Palayur and the Story of Syrian Christians

On one cool morning last year, we some of the members of Marthoma Church, Karimba, gathered at the Parsonage. After coffee at 6 am we started for Palayur (an important pilgrimage center of Syrian Christians) in a hired Bus. Shortly before 8 am we reached, as planned, at the Ravi Varma orphanage at Trichur run by our church. We had free breakfast with the inmates, wash our plates ourselves and gave donations to the institution. And go around and saw the institution and talked to some of the inmates.

Ravivarma Orphanage

How to reach Palayur?
Palayur is a part of Trichur District and is located on the west Cost of Kerala. By road it takes 28 Km to reach Palayur from Trichur. It is on Trichur – Chavakkad route, via Pavaratty. To travel by train catch Trichur – Guruvayur train (24 Km). From Guruvayur to Palayur take a bus or a taxi/auto rickshaw (2 Km). Nedumbasserry International Airport is only 80 Km from Palayur.

We then started to see many ancient churches on our way to Guruvayur where we had Lunch at another old age home run by our Church. Here I had talked to some of the inmates who expressed their anguish at their children leaving them to this old age home, while they long to be with their children and grand children as it was in their younger days. (Money is not what they expect from their Children). I then decided that it will be better to be in the jungle of concrete in Delhi along with my children than in the God’s own Country. Soon Kerala will become a geriatric asylum as the youngsters will leave Kerala.

Old age home

Ancient Church

Kananaya Kaldian church

Well maintained Ancient cemetery

Before I Go to Palayur let me tell the story of Syrian Christians of Kerala.

Definition of Syrian Christian

Syrian Christians are not a particular Christian Denomination. It is a high cast name for all Christians now found in many Kerala denominations who claim their origin to Brahmins converted by St. Thomas and later intermarried with the Christian families migrated from Palestine etc. They were known as Nazraneys (ey pronounced like money) to the local people, and to the out side world as St. Thomas Christians. Only after the arrival of Portuguese they are known as Syrian Christians.

Throughout Kerala, one can find Christian families that claim their descent from Brahmin ancestors who were baptized by Apostle Thomas. St. Thomas Christians were classified into the caste system according to their professions, in accordance with the Hindu tradition, with special privileges for trade granted by the benevolent kings who ruled the area. Syrian Christians had a king of their own. After the eighth century when Hindu Kingdoms came to sway, Christians were expected to strictly abide by stringent rules pertaining to caste and religion. This became a matter of survival. This is why St. Thomas Christians had such a strong sense of caste and tradition. Local rulers had given them 172 special privileges including right to own Slaves; right to have special architecture for their houses, right to use 2 Plantain leaves at public feast, use of Palanquin etc.

Thus, Most of the Kerala Churches are Hindu in culture, Christian in religion, and Judeo-Syro-Oriental in worship.

Even before Christian era, Arabs had trade with Kerala for spices mainly Pepper, Ivory and sandal wood. Even King Solomon got wood from Kerala for making the first Jewish temple. Many Jews settled in Kochi and Palayur before St. Thomas came to Kerala in AD 52.

It is believed that St. Thomas came in one of the boats with the trading Jews.

Christianity in India
It was one of the early eastward movements that first brought Christianity to India. According to tradition it was brought in the first century by one of the twelve apostles, St. Thomas. This has been the constant tradition of the Syrian Christians of Malabar, and it has been widely believed in the West also that this apostle’s sphere of work was in India.

The Tradition
Palayur was the stronghold of the Namboodiri Brahmins (the super class people in Indian communities). When St. Thomas arrived from Kodungallur, Israelites had a settlement at Palayur, two thousand years ago. Ruins of an ancient Jewish Synagogue are still seen outside of a Brahmin temple about a furlong away from the Church.
“When Thomas came to the great Brahmin centre of Palayur, a leading Brahmin Gramam (Village) among the 64, he came across some Brahmins doing the Pithru Yajna or Pooja to the manes or ghosts of deceased ancestors. They were throwing water into the air (Tharpan) while reciting manthras. The Apostle learned from them the meaning of this ritual and remarked: ‘If your performance is acceptable to the gods they could keep the water suspended in the air without allowing it to fall again and again’. “The Brahmins said that this was unthinkable as it was opposed to the laws of nature. Then Thomas asserted that the One true God he worshipped could do it, and he proceeded to perform a miracle on condition that the Brahmins accept his faith if he is successful. The Apostle, invoking the Holy Trinity, made the sign of the Cross and threw a handful of water up into the sky. After reaching a particular height the water stood still in the air, the particles glittering like diamonds. Looking down the Brahmins could see the cavity made by the removal of the water still there in the pond. Most of the witnesses were baptised on the spot. However those Brahmins who did not accept the faith called the place ‘Shapa Kadu’ or Cursed Place and left the place immediately promising to take the next bath only at Vembanattu, unpolluted by the new faith. Even today, true to the oath taken by their ancestors, the Brahmins do not eat or drink in the vicinity of Palayur or Chowghat (Shapa Kadu).” Palayur church is one of the seven churches established by St. Thomas in Kerala.
Subsequently a series of Migration took place by Christians of Palestine Syria etc. At first Nazraneys do not intermarry with tem, but later intermarried with them.

The following pictures are taken from the compound of Palayur Church depicting the Story of St. Thomas and his Martyrdom at Mylapore in madras. The church was a temple before St. Thomas Converted the Brahmins. The oil lamp used in the temple is still there. Tippu sultan burned down this church. But later it is reconstructed with the Persian cross established by St. Thomas and the oil lamps of the temple.

Kind of boat in which st. Thomas came to Kerala

This pond and statues at the Palayur church represent St. Thomas baptizing the Brahmins

Palayur Church

The Persian Cross planted by St. Thomas and the Oil lamps used in the Temple

The cave representing St. Thomas martyrdom at Mylapore, Madras

Till 16th century the Syrian Christians were not fully aware of the Bible and the Christian Theology. They were following the Mesopotamian liturgy (Worship order or Chanting) in Syriac language understood only to a few. Following some rituals of the Eastern Churches of Mesopotamia. (Not Roman Catholic rituals as in Rome)

They follow many Hindu rituals like Shaving head and keeping a tuft of hair in the middle, applying Sandal wood paste on Forehead and on arms and Chest like Brahmins. They also worship their own deity in the form of Idols. In marriage, they tie a mangal sutra by the groom to the brid’s neck.

When Portuguese came to Kerala they saw these strange Christians and wanted to make them civilized like the Catholics. By using Bribes to leaders, using force and frightening the local king, they succeeded in convening a Conference by all bishops and lay representatives and made to follow the Catholic rituals and Liturgy. In effect all were made Catholic for about 50 years. In the conference they burned most of our old liturgy and other historical records.

Their bishop who came from Mesopotamia was put to jail by Portugese. There was a big protest by many to release him. But Portugese turn their canon on them so they have to retreat and make a vow that they have nothing to do with Rome. So the new denomination came to be known as Jacobites. Later when British came and started printing Bible and started teaching bible, Marthoma Church also separated from them.

Present day Marthoma church had a broad outlook. Their metropolitan, Head of the Church, often use to say “I believe in one and only one God. There is no Hindu God, Muslim God or Catholic God. It may be that their understanding of God is Different. My mother’s understanding of my father and my brothers understanding & my understanding of my father may differ. But there is only one father. No wonder L.K Adwani and Aryasamaj leader Acharya Agnivesh have much to say in favor of the Marthoma church as true Indian Church.

Now in fact Hindus, Christians and Muslims in Kerala are culturally alike and so there is no communal trouble in Kerala. Each community influences the others. There are innumerable stories and traditions that this space is not sufficient to include all. Before I finish I am giving two more photos showing a Syrian Christian (or Nazraney) dance form called Margam Kali and elephants of Guruvayur.

Margam Kali Dance of Syrian Christians

Temple elephants

After visiting the Chavakkad beach nearby we returned home. While returning we saw the Elephant keeping yard of the Famous Guruvayur Temple where more than hundred Elephants are maintained for the temple. It was a very thrilling experience.


  • Devaprathap Raja says:

    The first missionary who understood this social value of this mobility and anonymity was Joseph Peet who always for the safety of his converts from slave caste sent them to other places where they could make new claims and build up a better image for names like..”alumootil,painammootil,thengummootil,etc are these neo-converted who settled in new place and started a new life,

    olden families like “vadakkethalakkal,thekkethalakkal etc are migrated before..

  • Devaprathap Raja says:

    The Syrian Christian’s specialty to beef is a very popular phenomenon. A large-scale cow slaughter is taking place in Central Keralam and the chief consumers of it are Syrian Christians (both Kananaya and Saint Thomas). The ancient beef eating community, prior to the arrival of Christianity, was Parayas (Candalas) of Keralam. Tradition says that the Parayas were a noble class of ancient Keralam. Legend says that they were sons of Saint Vasista. Their craze for beef led to the ostracism by the rest jatis in the deluge of time. Above all, because of their beef eating habit, the later arrived Nambootiries (Brahmins) did a lot to seclude them from the Hindu main stream. Even though these stories bear no historicity, it can give some hints on the process of societal polarization.

    Hindus in general and Brahmins in particular since the days of Vedas are worshippers of cows. Nairs took oath when they awarded the Nair title from the lord after completing their Kalari training that they will protect the Brahmins and cows. It is difficult to believe that a simple alteration of religion/faith can effect changes in the food habits of a social group. Christianity or Islam in its true experience only produced regional variations instead of universal models. Even in the case of Indian Christians the regional variations are more reflecting, for instance, generally Indian Christians are more Hindu than Christian. It is because of the reason that usually the aborigine cultures override the alien faith. Hence it is difficult to believe that the change of food habits of the caste Hindus of the first century CE is simply by a change of faith. Hence the argument of savarna/Nambootiri conversion behind the birth of Syrian Christian faith in Keralam has no standing.

    The high priests of the traditional Parayas are called “Kaikaran”. It is interesting to see that the trustee/prasuventi of Syrian church is still known/identified in the land as “Kaikaran”. Why did a savarna origin Syrian Christian not go for a savarna term like ‘Kalakakaran’ or ‘Adhikari’ instead of a subaltern terminology? No doubt, this trustee of the Syrian church (kaikaran) is always hailing from aristocratic Syrian Christian family circle of the respective parish.

    The popular mythical story of the “Parayi Petta Pantirukulam” (Vararuchi’s marriage to a paraya/candala lady and their twelve extra-genius sons) is a symbolic one that reminds the evolution and polarization of jati (caste) system/culture in Keralam. One of the twelve sons of Vaararuchi, a Brahmin scholar, in a scholarly candala/paraya lady is one ‘Uppukottan’ (salt trader) who is believed to be Mar Joseph, the first bishop of the Kananaya Syrian Christians. This is only a legendary story. Stories usually imbibe the reflections of the contemporary societies. If so, no doubt, this story may be a cursor to the marital relations between Kananaya Syrian Christians and Parayas (Candalas), which was practiced, in the long-gone days. Above all this story justifies the natives’ matrimonial alliance with alien societies.

  • Xavier Vakayil says:

    The name of the place you have mentioned in the text in respect of the next bath at Vembanattu is incorrect as the correct name of the place called Venmenad which is about 4 or 5 km away from Palayur and very close to famous Christian area called Pavaratty. One of the ancient Brahmin’s Mahadeva Khetram also situates Venmenad which is an oldest temple than the temple at Guruvayur. I have seen the usage of Vembanattu by many without realizing the actual place’s name and used those who are especially from southern Kerala called Vembanattu, their well known place’s name instead of realizing the actual name of the place called Venmenad. There are many other mistakes also seen in the writing of people about the history of Christianity. Some mistakes when said long time ago becomes a history. Actually, there are disputes about the origin of Christianity in India which also has some difference of opinion that as when St Thomas Apostle came in India in the first century, which religion was dominated in India especially in Kerala? St Thomas came to Kerala by following the Jewish merchants who were living in Kerala and he preached and worked with Jewish Indian community most probably converted those people into Christianity.

  • Vil says:


    The Syrian Christians of Kerala of Kerala originated from ancient Nambuthiri Christians converted by St.Thomas in 52 AD. St.Thomas preferred Nambuthiris because they were Savarnas who were the most respected among Keralites. Another reason was that as nobody was allowed to go near Nambuthiris the Christianity will be safe with Nambuthiri Christians.

    As Nairs traditionally served Nambuthiris the Nairs obeyed Christian Nambuthiris also. So that the Christian Nambuthiris were also protected by Nairs.

    Christian Nambuthiris also would have practised Sambandam with Shudra women.


    St.Thomas baptized several Nambuthiri families such as Pakalomattom, Sankarapuri, Thayyil, Payyappilly, Kalli, Kaliyankal, and Pattamukku as Christians.

    The first Bishop of Kodungaloor Syro-Malabar diocese Palliveetil Chandy and the founder of Orthodox-Jacobite church Marthoma church were from Pakalomattom Nambuthiri families.


    Kerala was part of the the ancient Thamilakam. Though Tamil was commonly used in that period the Savarnas of Kerala preferred to talk in Malayalam or Sanskrit. As St.Thomas had mastered Sanskrit most of the conversations was in Sanskrit. Only Nambuthiris Nairs, Samantha Kshatrias and Christian Nambuthiris were considered as Savarnas in ancient Kerala.


    According to the legends Lord Parashurama threw his axe from Gokarna in Karnataka to Kanyakumari. After this the coastal areas rose from the sea and thus coastal Karnataka were created.

    Kerala was thus given to sixty four families of Nambuthiris who became the original owners of Kerala. St.Thomas might have converted atleast half of Nambuthiri population of Kerala. Thus the Nambuthiri Christians also descended from the Nambuthiris who received Kerala direct from Parashurama.
    Thus both Parasurama and St.Thomas were mentors of Christian Nambuthiri community of Kerala.


    Nairs originally did not belong to Kerala but they were brought by Nambuthiris as servants and cultivators. Though considered as Shudras Nairs were also considered as Savarnas and held a position quite higher than indigenous Dravidians.


    Ancient mother tongue of Keralites also might have been Sanskrit though many talked Malayalam also. Nambuthiri Christians of Kerala would have wanted Sanskrit as their liturgical language. Some Nambuthiri Christians however would have preferred Malayalam instead.

    St.Thomas had to preach in Sanskrit as the Nambuthiris preferred Sanskrit to Tamil.

    But St.Thomas might have preferred Syriac language which was the liturgical language of Church of East of Persia and Church of Babylon founded by himself. It was because St.Thomas Christians of India should be able to converse with their fellow Christians of Persia and Syria. Hebrew was also might have been used extensively by the ancient Nambuthiri Christians of Kerala.

  • Vil says:


    St.Thomas established Seven Churches in Kerala and a half church at Kanyakumari. It was because the Kanyakumari fellows always talked half Malayalam.

    St.Thomas established Churches are at Kodungallur,  Palayoor, Kottakkavu near Paravur, Kokkamangalam, Niranam, Nilackal alias Chayal,  Kollam, and Thiruvithamcode Arappoli church.

    Kodungaloor was the medieval Chera capital. Musiris near Kodungaloor was a important port of Chera dynasty.

    Palayoor in Thrissur was one of the seven Churches established by St Thomas.

    Kottakkavu was another place where St.Thomas built another church. Kottakkavu was located near North Paravur near Vembanad Kayal.

    Kokkamangalam was a place on the western bank of Vembanad Kayal. Kokkamangalam was also known as Kokkothamangalam. At Kokkamangalam St.Thomas established another full Church.

    At Niranam another church was established by St.Thomas. Nelkinda, the ancient Pandiyan capital existed near Niranam.

    At Nilackal near Sabarimala at the Pathanamthittta district another Church was established by St Thomas.

    The seventh full church was established by St.Thomas at Kollam.

    At Arappoli near Thiruvithancode at the Kanyakumari district St.Thomas established a half church.

    St.Thomas though a fisherman by birth was a trained architect who had built palaces for Indo-Parthian king Gondophares who ruled from his capital at Taxla.

    St.Thomas was the founder of Savarna Christianity in Kerala. Savarna Christians of Kerala were mostly Nambuthiris.


    St.Thomas had never met any Tamils or any Dravidians in Kerala. This is because the Dravidian Tamils who were considered as Shudras and Avarnas avoided coming near St.Thomas.


    Account of Franciscan Friar Giovanni de’ Marignolli of Forence who visited Chennai and in 1347 AD.

    The third province of India is called Maabar, and the church of St.Thomas which he built with his own hands is there, besides another which he built by the agency of workmen. These he paid with certain very great stones which I have seen there, and with a log cut down on Adam’s Mountin Seyllan, which he caused to be sawn up, and from its sawdust other trees were sown. Now that log, huge as it was, was cut down by two slaves of his and drawn to these aside by the saint’s own girdle. When the log reached the sea he said to it, “Go now and tarry for us in the haven of the city of Mirapolis (Mylapore).

    1 .”It arrived there accordingly, where upon the king of that place with his whole army endeavoured to draw it ashore, but ten thousand men were not able to make it stir.

    Then St.Thomas the Apostle himself came on the ground, riding on an ass, wearing a shirt, a stole, and a mantle of peacock’s feathers, and attended by those two slaves and by two great lions, just as he is painted, and called out

    “Touch not the log, for it is mine! “”How,” quoth the king,

    “dost thou make it out to be thine?

    “So the Apostle loosing the cord where with he was girt, ordered his slaves to tie it to the log and draw it ashore. And this being accomplished with the greatest ease, the king was converted, and bestowed upon the saint as much land as he could ride round upon his ass. So during the day-time he used to goon building his churches in the city, but at night he retired to a distance of three Italian miles, where there were numberless peacocks.

    2…and thus being shot in the side with an arrow such as is called frictia, (so that his wound was like that in the side of Christ into which he had thrust his hand), he lay there before his oratory from the hour of complines, continuing throughout the night to preach, whilst all his blessed blood was welling from his side; and in the morning he gave up his soul to God. The priests gathered up the earth with which his blood had mingled, and buried it with him. By means of this I experienced a distinct miracle twice over in my own person,which I shall relate elsewhere

    1 . Standing miracles are, however, to be seen there, in respect both of the opening of the sea, and of the peacocks

    2 . Moreover whatever quantity of that earth be removed from the grave oneday, just as much is replaced spontaneously against the next. And when this earth is taken in a potion it cures diseases, and in this manner open miracles are wrought both among Christians and among Tartars and Pagans

    3 .That king also gave St.Thomas a perpetual grant of the public steelyard for pepper and all aromatic spices,and no one dares take this privilege from the Christiansbut at the peril of death

    4. I spent fourdays there; there is an excellent pearl fishery at the place.

  • Vil says:



    Marignolli says that the Church built by St.Thomas with his own hands was there at Maabar. St.Thomas had built another Church at Mabar with the help of workmen. For the workmen he paid with great precious stones. Maabar is the Arabic name for Pandyan kingdom and Tamilnadu in general.


    St.Thomas caused a log cut down at Adam’s Mountain(peak) Seyllan(Srilanka) and got it to be sawn up. From its sawdust were sown to germinate other trees.

    This big log which was cut down by two slaves of St.Thomas.The log was tied with the girdle(belt) of St.Thomas and was drawn to seashore by his two slaves.

    When the log of wood reached the Seashore St.Thomas told it to go and wait for them in the haven(harbour) of the city of Mirapolis(Mylapore).

    The log floated all the way through sea from Adams peak and reached Madras and was floating at the sea.

    Then the king of Madras with his whole army and endeavoured to draw the log ashore. But ten thousand men could not draw it to shore.


    Then St.Thomas the Apostle came to the place wearing a shirt, a stole(a long loose robe) and a mantle(a sleeveless cloak) of peacock feathers. He was accompanied by his two slaves and by two great lions. There was a painting in the church depicting him with a peacock feather cloak, riding an ass and accompanied by his two slaves and two lions.

    Nestorians usually are iconoclastic who avoided using idols or Pictures. But Marignolli says that he saw a pictue of St.Thomas.

    Then St.Thomas called out that the log was his and not to touch it. The king queried How was it his.

    The apostle loosened the cord he had tied around his waist and ordered his slaves to rie it to the log and draw it ashore.

    The slaves drew the log to the shore without much effort.

    The king was converted and bestowed upon the saint as much land as he could ride round upon his ass.

    During the day time St.Thomas built his churches in the City. But at night he retired to a place where there were numerous peacocks which was three Italian miles (1.852 km/Roman mile) away.

    Thus St.Thomas built two churches at St.Thomas Mount. He built many Churches in the Madras city during the day time.In the night time he rested at Mylapore where there used to be numerous Peacocks.


    St.Thomas was shot with an arrow called Frictia on his side.By this his wound resembled the left flank wound of Jesus Christ into whist he had thrust his hand. He lay there after his complines(evening prayer) preaching throughout night while his blessed blood was welling by his side. In the morning St.Thomas gave up his soul to God. The priests gathered the earth sodden with his blood and buried it with him.

    Because of this John of Marignolli experienced a miracle twice over his own person.

    Miracles of opening of the sea and Peacocks were seen there.

    Whatever quantity of the earth removed from the grave oneday the same amount is replaced spontaneously next day. When this earth is taken as a potion it cures diseases. Because of this miraculous power the earth is taken by Christians and among Tartars (Muslims) and Pagans(Hindus).

    That king also gave St.Thomas a perpetual grant of the public steelyard for pepper and all aromatic spices,and no one dares take this privilege from the Christiansbut at the peril of death.

    Marignolli spent fourdays there. There was an excellent pearl fishery at the place.

    By pearl fishery Marignolli means Tuticorin but it is 600 km away.

    Other possibility is that St.Thomas tomb was at Kayalpattinam a seaport at pearl fishery coast. Peacocks are found there too.

  • Vil says:


    According to Acts of Thomas St.Thomas was executed at a hill called Calamina (Kala-Minar in Jaghatu)in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan by a Indo-Greek king Misdeus in 46 AD. Under the orders from King Misdeus four soldiers stabbed him with spears. After that St.Thomas’s body was interred in a Royal sepulchre.

    But after one year when Misdeus opened the tomb of St.Thomas he found no body. Misdeus was told that the disciples of St.Thomas stole his body and had taken it to Edessa. Unless by a remote chance that St.Thomas survived the injuries and was rescued by his disciples his second martyrdom at Chennai at 72 AD is not possible.


    After the arrival of Portuguese St.Thomas is depicted in the western style holding a Crozier.

    The earlier Indian depiction of St.Thomas wearing a Shirt, Stole and a mantle made of Peacock feather and also riding an ass, accompanied by two Slaves and two Lions and such depiction is not seen in any Portuguese Church.

    There is no depiction of St Thomas with Peacocks in any Church now.


    St.Thomas bringing logs from Adams peak to Chennai is a little known legend to Srilankans.


    Marignolli’s account states St.Thomas built many Churches at Chennai. But the exact locations of these churches is not known.


    Acts of Thomas says that he was sold by Jesus himself as a slave to Indian merchant Abban.

    St.Thomas himself owning two slaves unique to Mylapore kegend. These two slaves names are not known. There is no information regarding conversion of these slaves.
    These Tamil slaves perhaps were never converted by St.Thomas as St.Thomas preferred to convert higher classes of people only.


    St.Thomas preferred to convert Kings and Brahmins and Jews. Indo-Parthian king and his family was Baptised by St.Thomas in 46 AD. Similarly Indo-Greek King Misdeus’s family was also had been converted by St.Thomas.

    The Chennai King also was converted but his name is not Known.

    There is no indication he ever talked Tamil or other Dravidian languages. St.Thomas could have preached in Aramaic, Hebrew and Sanskrit.

    St.Thomas might have mastered Sanskrit enabling him to convert Nambuthiris (The ancient Brahmins of Tamilaham were Andhanar, Vedhiar and Parpanar).The ancient Liturgical language of Indian Christians could be most likely Sanskrit.

    However most of the St.Thomas christians (Nestorians) were centred at Seleucia Ctesiphon, capital of Sassanian Persia. With the arrival of Nestorian Christians from Persia after 486 AD St.Thomas Christians of Chennai and Kodungaloor might have accepted Syriac as their Liturgical language.

    Dravidian people of ancient Kerala and Tamilnadu however knew neither Hebrew nor Sanskrit and could not understand the preachings of St.Thomas.

    Though St.Thomas was a fisherman from Galilee he had mastered Architecture and Palace building according to Acts of Thomas. St.Thomas was also called Didymus (Twin of Jesus) possibly his physical resemblance to Jesus Christ.


    The fishermen Apostles from Sea of Galilee were

    1. St. Andrew
    2. St. Peter
    3. St.James and
    4. St. John who were brothers
    5. St.Thomas
    6. St. Bartholomew

    Other apostles were Tax collectors and traders.

    St.Thomas is revered by St. Thomas Christians of Kerala while St.Bartholomew is referred by Konkani christians of Mangalore and Goa both Brahmin converts from Nambuthiri and GSB communities respectively. Coastal people prefer St.Andrew.

  • Vil says:


    The Marignolli’s account says that St.Thomas was shot with a barbed arrow on his side in the exact place where Jesus was injured.

    The acts of Thomas says that four soldiers stabbed him with spears on the orders of Greek king Misdeus on the hill of Calamina (Kala-Minar, Jaghatu, Ghazni Afghanistan at the Greek kingdom called Alexandria of Opiana).

    The Portuguese version is that St.Thomas was stabbed with a spear at Mylapore in 72 AD.


    The Portuguese era painting at St.Thomas mount depicts Brahmins closely resembling Iyers or Ayyangars conspiring against St.Thomas. It is not clear whether Christian Nambuthiris accompanied St.Thomas to Chennai. The fate of Tamil Brahmin Iyers converted by St.Thomas at Chennai is also not known.



    1.Kerala was not created by Parashurama. Kerala had been homeland of Dravidians from time immemorial. Onam festival celebrated for the past 3800 years after Dravidian king Mahabali was killed by Upendra brother of Aryan king Indra.
    2.Kerala was ruled by Tamil Villavar kings from time immemorial. Villavar were supported by Villavar, Malayar and Vanavar clans. Ancient Keralites used Tamil and Pali languages.
    3. Christianity, St.Thomas or Nambuthiris were not known to Sangam era Tamils.
    4. Sangam age Tamils of Kerala were Jains but Buddhism and Dravidian religeon were also practiced.
    5. Sangam age Brahmins were called Anthanar, Parpanar and Vediar who were often drawn from Dravidian communities.
    6.Tulu-Nepali invaders such as Nairs, Nambuthiris and Samantha Kshatria appeared in Kerala after Tulu Alupa dynasty prince Banapperumal with the help of Arabs occupied Malabar in 1120 AD.
    7.Christianity was not a known religeon to Later Chera Villavar dynasty kings who ruled from Kodungaloor between 800 AD to 1102 AD and Cherai Villavar dynasty which ruled from Kollam between 1102 AD to 1333 AD.
    8.The matrilineal Tulu-Nepali kings became rulers of Kerala after the Turkish invasion of Malik Kafur in 1311 AD. With this Nepali clans from Ahichatra such as Nairs and Nambuthiris dominated Kerala after 1333 AD.
    9.Until 1339 AD only only few hundred foreign blooded Persian Nestorians called Malabar Suriyani Nasranis existed. Nestorians did not believe Jesus was God and called him a humanbeing. Nestorians refused to accept Mary as “Mother of God” who called her “Mother of Jesus”. Nestorian Syrian christians worshipped “Eli” alias “Alaha” as God.
    10.The Nestorian Syrian Mapillai Christians were headed by Kurdiah Nestorian Bishops send from Mosul in Iraq.
    11. At 1339 AD Villarvettom who ruled from Chendamangalam and his subjects embraced Nestorian Christianity increasing Christian population to 30000.
    12.After 1498 AD Portuguese intermixed with Villarvettom Tamils Nestorian Christians to create a 200,000 numbered Portuguese Mestizo community who were Roman Catholics. Only after 1498 AD Kerala Christians accepted Jesus as God and Mary as “Mother of God”.
    13. Pope encouraged the use of Latin Catholic Liturgy translated into Syriac in the Roman Catholic churches. The Vernacular language of Villarvettom Tamils Malayalam-Tamil was not allowed in the churches.
    14. Some of the Portuguese Mestizo Syrian Roman Catholic Tamil community joined the Turkish Western Syriac Jacobite-Orthodox sect and their priests started wearing costume Jacobite priests of Turkey.
    15. Most of the Portuguese Mestizo Roman Catholic community was under Kodungaloor Latin Diocese between 1661 AD to 1838 AD where both Latin rite priests and Syriac rite priests existed. Syriac rite priests also used Latin liturgy translated to Syriac. Syriac language was never understood by Villarvettom Portuguese Mestizo Syrian Tamils.
    16. Until 1830 AD used Dravidian tongue Malayalam-Tamil alias Malayanma. But after 1830 AD the Syrian Christians abandoned their ancestral language and adopted “Nepali Malayalam” written with Tulu script which had been used by only Nairs and Nambuthiris.
    17. Only after British left in 1956 AD a Syrian Christian Bishop who had been educated at Kandy Latin Catholic seminary in Srilanka started the use of Malayalam Liturgy in Roman Catholic churches.

  • Vil says:


    Villavar and their three subgroups Villavar, Malayar and Vanavar ruled Kerala from time immemorial.


    The Chera king who ruled from Mahodhayapuram alias Makotaiyapuram alias Kodungaloor were known as Magathai Nadazhwar or Makothai Nadazhwar. Chera king was also called as Villavarkon. Panantharakan was also a title of Chera kings. Panantharakan meant owner of Palmyra forest. Kulasekaran title of Chera kings might mean “Collector of Coconut bunch”.

    Chera flags displayed the Bow and arrow insignia of Villavars.


    Christianity was not a known religeon to Sangam age Tamils. Sangam age Tamils practised Dravidian religeon, Jainism and Buddhism.

    Ancient Brahmins of Tamilakam was Parpanar, Anthanar and Vediar who perhaps Tamils. Nambuthiris were not present in ancient Sangam age Tamil Nadu.

    The mother tongue of ancient Keralites was Tamil. Pali language was used as Liturgical language.


    A Greek and Roman colonies existed in ancient Kerala and a Temple for Augustus existed at Musiris.

    Early Babylonians Christians and Persian Christians from Seleucia Ctesiphon might have lived among Ionian Greeks known as Yavana in Kerala.


    Cosmos Indicopleustus who was an Egyptian Nestorian monk who visited Srilanka and India in 522 AD reported that there was a Persian Nestorian Bishop at Srilanka. Nestorianism had been accepted as the official religeon of Church of East in 496 AD.

    Cosmos Indicopleustus reported that there was also Christians at “Male where pepper grows”. This Male could be Malainadu in Kerala or Malenad in Karnataka.

  • Vil says:


    Some of the Balijas belonging to the Bana dynasty who were originally Kshatriyas transformed themselves as traders in the early middle ages. Balijas and Banas were the Northern cousins of Villavar who ruled Chera, Chola and Pandiyan Kingdoms. Balijas were also known as Banajika, Valanjiar, Ainnoottruvar etc. As each Balija trader was accompanied by five hundred soldiers, they were known as Ainnootruvar. Balija traders controlled the trade in the whole south Indian business and also the sea trade between China to Middle East.

    Balija Trade Guilds included Anjuvannam, Manigramam etc. Balija Trade guilds included included foreign traders called Nanadesikal. Nanadesical included Syrian Nestorian Christians, Arabs, Jews, Turks etc. Kerala Christian plates such as Tharissappalli plates and Iravi Korthan plates were Balija Trade Guild plates issued to Nanadesikal.

    Balija Trade Guilds had the authority to collect customs duty and Tax around Kodungaloor according to Iravikortan plate. Iravikortan plate was also a Balija trade Guild plate.


    Two Tharissappalli Churches were built under the patronage of Balija alias Ainnootruvar, one at Kollam at 849 AD at Kollam during the reign of Ay king of Venad Aiyanadikal Thiruvadikal and another at Periapattinam at Ramnad district.

    A palli either a Choultry for foreign traders or a Christian church was built by Mar Sapir Eso under the auspices of Kollam king. Palli in Tamil has many meanings including resting place a lodge, a Choultry, then a place of worship for jains, a school, Kitchen etc.

    It is interesting to note that out of the 26 foreign signatories 13 were Muslims, 6 were Zorastrians, 4 were Jews and another 3 were Christians. The european scholars feigned that the could not decipher the names of the signatories written in Pahlavi, Kufic and Hebrew. If Tharisappally had been a church it could be the most secular church ever bult.

    The second Tharisappalli existed at Periappattinam near Valantharuvai at the Ramnad District which had been built in an unknown period prior to 1200 AD. A Jewish Temple otherwise known as Ainootruvan palli had been built by Balijas next to Tharissappalli. A medieval Tamil stone inscription on a four sided stone dated 1200 AD to 1250 AD which describes the boundaries of the Jewish temple has been found at Valantharuvai at Ramnad district . Nestorianism might have had official protection under Balija Trade guilds throughout south India and local kingdoms. Arabs might have destroyed the Periapattinam Tharissapalli church.


    Nambuthiris appeared in Kerala after the invasion and occupation of Malabar by Tulu invader Banapperumal(Banu Vikrama Kulasekarapperumal) in in 1120 AD. Arabs who intended to establish a colony in Malabar allied with a Buddhist Tulu prince from Alupa dynasty called Banapperumal. Tulu Bana kings were northern relatives of Villavars and also arch enemies of Villavar kings of Kerala. Both Villavar and Bana kings used Kulasekhara title.

    In the earlier period prior to 1120 AD Tuluva Brahmins called Nambuthiris were not allowed in Kerala as Tulunadu had been a enemy country. Arabs brought Nambuthiris inside Kerala in 1120 AD and after 1314 AD Turks gave Tulu-Nepali Tulu samantha Kshatriya, Nepali Nairs and Nambuthiris sovereignty of Kerala.

  • Vil says:


    Friar John of Montecorvino who visited Kerala in 1292 AD mentioned that few Nestorian Christians and Jews were present at Kerala but they are of little worth and the inhabitants persecuted them, in his “Letters from Cathay and thither” written to Pope in 1305 AD from China.

    “There are a very few Christians, and Jews, and they are of little weight. The people persecute much the Christians, and all who bear the Christian name”.

    John of Montecorvino also mentioned that anybody with Christian name was persecuted in Kerala. The European missionaries such as John of Montecorvino, Jordanus Catalani and John of Marignolli never mentioned any Christian’s who descended from Nambuthiris. Neither did they mention the existence of large number of St.Thomas Christians in Kerala.


    There is no record that the early European missionaries ever visiting any Nestorian Syrian Church in Kerala between the period 1292 AD to 1347 AD. The Nestorian Syrians might have been very few in number in 1292 A.D, perhaps only few hundred individuals existed in Kerala. Only Syrian Church the European missionaries ever visited was at Madras. Strangely the St.Thomas shrine of Madras had been maintained by a Muslim Fakir who claimed that it was a tomb of Muslim a saint ie Dargha. Latin monk John of Montecorvino in 1292 AD, Bishop Jordanus Catalani in 1329 A.D and John of Marignolli in 1347 A.D did not recount meeting any Nestorian Bishops, Archdeacons or even Nestorian Priests in Kerala. Neither did they see any Nestorian Church in Kerala. Christianity became a major religeon in Kerala only after the visit of European missionaries and establishment of Kollam Roman Catholic diocese in 1329 A.D.


    In the period between 1322 AD to 1329 AD Friar Jordanus Catalani converted three thousand Natives of Kollam to Christianity. This mass conversion to christianity by medival Tamils after the fall of Tamil Villavar Kingdoms such as Chera,Chola and Pandiyan kingdoms after the Turkish invasion of Malik Kafur 1311 Kusro Khan in 1314 AD and Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq in 1323 AD. Kollam Roman Catholic Diocese was established in 1329 AD and Jordanus Catalani was made as Bishop of India by Pope. Mirabilia was the book written by Bishop Jordanus Catalani which does not mention St.Thomas Christians or their churches. John of Marignolli says that St Thomas Christians at Kollam were cultivating Pepper, they were doing iron business and owned steelyards and they were having the title Mudaliar. The records of John of Marignolli suggests that the St.Thomas Christians might have converted to Latin Catholicism in 1347 AD.

    St.Thomas christians had donated Hundred Fanams each month and Thousand Fanam when he left Kerala, to Friar Marignolli who was the representative of Pope. This Latin Catholic population converted by European missionaries merged with the earlier Nestorian population as no Latin Bishop was sent to India between 1347 AD to 1498 AD when Portuguese arrived. When Portuguese arrived in 1498 AD there was no Latin Catholic at Kollam. All the Latin Catholics had joined the Nestorians. Thus first increase in the Nestorian population in the 14th century was the handiwork of European missionaries.


    None of the Tamil records from Chera dynasty which ruled from Kodungalur until 1102 AD or Cherai dynasty which ruled from Kollam until 1333 AD mentioned Christianity, Christians or Jesus. Both Kodungalur Chera and Kollam Cherai dynasty were Tamil Villavar dynasties. Villarvettom kingdom related to Syrian Christians, also might have been a Villavar dynasty who descended from Uthiyan Cheralathan dynasty of Kuttanadu who ruled from Udayanapuram near Vaikom in the ancient times and Udhayamperoor in the later days.


    During Tamil Chera dynasty era Kerala was ruled by Villavar kings supported by armies drawn from Villavar, Malayar and Vanavar. Chera flag displayed Bow and arrow insignia of Villavar. Villavars were also supported by Srilankan Buddhist soldiers called Iyakkar.

    But after the Tulu-Nepali occupation of Kerala around 1333 AD, Kerala was divided into four groups.

    1.Villavar (Villarvettom Nestorian Christians, Cherai Villavars of Kollam and Trivandrum).
    2.Tulu-Nepali clans (Samantha Kshatriyas, Nairs and Namboothiris).
    3. Ezhava-Iyakkar and also Villavar clans who had joined Ezhava such as Panikkar and Sannar.
    4.Arab Muslims including Tamil Marakkayars who owned ships.

  • Vil says:


    Syrian Christians originated from Persian Nestorian Syrian Christian sailirs who came from Persian capital Seleucia Ctesiphon who married coastal Tamil women of Kerala and were known as Malabar Suriyani Nasrani Mapilla.


    Syrian Nasrani Mappilla used a language called Karzoni or Karshoni. Karshoni language was written with Syriac Garshuni script but the language was Western Tamil ie Malayalam-Tamil. Large number of Tamils from Villarvettom kingdom who joined Nestorianism and Roman Catholicism were also forced to adopt Karshoni Malayalam as colloquial language and Syriac as their liturgical language in the Churches.


    The Tamil Villarvettom kingdom faced opposition from the Nambuthiris and Nairs after the establishment of Cochin kingdom in 1335 AD.

    Villarvettom kings might have descended from Uthiyan branch of Cheran dynasty which ruled from Udayanapuran in Kuttanad. The latter-day capitals of Villarvettom kingdom were Chendamangalam and Udayamperoor. The Villarvettom kingdom ruled the areas between Chendamangalam to Vaikkom. But after Kochi kingdom was established in 1335 AD Thripunitura near Udayamperoor and Vellarapalli were made secondary capitals of Cochin Kingdom. Facing opposition from Tulu-Nepalese invaders the Villarvettom king converted to Christianity around 1339 AD. “Mirabilia” written by Latin Bishop Jordanus Catalani covers the period between 1329 AD to 1338 AD did not mention the presence of any Christian king in Kerala. But Kozhikode Granthavari mentioned the war between Christian Villarvettom kingdom and the combined armies of Samuthiri and Arabs in 1340 AD.

    The conversion of Villavar and Panickars of Villarvettom kingdom might have increased the Nestorian Christian population to 30000. This provoked a violent attack from Arabs and their ally the Samuthiri king of Kozhikode in 1340 AD. Capital of Villarvettom kingdom Chendamangalam was destroyed and then the capital was shifted to Udayamperoor. The Villarvettom king wrote a letter to Pope seeking help around 1350 AD. Pope redirected that letter to Portuguese king. A rumour that a powerful Christian king called Prestor John was ruling over India was circulated among the Europe’s elite. But no help came from Europe until 1450 AD when the Villarvettom kingdom ended. The Villarvattom kingdom was subjugated by Cochin kingdom and it remained as a vassal country of Cochin until the end of its rule end in 1450 AD. The Kozhikode Granthavari mentioned Villarvettom kingdom as a vassal Christian outsider kingdom related by blood to Cochin kings. This indicates that after 1350 AD Tamil Villarvettom princesses were forced to have Sambandam with Nambiadri kings of Cochin which might have created a Syrian Christians’ Nambudiri origin myth.

    Nambiadri kings of Kochi descended from Sridevi, the sister of Tulu invader Banapperumal. Nambudiris were Tuluva Brahmins with Ahichatram roots. Tulu princess Sridevi had Sambandam with a Nambudiri and her descendents formed Nambiadri dynasty who originally ruled from Perumbadappu near Vanneri in the Malappuram district prior to 1335 AD.

    Last Villarvettom princess Kirubavathi had Sambandam with Ramavarma from Cochin family. But when Ramavarma was converted to Christianity he was killed. The last Villarvettom princess Kirubavathy was converted to Hinduism after a brief ceremony. kirubavathy was made concubine of Cochin Nambiadri king around 1450 AD.

    At 1450 AD Villarvettom dynasty was removed from power by Kochi Kings. The territories of Villarvettom kingdom was given to some Panickers from Paliyam who had defected to Nair side. Chendamangalam became their capital. These Panickar chieftains were known as Paliyathu Achan who became chief ministers of Cochin kingdom. But Palakkadu menons were the last to occupy the former Villarvettom territory with the title Paliyathu Achan.

    Between 1350 AD to 1498 AD when Nambuthiris became dominant they might have misused the Christian women and had Sambandam with them.The last princess of Villarvettom kingdom Kirubavathy was forced to become the concubine of Cochin Nambiadri Brahmin king after converting her to Hinduism after a brief ceremony. The children of Kirubavathy in Brahmin attire might have accompanied Villarvettom chieftains to meet Vasco Da Gama.

  • Vil says:


    Some of the Syrian Christians in Brahmin attire along with the Udayamperoor chieftains met Vasco Da Gama and presented him a wooden sceptre of Villarvettom kingdom and requested him to restore Villarvettom kingdom to them. They also offered their support to Portuguese to conquer all India and professed their fealty to Portuguese king. But realising that the legendary powerful Indian King Prestor John was nothing but a petty subservient chieftain of Cochin king, Vasco Da Gama did not try to help them.

    Nambuthiris might have misused the Nestorian christian women which might have given their descendents Nambuthiri Christian ancestry. This claim of Nambuthiri roots of few Nestorian Christians was popularised by Portuguese to unite the Villarvettom Tamil Nestorian Christians with their own enemies, the Nairs and Nambuthiris. Portuguese era priests claimed that all the Portuguese Mestizo Catholics actually descended from Nambuthiris converted by St.Thomas to Christianity at 52 AD.

    This is purely based St.Jeromes statement “ut Christus apud Brachmanas praedicaret”  meaning St.Thomas went to India to preach Brahmins. St.Jerome was credited with translating bible from Hebrew to Latin in 382 AD.

    St. Jerome’s statement that St.Thomas who was a fisherman by birth and a building architect by profession went to convert Brahmins of Takshashila in Pakistan ruled by King Gondophares and Brahmins of “Alexandria in Opiana” country in Afghanistan ruled by King Misdeus is rather strange. Because these countries were Buddhist countries in the ancient times.

    Portuguese Missionaries came to the conclusion that St.Jerome’s “Brahmins” were Nambuthiris, Pakistan’s Parthian king Gondophares was the King of Kerala and Afghanistan’s Greek king Misdeus was King of Madras.

    The Villarvettom king sent a letter to Pope seeking help from Christian European countries in 1350 AD.

    Pope redirected this letter to Portuguese king. This letter of invitation to European powers ultimately changed the history of India. But as the Portuguese came only after 148 years, the Portuguese arrival did not help Villarvettom king, who had lost his kingdom around 1450 AD. Portuguese converted the scion of Villarvettom dynasty from Nestorian Christianity to Roman Catholicism. But did not help him regain his Villarvettom kingdom. Villarvettom lineage ended in 1701 AD when the last Villarvettom titular king died without heirs.

    The Letter written by Villarvettom king is preserved in the Portuguese archives called “Lisbon Papers”.

    Villarvettom king had converted to Nestorianism which the other Christians considered as a heretic sect of Christianity which denied divinity of Jesus. Pope or Portuguese king might not have considered saving a Nestorian Indian king is of utmost importance.

    The intermixture of Portuguesemen with Villarvettom Nestorian Syrian Tamils created a Portuguese Mestizo Roman Catholic population numbered 200,000 in 1660 AD.


    When Portuguese arrived in 1498 AD they could not find any Latin Catholics from the Roman Catholic diocese of Kollam established by Bishop Jordanus Catalani in 1329 AD. This indicated that the 3000 Latin Catholics of Kollam had either joined the Nestorian Christians or had been annihilated.

  • W says:


    One of the major reasons for the disappearance Villavar people of Chera dynasty was the Portuguese intermixture with Villarvettom Tamils and other Villavar clans to create a Mestizo community.

    Throughout the west coast of India and at Srilanka, Portuguese soldiers intermixed with the local population of diverse origins. At Goa Portuguesemen intermixed with Moghuls and Konkini people. At Mangalore Portuguesemen intermixed with Konganis. At Kerala Portuguesemen intermixed with the Nestorian Christians including Villarvettom Tamils, and also the coastal fisher people.At Srilanka the Portuguese intermixed with fishermen called Karaiyar-Karave and also agricultural Govigama castes.


    As each Portuguese soldier was allowed to export spices to Europe they became extremely rich. With this the custom of keeping local concubines increased. Each Portuguese soldier and merchants had kept upto twenty wives, Concubines and Slave girls. Due to miscegenation between Portuguese men and local women a community called Mestico or Mestizo emerged. These Mestizos were raised as Roman Catholics. Mestizos were behind the sudden emergence of Roman Catholic community in the west coast of India.

    Clans of Mestizos

    Mestizo people had been classified as various subgroups according to the extent of European blood in them.


    Castizos were mostly had European blood but also they had little Indian blood. Castizos were allowed to marry European women.

    2. Mestizo

    Mestizos were half European and half Indian. As European women were extremely rare at India, the European men married the Mestizo women during Portuguese and dutch period. Mestizos were mostly the soldierly class of Portuguese. 4000 Mestizos defended the Cochin fort of Portuguese. Only Mestizos were allowed to enter the Cochin fort. Mestizos led the inland armies of Portuguese. Some Mestizos had been trained in European Architecture, Engineering and Mural paintings who built Churches for Portuguese. Mestizos monitored the cultivation of spices and its export. At the Dutch period Mestizos were given land to cultivate Tobaco at Cherthala area and a factory was founded there. Europeans can marry Mestizo women but not vice versa.

    3.Toepass or Topazi.

    Topazi were Mestizos with more Indian blood and less European blood and they had dark complexion. Topazis worked as brokers, interpreters and communicators. Toepasses who were Roman Catholics had been allowed to build houses within the walls of Cochin fort. Toepasses were considered as local Indian clans by Europeans hence they had lower status than other Mestizos. An European can marry a Toepassi woman but not vice versa ie a Toepassi can’t marry an European woman.


    The towns which had been under Villarvettom kingdom such as Chendamangalam, North Paravur, Vypeen, Kochi, Udhayamperoor, Angamali, Alangad and Vaikkom became Roman Catholic centres.

  • Vil says:


    Panickars who were martial art trainers who maintained a contingent of soldiers under the Villavar kingdoms. Panickers joined the Portuguese and thereby created a Mestizo society. Now the Panickers are leaders of various Syrian Christian Churches. Vallikada Panickers are with Syro-Malabar and Orthodox churches. Adangapurathu Panickars are with Syro-Malabar church. Kumbanadu Panickers are with Marthoma Church. Mylitta Panickers are with Syro-Malankara church. Dutch influenced Maranadu Panickers are with London Mission Church of Kollam. Some Panickars claim that they have Nambuthiri ancestry. Some claim that Tamil Panicker title was given to them by Marthanda Varma belonging to Tulu Alupa-Kolathiri dynasty. Many Christian Panickers pretend to be related to be Nairs with Tulu-Nepalese roots. None of the Christian Panickars of Kerala understand that they were Villavars who had been the martial nobility of Villavar Kingdoms.


    Portuguese conducted census which estimated the Kerala Nestorian Syrian Christian population in 1502 AD around 30,000.


    Portuguese trained hundreds of priests from the Nestorian families in Latin seminaries established between 1540 AD to 1623 AD with the help of whom Portuguese managed all the churches of Kerala.But Portuguese allowed the use of Eastern Syriac rites by Nestorian priests who had been converted to Roman Catholicism.


    The Roman priests inspected the Syriac literature for the Nestorian heresy which declared that Jesus was not God and Mary was not Mother of God but Mother of Jesus. In the early 1500s Portuguese priests hid the portions of Nestorian Heresy with black ink in the Syriac Liturgy. Thus Portuguese priests indirectly encouraged heretic Nestorian Syriac Christianity and Syriac language. This lead to many fold increase of Syriac rite priests who pretended that they were natives of Kerala. Syriac language which was unintelligible to hapless Tamils of Kerala who had been converted by Portuguese, flourished under Portuguese. The Popes starting from Julius III tried to undermine the authority of Portuguese sent Syriac speaking Chaldean Kurdish Bishops to become Malabar Bishops of Malabar from 1556 onwards. These foreign Kurdish bishops could enforce their Arab rituals, customs such as feasting, fasting and Syriac language in the Malabar church.

    Udayamperoor Sunnahadose at 1599 AD, might have brought an end Nestorian heresy as all the Christians of Kerala were forced to accept Jesus as God. But Udayamperoor inquisition actually encouraged the use of Syriac language. It was proposed to translate Roman Mass into Syriac language and to use it instead of Syriac Qurbana. But the Syriac priests stiffly resisted the move in 1599 AD hence Syriac Qurbana was allowed to use on churches by Menezes but with addition of Roman missals.

    However Portuguese removed the names and teachings of Nestorious, Theodore and Diodore from Eastern Syriac rite. Nestorious, Theodore and Diodore had been the founding fathers of the Nestorian Church of the east.

    The European priests in the laterdays banned the uncorrected Syriac Qurbana in the churches as it was part of Nestorian rites.The Roman Mass translated into Syriac was widely used.

    The Portuguese support to Syriac language in churches led to the study of Syriac language by many priests. Francis Roz the first Latin Bishop of Angamaly had mastered Malayalam as well as Syriac language.

    Portuguese priests literate in Syriac translated Roman Sacramentary into Syriac at the Diocese at Braga in Portugal. This indicates Portuguese wanted to promote Syriac language in Kerala.

    Portuguese had the authority to promote the native Dravidian language of Kerala, Malayalam-Tamil as the liturgical language but Portuguese failed to do so. The Portuguese promotion of Syriac language might have benefitted few priestly families who had foreign ancestry from Chaldea in Iraq.

    The medival Dravidian Tamil people who converted to Roman catholicism during Purtuguese era had to endure both Latin rites and Syriac rites Liturgy which they never understood. The medival Tamils had inextricably merged with the Syriac Nestorians and Portuguese.

    Some Orthodox churches formed after 1665 AD employed a Kattiyakaran who translated Syriac mass into Malayalam for the mass.

  • Vil says:


    The Goan and Mangalorean Mestizos remained loyal to Portuguese until their eviction in 1961 AD. Paradavar remained loyal to Portuguese

    But the Syrian Roman Catholic Mestizos under the influence of some priestly families with Nestorian roots started antagonising Portuguese after 1550s.

    Archdeacon Marthoma had been writing to many different churches of Levant demanding to send one Bishop to elevate him to Bishophood since 1550 AD. Though one Orthodox Bishop called Ahatallah who had converted to Latin Catholicism came to India in 1552 falsely claiming that he had been made Patriarch of India and China. Portuguese had sent him back in 1553.

    The Nestorian priests spread the rumour that Ahatallah had been appointed by Pope as the Arch Bishop of India but Portuguese had drowned him in the Vembanad Backwaters. This led to the upheaval of Roman Catholics in 1653.

    The Roman Catholic Syriac rite Nasrani Mapillas peacefully protested against the Portuguese at 1653 AD opposite of “Koonan Kurisu” in Mattancherry which was inside the Portuguese fort. Coonan Cross Oath of 1653 AD which challenged Portuguese authority was similar to Sepoy revolt of 1858 AD against British. But it was only a peaceful protest by a tiny group of Syriac Nasrani Mapillas inside Portuguese Fort. Syriac Nasrani Mapilla priests never revolted against Portuguese with arms.

    It was a foolish act of the Roman Catholics to join the revolt, as they were infact Villarvettom Tamils who themselves had Portuguese blood. The Portuguese relied on the 4000 Mestizo soldiers who protected the fort and also required the support of Roman Catholic Tamil Mestizo population who had a populationabout 200000. Only a tiny fraction of Portuguese Catholics might have had Syriac Nestorian blood.

    The betrayal of the Tamil Mestizo population led to the Portuguese ouster in 1663 AD. In the laterdays the Tamil Mestizos were forced to join Syriac churches and identify themselves as Syrians. The Portuguese Roman Catholics were brought completely under the control of the former Nestorian priests.

    The enormous landed properties accumulated by the churches in the Pirtuguese era attracted the priests with Nestorian background. These former Nestorian priests from Palayoor revolted against Portuguese Archbishop Garcia of Kodungaloor. Portuguese created a class of Nestorian-Catholic aristocracy who controlled the landed properties of the church. These Nestorian-Catholic priests became independent from Portuguese and also from Pope.

    The Mestizos by supporting the Dutch protestant colonial rulers brought an end to the progress of Christianity in Kerala and eviction of Portuguese IN 1663 AD.

    Between 1660 to 1663 AD Portuguese were defeated and removed from Kochi by Dutch. But the Padroado Portuguese Jesuit missionaries still remained at Kodungaloor.

    One priest called Palliveetil Chandy from Pakalomattom family was elevated as Bishop of Kodungaloor arch diocese formed the Syro-Malabar Catholic church at Kodungaloor under Chaldean Catholic church in 1663 AD.

    This Chaldean Catholic faction called “Pazhankur” or Old Faction had 84 churches and in its fold with Palliveetil Chandy who formed the Syro-Malabar Church as Bishop. Syro Malabar Church was under Chaldean Catholic church and Eastern Catholic churches. Chaldean Catholic churches never existed in Kerala prior to 1663 AD.

    The Villarvettom Mestizo Tamils had to join this unknown Chaldean Catholic church of Mosul in Iraq in 1663 AD. The Kerala’s Mestizo Roman Catholics were mostly medival Tamils mixed with Portuguese. They had no reason to join either Chaldean Catholics or Oriental Orthodox Christianity. After Portuguese left they were led by priests from a family of Nestorian Archdeacons they were forced to join the Syriac churches.

    But after the reign of Palliveetil chandy between 1663 to 1687 the Kodungaloor diocese became a Latin diocese once again, controlled by Padroado priests under Portuguese crown. Kodungaloor Bishops between 1663 to 1838 were European Latin Bishops.

  • Vil says:


    Kodungalur Latin Diocese was established in 1601 AD with Francis Roz as first Bishop. Portuguese facing opposition from Nestorian priests Portuguese appointed Parambil Chandy who was a Chaldean Catholic as Bishop of Latin Diocese of Kodungaloor 1663 AD.

    After this Syriac rite churches claimed to be of Syro Malabar church. But Parambil Chandy himself was a Chaldean catholic who used Latin Liturgy.

    After Parambil Chandy Portuguese Jesuit Bishops of Kodungaloor continued to to reign over Thrissur, and Angamaly areas.

    At Palayoor a factory to process spices existed in the Portuguese and Dutch periods. Palayoor Church had been built by Portuguese.


    The other faction of Portuguese Mestizo catholic Christians was led by Archdeacon Marthoma. In 1665 AD an Orthodox Bishop of Jerusalem ocalled Mar Abdal Jaleel came to India and elevated archdeacon Marthoma as Bishop under a new church Orthodox or Jacobite Church established by Jacob Bardeus in 543 AD. Though the founder Bishop Jacob wore tattered robe Bardeus(tattered cloth stitched) was added to him. But the laterday Orthodox priests were known for their opulent robes.

    The Roman Catholics of the 40 churches still thought that they were Catholics. Gradually only realised that they have gone to a completely different Syrian church.


    During the Portuguese and Dutch era coastal Mestizo communities were encouraged to cultivate pepper at the Westernghats.

    This resulted the migration of Roman Catholics from Kodungaloor and Kochi to Angamali, Kuruvilangad and Kottayam. Similar migration of Roman Catholics of Kollam to Pathanamthitta occurred.


    The Portuguese Roman Catholics underwent a schism of their church in 1663 AD and thereby creating Latin Catholics, Syro-Malabar with roots from Chaldean Catholics and Malankara Orthodox sects. Because of Portuguese efforts all sects rejected Nestorian Syriac Christianity and its heresy in the laterdays. A Nestorian  Bishop called Mar Gabriel arrived in Malabar in 1708 AD. Neither Malankara church nor Catholics accepted him. Finally he came to Kottayam Cheria palli under Malankara Orthodox church. He died and was buried there. His burial place was later demolished under the orders of Orhodox Bishop Marthoma in 1730 AD and those stones were used as stepping stones to the parish building . Desecration of the grave of the last Nestorian priest Mar Gabriel also marked the end of Nestorianism in India.


    In 1775 AD a Syriac priest of Malayatoor who used Raza Qurbana which was considered heretical by the Carmelite priests of Varapuzha was dragged out of procession, handcuffed, taken to Varapuzha and was chained to a cot. This incidence clearly indicates that only Syriac translation of Roman mass was used in the churches in 1775 AD and not Nestorian Raza Qurbana.


    British hindered the local European Catholic Bishops. Syrian Catholic priest Kariattil Mar Ouseph from Alangad sailed to Portugal and was appointed as Bishop of Kodungaloor’s Latin diocese in 1785 AD at Lisbon.But Kariattil Mar Ouseph was also a Latin priest who had graduated from Carmelite Propaganda college of Rome. Kariattil Mar Ouseph had written a book called “Noticias do Reino do Malabar” in Portuguese language in 1780. After this the Latin Jesuits Diocese of Kodungaloor with Jurisdiction at Angamaly continued to have European Latin Catholic Bishops until 1838 AD. Kodungaloor Archdiocese merged with Varapuzha Latin Diocese in 1838 AD

    Some rebellious Syriac rite priests from Cherthala established a rival monastery called Carmelites of Mary Immaculate at Mannanam in 1831 AD but under Latin Carmelites of Varapuzha.

    The Syro Malabar churches started identifying themselves as separate from Latin churches after 1838 AD.

  • Vil says:


    By the end of 18th century only few Syriac rite churches existed at Angamaly and Alangad. When British blocked the entry of Portuguese priests in 1795 Kariyattil Mar Ouseph a Syrian priest was anointed as indigenous Bishop of Kodungaloor in 1785 AD. Karyattil Mar Ouseph was also a Latin priest who got a Doctororate of Theology from Propaganda college at Rome.

    After 1838 AD Kodungaloor Latin Arch diocese was downgraded and merged with Varapuzha. Many Latin Catholics of Varapuzha joined the Syro-Malabar church. Once again Syriac Nestorian rites were revived. Infact Nestorianism and Roman Catholicism were opposing ideologies. The Syrian Catholic priests use Nestorian Liturgy to prevent the Pope gaining complete control of their churches. Most of the Eastern Catholic churches use their own liturgy instead of Latin Liturgy.

    After 1887 AD the Kodungaloor Latin diocese was downgraded and merged with Varapuzha diocese. Varapuzha church itself was fragmented when Syriac rite Christians joined Angamaly. Many Latin Churches of Varapuzha joined the Cochin Arch diocese.

    The Syriac rite Christians from Latin Catholic Carmelite diocese of Varapuzha merged with Jesuit Angamaly diocese to create Angamaly-Varapuzha Archdiocese also known as Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese which is under Syro-Malabar sect now.


    Kollam, Varapuzha and Kodungaloor were originally Latin dioceses but many from these churches defected to Syro-Malabar sect with Nestorian liturgy in the 19th century.


    There had been an unholy alliance between European colonial rulers, Portuguese Mestizos and Tulu-Nepali kingdoms. The oppressive matrilineal Tulu-Nepali kingdoms of Nairs, Nambuthiris and Samantha Kshatriyas could not be overthrown by indigenous Dravidian Villavar clans of Kerala as the Europeans and Portuguese Mestizo Christians were supporting Tulu-Nepali kingdoms. This led to suppression of Dravidian Villavars in Kerala.


    Portuguese era Mestizo Christians were the founders of the modern Christianity in Kerala. The Roman Catholic churches and their offshoot Malankara Orthodox-Jacobite churches in Kerala were founded by Portiguese Mestizo Christians. Portuguese Jesuit Padrados nurtured Roman Catholicism in Kerala until 1838 AD.

    But the Syrian Christians distanced themselves from Portuguese and pretend that they were Nambuthiris converted by St.Thomas in 52 AD. Syrian Christians admit that they might be Jews and Syrians converted by St.Thomas at Babylon. A faction of Syrian Christians claim they are from Edessa and Antioch and had been converted by St James at the ancient Byzantine Greek kingdom.

    But Syrian Christians never admit that they had been Tamils from Villarvettom kingdom or Portuguese Mestizos.


    Syrian Christians are Villarvettom Tamils and Tamils of Kollam who intermixed with few Nestorian syrian Christians and Portuguese and thereby formed a Portuguese Mestizo community. The Villarvettom Tamils lost their culture, Religeon and language because of their intermixture with foreigners.
    When Medieval Tamils disappeared a large Roman Catholic Portuguese Mestizo community appeared in Kerala in the sixteenth century.


    John of Montecorvino’s letter to Pope on the plight of Keralas Christians


  • Vil says:


    പാലയൂർ ചെമ്പ് തകിട്
    കൊല്ലം 781
    1606 എഡി
    ലിപി: വട്ടെഴുത്ത്
    ഭാഷ: മലയാളം-തമിഴ്

    മലയാളം (ലിപ്യന്തരണം)

    1. കൊല്ലം 781 – മത കുമ്പ ഞായറ്റിൽ എഴുതിയ വെം
    2. പാട്ടം നെറ് പലിശ ഓലകരണമാവത പാലൂറ്പള്ളിലെ വികാരിയും പുരൊ
    3. ത്തിക്കാരരും കൂട കൈയ്യാൽ ആയിരത്ത അൻമ്പത്ത അഞ്ച്
    4. പുതു പണം കൊണ്ടാൻ കൂത്തംചെരിഇരവിനാരാണെൻ
    5. കൊണ്ടാൻ കൊണ്ടന പരിശാവത ഇക്കൊണ്ട പുതു(1) പണം 105
    6. 5 നും കാരിയം തന്റ്റെ ഇരിങ്ങപ്പുരംദെശത്ത ഇളങ്
    7. കുളത്ത വടിക്കെമുറി പറമ്പും അതിന അടുത്തകണ്ടങ്ങ
    8. ൾ നാല്പ്പതിനാഴി വിത്തിനു കണ്ടവും കൂട നില പാ
    9. ട്ടമുൾപ്പട ആയിരത്ത അന്മ്പത്ത അഞ്ച്പണത്തിന

    Second Side.

    10. നെറ്പലിശ കിഴിടുമാറ എഴുതിക്കൊടുത്താൻഇരവി നാരാണെൻ
    11. ഇമ്മാർക്കമെ ഇച്ചൊന്ന ഇളങ്കുളത്തെ വടക്കെമുറിപ്പറമ്പും
    12. അതിടുത്ത കണ്ടം നാനാഴി വിത്തിന്നു കണ്ടവുംകൂടി ആ
    13. യരത്ത 1055 ത്തിന്ന നെറ്പലിശകിഴിയുമാറ എഴു
    14. തിച്ചു കൊണ്ടാറ് പാലൂറ് പള്ളിയിൽ വികാരി പരൂക്കുളങ്ങരെ
    15. ഇട്ടി അച്ചെനാരൂം പുരൊത്തിക്കാരരും കൂടിഇപ്പടിക്ക
    16. ഇതട്ടുയും (ഇത അറിയും) താഴ്ക്കി കൊതനല്ലൂർ നമ്പുതിരി മാ
    17. ടക്കാവിൽ ചാത്തപ്പമെനോൻകൈയഴുത്ത.


    The Palayur plate of 1606 AD written by a Nair called Chathappa menon and in which a Nambuthiri had been a witness, had been written in Malayalam-Tamil language with Vattezhuthu script which were used in official documents then.

    The Nepali Malayalam written in Tulu script remained the private spoken language of Tulu-Nepali clans such as Nairs, Nambuthiris and Samantha Kshatriyas but unknown to rest of the Keralites.


  • Vil says:

    Kollam 781
    1606 AD
    Language : MALAYALAM-TAMIL

    Plate belonging to Syro-Roman Church of Palaiyur.

    Deed written in 1606 AD.A certain Iravi Narayanan resident of Kuttancherry had received a loan of 1055 Panam from the Vicar of Palayur Church and the functionaries of the Church.

    The document recordes the transfer of a landed property situated in Ilangulum in Irinnappuram desam called Vadakemuri land and the adjoining land with forty Nazhi seed sowing capacity owned by Ravi Narayanan, to Palur Church Vicar Paru Kulankara Itty Achanar as parallel to 1055 Panam and interest.

    In this way Palur Church Vikari Paru Kulankara Itty Achanar and Functionaries made this land deed written.

    Nambuthiri of Kothanallur was a witness. Document was written by Madakkavu Sattappa Menon.

    This copper plate does not have any Nepali words.

  • Vil says:

    பாலையூர் தாமிர தகடு.
    கொல்லம் 781
    கிபி 1606
    எழுத்து முறை : வட்டெழுத்து

    First Side.

    1. கொல்லம் ௭௱௮௰௧(781) -மத கும்ப ஞாயற்றில் எழுதிய வெம்
    2. பாட்டம் நெற் பலிச ஓலகரணமாவத பாலூற்பள்ளிலெ விகாரியும்புரொ
    3. த்திக்காரரும் கூட கைய்யால் ஆயிரத்த அன்ம் பத்த அஞ்
    4. சு புது பணம் கொண்டான் கூத்தம்செரி இரெவிநாராணென்
    5. கொண்டான் கொண்டன பரிசாவத இக்கொண்ட புது௧(1) பணம் ௲௫௰
    6. ௫ (1055) னும் காரியம் தன்ற்றெ இரிங்ஙப்புரம் தெசத்த இளங்
    7. குளத்த வடிக்கெமுறி பறம்பும் அதின அடுத்த கண்டங் ங
    8. ள் நால்ப்பதினாழி வித்தினு கண்டவும் கூட நில பா
    9. ட்டமுள்ப்பட ஆயிரத்த அன்ம்பத்த அஞ்சு பணத்தின

    Second Side.

    10. நெற்பலிச கிழிடுமாற எழுதிக் கொடுத்தான் இரெவி நாராணென்.
    11. இம்மார்க்கமெ இச்சொன்ன இளங்குளத்தெ வடக்கெமுறிப் பறம்
    12. பும் அதிடுத்த கண்டம் நானாழி வித்தின்னு கண்டவும் கூடி ஆ
    13. யரத்த ௲௫௰௫(1055) த்தின்ன நெற்பலிச கிழியுமாற எழு
    14. திச்சு கொண்டாற் பாலூற் பள்ளியில் விகாரி பரூக்குளங்ஙரெ
    15. இட்டி அச்செனாரும் புரொத்திக்காரரும் கூடி இப்படிக்க
    16. இதட்டுயும்(இத அறியும்) தாழ்க்கி கொதநல்லூர் நம்புதிரி மா
    17. டக்காவில் சாத்தப்பமெனோன் கையழுத்த

  • Vil says:


    പാലയൂർ ചെപ്പേട്,
    കൊല്ലം 918.
    1743 AD
    ഭാഷ: മലയാളം-തമിഴ്
    ലിപി: വട്ടെഴുത്ത്

    മലയാളം ലിപ്യന്തരണം

    1. കൊല്ലം ௯௱௰அ(918)-മത മീനഞായറ്റിൽ എഴുതിയ അട്ടിപ്പെറ്റൊലക് കരുണമവതു പാലയൂർ തെചത്ത അച്ചഴിത്ത
    2. കുമ്മനിയ്പ്പറമ്പിന്ന തെക്കെപ്പുറം ഇമ്പൊണൻ കല്ലട്ട അതിറ്ക്കതെക്കൊട്ടും പള്ളിപറമ്പിന്ന വടക്
    3. കെ അതിറ്ക്ക വടക്കൊട്ടും പടിഞ്ഞാറ എടവഴിക്ക കിഴക്കൊട്ടും കിഴക്കെ അറ്ക്ക പടിഞ്ഞാട്ടും
    4. ഇ നാലതിറ്ക്ക അകത്തകപ്പെട്ടത എപ്പിയെറ്പെട്ടതും അന്നു നാല റകണ്ടു യെടം അറ്ത്തവും
    5. വാങ്ങി അട്ടിപ്പെറ പിറമുതെലൊതകമയി എഴുതി കൊടുത്താൻ അച്ചഴിത്ത രാമൻ പങ്ങനും
    6. തമ്പിമരും അമ്മാറ്ക്ക ഇച്ചൊന്ന പലൈയൂറ് തെചത്ത അച്ചാഴിയത്ത കുമ്മനിപ്പ
    7. ന്ന തെക്കെപ്പുറം കല്ലിട്ട തിറ്ക്ക തെക്കൊട്ടും പള്ളിപറമ്പിന്ന വടക്കേ അതിറ്ക്ക
    8. വടക്കൊട്ടും പടിഞ്ഞാറ എടവഴിക്ക കിഴക്കൊട്ടും കിഴക്കെ അറ്ക്ക പടിഞ്ഞാട്ടും ഇന്
    9. നാലതിറ്ക്കകത്തകപ്പെട്ടത എപ്പിറ്പെട്ടതും അന്നു നാലറകണ്ടു യെടം അറ്ത്തവും കൊടുത്ത
    10. അട്ടിപ്പെറ പിറമുതലൊതകമായി എഴുതിച്ചു കൊണ്ടൻ പലൈയൂർ പള്ളി വെകരിയും പൊറത്തിക്കാരും ഇമ്മാറ്ക്കമെ
    11. ഇച്ചൊന്ന പറമ്പ അന്നു നാലറകണ്ട യെടം അറ്ത്തവും വാങ്ങി പിറ മുതെലൊതകമായി എഴുതി കൊടുത്താൻ രാമൻ പങ്ങനും
    12. തമ്പിമരും അമ്മറ്ക്കമെ ഇച്ചൊന്ന പറമ്പ അന്നു യെടം അറ്ത്തവും കൊടുത്ത പിറമുതെലൊപകമായി എഴുതിച്ചു
    13. കൊണ്ടൻ പാലയൂർ പള്ളി വെകാരിയും പൊറവറ്ത്തിക്കാരും ഇമ്മറ്ക്കമെ അറിയും പലതക്കി തലപ്പെള്ളി
    14. യരു വെറ്കാവെക്കരൂ കൂടവ്വും ചവുലക്കട്ടിൽ നട്ടരു മമ്മമ്പിൽ മുത്തവ്വെരും കൂത്താമ്പെ
    15. ള്ളി കമ്മളും അറികെ കൊങ്ങാട്ടിൽ കേരളൻ കണ്ടർ കയ്യെഴുത്ത


    Palaiyur plate was a land deed mentioning purchase of land by Vicar of Palayur church and Functionaries at 1743 AD.

    The language of Palaiyur plate was in Western Tamil ie Malayalam-Tamil and script was Vattezhuthu. The Palaiyur people at 1743 did not use the Ezhuthachan style Sanskritised Grantha Malayalam written with Tulu-Tigalari script.

    The gender, number and position variations in verbs were omitted in Grantha Malayalam. Grantha Malayalam appeared in a style as if a North Indian who did not know Tamil attempted to talk in a crude form of Tamil.

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