Sampaloor Church, Thrissur

Sampaloor, by the side of the Chalakudy River is known as the Goa of Kerala. Rightfully called so, this place, like Goa witnessed the arrival of a series of clergy. This comprised St. Francis Xavier, St. John Britto, Fr. Joseph Constantine Buski (Veeramamunivar) and Arnos Pathiri. Among them, the first to arrive at Sampaloor was St. Francis Xavier, who came via Marankuzhi, a place located in Kodungalloor (former Muziris). His visits, as per records, were in 1542, 1544, and 1548. At that time the Muziris harbour (present day Kodungalloor) connected India to foreign countries via the sea.

Sampaloor was an important center of Jesuits during the time of the Portuguese. Some of the structures still stand testimony to the works of the Jesuits in Sampaloor. They include the St. Paul's Seminary, the St. Paul's Monastery and the St. Paul's Press and a church dedicated to St. Francis Xavier. Gradually San-paul-ur became Sampaloor. Half way though the 17th century St. John Britto, an Italian missionary, came to Sampaloor and lived there for nearly one year. He studied Tamil and Sanskrit and adopted an Indian name - Swamy Arulananda. The altar of St. Francis Xavier's church at which St. John Britto used to celebrate the holy mass is now a protected historical monument.

Another member of the clergy, who made his presence felt at Sampaloor after St. John Britto was Arnos Pathiri, who studied at the St. Paul's Seminary and later got ordained there. He made remarkable contributions to the Malayalam literature through his book 'Puthen Pana.' Next to follow was Fr. Joseph Constantine Buski (Veeramamunivar). He came to Sampaloor, while serving in Madurai Mission and later lived there. Fr. Buski's final resting place is also at Sampaloor.

The first printing in Malayalam was done at the St. Paul's Press in Sampaloor, which was set up by Jesuit Priests in 1663. The dictionary of 'Prinsa Pathiri,' Tamil grammar of Dacosta Pathiri, and the books of Dinobili were printed in this press. Sampaloor thus became a great centre for language-nurturing in south India.

The arrival of the clergymen to Sampaloor in the mid 16th century and the developments that took place all later became part of the ecclesiastical history of Kerala. Sampaloor also went through an unfortunate phase in the course of its history, when it was devastated in an attack by Tipu Sultan, who was fighting the British during the middle periods of the 18th century. Later, the church got reconstructed during the time of Bernadian Bechinelly, who was the vicar apostolate of Varapuzha in 1862. The present church was blessed in 1979.

Historical museum of Sampaloor

When samaploor was the centre of Jesuit Missionthere were St. Paul's seminary, St, Paul's Press, St. Paul's Monastery and St. Francis Xavier's Church which were destroyed by Tipu the invader. the Cannon balls used during the time of Tipu, holy vestments of the priests of the Monastery, Tablets that describe the old liturgical order, instruments used to make the hosts, Tabernacle of the old church, statues of saints made of wood and metals, Lamps used for adoration, lamp-sticks, the Cross made of metal belongs to 15Th century and ''Vazhuthayodukal" of the same century are some of the attractions of this Museum.

Anglo-Indian Cultural museum

A sight of Anglo-Indian wedding ceremony, Anglo-Indian Traditional dress for women and men such as Kabaya, Madirasi thuny, a collection of coat, Suit, tie, bohatt, their traditional ornaments like Cothigna, Arulikka mala, Pinnu mala, Wedding ring, and their traditional foods are some of the sights inside this museum.

Getting there

Nearest Railway Station:Chalakkudy, about 7 km.

Nearest Airport:Cochin International Airport, about 25 km.



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