomas Christians in the years to come. When Archdeacon Thomas Parambil claimed Episcopal ordination with the laying of hands by twelve priests at Alengadu during the chaotic days following Coonan Cross Oath of 1653, Bishop Sebastiani , who was appointed by Rome as the first Vicar Apostolic for Malabar under Propaganda Fide, selected Fr. Alexander Parambil, the parish priest of Kuravilangadu and a cousin of the very Archdeacon Thomas himself, to become the bishop for the Catholic St. Thomas Christians. Since the Archdeacon Thomas then resided at St.Mary’s church of Angamali, built earlier by Archdeacon George of Christ and since Angamali was the seat of the Bishopric for the St.Thomas Christians, Bishop Sebastiani gave Episcopal ordination to Fr. Alexander Parambil as the Vicar Apostolic of the Archdiocese of Angamali on 31st January 1663. But the interesting part of the subsequent developments was that Archdeacon after his valid consecration in 1665 continued to reside in Angamali, while Bishop Alexander( Chandy) Parambil resided in Kuravilangadu.
By the second part of the eighteenth century, when the St. Thomas Christians had to pass through a very turbulent phase in their history, Angamali happened to be venue for the Maha Yogam of the community , where they took key decisions regarding the course of actions to be followed for preserving and safeguarding their age old traditions and heritage. A large number of priests and members of the St.Thomas Christian community from various parishes of Kerala , who were deeply hurt by the wrong doings, discriminations and humiliations from many of the European clergy , got assembled in Angamali in 1773 to redress their grievances and find solutions to their various problems, including such actions as sending their representatives( Fr. Joseph Kariyattil and Fr. Thomas Paremakkel to Portugal and Rome). Since the representatives from various churches did not know as to how many days the meeting would actually last for the Maha Yogam, they came with rice and food materials, while the local Christians of Angamali gave salt, oil and firewood to them for cooking their food, as the meeting lasted for several days.  Later after the death of Mar Joseph Kariyattil , we find the entire representatives of the St.Thomas Christian community from 72 churches travelling to Angamali to take part in the Maha Yogam of 1787 and to discuss the future plan of action for the community under the leadership of Fr. Thomas Paremakkel the Governador( Governor) of the diocese. This shows that Angamali continued to be the centre of ecclesiastical life of the St.Thomas Christians even in the later centuries, as well.
D. In Doldrums…….
The relegation of Angamali from the prime position to a peripheral position started happening from the second half of the nineteenth century onwards , when new prominent centres of Christian activity began to appear in quick succession all over central Kerala following the migration of Christians to new resourceful geographies like the emerging towns of Kerala for business and banking –related professions and to the central upland parts of Kerala for clearance of forest and expansion of agriculture.  When two Apostolic Vicariates( viz., the Vicariates of Trichur and Kottayam ) were created for the St. Thomas Christians in 1887 , river Periyar and its branches were kept as the tentative dividing line between the two Vicariates. Accordingly all the churches lying north of river Periyar including Alengadu( located on the banks of the southern branch of Periyar), Angamali, Akaparambu, Parur, Moozhikulam , Kanjoor, Chowara, Malayattoor, Manjappra, Kottamam and Koratty were included in the Apostolic Vicariate of Trichur.  It was almost like a sudden peripheralization of Angamali from being a prime Christian centre to being one on the margin. In 1895/6 just before the establishment of the Vicariate of Ernakulam, Angamali, which was then in Trichur Vicariate , had about 548 Catholic families with 2831 Catholic members , out of whom 1311 happened to be males and 1521 females. This shows that the gender ratio then tilted relatively towards women, which is also an indicator of the healthy social attitude then prevalent in the community. 
However with the establishment of the Vicariate of Ernakulam , which was erected after a long clamour for central Vicariate in Kerala, Angamali was elevated as a Forane church( Division) with Akaparambu, Karukutty, Kottamam, Kanjur, Manjappra, Malayattoor, Koratty, Kadukutty, Meloor, Chowara as parishes coming under it.  In 1897 there were about 600 Catholic families and 3000 Catholic members in the parish of Angamali.  There was steady increase in the Christian population of Angamali over years and at the time of the erection of Syro-Malabar hierarchy with Ernakulam as Archdiocese, Angamali had 674 Catholic families and, 3599 Catholic members.
Thus, an analysis of the dynamic forces that went into the shaping of Angamali cannot be dissociated from the nuanced historical processes within which the St. Thomas Christians of Angamali got themselves shaped and re-shaped and their identity formulated and re-formulated over years. As the St.Thomas Christians form the major chunk of population of Angamali, what happened to this Christian community over years could not at any point of time remain extrinsic to the larger socio-economic processes of the region; in its stead they stood at the core of the mainstream developments shaping the different layers of which the present Angamli is constituted. That gives Angamali its specificity and uniqueness. In the course of the socio-economic and cultural evolution of the St.Thomas Christians, the forces flowing out of it started formulating and re-formulating the mentality and physicality of the locality making Angamali to grow as a town with a difference.
 Kerala Sthalanamakosam, Vol.I, Trivandrum: State Institute of Language, 1984, p.389
 V.V.K. Valath, Keralathile Sthalacharitrangal-Ernakulam Jilla, Trichur, 1991, p.317
 Ibid., p.319 . For details on the trade running towards Tamilnadu see Pius Malekandathil, “Kothamangalam Roopathayude Charithra Pachathalavum Kraistava Koottaymakalude Verukalum”, in Anpinte Anpathandu :Kothamangalam Roopathayude Charitram, 1957-2007(Malayalam), Kothamangalam, 2008, pp.2-15
 Pius Malekandathil, Portuguese Cochin and the Maritime Trade of India:1500-1663( A Volume in the South Asian Study Series of Heidelberg University, Germany), Delhi, 2001, pp.50-1
Pius Malekandathil(ed.), Jornada of Dom Alexis de Menezes: A Portuguese Account of the Sixteenth Century Malabar, Kochi, 2003, pp. 176, 200-1; 229, 350-1( Henceforth mentioned as Antonio Gouvea, Jornada)
 Ernakulam Enna Sleehaykadutha Vicariate”, in Rakshaniyam 1902 am Vatsarathe Panchangam, Mannanam, 1901, p.32; “ Ernakulam Enna Sleehaykadutha Vicariate”, in Rakshaniyam 1903 am Vatsarathe Panchangam, Mannanam, 1902, p.33; See also Rakshaniyam 1910am Vatsarathile Panchankam, Puthenpally, 1910, p12
 “ Ernakulam Enna Sleehaykadutha Vicariate”, in Rakshaniyam 1902 am Vatsarathe Panchangam, Mannanam, 1901, p.37; See also “ Ernakulam Enna Sleehaykadutha Vicariate”, in Rakshaniyam 1903 am Vatsarathe Panchangam, Mannanam, 1902, p.29; “ Ernakulam Enna Sleehaykadutha Vicariate”, in Rakshaniyam 1904 am Vatsarathe Panchangam, Mannanam, 1903, p.32
“Sleehaykadutha Ernakulam Vicariate”,.Vaidika Panchankam: Rakshaniya Vatsaram 1924 le , Verapoly, 1924,p.2
 Pius Malekandathil, “ St.Thomas Christians: A Historical Analysis of their Origin and Development up to 9th Century AD”, in St.Thomas Christians and Nambudiris, Jews and Sangam Literature: A Historical Appraisal, ed.by Bosco Puthur, Kochi, 2003, pp.1-5
 See the churches in Rakshaniyavatsaram 1937 le Vaidikapanchankam, Ernakulam, 1937, pp. 1;8-9; 16; 18
J.W. McCrindle ( ed.), The Christian Topography of Cosmas, an Egyptian Monk, Hakluyt Society, New York, 1897,p.366. The identification of these place names are done by the author. For more details see Pius Malekandathil, “Muziris and the Trajectories of maritime Trade in the Indian Ocean”, in K.S.Mathew(ed.), Imperial Rome, Indian Ocean and Muziris: New Perspectives on Maritime Trade, New Delhi, 2015, p. 256-280
 For details on the way how identification was done see Ibid.
 For details on this cross see Antonio Gouvea, Jornada, p.216
 For more details see Gerd Gropp, “Die Pahlavi-Inschrift auf dem Thomaskreuz in Madras”, in Archaeologische Mitteilungen aus Iran, Neue Folge Band 3, 1970,pp.267-271; C.P.T.Winckworth, “ A New Interpretation of the Pahlavi Cross-Inscription of Southern India”, in T.K.Joseph,(ed.), Kerala Society Papers, vol.I&II, pp.161-164; Pius Malekandathil, “Discovery of a Pahlavi-Cross from Goa: A New Evidence for Pre-Portuguese Christian Settlement in Konkan, in Christan Oriente, 2002,pp.140-142. The Pahlavi-inscribed cross of Alengadu was discovered by Fr. Joseph Panjikaran in the second decade of the twentieth century from the vicinity of the road going up to Alengadu church.
 Gerd Gropp, “ Christian Maritime Trade of Sasanian Age in the Persian Gulf” in Internationale Archaeologie, 6, 1997, p.86; Pius Malekandathil, “ Christian Communities of St. Thomas Tradition in Maharashtra and its Neighbourhood”, in Francis Eluvathingal, Identity of the St. Thomas Catholic Migrants, Mumbai, 2013,p.54
 This fact is inferred from Jornada which refers to the Christians living in the bazaars( evidently referring to the mercantile category) and the Christians living in the forests( obviously referring to the Christians living in the pepper-growing inland regions where the trees which support the pepper vines for their climbing give the impression of being in forest). Antonio Gouvea, Jornada, pp.350-1
 A.Sreedhara Menon, Kerala Charitram (Malayalam), Kottayam, 1973,p.135. The grant made to these two Christian merchants was recorded in the form of a vattezhuthu inscription on a granite slab, 74 inches by 51 inches, lying at the foot of the open air cross in front of the Catholic church at Thazhekkadu near Irinjalakuda.
 For details see M.G.S.Narayanan, Perumals of Kerala, Calicut, 1996
 For details see Pius Malekandathil, Maritime India: Trade, Religion and Polity in the Indian Ocean , Primus Books, New Delhi.2010, see chapter 3
 This is on the basis of information from V.V.K. Valath, Keralathile Sthalacharitrangal-Ernakulam Jilla, p.219; Antonio Gouvea, Jornada, pp.351; 358
 Pius Malekandathil, “ Woman , Church and Syrian Christian Households in Pre-Modern Kerala” in Kumkum Roy(ed.), Looking Within, Looking Without: Exploring Households in the Subcontinent Through the Time, Essays in Memory of Nandita Prasad Sahai , Primus Books, New Delhi, 2014, pp.257-8; M. O. Joseph Nedumkunnam, Thachil Matthoo Tharakan, (Malayalam) Kottayam, 1962
 Perron du Anquetil , Zend Avesta, vol.I, Paris, MDCCLXXL, p. clxxxv
 Ibid., p. clxxxiv; Antonio Gouvea, Jornada, p.451
 Antonio Gouvea, Jornada, pp.14; 19 26, 230-2; 364
 Simão Botelho, “Tombo do Estado da India(1554)”,in Subsidios para a Historia da India Portuguesa, edited by R.J.de Lima Felner, Lisboa, 1868,pp.22-26. Paduronga S.S.Pissurlencar, Regimentos das Fortalezas da India,Bastora/Goa, 1951, pp.217-219. Vitorino Magalhães Godinho, Les Finances de l’etat Portugais des Indes Orientales (1517-1635):Materiaux pour une Etude Structuralle et Conjuncturelle, Paris, 1982, pp.306-8.
 For details on the monetary rewards paid to the ruler of Mangattu in 1554 see, Simão Botelho, “Tombo do Estado da India(1554)”,in Subsidios para a Historia da India Portuguesa, edited by R.J.de Lima Felner, pp.22-26. For information on the monetary reward for the year 1564 see Paduronga S.S.Pissurlencar, Regimentos das Fortalezas da India, pp.217-219. For details on the monetary rewards paid to the ruler of Mangattu in 1574 see Vitorino Magalhães Godinho, Les Finances de l’etat Portugais des Indes Orientales (1517-1635):Materiaux pour une Etude Structuralle et Conjuncturelle, pp.306-8.
 Antonio Gouvea, Jornada,pp.229; 351
 Ibid., pp. 229; 351
 Paduronga S.s. Pissurlencar, Assentos do Conselho do Estado , vol.IV, Bastora/Goa, 1954, p.567
 Perron du Anquetil , Zend Avesta, vol.I, Paris, MDCCLXXL, p. clxxxv
 Ibid., p. p. clxxxvj
 V.Nagam Aiya, The Travancore State Manual,vol.I, Trivandrum, 1906,p.343-51; Shangoonny Menon, History of Travancore from the Earliest Times, New Delhi, 1878, pp.135-55 A Sreedhara Menon(ed.), District Gazetteer of Trivandrum, Trivandrum,1962, p.11
 See Pius Malekandathil, “ Winds of Change and Links of Continuity: A Study on the Merchant Groups of Kerala and the Channels of their Trade, 1000-1800 AD”, in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, (Brill/Boston), Vol,. 50, Part 2,-3/2007, p.281
 W.W.Hunter, The Imperial Gazetteer of India, vol.IV, London, 1885, p.11; K.Rama Varma Raja, “The Cochin Harbour and the Puthu Vaippu Era”, in The Bulletin of the Rama Varma Research Institute, No.2, Cochin, 1933, pp.49-51
 One of such attacks happened as a result of the joint military operation of Zamorin and his Muslim allies on Cranganore in the fourteenth century in their efforts to drive out the chief of Perumpadappu swarupam from Cranagnore ,who had moved over there from Vanneri fearing Zamorin’s attacks. K.V.Krishna Ayyar,The Zamorins of Calicut, Calicut, 1938, p. 1-2
 Mathias Mundadan, St.Thomas Christians, 1498-1552, Bangalore, 1967, pp.76-9; 88-94
 “Informação do que fez o Padre Mestre Melchior Carneiro em uns Reinos que estão junto de Cochim pela terra dentro”, in Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Portugues do Oriente, Vol.8, Lisbon, 1952, p.498
 Ibid., pp.498-9
 “Relatio P.Francisci Dionysii S.J de Christianis S.Thomae”, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), vol. XI, Romae, 1970, pp.141-2
 “Fr. Gaspar Alvares SJ P.Everardo Mercuriano Praep. General SJ et Socii Europae”, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol. XI, p.810
 Rev. Georgius de Christo: Archidiaconus P.Everardo Mercuriano, Praep.General S..J, Cochin, dated 15th Januarii, 1580, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol. XI, p.833
 “Georgius de Christo, Archidiaconus , P.Alexandro Valignano, S.J, Visitatori, Goam”, Cochin, dated April 1577, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1575-77), vol. X, Romae, 1968, pp.853-4
 “Litterae Annuae Provinciae Indicae Sociis Lusitanis Missae”, Goa, November 1577, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1575-1577), vol.X, Romaae, 1968,.Ibid., p.953P.953
 “Patriarcha Abd Ishu Eligit Georgium in Episcopum Palurensem”, dated 25 August 1566, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol.VII, Romae, 1962, pp.703-4
 Memoriale Mar Abrahami, Archiepiscopi( Gregorio XIII) Papae Exhibendum, dated 15th January, 1580, Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), vol.XI, p. 830; See P.Franciscus Dionysius SJ, Rector, P.Everardo Mercuriano, Praep. General SJ, Cochin, dated 2 Januarii, 1578 ,ïn Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), vol. XI, p.69
 “Georgius de Christo, Archidiaconus , P.Alexandro Valignano, S.J, Visitatori, Goam”, Cochin, dated April 1577, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1575-77), vol. X, Romae, 1968, pp.853-4
 P. Gomes Vaz S.J, P. Everardo Mercuriano. Praep. General S.J.( Litterae Annuae) , Goa, 20 October, 1578, ,ïn Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), vol. XI, p.287
 Giuseppe Beltrami, La Chiesa caldea nel secolo dell’Unione, Rome, 1933, pp.196-7; Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India, Bangalore, 1988, p.59
 Joseph Thekkedath, History in of Christianity India, vol.II, Bangalore, 1988, p.59
 Antonio Gouvea, Jornada, p. 350
 Joseph Thekkedath, History in of Christianity India, vol.II, p60
 Cf. Infra no. 53
 Perron du Anquetil , Zend Avesta, vol.I, pp.clxxxv-clxxxvj
 The Missionary Register for MDCCCXXXI(1831), Containing the Principal Transaction fort Propagating the Gospel, with the Proceedings , at large of the Church Missionary Society, Vol.19, London, 1831, p.248 . Unfortunately we do not have any other source to check and see the veracity of the details given by the CMS missionary.
 See Paremakkal Thoma Kathanar, Varthamana Pusthakam, Thevara, 197, p.371
 The beginnings of the process of new identity-creation and the consequent conflicts between Puthenkur and Pazhayakur appeared from 1748 onwards, when Mar Ivanios started introducing several West Syrian practices forcefully among the Puthenkur fraction and in the churches dominated by the Puthenkurs but used also by the minority group of Pazhayakur. He shaved the head of the priests and ordained priests without the consent of the bishop Mar Thoma V (of Pakalomattom family) and palli- yogam. He also burned crucifixes and images of saints used in the churches ( evidently used by both the Jacobites and the Catholics) precipitating a tension between the Pazhayakur and Puthenkur factions. Paulinus Bartholomeo, India Orientalis Christiana, Rome, 1796, p.86. Later in 1751 a team of West Syrian priests led by Mar Baselius Sakrallah came to Kerala with which organized and systematic moves to introduce Jacobite ideology and West Syrian ritual practices among the Puthenkur faction began on an extensive scale. Mar Sakarallah made even attempts to re-consecrate Mar Thoma V (1728-65)and to change his name into Mar Dionysius as a part of the strategy to bring him completely under Jacobite West Syrian tradition, which the latter resisted all through his reign. M.Kurian Thomas, Niranam Grandhavari, Kottayam, 2000, p.87; Pius Malekandathil, “Kothamangalam Roopathayude Charithra Pachathalavum Kraisthava Koottaymakalude Verukalum”(Malayalam), in Pius Malekandathil (chief editor) Anpinte Anpathandu: Kothamangalam Roopathayude Charitram, 1957-2007, Kothamangalam, 2008, pp.46-7; 86-88.
 The Chronicle (Nalagamam) of St.George’s Catholic Church, Kothamangalam, vol.I, p.11; See Mundackal Tharakan Ittira Chacko et al, Mundackal Tharakan Kudumbam, Ernakulam, 1991,p. 174
 Paulinus of St. Bartholomew, India Orientalis Christiana, Roma, 1794,, pp.267-8
 Antonio de Govea, Jornada, p.389; see also P.Gomes Vaz S.J ., P. Everardo Mercuriano, Praepositum General S.J., Resp.P.Provinciali Lusitaniae, Goa, dated 14th November 1576, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1575-1577), vol. X, p.752: See also Ibid., p.423
 Antonio de Govea, Jornada, pp.26; 389; Antonio da Silva Rego(ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Portugues do Oriente, Vol.II,, Lisbon, 1949.,pp.352-4
 Josef Wicki, Missionskirche im Orient, 1976, p.204; Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol.III, Roma,1948, pp.800-801; 754
 Relatio P.Francisci Dionysii S.J. de Christianis S. Thomae, Cochin, 4 Januarii 1578, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), XI, p.138. . He was confirmed as Patriarch by Pope Julius III on 20th February 1553.
 Deliberationes Patrum Veterum et Superiorum de Pluribus Quaestionibus Provincae Indiae, 6-18 December , 1575, Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1575-1577), X,Romae, 1968,p.268
 Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India, vo.II,pp.40-7
 Giuseppe Beltrami refers to the fact that this division was done by Patriarch Abd Ishu on the basis of the suggestion given by Pope Pius IV. See Giuseppe Beltrami, La Chiesa caldea,pp.94-6
 Letter of Fernando da Paz dated 10-1-1557. Antonio da Silva Rego (ed.), Documentação para a Historia das Missões do Padroado Portugues do Oriente, vol.VI, Lisboa, 1950, p. 248; Account of Melchior Carneiro of 1557. Josef Wicki, Documenta Indica, vol.III, Rome, 1956, pp.792-811
 Relatio P.Francisci Dionysii S.J. de Christianis S. Thomae, Cochin, 4 Januarii 1578. In Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580),, vol.XI, Romae, 1970, p.138
 P. Franciscus Dionysius SJ. Rector, P. Everardo Mercuriano, Praep. General S.J, Cochin, 2 Januarii, 1578, In Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580),, vol.XI,p. 63; Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India, vo.II,pp.37-40
 P. Franciscus Dionysius SJ. Rector, P. Everardo Mercuriano, Praep. General S.J, Cochin, 2 Januarii, 1578, In Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580),, vol.XI,pp. 63-4; Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India, vo.II,pp.48-50
 Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity, Vol.II., p. 49
 P.Melchior Nunes Barreto SJ , P.Francisco Borgiae Praepositum Generalis, SJ, Goa, dated 6-12-1569 , in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica (1569-1573),vol. VIII, Romae, 1964, p. 135
 Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India, vo.II , pp.49-50
“Supplicatio Patrum S.J. in Favorem Praesulum et Christianorum S.Thomae”, Romae, Novembrii, 1578 , in in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica (1577-1580),vol. XI, Romae, 1970,p.382
 A lot of Portuguese documents refer to it. See “P.E. Manoel Teixeria SJ, Superintendens , P.Everardo Mercuriano SJ, Praepositum General, SJ, Cochin, 10-30 Januarii, 1580 in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), vol. XI, pp.798-9
“ Mar Abraham, Archiepiscopus, P.Everardo Mercuriano, Praep. Generalis S.J, Cochin, Januarii, 1580, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), vol. XI, pp.828-9
 “ Memoriale Mar Abrahai, Archiepiscopi , ( Gregorio XIII) Papae Exhibendum”, in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica( 1577-1580), vol. XI, p.831
 “Judgement of Fr. Manuel Rodrigues SJ on the Information of Fr. Martin Ignacio de Loyola OFM to be handed over to Cardinal Antonio Giulio Santoro”, End 1584 and 1585, in in Joseph Wicki, Documenta Indica(1585-1588) , vol.XIV, Romae, 1979 ,p.918
 Antonio de Gouvea, Jornada, p. 350
 Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India, vol.II, p.94
 Perron du Anquetil , Zend Avesta, vol.I, p. clxxxvj
 D.Ferroli S.J, The Jesuits in Malabar, vol.II , Bangalore, 1951, pp. 38-44; Joseph Thekkedath, History of Christianity in India, vol.II, p.100
 Letter of Fr. Mathew of St.Joseph to Cardinal Altieri, 29-10-1670 in D.Ferroli S.J, The Jesuits in Malabar, vol.II, p.67
 For details see Paremakkel Thommakathanar, Varthamanapusthakam, Thevara, 1977. See also Pius Malekandathil, The Mughals, the Portuguese and the Indian Ocean: Changing Imageries of Maritime India, Primus Books, New Delhi, 2012, pp. 160-184
 Paremakkel Thommakathanar, Varthamanapusthakam , pp. 30;33 After the beginning of the meeting of the mahayogam( meeting of the representatives of 72 churches) , three European missionaries came to Angamali to take track of the situation and they were secretly put up in the presbyteral house by the supporters of the European missionaries..
 Paremakkel Thommakathanar, Varthamanapusthakam , pp. 378-383
 Pius Malekandathil, Catholic Church in the Shaping of Modern Kerala, Murickasserry, 2012, pp. 3-15
 1896 Rakshaniya Varsham 1896 Vatsarathile Panchankam, Madras, 1895, pp.20-8
1896 Rakshaniya Varsham 1896 vatsarathile Panchankam ,Madras, 1895, pp.20-1
 Rakshaniyam 1897 Vatsarathile Panchankam,Mannanam, 1897,pp.7-9
 Rakshaniyam 1897 Vatsarathile Panchankam,Mannanam, 1897,pp. 7-8
 Rakshaniyam 1913am Vatsarathile Panchankam,Puthenpally, 1913, P.16