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Tourism in Changanassery

Changanassery, a small town in Kerala attracts huge number of visitors every now and then. It has many tourists’ places which attracts people from across the world. Some of the important tourist places are as following.

St Mary’s Cathedral

St Mary's Cathedral in Changanassery

It is also known as Valiyapally and this cathedral belongs to Syro-Malabar Catholic Archeparchy of Changanasserry. It is also a Marian pilgrimage centre in Kerala in India. 

The Christian community in and around Changanassery inherit their faith directly from St Thomas, the apostle. It was St Thomas who formed a faithful Christian community centered around Niraanam during the first century. The first church in Changanassery was constructed in the year 1177 in a plot of land that was donated by the local Hindu King known as Thekkumkoor. The church was reconstructured as well as consecrated in the year 1887 i.e. the current church is the fourth one in its place.

The church is constructed based on the architecture of European and follows Portuguese as well as Spanish themes. The high ceilings of the church are supported by huge columns. The main altar comes with exquisite wooden carvings of statues as well as crosses. The domed ceiling comes with beautiful frescoes. The cathedral also comes with ancient Hindu temple carvings. There is no denying the fact that this church could be called the architectural masterpiece of the diocese.  

The church does not come with pews and the worshippers need to squat on the floor. Similar to other churches, the followers are separated by gender. Men occupy in the front and women occupy the rear of the prayer hall. In order to provide more space for the growing congregation, a semi-circular section was added to the back of the building. The church also comes with a tallest bell tower in the town and the ringing of the bell could be heard all over the city.

The tombs of Mar Mathew Kavukattu, Mar James Kalassery and Mar Thomas Kuriallassery draw hundreds of people to the Metropolitan Church. The major major celebrations of the church are the festival of St Sebastian celebrated during January and the festival of St Mary celebrated during 1st to 15th August. It is to be noted that this church is the oldest Christian churches in the diocese. 

The Cathedral is situated on the market road which is half-a-kilometre from the Chenganasserry town.  This church was also described as “the finest Syro-Roman Church on the Malabar Coast” by the British Government in the Imperial Gazetteer of India in the year 1908.

St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral Church
Changanasserry, Kerala 686 001
Tel: 0481-2400006, 2420048
Email: valiapally@hotmail.com

How to reach St Mary’s Cathedral Changanasserry

The nearest railway station to the St Mary’s Cathedral is the Kottayam Railway Station Junction. The nearest airport to the Palace is the Cochin International airport. Chenganasserry is also well connected by road to other parts of the state as well as connected to other states also. The tourists can take the KSRTC bus or private buses to reach the Palace. They can even hire a taxi or a cab.

Lakshmipuram Palace 

It is situated in the Changanasserry Taluk in Kottayam District of Kerala, India. It has been the seat of royal family of Koi Thampurans. Some of the great writers like Raja Raha Varma Koil Thampuran, A R Raja Raja Varma and Kerala Varma Valiya Koil Thampuran belong to this place. L P R Varma, the great Malayalam singer and classical musician is also from this palace.

Lakshmipuram Palace 
Changanassery Taluk,
Kottayam District, Kerala

How to reach Lakshmipuram Palace

The nearest railway station to the Lakshmipuram Palace is Kottayam Railway Junction which is situated 17 Km away from Lakshmipuram. The nearest airport to the Palace is the Cochin International airport which is some 63 Km away from the Palace. Chenganasserry is also well connected by road to other parts of the state as well as inter-state. The tourists can take the KSRTC bus or private buses to reach the Palace. They can even hire a taxi or  a cab.

Puthoor Pally Juma Masjid

Puthoor Pally Juma Masjid in Changanassery
This mosque was constructed under the leadership of Ashur Meera Sahib from Madeena in Changanasserry. Since the request came from the highly respectable personality, the King of Thekkumcore gladly gave the land for building the mosque. The mosque is also in proximity to the Kavil Temple as well as the Metropolitan Church. The Puthoor mosque is just opposite to the State Transport Office in Changanasserry and was built some 600 years ago. The Chandanakkudam celebration is the mosque is celebrated for the last 329 years without any break on 25th and 26th December. On the eve of Christmas every year, the procession with Chandanakkudam starts from the Jumma Masjid. The decorated elephants that carry the sacred pots and young men are welcomed in the Kavil temple. The procession is then welcomed at various places by people belonging to all spheres of life and reaches the Puthoor mosque in the morning of 27th December. 

Puthoor Pally Juma Masjid

How to reach Puthoor Pally Juma Masjid
The mosque is well connected by road to all the places in the town. KSRTC and other private buses are operated to reach the mosque. KSRTC also runs buses to connect with other state as well. The nearest railway station to the mosque is Kottayam Railway Station whereas the nearest airport is the Cochin International airport. Within the town the people can hire a cab or taxi to reach the mosque.

Perunna Subramanyaswami Temple

This is the Hindu temple found in Changanasserry and the leading deity of the temple is Murugan. The temple comes with classical Kerala style of architecture. As per the order of Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma of Travancore kingdom, this temple was the first one to open to all the Hindus irrespective of their caste. On hearing about this, Mahatma Gandhi visited this temple during his first Kerala visit and worshipped Lord Muruga for many days. A grand ceremony as well as meeting was held at the eastern gate of the temple during his visit.

In this temple, Lord Muruga is worshipped in the form of Devasenapathi (supreme general of holy forces) and his vel is pointed downwards. Lord Muruga in this temple is furious and in a angry mood as he just killed the Tharakasuran. Lord Muruga is seen here facing east and it is to be noted that only in this temple, he is seen furious mood. Mahaganapathi, Krishna, Ayyappan, etc are the other deities found here.  The temple also has inscriptions made in Vatteshuthu alphabet in the western gate of the temple. These inscriptions were made during the rule of Kulasekhara Koyiladhikari. Perunna is the holy place that comes with quite a lot of temples and large number of people come here to pray to Lord Muruga. Lord Muruga is considered as the King or Ruler of Perunna Kingdom. Tuesdays are considered as important day and special poojas are done by the specialists brahmins. During December - February, festivals (Pallivetta Utsavam & Thaipooya Kavadiyattam) are held in the temple. 

Perunna Subramanya Swami Temple
Perunna, Chenganasserry, 

How to reach Perunna Subramanya Swami Temple
The nearest railway station is Changanassery and from the station the tourists can hire a taxi or cab or even travel by buses operated by KSRTC and private bus owners are available here to reach the temple. Changanassery is also connected to other parts of the state and with other states by road. The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport .

Vazhapally Temple

Vazhapally Temple is otherwise known as Vazhapally Sree Mahadeva Temple and was built during the first Chera King Dynasty. Lord Parasurama who is considered as the sixth incarnation of Lord Maha Vishnu gifted the land of Kerala and he also installed Lord Mahadeva in this temple. It is also one of the 108 siva temple that was established by Lord Parasurama. However, the exact period of construction of this temple is unknown. This temple is also the abode of vazhapally Unni Ganapathy who is considered to be powerful. 

The temple comes with two kodimarams or dwajasthambams (flagpoles) which is unusual. One of them is installed in front of the main deity (i.e. Lord Shiva) which faces eastern side. The other deities found in the temple are Dakshinamoorthi facing south and Goddess Parvathi facing west. Maha Ganapathi son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is the God of wisdom and is also considered as the remover of all obstacles and is found almost in all the temples. Within the temple and in the northwest portion of the complex close to the gopuram, the tourists will find him facing south which is unusual. The tourists will find a separate shrine for Him. This temple is also considered to be rare as Ganesha comes with his own dwajasthambam (Flag staff). The tourists will also find Lord Ganesha’s brother Lord Subramanya in the temple and this completes the entire Shiva family.  The tourists will also find other deities such as Lord Parasurama, Saastha or Ayyappan, Brahmarakshas, Snake God Nagaraja, Naga Yakshi and Nandi (vehicle of Lord Shiva). 

The temple also comes with Thitappalli (Kitchen), Vilakkumaatam (branches of oil lamp) and a pond (Elavanthy Kulam). The main Naivedyam of this temple is otta appam (acorn shaped fried sweet dumplings). This appam is also as famous as the appam offered in Kotarakkara Mahaganapathi temple. 

This temple is of historical importance as it contains lithic records relating to the reign of Rajasekhara Varma Kulasekhara. The temple also consists of fine wood carvings (daarusilpas) of 17th century and depicts figurines from epics. From the vattezhuttu inscription found on the northern part of the shrine, it is revealed that the repairs were done during AD 1665. This place is known as Dakshina Kailasam and is also the ancient Grama Kshethra.

This temple celebrates ten day annual Utsavam during the month of Meenam (March-April). The festival begins with flag hoisting (kodiyettu) on the day of the star Chathayam. The festival ends on Thiruvathira day which is the star of Lord Shiva with Arattu (immersion of the deity). This ceremony is done in the nearby exquisite pond of Morkulangara Bhagavathy temple. Vinayaga Chathurthi is celebrated with great fervor. Apart from this, Shivarathri and mudiyeduppu are also celebrated here. 

Vazhapally Sree Mahadeva Temple
Vazhapally, Chenganasserry

How to Reach Vazhapally Temple
This temple is situated on the outskirts of Changanasserry and the nearest railway station is Chenganassery. The temple is also well connected by road to other parts of the town and other cities. The nearest airport is the Cochin International airport. 

Thirukodithanam Temple

This temple is also known as Thrikodithanam Mahavishnu Kshetram and also known as Adbhuta Narayanan Temple. This is a famous temple situated at Thirukodithanam which is some 2 Kms from Changanasserry. This temple is one among the five temples that were established by Pancha Pandavas and dates back to nineth century. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is one of the 108 Vishnu temples in India. Hence, it is considered important by the Vaishnavites. Adbhuta Narayanan the presiding deity is made out of Aanjana-Kallu and the speciality of the temple is that Narayanan is seen along with his consort Karpagavalli. In the temple, the pilgrims will also find the deities of Krishna, Siva, Narasimha, Ganapathy, Kshetrapalan and Nagas. It is also believed that this temple was established by Sahadeva, the youngest of pandavas. 

Nammalvar who is the greatest of alwar saints has written many poems as well as composed hymns of this temple. The temple is also renowned for its mural paintings as well as stone inscriptions. The circular walls of this temple are decorated with exquisite mural paintings and also the scenes from pot dance, umbrella dance, etc. These mural paintings also give an idea about the bygone era. The main attraction of this temple is the mural paintings of 16 panels in the circular wall which surrounds the temple. 

The sanctum which is made of double storied is also quite popular for its excellent architecture. At the base of the stones, there are about 13 inscriptions in the Vaatezhuthu tamil script. Copper tile plates are used to cover the sloping roof and the main entrance could be reached by four steps of black polished granite. Nalambalam the space around the sanctum comes with a sacred platform called Beli Kallu. The temple also comes with dwajasthamba. 

The boundary wall of the temple is said to be constructed in AD 700. On the eastern entrance of the temple, there is a beautiful pond. Between the eastern entrance and the pond, there is a strange granite statue called Kazhivetti Kallu is positioned. The statue is made of a man flat on his back held up stiff and straight on the stone pillar but only his waist is made to rest on the pillar and the other parts of his body is unsupported. 

This temple comes under Travancore Devaswam Board. This temple celebrates 10 day festival during the lunar month of Vrishchikom. Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Shree Krishna is also celebrated with great fervor here.

How to reach Thirukodithanam Temple
This temple is situated 2 Kms from Chenganasserry railway station. The pilgrims can take either the public bus or private buses to reach the temple. The temple is also well connected by road to all the other parts of the town as well as other cities of Kerala. Nearest airport is Cochin international airport. The pilgrims can also hire the taxi or a cab.

Parel Syro-Malabar Catholic Church

It is one of the important places for Christians in Changanasserry. This church is serene as well as lovely place to visit and must not be missed out. It is also one of the biggest Church of the Saint Thomas Christian denominations and also the second largest Eastern Catholic Church in the city.

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