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Malayattoor Hill Pilgrimage

Tourism is a journey through the nature, culture and people of a particular area; it consists of   rituals, pilgrimage destination, traditional customs and very unique ethnic products to exhibit. Pilgrimage tourism is also a special attraction of Kerala, where the land is rich in hills, rivers and many cave/forest religious places. Malayattoor is such a wonderful hill pilgrimage destination in Kerala. Every year thousands of people are walking to Malayattoor hills to pray at the Church and golden cross established in the name of St Thomas, an apostle of Jesus Christ who came to spread the message of Christianity in India.

Attractions of Malayattoor Hills

Malayattoor has always been famous for its natural riches, with the hilly area forming the perfect backdrop for all who seek solace and spiritual salvation. The Periyar River flows beside you and there are provisions at the Church which help you bathe in the beautiful river. Considered the largest pilgrim centre in the name of St. Thomas in India, its famous ‘Malayattoor Perunnal’ attracts devotees in large numbers.  It is observed on the first Sunday after Easter, which is usually in March or April. A visit is not complete without visiting the legendary Marthoma Mandapam, where the relics of the great Apostle himself are preserved.

Located on top of the Malayattoor Hill, at a height of 609 m, in Ernakulam pilgrims flock here in large numbers to pay homage and seek blessings. Believers carrying large crosses up a hill are common sights on a voyage to the Hill Shrine at Malayattoor where people offer their pain and suffering to God, in hopes of forgiveness and peace.

It is believed that St. Thomas, one of the ten apostles of Jesus Christ, had landed on the Kerala coast at Muziris, Kodungallur Port in 52 C.E. and that he built the Malayattoor Church. It is said that he retreated to the hills of Malayattoor and prayed.

Nearest railway station : Angamaly, about 23 km

Nearest airport :  Cochin International Airport, about 22 km

Pathway of Stones and Rocks

From the church at the Adivaram, it is an arduous two kilometre trek up the hill to reach the top. They offer prayers at the 14 points of  way of cross. People come from various parts of the country to Malayattoor during the Holy Week and the week after Easter for the pilgrimage. They carry wooden crosses to commemorate the Way of the Cross. Women carry brooms up the hill – for prosperity and well being; while some others carry heavy stones, that symbolise the burdens of life, which they leave on the hill. The pilgrims includes a visit to the following places on the hill.


Marthoma Mandapam: A perfect blend of Greco-Indian architecture, this building is where the relics of St Thomas are preserved.

Golden Cross: This cross is believed to have appeared miraculously when St Thomas made the sign of the cross.

Footprints of St Thomas: Footprints believed to have been made by St Thomas is one of the main attraction on the hill.

Chapel: Once, this part of the hill was a forest. It is said that some elephants tried to raze the building to Earth. There are impressions of their tusks on the walls of church.

Water spring: St Thomas is said to have struck a rock and a fresh water spring formed. The water in this spring is said to have healing powers.

Where to Stay

Pilgrims mostly stay at the church and nearby facilities arranged by Malayattoor church. For tourists visiting Malayattoor, they can stay at nearby resorts in Kochi or best budget resorts in  Kerala near Malayattoor  hills. It’s better to climb the hill during evening or night time so that people won’t have much difficulty. When you approach the Malayattoor hills, it’s a marvelous view of hills lighted up from bottom to up and the beautiful river flows besides the hill. Enjoy the best pilgrim tourist spot in Kerala both spiritual and somewhat risky at Malayattoor.

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