The Erthazhu

This special wooden lock in the ‘Madbaha’ (Altar) is a beautifully carved design of architecture. It is still a wonder; its non-fading colour made from indigenous items. These colours have sunk deep in wood. It is believed that this had been installed in the 15th century, by the Portuguese architects. The Legend says that once a rich Portuguese merchant decided to give an elaborately decorated "Erthazhu" to an Indian church. Thus they reached Kerala and travelled through a river not knowing the exact church; but finally reached Piravom

The lock is fixed on four pillars with imprinted vine stems. The God’s creation of the universe is carved at the top. Some believe that the images seen at the topsides are of Elija and Hanok. Some say that it is God, the Son and Holy Ghost. The paintings below that show the life story of Jesus Christ and the most important events from the Holy Bible. The picture of the Last Supper is at the bottom and the names of all Apostles are written in Tamil. Malayalam might not have evolved as a language at that time with its letters as of modern days.

The prominence of Piravom Valiyapally

Many famous churches, as Kottoor, Kolenchery, Kadamattom, Vadakara, Elanji, Mutholapuram, Mammalassery, Chembu and Kaduthuruthy emerged after severing their ties with the Piravom Valiyapally. Piravom Catholic Church severed from Piravom Valiyapally in 1821, many years after the Koonan Kurish Satyam. The present two CHURCHES enjoyed the same services and followed the same texts till that date, with out the least disopinions in faith.


Whether true or not, there are so many legends connected with the Piravom Church. *The legend regarding the foundation of the church. While returning after offering presents to the Infant Jesus at Bethlehem, the Three Kings met a "Panickar" with a boat, in the river. The Kings’ request to help them cross the river, was turned down by the Panickar. But he could not row any further. Thus knowing that they were divine people,Panickar decided to help them. But the boat was so small that only one could travel at a time. But the three could travel on it without being sunk. Wonder struck Panickar, showed them the small hill on the eastern bank of the river to rest and pray. When the kings began to leave, Panickar made them promise that they would not leave the place until his return. But Panickar committed suicide, and never returned, which made the Three Kings stay there forever. * "The beautiful hill top site, to which of his two deities ? " Rajakkal failed to come to a decision, when he decided to erect two separate buildings for them. He came to test through a lot. One YAMAM away, on the upperside of the river, he put the cross of the church and the idol of the Devi and left them to float down. The cross came down and rested on the present Kadavu of the church and the idol on the Ambala kadavu. And the three kings built the church and the Ambalam(Temple) on the respective sites as seen now.

* Another legend is of "Tortoise, Bell and  Fish ". Once the church bell was stolen and was sunk in the whirlpool on the western side of the Church. It is believed that a sacred fish along with the bell comes up above the water at the time of the celebration of the Holy Mass of the annual festival. People believe that there is a tunnel cave from the river to the centre bottom, of the Church, where the fish and tortoise live safely. * Another legend is that some robbers had withdrawn leaving their booty, when the Three Kings raised their sword at them on all the doors of the church. * Another legend is about Kayamkulam Kochunni. He came to robe the Church, and when his boat reached the whirlpool it kept rounding there till daybreak so that his attempt ended up fruitlessly.

Communal Harmony

The Piravom Church and the "Pisharukovil Temple" (Hindu Temple) are situated on the same hill, side by side. There is only a wall separation between them and they co-operate each other for the festivals irrespective of caste and creed.

The change of name

There is no other church anywhere in the world in the name of the Holy Kings in the Syrian tradition. A Holy Father form Antioch who once camped at the church decreed that, churches could not be allowed in the name of the Holy Kings’ because the kings were non-christians according to his conscience. Thus the name of the Church was changed to St. Mary’s. However it is still the ‘Rajakkalude Pally" (Holy Kings’ Church) in the hearts of the devotees.

The place of the Church

The Church stands with a very beautiful greenery at Piravom on the bank of the Muvattupuzha River. The river deviated its route leaving a small mount aside, on which the church stands like an enthroned King.

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