Sunday, February 6, 2011

Coonan Kurisu Palli (The bent Cross Church) - Mattancherry.

Coonan Kurisu (Bent Cross)Palli (Churchor Holy Cross church - is a place of historical importance and faith for the believers. A shrine sandwiched between row of shops  in the busiest street of  Mattancherry, Kochi( My home town) Kerala.

Historical importance- When St. Thomas, disciple of Jesus Christ landed in Kerala in A.D 52, he could convert a good number of local inhabitants to Christianity. He also established 7 churches in Kerala. The present Christian population claims its descent from this early origin.They are known as Syrian Christains in view of the Syrian liturgy used in church services since the early days of Christanity in India. They are popularly known as Nazranis(followers of Jesus of Nazerene). Christanity thrived in Kerala because of the benevolence and tolerance of the Travancore rulers. When Portuguese arrived they were successful and eager to bring the Christians under the church of Rome. But when their power declined, the hold of Roman Catholic church also weakened. After that about 25,000 Syrian Christians reaffirmed their allegiance to the Syrian orthodox tradition  in front of an improvised cross at Mattancherry known as Coonan Kurisu satyam (oath)

Interesting facts: This small church attracts hordes of believers irrespective of the caste, creed and religion. They  offer worship by lighting the candles and it is believed that every single wish gets fulfilled here. This shrine gets crowded on Fridays.

How to reach-  Kochi is well connected by air, road and rail. The nearest airport is Nedumbassery which is 50 Kms from Mattancherry. Ernakulam Junction is the nearest railway station which is at a distance of 10 Kms.
Cabs, autos and buses ply to Kochi . One can always board a Mattancherry bus from South bus stop in Ernakulam and get down at the last stop at Mattancherry. Jew town and Synagogue are at walkable distance.
Accommodation- For stay, excellent hotels are available in Ernakulam / Kochi.

For other religious institutions in and around Kochi check List of temples

Check my new blog Chitra's Jewel Art , my new venture.

51 comments:

Arti said...

This looks so beautiful Chitra...
Typical case of unity in diversity, where people of all castes visit...
Wonderful, off to visit you other blog!!
Have a nice day:)

Team G Square said...

Lovely , awesome pics . Thank you

chitra said...

Arti, your comment made me happy. Saw your comment on other blog too.

chitra said...

Team G. Square
Thanks .

Insignia said...

I have heard about this church Chitra. Seeing the pictures now. Thanks for sharing

raji said...

nice piece of information.What does this 'bent cross ' signify?

anupama said...

Dear Chitra,
Good Morning!
Very happy to see a post on church at your space.I have heard about this church.I love visiting churches and kneeling down to pray.
I just want to clarify...
The cross is not bent.I could not see it so.Why is the cross bent?
There is no alter with Mary or Jesus.
And right now early in the morning,I am listening to the spiritual discourse on BIBLE.
Wishing you a wonderful day...
Sasneham,
Anu

vineetasdiary said...

Hey thanks for sharing the history behind the church.. I didnt knw it! btw.. just loved the jewelery blog, do u do on own??

chitra said...

Insignia, thanks. This is very much part of Kochi history.

chitra said...

Raji, Bent Cross- an improvised Cross that was used at that time to take the oath with a slight bent.Coonan in Malayalam means bend. Holding to this many Syrian Christians reaffirmed their allegiance to Syrian Orthdox tradition when they didn't want to follow the Latin rites as they were forced to do so when Portuguese ruled.

Sridharan said...

Chitra,
Interesting post and info. I am happy camera is allowed inside.! Hope you know that St. Thomas lived in chennai at St. Thomas mount 2000 year ago..!

chitra said...

Anupama,
Earlier also I have published 2-3 Churches.When I find religious institutions of historic importance I like to include that here.
There is a slight bend for the Cross, that is the belief , apparently I also didn't find or could not make out . But this Church dates back to 1550 .No body could provide any information . No altar here may be because this a place of historic importance where Coonan Kurisu Satyam took place(1655)

chitra said...

Sridharan,
From Kerala St.Thomas proceeded to Chennai. I know the famous Santhome Church and St. Thomas Mount too. Have plans to visit.

This Coonan Kurisu Palli is on the itinerary of every tourist visiting Kochi, so photography is not a problem.

StarTraci said...

Wow, Chitra!

Yet again, I learn from you. I love the collection of crosses. I was unaware of these "Syrian" Christians and their church there. Thank you my dear friend.

:-)
Traci

Bhagya said...

Wonderful!! Got an opportunity to learn something new

chitra said...

Vinneta, I missed your comment in the morning. Yes, I make all the jewelery .

chitra said...

Thank you Traci. Hope you liked it.

chitra said...

Bhagya, Thanks and tc.

Mridula said...

Sounds like quite an inclusive place! Lovely pictures.

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

This is the first blog post of yours where you have covered a church. Nice description as usual.

sm said...

beautiful church pics

Sridharan said...

I forgot to tell you Chitra..Best of luck with your new blog.. Nice jewelery ..and good work..!

aipi said...

Personally I like visiting churches. I just like the calm serene environment and could sit for hours enjoying the peace and calm..beautiful church..thanks for such an informative post ..

US Masala

chitra said...

Mridula, Thanks.

chitra said...

Kiran, I have included 2 churches and One Jewish Synagogue earlier also from Mattancherry.

chitra said...

Sm, thanks a lot

chitra said...

Sridharan, Thanks, thanks and thanks:)

chitra said...

Aipi,
When I see ancient churches with a long history attached to it,I always like to cover them in my pilgrimage

raji said...

chitra ..thanks for that.:)

Abhilash Pillai said...

I never knew such a thing exists in cochin. So I need to surf again, with my bike and friends... Thanks for sharing it Chitra...

Let me light a candle and make a wish... hope it will be true...

chitra said...

Raji, Welcome.

chitra said...

Abhi, go towards Mattancherry bazzar , you will find this , any one would guide you and have you visited the Synagogue. It's nearby.

....Petty Witter said...

So nice to hear of so many faiths being attracted to this church. I think the world would be a more peaceful place if this happened more often, if people of different beliefs were more tolerant of each other.

chitra said...

PW, Absolutely right . It would help people to stay united, peacefully.

Martina said...

Somehow strange to see the cross in India, but than, the mix and tolerance of all the religions make India so wonderful!

chitra said...

Christianity is popular here Martina as we have a good number of that population here. But when compared to Hindus the percentage is less. There are many churches, ancient and crowd pullers, visited by tourists and pilgrims.

sm said...

saw the slideshow again
beautiful

chitra said...

Your comments make me happy Sm, Thanks

Shri Krishna said...

Interesting!!! Nice Captures.

chitra said...

SKM, Long time, no see! busy with studies? work well.

Archana said...

In fact, both Christianity and Islam have existed in India almost since they were born. We also had a significant Jewish population till Israel was created, when these Jews emigrated there. Now we have very few Jews left here. Zoroastrians of course, have existed here for very long and have contributed significantly towards the development of modern India.

Visiting the shrines of faiths other than our own and celebrating the festivals of different faiths together is a special characteristics of Indian religiosity. It is not considered good behaviour if one doesn't like to visit the shrines of other faiths and doesn't celebrate the festivals of other religions, or doesn't make an effort to include the people from other faiths in one's own celebrations.

But why the "bent cross?" Is it a reference to the narrative of Jesus Christ's crucifixion, when he fell three times while carrying his cross? I noticed the icon on top of the building where the lamb is carrying a cross.

chitra said...

Archana, When the oath was taken an improvised cross was only used and it had a slight bent. Hence it is called as Bent Cross. But I am not sure and could not find any material regarding whether it is the same Cross or it was replaced later.

Sushma Mallya said...

Thts a very beautiful write up Chitra abt the church....and lovely pictures as well..

chitra said...

Sushma, Thanks a lot.

indicaspecies said...

Lovely pictures in the slideshow, thanks for the info on this Church.

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

The church where everyone's wishes are fulfilled and people of diverse religions visit.
Very Nice post Chitra.

Nithu said...

Learnt something new. Nice post

chitra said...

Thanks Celine.
Kiran , thanks.
Nithu, Thank you

Anu said...

very interesting, chitra!

Anonymous said...

please post bi picture of coonan cross church.

http://coonancross.bizhat.com

chitra said...

@ Anonymous
Didnt understand what do you mean by the above sentence 'post bi picture'