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Arrival of St.Thomas in India

According to local traditions found amongst Saint Thomas Christians, Apostle Thomas arrived in the Kerala state of India (Kodungallur) in 52 AD. It is interesting to note that Malikayal' speaks of St. Thoma's arrival by sea to the port of 'Maliankara' (Kodungallur). The commercial history of the times lends support to this assumption. He must have either sailed from Kalyan in north India or from the island of 'Socotra'. He established the following 7 churches and a Christian community in Malayattor as it is narrated in "St. Thomas parvam" by 'Rabban.

It is the hoary and unquestioned tradition in Malabar, which is corroborated by the customs of the place and by the ethnological research, that the Apostle was signally successful in the conversion of the high cast 'Nambuthiri Brahmins'. Four of the leading Brahmin families are believed to been raised to the privilege of the priesthood. They are:

a) Palamattam (Pakalomattam)
b) Sankarapuri
c) Kalli &
d) Kalliankavu.

Some of them still exist in 'Koravilangad' a place near Kottayam in Kerala. The head of the Malabar Church - the Archdeacon - had to be selected from Pakalomattam.  There is a strong belief throughout Malabar that St. Thomas founded 7 Churches or group of Christians in the following places and the imprints and tradition proves it true.

Early Migration of Christians from Palayur to Travancore

In the history of Kerala, having put a stamp that will not fade, Brahmin families like Kalli, Kalikavu, Pagalomattom, and Shankarapuri where among the families who received Baptism in Palayoor. The families of Shankarapuri and Pagalomattom were given Priestly Status by St. Thomas.

In the 2nd Century AD all the four Family migrated from Palayoor via Angamali, Kadathuruthi to Ettmanoor. The Devasom of Ettmanoor did not allow them to stay there and sent them to a place 5 Km. away which was the Forest of the Goddess Kali. In those days the Forest of goddess Kali was believed to be full of Witches and Devils and people, were scared to stay in such places. The people who came from Palayoor stayed there without any fear not knowing about these facts. To prove this there are documents. The entire house names, house numbers, survey numbers are there in the Government Records. Survey 460/5, 460/6, 519/8 belonged to these Families. During those days there was no place for worship or Burial and the families worshipped at home and used their own property to bury the dead. Where these 4 families stayed they established a Chapel. There still exists 5 Graves near the famous Forest of Kali (Kalikavu) Grotto. It is believed that these are the graves of 5 important members of these families. This cemetery was just next to the Shakutirikal Family. Right now it is in the procession of Claratu Bhavan Seminary.

The Koravelangattu Church: It is believed that the above said 4 families and the Kadapoor family, which came from Palayoor, joined together and established the Koravelangattu Church. The Kalli and the Pagalomattom Families stayed on the Northern side of the church and the Shankarapuri, Kalikavu and the Kadapoor families stayed on the Southern side of the Church. So it came to be that Shankarapuri Family got the house name Thekkedethu meaning Southern Side, and Pagalomattom Family got the house name Vadakaedethu meaning Northern Side. There were a lot of priests in these families for many generations.