St. George Forane Church, Edathua
Church Rd, Edathua, Kuttanad Taluk, Kerala 689573, India
A massive church on the banks of river Pamba, built in medieval European Architecture.
Location of St. George Forane Church, Edathua
More about St. George Forane Church, Edathua
St. George Forane Church at Edathua (also known as Edathua Church and Edathua Palli) is a massive church built in AD 1810 on the banks of one of the distributaries of river Pamaba. The church is dedicated to Saint George and the architecture resembles that of churches of medieval Europe. It is believed that prayers and offerings at this church will help to heal mental disorders and other ailments.
The story behind the name Edathua and that of the preceding saint
Edathua derives its name from its longer version ‘Edathavalam’ meaning ‘resting spot’ in Malayalam. In the olden times, the king’s men and traders who travelled on the river would stop by Edathu for resting and the place slowly accumulated its name Edathavalam. The name was then slowly shortened to Eduthua as time went by.
The church was originally built in the name of Arch Angel Michel. It came to be known as Saint George’s church after the parish members bought the icon of Saint George from Edappally at Ernakulam. Legend has it that even though the people of Edathua bought the icon, they had to take forceful procession of the icon since the people of Edappally were reluctant to part with it. The folks from Edathua had to escape with the icon in snake boats as a result.
The annual festival at the church
The annual festival of the church is typically held from 27th April to 7th May. During the festival, pilgrims from all parts of southern India irrespective of religion and casts visits the church and seek the blessings of Saint George. During the festival, the statue of the saint, decked in gold is taken out on a procession and is placed on the dais in the centre of the church where it stays till the end of the festival. The devotees turn up in thousands from far to join the procession and to offer their prayers.
In addition to the procession and prayers, cultural shows are held on all days and fireworks are conducted at the end of the festival. The whole church will be decorated in thousands of colourful lights during the period. The carnival like atmosphere is complete with vendors setting up stalls selling variety of goods- from food and utensils to jewellery and clothing.
Exploring the church premises
Any visitor to Edathua Church will be impressed by the wonderful and impressive architecture of the church and also by its location. The river on its front is a waterway and boats can dock right in front of the church. The river side is also used by the locals to bath and rows of coconut palm trees line up in the background.
The inside of the church is covered in old paintings and beautiful religious art installations that covers the wall from top to bottom. It is very peaceful inside and one can easily detect a positive change in energy.
Getting to Edathua Church
The church is located in Edathua Town in Alappuzha District of Kerala state in Southern India. In order to reach Edathua, there are direct buses from the nearby large town Ambalapuzha (15km) which sits on the national highway connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Manglore. The nearest major railway station is in Alappuzha and there are buses to Ambalapuzha from Alappuzha.