St. Thomas Syro Malabar Pilgrim Church, Malayattoor, Kerala


The St Thomas Syro Malabar Catholic International Shrine, Malayattoor (or Malayatoor Church) is one of the eight international shrines in the world, situated in Malayattoor Angamaly, Ernakulam district of Kerala, India. The Malayatoor Church draws numerous devotees not only from India but also from around the globe. It holds significance due to its association with the evangelization efforts of St. Thomas the Apostle in Kerala. Recognized by the Vatican as one of the eight International shrines worldwide, the church is believed to mark the site where St. Thomas offered prayers upon his arrival in Kerala. Positioned atop a hill, the church is situated 15 km away from Kalady town. Malayatoor and Kodanad villages lie on opposite banks of the Periyar river, offering pristine and picturesque views of the surrounding landscape.

St. Thomas is believed to have arrived in Kodungallur (Cranganore), Kerala, in AD 52. By AD 62, he returned to the Malankara coast through Malayatur and established “the half church” (a small Christian community connected to the Church of Maliamkara).

According to oral tradition, St. Thomas, while passing through Malayattor and encountering hostile locals, escaped to a hilltop where he engaged in prayer, leaving his footprint on a rock. Legend has it that during his prayer, he touched a rock from which blood emerged.

The Portuguese discovered the Church in 1501 and documented that upon his arrival in AD 52, St. Thomas converted King Chozha Perumal of Meliapor by moving a large log that even elephants couldn’t shift. The relics of St. Thomas were moved back to Edessa in Syria in the 3rd century. By the 4th century, with the Church of St. Thomas declining, a large group of Christians from Edessa moved to Malabar, led by Mar Joseph, the Metropolitan of Edessa, and Knai Thoma, a merchant familiar with Malabar and its Christian community’s needs.

The Church’s main festival is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter, marking Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Tradition holds that St. Thomas would sign the cross on a rock, kiss it, and pray at Kurisumudi, where a miraculous golden cross is said to have appeared. Pilgrims climbing the hill chant, “Ponnum Kurishu Muthappo, Ponmala Kayattom,” meaning “O Patriarch of the Golden Cross! Climb we shall, this golden hill!”

The Shrine was elevated to Archdiocesan status by Major Archbishop Mar Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil on September 4, 1998. Additionally, an ancient Church dedicated to St. Thomas (established in 900 AD) sits on the banks of the Periyar River at Malayattoor, currently serving as the parish Church. The church’s annual festival, known as ‘Malayatoor Perunal,’ is celebrated in March-April.

Kurishumudi, known as the Hill of the Holy Cross, is a notable mountain in Malayattoor, celebrated for being visited by St. Thomas, one of Jesus Christ’s 12 Apostles. Jesus tasked his Apostles with spreading the Good News worldwide, and Thomas embarked on his mission to India, arriving at Kodungalloor in AD 52. He faced hostility and threats to his life, forcing him to escape to the mountain’s peak, seeking refuge in God’s presence. Amid his distress, St. Thomas prayed fervently and marked the rock with a cross. During this challenging time, the Virgin Mary, Jesus’ mother, appeared to comfort and strengthen him. After this divine encounter, St. Thomas left the mountain and traveled to Mylapoore in Tamil Nadu to continue his mission.

Later, hunters came to the mountain and, while camping overnight, noticed a shining cross on the rock. Driven by curiosity, they hit the rock with their primitive weapons, and unexpectedly, blood flowed out. Shocked by the phenomenon, they hurried down to share the news with the villagers. The locals then visited the mountain, and while praying there, they experienced numerous miracles. This miraculous event marked the beginning of the pilgrimage to Kurishumudi, drawing believers to seek blessings and witness the holy site where St. Thomas once prayed.    

Golden Cross

Kurishumudi is a special place known for the Golden Cross that appeared miraculously. The story goes that St. Thomas, one of Jesus’ Apostles, knelt on a rock and drew a cross with his finger. After praying there for many hours, a golden cross suddenly showed up right where he had drawn. Later on, a church was built over this very spot to honor this miracle. Inside the church, another golden cross was placed directly above the original stone where St. Thomas prayed, and it can still be seen in the middle of the church today. 

Footprints of St. Thomas

 At the mountain, a very interesting thing to see was the footprint and knee marks of St. Thomas left on the rock. Now, the original footprint isn’t there anymore. Instead, the Church has made a man-made footprint, a copy, to represent the original. 

The Ancient Chapel Struck by the Elephants

A long time ago, the small church on Kurishumudi was attacked by wild elephants when it was surrounded by dense forest. You can still see deep marks from the elephants’ tusks on the back wall of the church.

The Miraculous Water Spring

 Near the old church at the top of the hill, there’s a well thought to be the very place where St. Thomas, feeling very thirsty while praying, hit a rock and fresh water began to flow out. People who visit believe this water can cure sickness because of its holy power.

Now that the Vatican has recognized this special place in Malayattoor as a worldwide pilgrimage site, the shrine honoring St. Thomas is ready to welcome more visitors. They come looking for healing and peace in this quiet spot.

Tourist Information

St. Thomas established churches across various locations in Kerala, such as Kollam, Kodungalloor, Nilakkal, Niranam, and more. Amidst the tranquil surroundings of Malayattoor, one can easily find spiritual contentment and joy. This site stands as the largest and most renowned St. Thomas shrine in India, drawing numerous tourists who wish to admire its grandeur. A visit to this magnificent church is highly recommended for travelers heading to Cochin.

Every year, on the first Sunday after Easter, crowds of pilgrims flock to this shrine seeking divine blessings. The church is adorned with intricate carvings, designs, and paintings portraying the life of Jesus Christ. Additionally, there are provisions for confession and adoration within the church premises. An ancient pond, once utilized for baptisms, and a traditional pulpit of historical significance are also present on-site.

Annual Feast Day

Feast Date : November 27 to December 15

The annual feast day of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Church, Malayattoor, is celebrated from November 27 to December 15 every year at Thumpoly Church.

Mass Timing

Weekly Masses :

Monday to Friday : 7:30 am

Weekend Masses :

Saturday : 7:30 am

Sundays : 7:30 am and 9:30 am.

Church Visiting Hours

  • Monday to Sunday  : Open 24 hours 

Contact Info

Kalady Malayattoor Road,

Phone No.

Phone: 0484 246 8208




The nearest major airport to the St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Church, Malayattoor is  Cochin International Airport. which is 15  km away from the Shrine.


The nearest Railway to the St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Church, Malayattoor is Angamaly Railway Station,. which is 17 km away from the Shrine.

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