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- Pallikunnu ‘Lourde Matha’ Church, also popularly known as the ‘Lourdes of the East’, was originally constructed by the French Missionary Rev. Fr. Armade Shang Marie Jefrino, MEP, in honour of ‘Our Lady of Lourdes’ in France. Today it is a very renowned pilgrim centre, attracting devotees of all faiths across Kerala and certain parts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, especially during the Annual Feast every year from February 2nd to 18th. The feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is celebrated globally on the 11th of February and hence in Pallikkunnu too on the 10th and 11th. We were blessed to visit the Church during 2019 festival season.
Situated in Meenangadi, about 14 km from Kalpetta, Pallikunnu Church is amidst a romantic lustrous green surrounding of Wayanad district* of the Western Ghats, which is famous for natural beauty coupled with green, calm and serene environ. The Church has become a prominent pilgrim centre of Kerala for all the faiths. The vast stretch of the sprawling church premises, the peculiar architecture of the church inside and outside, the age old ‘Hospice - Home for the Aged’ and the surrounding garden - all add to its charm.
Another peculiarity of this church is that many of the rituals and practices, especially, the Nercha (Offerings) offered by the devotees (even by the Latin Catholics) in the church appears to be a blend of Christian and Hindu traditions. For instance, carrying pieces of rocks on their heads around the church (remembrance of the rock cave at Massabielle in Lourdes where Saint Bernadette had witnessed the Blessed Virgin Mary), or Shayana Pradakshinam, Pradakshinam on the Knees around the church, offering gold plated/silver articles and so on. In addition, devotees donate for free traditional lunch (Nercha Bhakshanam) which is being offered from the Church and some devotees volunteer themselves to clear the leaves used by others to have their lunch, as a ritual, apart from carrying stones on the head, Shayana Pradakshinam etc. The temporary shelters organised for serving the lunch and the mode of disposal and the volunteers serving the lunch really deserve special appreciations.
* Kalpetta is the Headquarters of Wayanad District and thus Meenangadi and Pallikunnu all belong to Waynad and not to Kannur as listed here.Written 26 March 2019This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- Holy Trinity Cathedral is located in Burnassery (the anglicized version is Burnshire), previously addressed as Kannur Cantonment/Cannanore Cantonment during the days of the British. Even before the English, it had remained a military camp of the Portuguese and the Dutch, and is presently the headquarters of the Defence Security Corps of India. The Cathedral is about 3 Km from the Kannur Railway Station by road and can easily be accessed by car/auto-rickshaw/local bus.
The present church is the renovated one during 2010 in a Roman-Gothic style of architecture, adding beauty to the original historic monument.
According to history, the Portuguese traders could not get along with the Zamorins of Calicut and hence moved to Kannur, where they were received by the Kolathiri king of Kannur and were permitted to build the first Chapel in 1501 A.D. by a team of four Franciscan Missionaries in the site where the Cathedral stands now. This ancient Roman Catholic Holy Trinity Cathedral, thus, gathers its fame as one of the oldest Catholic Churches of Kerala having this great historical significance. The establishment of the Chapel has also been instrumental to the missionary activities of North Malabar.
When the Catholic Missions of South Canara and Malabar regions were handed over to the Jesuits of the Venice Province in 1878, the mission involvement of the area took a new turn. On 12th June 1923, again some parts of Malabar, which belonged to the Diocese of Mangalore were separated and a new Diocese of Calicut was established. On 5th November 1998, Saint Pope John Paul II created the present Diocese of Kannur, bifurcating it from the original Diocese of Calicut. Most Rev. Dr Varghese Chakkalakal, who was then a professor at St. Joseph's Seminary, Mangalore, and a priest of the Diocese of Calicut, was consecrated as the first Bishop of Kannur on 7th February 1999, who took charge of the Diocese on 8th February 1999. Consequent to his transfer on June 15, 2012 to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calicut, Most Rev. Dr Alex Joseph Vadakumthala is appointed as the present Bishop on 1st February 2014 and was consecrated on March 23rd as the administrator of the Diocese of Kannur.
The Church is close to the coast in the neighbourhood of the Defence Security Corps, Baby Beach and the Kannur Lighthouse. The interior of the church is very appealing, adorned with stained glass carrying the portraits of descriptions in the Bible. Just below the alter is an Adoration Chapel that can be reached using the steps in front of the alter. The Stations of the Cross are erected in the sprawling vacant area in front of the Church.
In the belfry at the back of the church, 5 bells brought from Novara of Italy in 1912, have been reinstalled and recently automated using ‘Automatic Church Bell Ringer’ with ‘Ave Maria’ and ‘Jingle bells’ melodies. Each of the five bells are connected to separate Pulsator units that are regulated by a control unit.Written 1 April 2019This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- St. John's Anglican Church, is believed to be about 152 years old and according to some others, the church must have been here even as early as 1830. The graveyard, adjacent to it probably existed even before that, as some tomb-stone markings indicate the usage as early as 1768. The church is just behind the Thalassery Fort, on the sea coast and is considered to be one of the first churches to be constructed in the Malabar region. The philanthropist, Edward Brennan, who died in 1859, bequeathed all his savings towards the welfare of this region, including funds to establish the educational institution and the church. The mortal remains of Brennan as well as many other officials of the East India Company are buried in the cemetery attached to the church. The church is a fine specimen of the Gothic revival style of the 1830's.Written 3 July 2019This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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