Friday, October 20, 2017

Our Lady of Sorrows Church (Vyakula Matha Church), Vellicode, Kanyakumari

Our Lady of Sorrows Church (Vyakula Matha Church), Vellicode, Kanyakumari
Our Lady of Sorrows Church is located at Vellicode in Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu. This Church is also called as Vyakula Matha Church. Vellicode (Sarva Valli Code as it was formerly known) lies in the Kalkulam region of Nanjil Nadu. It is one of the oldest inhibited places in Nanjil Nadu.

During Sangam Tamil period, this place was called as Idai Nadu. The region was ruled by tribal Villivan chieftains before being annexed by the Chera Dynasty during the 11th century as Kalkulam. The ancient name of Vellicode was Sarva Vali Kode which means a place where all religions are followed. A church, said to have been built by St Thomas the Apostle is nearby. Also flanged to the south is the Bhagavathy Temple. In 1738 an exponent of martial art "Adi Murai" named Mallan Asan of Arapurai family went to the palace grounds of Udaya Marthanda Varma and won many fights. So, the king gave a silver chest armour and a silver sword. He renamed his native village as Vellicode (Velli means Silver and code means cutlass).
Nadar Catholic Family's, as it is known, history traces back its legacy to 10th century. During those period the Pandya kingdom was ruled by Koon Pandian. He got converted to Hinduism from Jainism. It’s a custom in Hinduism to give a girl as offering to the priest who does the homam. Rajappa & Devappa who were working in the courts of Pandya king were also requested to convert into Hinduism and give their sister as offering. The Brothers never liked the idea, so they killed their sister and fled down south.
They reached the place called Sarva Valli Kodu in Travancore state. Travancore had a Church constructed by St. Thomas the disciple of Jesus. (Presently, it is the oldest standing church in the entire world). They converted themselves into Christians and settled down. For the next 1000 years (till today) the family got expanded and today, there are 800 families living here and all are staunch Roman Catholic. The best part is that the last eight generations are very much traceable and even all the families still hold the links together.
Our Lady of Sorrows Church (Vyakula Matha Church),
Vellicode, Kanyakumari – 629 167
Phone: +91 4651 275389
Mobile: +91 94420 76656
The church is located at about 6 Kms from Thuckalay, 8 Kms from Marthandam, 12 Kms from Kuzhithurai, 13 Kms from Colachel, 10 Kms from Thiruvattaru, 10 Kms from Eraniel, 20 Kms from Nagercoil, 44 Kms from Kanyakumari and 54 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Eraniel and Nearest Airport is located at Thiruvananthapuram.