Thursday, July 24, 2008

St. Mary’s church , Thiruvithamcode - 1

Place : St. Mary’s church , Thiruvithamcode , Kanyakumari District.

Location : Thiruvithamcode is 2 km southeast of Thuckalay.
Thuckalay is 35 Km from Kanyakumari and 15 Km from
Nagercoil & situated on the Kanyakumari - Thiruvananthapuram Highway.

It is firmly believed and traditionally accepted that St.Thomas,
one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ had come to India in 52 A. D.

Out of the seven and a-half churches established by St. Thomas,
the District of Kanyakumari is having the privilege of having
the half church at Thiruvithamcode.

So it is the oldest church in India and the existing oldest
church structure in the world

The church, known among local people as ‘Thomayar kovil,’
is believed to be one of the oldest in the world.

That the place of worship has its origins in antiquity is also attested
by its stone walls and door frames and intricately carved wood work.

The church’s altar, the baptism basin and incense burner are
believed to be the legacies of the Portuguese.

This stone-built church is one of the oldest Christian structures in TamilNadu
and may have been a Hindu shrine before being converted into a church.

The church remains under the control of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

The decorated stone lintel shows two winged figures on either side
of a cross at the entrance to the church.

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