OLDEST CHURCHES IN TRIVANDRUM(THIRU ANANTHAPURAM)CITY

The Madre-de-Deus church at (Vettukad), popularly known as Vettukad Palli (Palli means church in Malayalam) is situated 7 kilometres away from Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala, India.

Vettukad Church


This important Christian pilgrim centre is located in the coastal village of Vettucaud. The church
is believed to have been established by St. Francis Xavier, the Jesuit missionary who came to India to spread the gospel is believed to have established the church. 
 Rebuilt in 1934 and grew into a parish under the Latin Arch Diocese of Thiruvananthpuram.
 - Places to Go - Vettukad Church





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CSI CHRIST CHURCH TRIVANDRUM
Description: Photograph taken about 1900 by the Government photographer, Zacharias D'Cruz of a general view of the Christ Church and cemetry in Trivandrum in the erstwhile Travancore State. It is one of 76 prints in an album entitled 'Album of South Indian Views' of the Curzon Collection. George Nathaniel Curzon was Under Secretary of State at the Foreign Office between 1895-98 and Viceroy of India between 1898-1905. The Church, belonged to the CHURCH  Missionary Society[C.M.S.] and is situated in the Cantonment area called Palayam.

THE ENGLISH OFFICERS OF NAIR PATTALAM (NAIR SOLDIERS FROM 1800 ON WARDS ARE BURIED IN THIS CHURCH .ONE CAN SEE THEIR - tomb: a mausoleum - IN THE CHURCH YARD  AS SEEN IN THIS PHOTO;THOUGH MANY ARE MISSING NOW


Christ Church-at palayam- interior [Trivandrum]--Photographer: D'Cruz, Zachariah Medium: Photographic print Date: 1900


Christ Church interior [Trivandrum]
NOTE:- THE HAND PULLED PUNKAH(HAND PULLED FAN) ON EITHER SIDE ;HANGING DOWN LIKE A SHEET ;FROM ENTRANCE TO THE INTERIOR OF THE CHURCH;ALSO THE KEROSENE LANTERNS (BEFORE ELECTRICITY CAME TO TRIVANDRUM IN 1929)
 THE CHURCH WAS MADE ADJACENT TO THE ARMY CAMP CALLED CANTONMENT NOW KNOWN AS [PALAYAM] AND MOST EUROPEAN OFFICERS WERE STAYING NEAR BY ,AND MANY ENGLISH OFFICERS  ARE BURIED IN THE CHURCH
 THE FIRST BURIAL OF AN ENGLISH MAN TOOK PLACE IN 1786 IN  THE CEMETRY;BEFORE THE CHURH WAS MADE; MANY ENGLISH MEN WERE BURIED ,AND MANY OF THEIR NAMES ARE STILL SEEN ON THE TOMB STONES
 THE ARMY PARADE GROUND WAS MADE INTO A STADIUM (CHANDRASEKHARAN NAIR STADIUM OF PALAYAM)



                                                                             now
The Oldest Anglican Church in the Capital City
The history of Christ Church,Trivandrum goes back to the year 1817. The Christ Church is one of the oldest CSI Congregations in Trivandrum city. 

Consecrated on 15th November, 1859 Christ Church is the oldest Church in the city. An integral constituent of the Madhya Kerala Diocese of the Church of South India, Christ Church, surrounded by the University Stadium and the Chandrasekharan Nair stadium,  is strategically located on the arterial Mahatma Gandhi Road on one end and the Kerala Legislature Complex at the other

The history of the church begins with Bishop Middleton, the first bishop of Calcutta by deputing Rev.Hutchinson, Military Chaplain at Quilon, in 1817, to Trivandrum once a month, initiated Worship service for the members of the Church of England employed in the Military and Govt. at Trivandrum There was also a small number of Tamil Christians employed in the Govt. or in the households of Europeans. A Tamil congregation was formed in 1837, through the efforts of an English knowing young man, Mr. Christian David.

The Malayalam Congregation was started in 1876 by Mr. M. Chandy, followed by regular Worship services by Rev. M P Mathen in 1878. At this time, General Cullen, the British Resident, arranged divine services for Europeans in the Residency. In order to build a permanent place of worship for the members of the Church of England, both European and Indian, they collected about Rs.2600 and received an equal amount from the Govt. of Fort St. George. The Travancore Govt. granted the site and timber free, and lent the services of an able surveyor, Mr.Shedden, to supervise the construction work. General Cullen in the presence of Ramavarma Utram Tirunal, the Prince of Travancore and of many Christians and non-Christians laid the foundation stone of the Church on 13 December 1858. The Bishop Dealtry of Madras under the name “Christ Church” consecrated the Church on 15 November 1859. The Church furniture and accessories were the gifts of individuals or were bought out of funds subscribed by the members.

The Maharaja of Travancore gave a” Neetu” to the Church in which the land and taxes have been given free to the worshipping community. The War Memorial in front of the Church was a part of this sanctuary and regular commemoration of Martyr’s Anniversary was conducted every year with prayer ceremony by this Cantonment Church. The land for road development till the present boundary has been given to the State Government by this Church, free of cost. This is the oldest Church in the Trivandrum city.and has a unique colonial, Anglican architecture

The membership strength of the natives began to increase as more and more families from central Travancore settled in the city in connection with jobs in and around Trivandrum.The Church from the beginning had a vision to extend a helping hand to the less privileged outside the membership of the church. Under the initiative of Christ Church, three outstation churches at Karali, Muttathara and Mudavanmugal were established. The members of the outstation churches were not financially well off and therefore Christ Church used to shoulder major expenses for construction and maintenance of church buildings, mission houses, nursery school and other establishment cost. Of the three outstations, permanent church buildings have been constructed for two and the third will be constructed shortly

Till 1973, Christ Church Sunday School was functioning in the Malayalam Department of the University College as per permission accorded by the Government.

You just cannot ignore the solemn sighs of the Old Cemetery…
Photos By - Shameem Faruque

The trees, the tombs and the shade...a cemetery has a heart that beats in silence...


Look closer...[ ENGLISH CAPTAIN -IN- NAIR BRIGADE-BURIED 1838]

No eyes to shed tears... still they stand witness to changing times...[BURIED 1843]

The limousine model 'Hearse' which was popular in the UK was used here till the 1960s...

You need to go as deep as the roots to be born as the mighty branches...

They might be forgotten but the trees still bathe them with purple flowers...

Hannah died 1899..with the legislative assembly as the back drop...

The CSI Christ Church..a standing memoir of a bygone era...